Tuesday, April 23, 2013


I'm not sure why I suddenly feel the urge to write this. It may be because it is 3:39am. It may be because I am rocking in our nursery glider while Lillian is moving my belly all around...or moving all around in my belly I should say. Probably a combination of both.

This is my truth. I am not ashamed of this or embarrassed about it (well, okay I am slightly ashamed). I know I am not alone in these feelings and the more I talk about it, write about it, the better it feels. 

So here it goes, my truth: I have not fully "loved" being pregnant. 

I wanted and prayed for this pregnancy, for this child, for years. I prayed to a God that I'm not even 100% sure I believe in. I crossed my fingers. I read books. I asked questions. I prepared myself in every single way I could have possibly imagined possible. And yet, the one thing everyone always told me still managed to come true. "You won't know until it happens." I grew up with a mother who adores children. If she had it her way, she would probably have a house full of 10 kids. (Sometimes we did). When she wasn't taking care of her own children, she had an in-home daycare. We had exchange students. Our life was consumed by children. I grew up at a very young age knowing how to change a diaper, feed a baby, give baths, soothe them, etc. I then grew up to love children. I was a nanny. I am now a teacher. I am fabulous with other people's children. So, naturally, I wanted my own. And prior to what I am currently experiencing...thought I would want for sure to have 4 kids one day.

 I had feelings that the more kids I had, the better a mom I would be. The more of a "superwoman" I would be. The more I would get out of life. The more love I would be able to give and receive. More, more, more...

So now. Bring in the present.

I am pregnant with our first child. 
A friend from high school posted an article just now (she lives in Jerusalem) about motherhood and a woman's real thoughts on it. She wrote, "I became a person the day I stopped being a vessel...". This is where I know I am not alone. There are many truths I am feeling right now, two being the following.
1. I love this child very much already.
2. I will love this child much more when I have my body to myself. 

In the woman's article she describes how she grew up with the expectation of having many children. She never put any thought into the otherwise. It would just be natural for her to of course have lots and lots of children. I feel the same way. I felt the same way. 

There are times when I do get to enjoy being pregnant. Mostly those times are times like now. It is now 3:50am and I am alone with Lillian. I am in her nursery. Matt is sleeping. I see my stomach moving. I feel my stomach moving. I am able to take deep breaths and not fear the movements but instead enjoy them. I have always needed to have full control over my body. Over my life in general. Suddenly, I feel as though that control is slowly being lost. A downward spiral of "it's all up to her now." Not me. Lillian. 

I do like when Matt feels her with me. That is an incredible feeling. Knowing that we have created her together. Knowing she is half Matt and half me. Knowing I get to carry around "our" child all day. 

I am getting off on tangents, I know. The point I am getting at is this. I am slowly but surely learning it is not about how many kids you have, but about enjoying the ones you do have. Being pregnant and owning a dance studio do not go so well together. This is by far the hardest thing I have done. My body is growing everyday; Lillian is growing everyday. Yet, I still have to continue dancing for many hours a day. I am exhausted. Maybe if things were different and I did not have to dance like I do now, I would be able to relax more and enjoy this process more. I'm not sure though. Matt and I want our children to be a good 3 years apart. 

Lately, there are days when Matt and I think just one more child will be incredible. A family of four. 
Then I remember I would do this just one more time and I have mixed emotions. Will I enjoy it more next time because I know what's coming? 

There are times when I feel guilty for not "loving" it. Like I am not a good enough mom because I am not loving seeing my body be moved around. Like I am not a good enough mom because I do not enjoy having my organs be pushed into my sides and feel them jiggle around in my back. My sister-in-law, mother-in-law and my own mom have all made the same comment to me on multiple occasions, "Oh, I loved being pregnant!" Had you asked me 6 months ago what I thought my answer would be, I would have thought no questions asked that I would say the same thing..."I love being pregnant!"...it's just not the case. And yet, I know that I am going to be an incredible mother to this child. I know that Lilly can feel my love for her. Just because I do not love being pregnant, does not mean I do not love her. I'm just not loving the way my body is changing and being so out of control. I know there are some who may be reading this with lots of, "You'll see, that's what parenting is...", "when you're in labor you'll have no control, get used to it -hahaha..". 

Even trying to tell my mom these things, she doesn't like to hear them. She doesn't like to hear that I do not like being pregnant. She keeps telling me, "Oh, you'll like it soon. You'll get used to it." But the truth is, I am almost 24 weeks pregnant. I'm sad to write this. I have just about 16 weeks left feeling Lillian move all around. Am I going to regret not fully enjoying this? My mom and many others would probably say, "yes." 

When I do get sad about it, I remind myself that there have been many times that I have enjoyed this. 

*Feeling her kick for the first time while sitting at a dance convention during a ballet class. The minute the instructor turned on the music, kick-kick. What perfect timing my sweet Lilly Belle. 
*Watching my belly move for the first time with Matt right beside me. First laughing in awe and then crying in fear then laughing again...not fully sure what to feel.
*Realizing from time to time that my belly has grown and we are that much closer to meeting her.
*Nights like right now where I am just sitting in her nursery dreaming of her. What does she look like? Who will she most act like, me or Matt? Will she be funny? Will she be calm or hyper? Will she have Matt's heart...for sure. She already does. 

It's strange, but there have been a few moments this pregnancy where I have thought that she already knows me and understands my feelings. There have been two or three different times now during this pregnancy where I have cried. Stress, arguing with Matt, stress...just regular stuff. And each time as I've cried and started to feeling panicked, she kicks me so hard. She moves all around like crazy. I don't know if I think she's moving more because I become so aware of her being there in those moments, or why, but she makes me feel better. I know she's there and I know she loves me and I know it's all going to be okay. Almost like she's saying, "Mom, don't worry." This makes me believe she's like Matt. Matt has a way of doing this. Even when he's the one who made me cry.

There have been moments, sweet moments, where I have loved being this close to my sweet baby girl.
They are brief moments, sometimes brief as an entire day, sometimes brief as a few seconds, but all ones I will never ever forget. 
Maybe one day I will look back on this pregnancy and forget how hard it was with dance. Maybe I will look back and be able to say "I loved it" because I too had forgotten the hard times. This is what Matt thinks. He thinks that it's impossible for all of these people to have "loved" every single second of it. My mom puked half the time and was on bed rest and I know other's pregnancy's couldn't have been "easy". Yet, when they look back, they tell me they "loved" it. So, maybe one day I will too.
I did have one dance mom/friend tell me, "Don't worry, no one loves being pregnant." Maybe some do. I love moments of being pregnant, but I would never say it was easy. I would never want to do this all over again right away.   

I have just one hope. That Lilly Belle knows how much I love her. That she knows I would do anything for her. I would die for her. Already. This pregnancy has taught me that much for sure.

(It is now 4:36am. I have been wide awake since 12:50am.)

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