Brave, faith, motherhood

The beautiful growth of pregnancy

January 12, 2016

I’m officially one month out from my due date.

When I try and remember back to the day we found out, it feels like years ago. We were living in a different flat in a different city in a different country. Our little girl had only just turned one. It was entirely unexpected.

I appreciate the length of pregnancy so much more this second time around.

First time I was impatient for d-day to arrive. We marked every week with photos (yes, the cheesy hold-a-fruit-the-size-of-your-baby ones) and I had multiple apps on my phone to keep me informed of every detail of growth this teeny baby was experiencing inside me. I researched everything meticulously and knew to the day how far along I was.

This Christmas I had multiple people ask me how far along I was (including the air hostess on our plane) and I couldn’t remember.

This pregnancy has felt long because of how much change we’ve experience since those two pink lines unexpectedly appeared in the summer on a random sunny day. But I am so grateful right now for that time to get used to this life-changing idea of a second child.

It took a lot of courage for me to admit, last year, that I was less than thrilled to be pregnant again. It’s not the narrative anyone was expecting, and it’s not the emotion you tend to admit to easily. Pregnancies are supposed to be joyous announcements (especially when you’re the stable married couple with one kid already and a healthy income). I thought about it a few times before pressing publish.

But the truth is, pregnancy comes with huge consequences and the number of women who contacted me after that post to express their own mixed-up feelings around being pregnant or some aspect of that pregnancy… we need to talk about this more often.

The beautiful thing is that pregnancy is a long nine months. Enough time, if you’re willing to be brave and dive deep, to excavate all those mixed-up feelings carefully, examine them for what they are, where they come from, what they mean, and decide how you want to live and feel going forward.

This past seven months, I’ve refused to deny any emotion that surfaced. I’ve told the truth to friends when they’ve asked how I’m doing (and shocked a few in the process). I’ve dared to be vulnerable and admit that this has felt like rubbish timing, that I’m disappointed and scared and angry. Friends have let me cry and rant about it. Rasmus has let me be entirely unenthusiastic about the fact of carrying his child.

I’m so grateful for that space to just be. Because I truly believe it’s allowed me to process some emotions that might otherwise have become incredibly toxic in my life.

One month out, I am so incredibly in love with this wee thing inside me. I know it. I know it’s movements and its sleeping patterns. It rolls around in ways Kaya never did. It wakes up at random moments when I’m walking, as if just to remind me of itself (to be fair, I forget that I’m pregnant a lot). I am so excited to meet it next month, to hold it’s chubby limbs for the first time (it will be fat like it’s big sister was, that’s for sure) and look into its eyes and recognise it like an old friend. Oh, there you are. 

I’m not pretending I have one easy straightforward set of emotions now. For every path we take, there’s always a path untaken that could have been really good, and it’s ok to mourn the loss of that path, even as we step forward on this one with hope and expectation.

I’m grateful for these long months to hold all my complex and mixed up emotions out in open wide hands, to allow Spirit to reach down and help me sort through everything with gentleness and grace. She’s let me cry and let me laugh. Allowed me to feel it all at once without declaring it a contradiction. When is life ever not a kaleidoscope of colours?

If you’re finding yourself in an unexpected place, won’t you take the risk to be vulnerable, to honestly speak out every emotion and see each one for what it is? Some times the guilt of hidden emotion feels like it might destroy you. Bringing those things to the light is the first step to stripping them of that shame factor, and allowing love to do it’s work on your heart and your soul. Be brave today with what you admit to. It might be the start of your own healing.

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  • Shelbey

    I related a lot to this. I just had my son 3.5 months ago, and the pregnancy was unexpected also. I was not happy about it. Of course, now that he is here, he is the best and sweetest baby, and it is clear our family was not complete without him. But pregnancy and those first 4-6 weeks were hard.

    • fiona lynne

      Congratulations, Shelbey. Oh I know about unexpected and unwanted gifts! I love that our hearts can be changed though, even after great disappointment. Your son I’m sure will lead you down many paths you wouldn’t otherwise have discovered!

  • Jo Cameron Duguid

    I love the words, “For every path we take, there’s always a path untaken that could have been really good”. As always, I appreciate your total honesty Fiona. I can’t relate to your experiences of pregnancy, as that wasn’t one of the paths open to me in life. But, now that I’m retired, I sometimes find myself looking back on my life and wondering what would have happened if I’d made different choices along the way. Although I place no automatic age-based limits on what I can do in the future, I’m realistic enough to know there are some dreams that won’t come true now (e.g. I’ll never be an astrophysicist). And, yes, maybe some of the paths I could have taken would have been really good. But what matters more is how we play out the hand we were dealt, and how we live in the light of our choices.

    • fiona lynne

      Yes. I think it could become far too easy to get hung up on everything we didn’t get to do, through fate or choice, and maybe that’s why there are so many bitter old people? I don’t ever want to give that bitterness a chance to set in, so exactly as you say, learning to live in the light of the life we have NOW is so important.

      • Jo Cameron Duguid

        Also I recently again came across the quote, “What’s for you won’t go by you. What goes by you wasn’t meant for you”. We could save ourselves a lot of pain by just letting go of all the “what if?”s and embracing WHAT IS.