Monday, August 10, 2015

{Life in Transition}

I keep trying to find words that fit together to share this new experience Jeff and I are going through this year. I keep trying to put together timelines, backstories, and explanations on why it's been such a huge deal to become pregnant. Nothing comes out coherent, and I keep starting and stopping with frustration because I simply can't convey my feelings. So, mishmash it is!

Jeff and I weren't supposed to have children. I've been told that I can't. I've been told that even if I could conceive, that it wouldn't go to term. Jeff has been told this since he met me, and married me anyway. Jeff, the man who I'm confident in saying was born to be a father. Seriously, they flock to him and his magnetic personality. He lights up and shines best around children, and it's been hard to watch his heart break a little bit each year as he's come to accept that those words of caution were taking root, and that we'd have to seek other avenues.

Finding out we were pregnant was such a shock because I had spent so much of my life trying to convince myself that I was OK with it never happening so that it wouldn't hurt as bad when it never happened. It has made it difficult to revel in other's joy, and has made me a lesser friend to those who have gone on to have children. It's become harder for me to be around both mom and baby, because although I had tried to squash it and put it in a box, there was always this terrible little green envy bug buzzing around me, upset that they had this thing that I'd never experience. I'd have vivid dreams of pregnancy, birth and children, and wake up in tears. I declined to go to showers of dear friends because I didn't want to rain on their parade. And while I wanted to adopt, I kept putting the breaks on the process when Jeff would bring it up because I felt somehow that I had failed, and wasn't ready to move on, and I couldn't articulate that with him. It put a strain on the subject, and I think by the end of last year, He gave up trying and moved on.

So you see, sincerely, NEITHER of us expected this. In fact, all the little symptoms that were there, were so easily explained away, because it was just easier to assume that it was something else. There was no hope, so there was no expectation or anticipation. And as a large girl, with plenty of insulation, I understand how there's an entire show on TV dedicated to women who never knew they were pregnant. Because when so much of your life has been irregular, and symptoms to present like they normally would with a thin woman, it's easy to dismiss.

Finding out at 19 weeks turned out to be a blessing. I simply think I would have been a nightmare of a person had I known anything was going on during the sensitive time of pregnancy. I've worried about every possible complication along the way, and aside from poor Jeff, who is just as blind-sided as I am about the entire process, who does a girl talk to about the ins and outs of daily pregnancy? Her mother! Her grandmother! So quickly the guilt set in. I had never taken this possibility seriously, that I would have children. I took both of these women and my time with them for granted. I never sat down with either of them and talked about their experiences, advice and what to expect. I never listened to the gruesome details of the stranger side of pregnancy. I've had to piece it together from the people that were around them, and thank GOD for them. I'm so blessed to have the family I do, to be able to ask them what they remember, and to fill in for the roles that were left behind. It would be so terribly lonely without them.

I'm bitterly sad that I don't have my mother and grandmother here to share in this, and that my child will not have the opportunity to know these women in his life past stories and pictures, and will not have the connection to his grandmother that I had to mine growing up. He won't get to have the memories of baking peanut butter cookies while sitting on the counter, rolling out dough for chicken noodles, or big exciting family Christmas days with cousins, aunts and uncles, Grandpa AND Grandma quite like I did. It's going to be different. It's going to be new, and there's a little bit of melancholy for him because all I have of them is the stories to tell.

For every worry I've had, for the fear that has been instilled about being overweight and the complications that are associated, I have been miraculously blessed with a smooth and uneventful pregnancy so far, one that has allowed me to enjoy just how special and unpredictable life is. I am healthy, the baby is healthy, and everything is going exactly like it's supposed to. I feel cliche in stating that I feel watched over by those women that have left me, but I do.

So, with our world turned upside down, finding out much later than everyone else usually does, and working through the myriad of emotions that have waved over us, we've begun to prepare in stages. Jeff is a masterful garage sale-er ( my mother would be proud!) and has found essential treasures in doing so, we've had supportive family and friends give us money and previously loved gifts that have made the long list of what seems necessary to stock a nursery for a child easy and painless. I've become more introverted as I've aged, and I don't seek out people as often as I should, but I've been truly grateful for the outreach from others that has made us feel loved and taken care of.

... and I guess that's all for now! Heaven help us, I have no idea what brand of child the Karma Jeff and I have accumulated through our years, cursed by the women in our family, will produce, but I'm certain life is about to get more interesting.