Ever so often I rest my hand on my belly. It’s different now, wrinkly and soft, the remains of what once was the home of my children. Even at eight weeks postpartum I still find myself waking up, scanning my room for proof that all this is real, examining my body looking at the remains, which prove that, this really is happening. I did give birth to a baby.
I hated being pregnant. I felt for 39 weeks like my body tortured me. I had the most precious gift, a child, growing inside me and yet I was ridden with sickness and physical ailments on a daily basis. Being so sick it was hard to enjoy what was supposed to be such an exciting time in our lives. Knowing that I would never again experience carrying a child inside me, I wanted to savor each moment. Instead, I found myself praying that time would go by fast and it would all be over. I was ready to meet her, to hold her and to love her. I also wanted my body back.
To say I have never been so in love would be inaccurate. I have been. I am. I feel the same way about my littlest as I do about her big sister. She is here and for that I am forever grateful. She is my miracle. My children are my miracles. They are my gifts and each time they smile at me I thank God that he chose me to be their mother. And despite it not being a part of the plan, I rejoice in the fact that I was fortunate to birth another child into this world. And yet, in spite of all the joy I get from being able to hold her in my arms, a part of me is mourning the pregnancy that never was.
I think back to all the time I spent laying in bed sick, crying, because I felt like I couldn’t take it. I think of the weeks that went by with not so much as a belly photo or a blog post or written note to chronicle my pregnancy journey. I think of how much my world changed, how kind and compassionate everyone was. Strangers would stop and people were always smiling at me and overall the world seemed like a much kinder happier place. I made more friends during my pregnancy than any other time in my life.
I reflect on a time when my little one was all mine. I didn’t have to share her with anyone and I felt like I had more control. I could protect her and keep her safe. And then there is the bond that she and I share; a bond that first started when the inkling that I was pregnant came upon me.
At night I hold her and as she lays on my chest; I wonder if the sound of my heart beat gives her comfort the way I imagine it did just weeks before her arrival.
As crazy as it sounds, and as much as I wanted that time in my life to be over, a part of me mourns what was. As my babies get older and my time with them lessens, I can’t help but miss the time during which they were always with me. The time when it was just the two of us; a period of time in which we were never apart and they were so close that all I had to do was reach down and touch my belly.
I remind myself that while I didn’t have the ideal pregnancy, I did have the ideal outcome – my baby girl and therefore I am blessed. And so, I rejoice in an effort to focus on what is instead of what was.