Saturday, February 26, 2011
I was sitting at my daughter's dance studio, reading my kindle when I noticed a woman walk by. She was pregnant- only two months- and though I tried to focus on my book, I couldn't help but be drawn to the conversation she was having with two other mothers.
As I listened, I smiled. They were all sharing their 'pregnancy stories' comparing them. They had such fun sharing their stories- it was as if they couldn't take a breath- they had only a half hour to chat and they needed to get it in- the details... Part of me wanted to join in and share!
There were two! The way my husband almost passed out when he found out- He was trying to get used to the idea of being a father- He wasn't sure why our baby had 'two heartbeats'. I smile remembering the way his face looked that morning. When the reality of what 'two heartbeats' meant.
I was so sick! I lost so much weight- 13 pounds that first trimester. I joked that I should have gotten pregnant BEFORE I got married so I'd be so tiny on my wedding day...
I had PUPP- A horrible itchy rash- a reaction my body had to my babies. It was absolutely miserable!
I loved every minute of it! I was huge (measuring 40 weeks at just 6 months) and near the end of my pregnancy I had to sleep in a reclining chair. The babies were too heavy on my lungs and it was hard to breathe laying flat or even on my side for too long.
But I loved it.
And yet, I sometimes feel I can't share my story- even though I loved it- love telling it to my children. Because then I get to the end, the delivery- and then... well, the laughter stops and that uncomfortable feeling settles in.
And my story stops the laughter.
That is what I hate about my story. The way it stops the laughter- skips the record- cancels eye contact- and as much as I want to share it with pregnant moms, be part of the conversation, I can't- and I feel terrible for those first time moms who know my story- the way it ends.
On New Year's Eve we had my old college roommates over to ring in 2011. One roommate and his wife knew our story, lived it with us. I had spoken often with his wife about Andrew and she was so sweet to ask questions, show concern. She knew my pregnancy story.
The other roommate I hadn't seen in years. It was great to see him and meet his pregnant wife. This was her first pregnancy and she was over the moon. She saw our house full of children and naturally started asking questions about pregnancy... delivery...
We were much like those girls in the dance studio, comparing stories, laughing... I had commented that I couldn't wait to get my tummy tuck since my body was so wrecked after my first pregnancy. When the pregnant mom asked how much Joey had weighed, I paused. Six pounds. I felt foolish talking tummy tucks after delivering a 6 pound baby- but I couldn't finish my story... he had a brother who was six pounds 11 ounces... they were in separate sacs... separate placentaes... I was huge! I carried all out front! I had to sleep in that reclining chair...
But I stopped.
I let her think I was crazy and probably a little vain but I sipped my wine and enjoyed listening to the stories. And then it was on to talk of the delivery. Me? I had had an emergency c-section so then all my other children were delivered that way. I don't even know what a contraction feels like.
Oh... it's a long story... the recovery was horrible. I had never been in such pain (from my surgery and my broken heart), but the other sections weren't as bad. I knew what to expect...
I chose that night to keep Andrew's existence a secret. Or rather- not share his story.- the whole story. I had a choice and I didn't share- and even now I know I did the right thing.
But that wasn't always the case... I remember that day (months after delivering my boys), someone asked me if I only had one (referring to Jonasen) and I remember nodding. Yes.
As soon as I nodded I felt sick to my stomach and needed to get to my car. I drove home hysterical. I pulled over to the side of the road- head in my hands. Oh forgive me Andrew. I don't know why I said that. I don't have one, I have two. Forgive me. Forgive me.
But that New Year's Eve night, I looked at her face- beautiful with the glow of pregnancy and I told her she would do great. That there was nothing like becoming a mother. I didn't tell my whole story- because I looked at her and I saw me-
The nursery was ready, the baby books already being filled out.
She was beautiful.
And I would have been so angry had someone told her that this would be her story- taken that glow- that smile that she wore everywhere.
For she only had it that first pregnancy- and she never got it back.
Ignorance is bliss- and after she has that beautiful baby in her arms, maybe I'll tell her the whole story. I'll tell her how beautiful you were- how beautiful you all were- and how with every heart that beat in me, I grew to be a mother, and I have a story for each precious soul and what a blessing that is.