Wow. It has been almost a week since I last posted.
I have thought about what I wanted to write so many times but the words just didn't come.
I didn't want to admit that I was having a hard time. I felt ashamed, embarrassed, and guilty. Here I am, holding new life in my belly, the realization of all my hopes and prayers and instead of smiling all day and daydreaming about my future children, I am having anxiety attacks and visualizing going to our ultrasound only to find out that there is nothing there. Oh, and taking pregnancy tests so I can compulsively compare the darkness of the lines.
It's been a hard week. And I feel terrible about that.
I have been thinking about reasons for this a lot. I think the first culprit is my super-high hormone levels. Not only do I have the regular pregnancy hormones surging through my veins, but I am still on estrogen and progesterone supplements. I imagine this cocktail might make anyone a little frantic. So there's that. In fact, my counselor told me yesterday (and oh, it was SUCH a good counseling session - like a massage for my entire soul) - that most of the women who come to see her early in their pregnancies are sitting on her couch expressing similar anxieties and fears. So, maybe all this craziness is just a very definitive sign that I am most certainly pregnant. For real.
I think another factor feeding into all my fears and anxieties is my experience with infertility. First of all, it took so long to get here, and involved methods ultimately so foreign to me, that I feel this intense fragility surrounding this pregnancy, as if this pregnancy is somehow more delicate or uncertain because of its beginnings. It feels very hard to trust and believe everything will be ok. And secondly, though in the beginning - 2.5 years ago - I had complete faith in my body, I simply knew that I was meant to be a mother, meant to carry babies - over the years, that faith and trust in myself has been worn down quite a bit. And now, when I must trust that my body will know exactly how to do this, how to sustain life, how to nurture my child(ren) - some of that faith is missing. There is a little bit of a disconnect. And I hate that, because as far as I can tell, my body is doing a superb job of this, with or without my nagging and supervision.
Then there are always those internal issues: my own feelings of being unworthy to accept this incredible gift, my anxiety at being so ultimately out of control but still somehow feeling it is all up to me, my fears that I won't be a good mother, my guilt for going through all of this right now and not being able to protect my tiny innocent child(ren) from my emotions.
Obviously, there has been a perspective shift - and I am doing my best to ever so gently shift it back.
I prepared mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually for going through the IVF process - I knew it would be taxing and I knew that I wanted to keep a positive perspective throughout, and except for a couple freak-outs I managed pretty well.
But, I forgot to "prepare" to be pregnant. And well, even if I had, is there any way to be truly prepared? How do you prepare to be so happy, to feel so much love, and at the same time feel terrified that this happiness, this joy will be taken from you? How do you prepare for that kind of vulnerability?
Like I said, I am shifting my perspective, bit by bit. The good news is that it is not "all up to me" - the bad news is, "I am not in control". Such a fragile place to rest, indeed.
It's been a hard week. But, it is getting better. Much better.
I am going to close now with some words given to me yesterday by my dear and wonderful counselor that are borrowed from a prayer by Walter Brueggemann, entitled, "There is a time to be born, and it is now.":
Give us the power to be receptive,
to take the newness you give,
to move from womb warmth to real life....