Our Story: Part 2 of 5

A positive pregnancy test. After almost 9 months of trying, holding my breath, secret relief, wondering if we should continue... it was here, it was real. A baby was coming.

Are you guys reading this and thinking I'm so heartless or morbid? I promise I'm not, I love both of my children like nothing else in this world, but sharing the hard stuff is GOOD; amidst all of the "perfect" that social media gives us today, making us feel less than, it's nice to see the real, the hard and the ugly, that you CAN survive, you're NOT alone and you are ENOUGH.

I digress.

I stood in my bathroom, reading a positive pregnancy test for the second time in my life. The Pinterest worthy thoughts didn't come. My mind was blank and I tried to give my brain and body a minute to connect. The excitement is coming, I'll just stand here and wait for it. It didn't come. Just like the first time, I cried, but I didn't call for my husband. I didn't throw my arms around him with a grin on my face and tears in my eyes. I cried and thought "What now?". All the things that I didn't realize I feared, were now in the forefront of my mind. Instead of listening and acknowledging those fears, I did what I always do- pushed them away, told myself I was fine, that this is a happy moment and walked out of the bathroom.

I went about my day. Later that evening, we did our "perfect family" evening routine and put our 18 month old to bed. I remember standing in the hallway in front of Savannah's bedroom and blurting "I'm pregnant" in a hushed voice. His excitement was so real. He grinned so wide, hugged me and proclaimed, "This baby making thing is easy!". I crumbled inside. 

At the time, I thought I was mad at him for saying that. Didn't he know that over 6 hundred thousand women struggle with infertility? How could he be so insensitive? Today, I realize I was actually mad at myself. It was easy for us. It was so easy to get something that I wasn't sure I even wanted, while many of the dearest women in my lives were praying and begging for a baby. I should have been  happier and much more grateful. When I was living in that season of life, couldn't see that guilt [and many other feelings].

I SHOULD be happy. I SHOULD start planning nurseries. I SHOULD get Savannah's clothes out of storage. I SHOULD get our home baby ready. I SHOULD see how lucky we are. [My therapist calls that "should-ing yourself" - it's funnier said aloud] And so I did all of the things. But we didn't tell anyone. The day after sharing the news with my husband I asked him if he had told anyone yet. He responded with a no, and so I told him we couldn't tell until at least the 12 week "safe point". At that time, it was the only thing I could grasp onto to give my secret a reason to stay a secret. When 12 weeks rolled around, I decided we didn't want to share the news until we knew the gender. I wanted a girl so badly that I didn't want to be bothered with the typical gender and pregnancy questions that come along with pregnancy, and everyone wanting to know everything. I, also, had convinced my self it was a boy and that Savannah was deprived of ever having a sister bond. Today, I see through the excuses I was giving myself in order to legitimize my sadness and stay in my secret bubble.

maternity photo by maternity and family photographer christie Leigh photo in cortland Ohio postpartum depression prenatal story.jpg

At 17 weeks pregrant, also Sav's second birthday, there were lots of whispers, my dad had even rubbed my belly and asked when I was going to tell, I rolled my eyes and walked away. Finally, during gift opening, Savannah opened a box that released a single pink balloon and a sonogram attached to it. A baby girl; I heard the buzz of calm, happy reactions, but I instantly felt fear, and kept moving through the gifts. I told myself that I felt the way I did, because I didn't want to be lost behind this pregnancy. I was still a woman, with hobbies, friends, a career and a family outside of the baby growing inside of me; and if everyone knew about the baby then I would become a host environment to those around me. In reality, I just wasn't in a healthy place to be able to celebrate with them, so I didn't want them to celebrate at all.

I didn't want anyone to be happier than I was, and I wasn't happy at all.  

[come back tomorrow for the second half of pregnancy]