I’ve written here before about my D&C. It was by far and away the single worst experience of my life. For months afterwards, I would have flash backs and it was nearly always on my mind, lingering there, taunting me. I thought about it a lot, really. More than I admitted to anyone. I just kept re-living it over and over again and it bothered me that it was so present in my mind.
When I got pregnant, the flash backs continued and I hated the fear it left me with. I wanted so badly to not have the fear associated with it and make it a memory that wasn’t so overwhelming in my mind. I am happy to say now that I have a new memory that is recurring in my mind. And this one is totally positive.
I think almost daily about the day I gave birth to Arlie. It was such an intensely powerful and life changing experience. I went into labor thinking that I would hate it and it would be a negative experience, but it turned out to be the exact opposite. I have never felt more power in my life. Or been so motivated and moved by something.
I have re-played the birth, specifically the moments leading up to her entering the world, the actual pushing, her coming out, and the aftermath over and over again. It does not scare me, it does not make me feel badly. I smile when I think about it. I feel strong and capable and so overwhelmed by the goodness of the experience. I told someone just the other day, I would give birth a million times to experience that feeling again and again. It is one of the motivating factors in my wanting to get pregnant again. Obviously I would love to have another child, but I am also looking forward to giving birth again.
I had such a horrible experience with my first pregnancy and the subsequent D&C, but giving birth to Arlie has smoothed over the jagged edges I have been scraping up against for months. I feel free from the weight of the pain and fear that was hanging on me. I feel so light and happy when I think about Arlie’s birth and while it has not erased the pain and fear I still have from the D&C, it has pushed it back in my mind.
I remember someone telling me after the D&C that eventually I wouldn’t feel the same way about it or about the loss, especially after I had my rainbow baby. It’s true. I feel so much joy in Arlie that I don’t feel as much pain in the loss. I still think about it, but not as often and it doesn’t make me feel so desperate and sad anymore. She truly is a blessing and a miracle.
A few nights ago, Mila Kunis was on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and at one point, while discussing her pregnancy, Jimmy said something about when “we” (referring to he and his wife) were pregnant… Mila kind of jumped on this and did a whole bit about men using the term “we” when referring to their wives or significant others being pregnant. I personally think that using the term “we” is not really that offensive. I never said that, but it wasn’t because I didn’t feel that way. It was more so due to the fact that M and I just don’t speak that way. We are very literal in our delivery of the English language, so saying “we” in this situation is not really true, since only I was truly pregnant. However, M helped me make that baby and she was half of his DNA, so I understand how people can use the term “we” in reference to pregnancy. Mostly, I found the bit to be really funny and true and I like that it has caused this debate amongst people.
Having said all that, I was listening to the radio yesterday morning on my way to work and the dj’s were speaking about the whole thing and this is where it got a bit annoying for me. The male dj said that he will use the term “we” because (this is a direct quote) “I have to deal with my wife when she is pregnant.” Then the female dj, who is about 20 and has never been pregnant or had anyone close to her be pregnant, agreed with him. I took serious offense to this. I’m so tired of people acting like pregnant women are just so difficult to be around. Being pregnant is really really hard. It takes a toll physically on your body that is truly describable. And emotionally? It is the worst. I am not a crier. I just don’t cry that much. However, while I was pregnant, I was constantly crying at EVERYTHING. The smallest things could set me off and even though my rational mind knew that it wasn’t a big deal, my emotional mind took over and made me a crying machine. In the time since I have given birth, I am still having the crying issue. I hate it, to be quite frank. I hate crying, I hate feeling emotional.
So, as far as I am concerned, using “we” is acceptable as long as the using “we” isn’t actually an insulting way to insinuate that although not carrying the baby, you are somehow suffering. To all those partners out there that think that they get to complain about how hard it was for them to have a pregnant partner… I warn you… Knock it off. You don’t get to complain. You get to bring us more pillows and more sweets or whatever we are craving and thank us for bringing your wonderful child into this world.
Grrr. I am tired. Beyond tired actually. Arlie is sleeping ok. She still wakes three times in the night to eat (11:30-1ish, 4:00 and 5:45-6:15). That part isn’t so bad, but I have a lot of trouble falling asleep again after some of the feeds, which is frustrating. Plus, we have the two dogs and M in the room and all three of them snore, so it never fails that I will be almost back asleep and one or more of them will start snoring, or Arlie will start kicking me. I don’t actually think that Arlie is waking up during her kicking sessions, but is maybe dreaming. She is the most active child ever. Her limbs are constantly moving, which means that I am constantly getting kicked or punched or head butted.
Arlie cut a tooth last week. Her first tooth. I just want to tell her to slow down. Wait a little, be my little baby for longer. I love seeing her do new things, but jeez, it kind of kills me at the same time. I love her snuggles and the way she buries her face into my shoulder and neck when she sees me after being with my mom for most of the day. I love how her head smells, especially after we’ve been out in the sun for a while. I love her chubby thighs and her chubby cheeks. I love how she smiles more for me than anyone else. I love that she loves me. I really don’t think I was prepared for all of this. Sometimes I look at her and I am just amazed that she is mine. That I have a little person that is here with me and not going away. It makes my heart hurt.
I can tell you that the lack of sleep and the extra hormones that are still present are making me a little crazy. I am getting frustrated with M a lot more. I sometimes just want to punch him. And I am still crying at a lot of things. Not like crying because I am upset or anything like that, but crying when I see a mom and daughter on the television, or when I read an article about a family. I feel more empathetic towards situations that I would have ignored prior to having a child. It might be because of the baby, or it might be because I am older and wiser. Either way, the bubbling emotion that I am constantly having to stop is getting kind of annoying. I think that a couple of nights of good sleep will really help. I need to figure out a good schedule that will allow me to be a little better organized in the evenings so I don’t feel so rushed. I just want to relax for a bit after work with Arlie, but right now I feel like I have to rush to get everything done and get Arlie to bed at a reasonable hour.
Life is hard, you know? Sometimes it feels like too much. But other times I feel like I am kicking ass. I read an article yesterday that said that most new parents don’t start to feel like their lives are back to “normal” until their baby is 9 months. This was nice to hear because I have seriously been wondering if my life will ever feel normal again. Especially with our plans to have another baby in the next year or so. There are definite benefits to waiting until you are older to have kids, but one of the downfalls is that I feel like our time is limited if we want to have more children. Honestly, all my problems would be solved if there were two more hours in ever day. Can someone arrange that for me?
Today I started my new schedule at work. I am staying at my current job because they agreed to a flexible work arrangement and the pay is pretty good, plus the benefits. It was a tough decision because I really wanted to take another job that I was offered, but it would have put us into financial distress and that isn’t a real solid plan when you have an infant. Priorities, right?
Anyway, the new schedule is Monday, Wednesday and Friday- full time 7:30 am to 4:30 pm. I get an hour at lunch so I can drive to my mom’s and see Arlie for that time, which is awesome because I don’t think I could do 8 full hours away from her. On Tuesdays, I work from home in the morning and I’m in the office in the afternoon and on Thursdays I work in the office in the morning and from home in the afternoon. It was pretty awesome of my boss to agree to this and it is set to last until the first of the year. My department has agreed that if it is working for everyone, they will allow me to continue with this schedule indefinitely. So all in all it worked out pretty well. I truly hate being away from Arlie, but I do sincerely appreciate the flexibility to spend the extra time with her when I am working from home.
Since I agreed to this arrangement, my days have been PACKED because people are starting to rely on me for things. I have a pretty good idea that I am going to continue to be quite busy, which is good. I am infinitely happier here than I was at my last job and that is nice. Plus, I feel like for the most part, the people I work with here are really kind and easy to get along with.
Hopefully I continue to enjoy my work, or at least feel ok while I am here. I truly wish more than anything in the world that I was able to be a stay at home mom, but unless some sort of financial miracle happens, its just not possible. M doesn’t work enough to support us and I have always been the bread winner. Sometimes I resent that, but I also like being able to determine where I want to spend the money because I make the majority of it.
So for now, my days are going to be hectic and crazy, but I’ll get to spend a lot of time with Arlie. I don’t know how people can just go straight back to work. Maybe I am a silly mommy, but I don’t want to miss anything in Arlie’s life. It is super important to me to be able to have her know that we are here for her in any circumstance. Oh, life….