Today in a work meeting, we were doing some future planning, and I was obligated to mention that I'd be on maternity leave in January/February. There was one woman, about my age, in the meeting who didn't know I was pregnant, and I happened to catch her eye after my mention. She gave me that look, you guys. That look I used to give pregnant women who made these nonchalant announcements. That fake half smile and the look in the eyes that says, "you have no idea how lucky you are."
It was not the time or place to say anything more, but I wish I could have plead with her. No, I DO know how lucky I am! I didn't get here easily, please understand! In fact, I often wish I could walk around with a sign saying as much. Not to garner sympathy, but just so nobody ever thinks I take this pregnancy for granted for one second.
I recently realized I'm carrying around a lot of guilt about this whole thing. Like why would I be so lucky to finally be pregnant when so many other women aren't or can't or never will be? I think that's something I need to work through.
My sister asked me today if I feel a bond with my baby yet, and the answer is no. I feel beyond blessed to be pregnant, but as for the actual creature in there, I don't feel a real connection yet. Maybe it's because I feel chubby instead of pregnant. I'm no longer sick, and I've only felt the baby move a few times, and even then it doesn't feel like much yet. I've heard the heartbeat, but only twice and only for a few seconds. I'm sure as the pregnancy becomes more obvious, the bond will grow. But I also think part of me is hesitant to really get attached yet. I'm not pessimistic about what might happen, but I'm resisting getting hooked on this little guy (or gal).
Honestly, I might just live in denial until that child is in my arms!
When we were struggling to conceive and/or adopt, many (MANY!) people told me that when it happened, I would appreciate even more. And yeah, that's definitely true. Had I gotten what I wanted immediately, I would have been happy, but I wouldn't have known just how lucky I was. Now I know, and that appreciation is valuable.
And some people say they are thankful for their hardships because the struggles have taught them things and made them stronger. But I'm just not there yet. I'm not at all thankful for what I went through to get this close to having a child. Not yet at least.
If I could back in time and choose my path -- either learn these lessons the hard way and appreciate my pregnancy more, or have it easy and miss out on that kind of appreciation -- I'd choose B. What I've learned and what I can now appreciate do not make up for how hopeless I felt at times over the last year and half.
In retrospect, 14 months of trying to conceive, a couple rounds of Clomid and an ectopic pregnancy don't seem that bad when compared to what so many women go through. But the thing is, when you're in the middle of it, you have no idea you're in the middle. You don't know if you're nearing the end or if you're still just at the beginning, and the weight of that is overwhelming. If I would have known at any given point, "you only have to get through 8, 5, 2 more months of this," I could have done it like a champ. But the unknown, the possibility of never... that makes it a whole different battle.
These are all things I've been mulling over a lot for weeks (months?), and I needed to get it all down. At my most recent OB appointment, my doctor suggested some counseling because of my sleep issues. I didn't mention any of the above to her, but I think she suspects my inability to sleep may be related to some psychological issues troubling my subconcious. I think she may be right.