When a simple question feels so loaded.
For those who have followed along with my blog, or know me personally, you're aware that AB2 (much like AB) wasn't exactly "planned."
The honest revelation of this and my feelings around each of my two pregnancies has always been somewhat a point of stress for me for a few reasons. To begin with, it's not popular to not be excited about your pregnancy. In fact, by many, it's viewed as downright insensitive. This is something I became much more aware of as I made my way through my first pregnancy, and then entered this whole secret world of parenting. I learned very quickly that so many people struggle with fertility and miscarriages... so many that dream of having children and spend everything they can in hopes of that dream being realized... I honestly had no idea. And that wasn't me. So, naturally, my flippant response of shock and frustration about my first pregnancy wasn't received well. And I get it. I'm an easy person to want to be angry at if I were in a different pair of shoes. And now that I'm aware, I feel, or at least hopefully try to be much more sensitive in the way I approach the topic of pregnancy because it is a big deal and because everyone's life experiences shape how they respond to it.
So, when I found out that once again, I was "with beastmode 2" I dreaded announcing my pregnancy. I dreaded that I'm an honest person who can't pretend. And I dreaded being that person again who probably doesn't deserve to get pregnant so easily, knowing how much others go through. I dreaded the genuine well-meaning questions — the same ones that I ask every pregnant woman — being directed my way, because I knew my honest answer wasn't the one people wanted to hear.
I tried to tell myself that this time, I would just go along with it. That I didn't want to be someone who made others uncomfortable with my answer. That... it would be so easy just to say YES and smile and nod politely. But, I really suck at that. I think it's a stubbornness thing.
And so, throughout the course of these nine months, I quickly failed that whole nod and pretend thing, because it just isn't me. And partly because of the responses I shielded from friends — as well meaning as their statements were meant to be: "I knew it! I knew that even though you said you didn't want more children, that you were going to have another one. I just felt it in my heart that you wanted another child." "See, now your family is going to be complete!" "Haha, I knew you'd come around to wanting to have more kids. I knew you would change your mind." -- It was like this assault on my very person, my very wishes. NO. It's not what I wanted and I didn't want all of these people patting themselves on their backs for having "been right" in projecting their own wishes for themselves upon me. So naturally my response was to double down on the real.
The truth is now, of course I'm excited. We are meeting our new daughter in a week, if not sooner, and that is exciting. Knowing how much of those feelings materialized when I had AB helps me to know that I'll have these same feelings when we meet AB2. I've never been someone who attached myself to pregnancy... which I've always viewed as an inconvenient means to an end. I'm sure that's not a popular view on it either, but well shit. Some of you all really do glow in your maternity dress photo shoots and I'm all for those pictures. I do not glow. I do not marvel in the wonders of why my stomach is so large it has eaten its own belly button.
The thing I've still noticed is my defensiveness which is hard to let go of. In these last few weeks (well all pregnancy, who am I kidding) as you can imagine, the questions rotate from: "When are you due?" to "how are you feeling?" to "are you excited?!!!!" and I can't help but still give padding to my answer on the third question. Almost like I'm still wanting to hold on to that person I was before. I mean, last week, I nearly had an anxiety attack when I realized that people would be able to start referring to me as the mother of two children.
These last few weeks are the worst too. The point of limbo where you're too uncomfortable to be you, to be productive, to be pleasant, and you're just waiting... waiting to start this new life, waiting for those feelings you're supposed to have to come because you know they will.
I'm waiting. But, I'm excited and I feel OK with accepting that now. I feel ok with saying goodbye to our life now, and it is a goodbye. Our life moving forward will be different. That has been a hard one for me to accept because I really love my life now. I love the dynamic of my family, and it may sound silly to some, but I've spent a few months of my pregnancy mourning the loss of the trajectory I thought we were on... the life I know now will simply cease to exist. It will be replaced, and, I'm sure many of you will tell me it will be better, that it will feel as it should feel, and that I wouldn't be able to imagine it any other way. And I'm sure I'll say those things too, once we welcome AB2 in the world.
So, yes. I'm excited to be excited in the way I'm supposed to be excited. I'm excited to know that those feelings are right around the corner. I'm excited for AB to meet her little sister and I'm excited for the joy it will bring to the grandparents. I'm excited to see how much I grow as a person being the parent to two, after all I've learned so far as a parent of one.