Disclaimer: I write about my pregnancy and my experiences. Don’t take what I write as any indication of what you may experience – nor should you take what I write as some attack on any differences you’ve lived. I’m just writing what I know.
We were supposed to go to Raleigh this weekend for a Christmas party. My friend and her husband host a fantastic Christmas party every year, and it is “their party” – the party that they are known for and that we all ask about well in advance of December. They usually have a theme (this year was Flannel and Flapjacks…ADORABLE), there are a few games involved, and it is a great way to get a whole crew of people together amidst the holiday madness. I can also appreciate the time, energy, and money that goes into hosting a big party. So, I was adamant that Bradley and I were going this year. Pregnant or not, dog sitter or not, hell or high water…we would be there!
Yeah. About that.
I waved the white flag this week, y’all. I am having pretty bad sciatica pain on my left side. I thought it might go away once I recovered from our recent airplane travels, but it has remained constant throughout this week. I also have a delicious cold (probably from said travels – I’m looking at you, Atlanta airport) that has me feeling wiped out. This momma is tired and hurting and coughing all over everything. So, I had to take a step back and reevaluate what I need versus what I want. And the break from traveling gave us a chance to enjoy some of the simple things that you miss out on when you are away from home – early morning dog cuddles, the local Christmas parade, a baby shower for expecting friends, working on Christmas cards, and all of the tidbits that don’t seem to happen Monday thru Friday after work.
Not to mention our upcoming ultrasound on Friday…which is occupying more space in my mind and emotions than I thought it might. Please don’t tell me not to worry. Please don’t say that he will be perfect. And please don’t say that this is just a precaution. I tell myself those things a million times a day. Just walk with me where I am right now. And right now, I’m feeling a little scared. I can feel him move more and more each week. And those little flutters have been replaced with kicks and punches (sometimes straight to the bladder). Those moments are reassurance that he is growing and getting stronger. I need those moments right now.
This is the part of the story where I go upstairs and cry in bed with Bradley…because writing out that I’m scared hit me hard. And once I wrote it, I needed to say it. There were cuddles, worried puppy eyes, and then cinnamon rolls. Just as it should be.
This is why you need a support system – whether it is one person or a whole village. Depending on the situation, those supports might look different. For Baby Lowe, mine is Bradley. He is the one that hugs me tight – even when I’m hot and sweaty and snotty – when I start to fall down the rabbit hole of “What if?” He reminds me that the reason we are having this ultrasound is because Baby Jefferson was moving a ton and they couldn’t get all of the pictures they wanted. He reminds me that the doctor said “no soft markers.” He tells me that there are things we cannot control and that the outcomes don’t change how much he loves me or the baby. He lets me cry even when that is the first thing he wakes up to. He asks me how long I’ve been feeling thing way because he senses I’ve been holding it in. He is good, y’all. So so good. He is the only person in those rooms with me. The only person that attends the appointments with me. He hears things with a different perspective and doesn’t have a tidal wave of hormones clouding his judgment. But most importantly, he provides me with reassurance that no matter what we encounter as parents, that we will do it together.
I don’t enjoy feeling helpless. It is why I adore my huge monthly calendar that is full of stickers and color-coded events. I like having a plan and being in control. I always have. Pregnancy has taken much of that comfort away from me, and it is a humbling experience. It also serves as a necessary reminder that there are parts of my life that are completely out of control. This is natural. I have to learn when and how to ask for help, be willing to develop acceptance amidst uncertainty, and give myself the room I need to cry when nothing else seems to work.
I’m going to end with a quote from a sweet friend:
This is just one of the first of a lot of hard parts about being a parent and you will be worried and scared for him the rest of his life. But you get all the amazing parts too and apparently that balances out because people keep having more babies.