Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | January 20, 2010

unexpected feelings

note: I started this post a while ago but set it aside to think about it. I’m still not sure how I feel about it, but I wanted to put this out there to see if anyone else can relate.

I had my two week checkup after the c section with my obstetrician a couple of days ago. I miss being pregnant. That is one thing that I didn’t anticipate at all. I’m so glad the baby is here and healthy, and I am so glad not to have the anxiety of worrying about the many complications and discomforts of pregnancy. But I miss being pregnant with an intensity that scares me. Knowing that we may not be able to get pregnant again, knowing that I’m now over 35, and that we may not even attempt treatments again (S’s current preference, given how hard taking care of a newborn is), it makes me that much sadder. I miss feeling her kicks. I miss being huge and round and firm. I miss feeling pregnant. I miss people asking me when I’m due and what I’m having. I miss S doting on me, rushing to open the car door and hold my hand walking on icy parking lots so I don’t fall and hurt the baby. I miss feeling special and fertile and complete. I am complete in a whole new way, but it’s different.

Tears started falling in the waiting room. While checking in, I saw my doctor cutting ultrasound pictures apart and telling a couple that was checking out, “In this one you can see the spine, and here’s the nose, and the heart rate is.…” It hit me. No more ultrasounds. No more hearing the heartbeat. No more peeing in cups, no more weekly appointments. I just now know the routine and it’s done. No more NSTs. No more kick counts. You’d think these would all be things I’d be happy to leave behind. And I am. But I’m also sad because I feel like my time is done. I’m like a horse that has run its one race and is put out in a pasture to rot. I have a beautiful baby, and I love her and I’m so happy. But I’m grieving being a fertile infertile, I guess. It’s such a fucked up feeling.

The nurse made some mention about ‘next time’ in reference to another pregnancy, but in my heart, I’m so afraid there won’t be a next time, and it hurts to realize that. I loved being pregnant, and I tried to savor every moment. I think it would almost be easier to let go if I was in denial about never having another child. If I just let myself assume that in a few years we’ll have another baby, I could stop agonizing about how I didn’t take enough pictures, or I didn’t journal enough. I’m so glad I have this blog to look back on, because it is the best record of the whole experience.

When my doctor came in the exam room, she said “Oh I forgot the Doppler. Let me go get it.” I don’t know if she didn’t remember that I had already delivered, or if she was just spaced out. But I realized in that moment that there will never be a reason to put that cold goo on my belly and hear that thump thump thump again, and it made me so sad. I am so fucked up in the head! I have a three week old baby, and I’m already sad about the next kid that I won’t have.  What is wrong with me?

Birdie is outgrowing her newborn outfits, and I’m so sad that I won’t have a reason to save them, in case we have another girl. She is growing and changing so fast. Every time I notice her changing and growing, it makes me both happy and incredibly sad. I don’t want to ruin the enjoyment of her babyhood because I am afraid I’ll never have another baby!  How do I get this out of my head?

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Responses

  1. Your words speak EXACTLY to what I am and have been feeling for the past 6 months. Having the boys so early made me feel jipped out of the pregnancy, but aside from that, I miss everything you mentioned- the kicks, the ultrasounds, the heartbeats, the questions… I miss it so much it makes my heart ache. There was no part of me that was “happy” to not be pregnant or that was “glad” that it was over. So… I’m sorry, I have no help for you– if you get some, let me know! But I wanted you to know that you are NOT alone… and I feel the EXACT same way.

  2. I imagine I’ll be feeling the same way after I have this baby. Though we do have some frosties, so there’s still hope of having a sibiling some day. It’s only natural to still be scarred by what we’ve gone through to have these children. I think if you give it some more time, and you get past the super demanding newborn stage and on to a more interactive phase of babyhood where your DH can feel really useful and connected to her, he may change his mind about one being enough.
    I think the only way I’d be able to handle it and enjoy my baby thoroughly would be to hold on to the hope that I’ll experience pregnancy again and some day have a sibling. Heck, you got pg with femara once, why shouldn’t it work again? Or if you’re that desperate for another baby, maybe you’ll jump into IVF. Just don’t rule those things out for the future until you have to.
    I guess I’d better think about getting some newborn outfits. I keep forgetting that they exist, and have no clue where to go shopping for them though, since all I’ve seen on my limited expeditions has been the 0-3mo stuff that will likely be too big for her if she ends up being small as expected.
    And you know, I’m sure the postpartum hormone swings aren’t helping either. Hope you feel a little better soon!

  3. I can’t say I’ve been there, as I’m not there yet. But I ALREADY know this is exactly how I’ll feel. I can only imagine it is perfectly normal. I’m treasuring every moment, because I may never experience this again.

  4. I definitely think I’ll miss being pregnant, though I think you were better about enjoying pregnancy itself than I am/have been. I think everything you feel is totally normal — most people get to just assume they will have a second baby so they don’t even have to think about it…infertiles have to go through a grieving process over pregnancy because they feel that nagging feeling that that was it. I don’t know if this is helpful at all, but maybe try to just let yourself postpone thinking about it. You definitely don’t have to make any decisions now, and who knows? Never say never…your husband could definitely come around. You are not over the hill yet, lady! You do have some time to think about it and let yourself enjoy your baby first. One thing that helps me when I start dwelling on something unpleasant about pregnancy is to try and focus on how it felt before when I didn’t have these problems…it helps me put things back into perspective. I’m not saying you’re not doing that, just suggesting that maybe it could help you feel a little better too.

  5. I know that if I ever have a child, either through birth or adoption, I’m sure I’ll feel the same way. For me, it will also likely be a one time thing, and I already feel this way when I realize that even if I’m lucky enough to have one, that’s all that there will probably ever be.

  6. You know, my biggest regret of this pregnancy is not enjoying it. I have been so afraid of the baby dying that even now, with 8 weeks to go I don’t feel safe. I think we have two pictures, and I just feel like I have been hiding from The Angry Gods the entire time.

    I am afraid this will be our only pregnancy as well. How could I be on bedrest with a toddler? What if it was worse the second time? How could we do it? I am sad to think that the baby would be an only child. Because my husband changed his mind about being open to adoption.

    Bird, I wish we could both relax.

  7. i had a csection 3 weeks ago and i feel the EXACT way you are describing. first i wanted no children, now i’m trying to look ahead and plan our next? the thought of no longer being pregnant can make me weep in an instant. i love my daughter and she is all i want, so why do i feel so disappointed? you are normal.


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