The Parenting Things I Don't Say Now
On August 13th, I saw a previous social media post I had made in a past year: “Raising tiny humans is exhausting.” I thought “What was I thinking? That doesn’t sound like something I would say.” Completely something I think in my head, but felt a bit out of character for me. Then I saw the year that I wrote it and thought “Oh. That explains it.”
A few days ago, I saw another post: “Pregnancy = valid reason to wear leggings All. The. Time. I’m so comfy.” Now, I wear leggings daily. Of course, the year of the post gave me the context.
Both were in 2015, when I was pregnant with Nelle. On August 24th of that year, we learned in a routine ultrasound that she was growth restricted, measuring only 16 weeks during my 20th week.
I still quip and complain about parenting, but not in the same way. I don’t have that same humor anymore. It is slowly coming back, now that Autumn is over a year old, but I spent so long trying to bring a baby home that any complaints about parenting took a backseat. Being exhausted by parenting when I now know so many couples struggling just to become parents of living children after losing a baby feels uncomfortable, given the tribe that I am in.
And after losing Nelle and then Iris, I faced pregnancy weight that I couldn’t easily shed. Leggings became my daily wardrobe, after I had been firmly in the “leggings are not pants” camp. It has never gone away. I crave comfort in a way that I had never previously considered.
Not only that, but I never posted anything in my social media about my pregnancy with Autumn. None. It wasn’t fathomable that I would complain about the aches and pains, or sleeplessness, or ill-fitting clothes. When the OBGYN would ask how I was doing and I would reply that I was having morning sickness and vomiting after every meal, I would always be met with sympathy and offers for medication to help and I said “It’s fine – I don’t care. I’m happy to be pregnant.”
August 24th, 2015 in the early afternoon, when our lives changed forever. I went into the appointment assuming it would be routine and our world began to unravel when I came out. Ger almost didn’t go to the appointment: we already knew the gender, so he thought “Why bother? It’s just an ultrasound.” But I told him that this was the anatomy ultrasound and if something was wrong with our baby, this was the appointment where it would be found. I didn’t actually believe that was the case – I just wanted him to be there like he had been for our other two children.
Tense moments with the ultrasound tech, talking to the doctor, and a decision for an amniocentesis on the spot and I can’t imagine if he hadn’t been there.
I look at the clock and think “It’s almost that time. It’s almost that hour when we went from one life to another life.”