We were sitting in a goofy local fish restaurant on the North Shore. I had a fried Walleye sandwich in front of me and Aggie and Jeff were sharing a fresh fish chowder. I just started tearing up looking over at them and I thought to myself – I feel like a shell of me.
I feel like this huge part of my energy, my life force, my whole being has just disappeared.
And that’s what it felt like from the moment I found out until just a few short weeks ago. I didn’t have HG, I just had your regular morning till night nausea, sickness, sadness, exhaustion and loneliness that left me feeling empty.
I’m not looking for sympathy and I don’t think I was looking for it then, but I just felt so consumed by this fierce force that I had never felt before. I wrote myself a letter one day during it, explaining all that I was feeling. I allowed myself to dive in and just say exactly what was in my heart.
I don’t want to do this again. I don’t want to be pregnant again. I don’t want to feel this way ever again. I don’t want to feel stranded by my own self, my most awesome and confident ally.
If you’ve been reading for a while you know how much I love talking about fertility, pregnancy and mamahood. You know that it’s the reason I started this space, it’s the reason why I continue to want to help others. Finding out I was pregnant with Agatha was single handedly one of the most joyous days in my life.
And this couldn’t have felt more different.
I wish I could explain why, I wish I could say that my feelings have changed. I wish I could take back a lot of those words but I won’t. I need to stand by them.
This is fucking hard. At times, it’s fucking impossible. It’s one of the most incredibly eye opening things I’ve ever had to go through – both the first time and now, but in completely different ways.
What it leaves me with is this wild feeling in my heart and in my throat that I just want to shout from the top of a mountain – EACH OF OUR JOURNEYS IS SO DIFFERENT. Do not even start to compare yourself to another. The girl on Instagram who has four babies and looks like it came so easily? We don’t know what she might have experienced before she got there. The woman who’s just connected with a surrogate because she can’t have a baby? She might be feeling elated knowing that she’s finally going to be completing her family. Or what about your best friend who suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum for her entire pregnancy and barely felt a single day without nausea for 10 whole months.
I have immense gratitude for each one of you and your journey. And I wish I could sit in a room with all of you and help you take a deep breath and then ask you each to share what your experience was like, because that’s what we need. To share, to guide, to l i s t e n and then to just freaking love on one another and allow each of us to have our space to feel.
I know that when I meet this tiny human that’s growing inside my heart is going to swell, I know I’m going to feel so damn proud for just getting through those first few months. For every bowl of bad cereal that brought me closer to building my family. For every day my husband took my daughter out of the house so I could just lie in bed watching more bad movies. There were days when I genuinely disliked myself so much, I felt like I couldn’t recognize who I was. I was a shell of me.
But I’m here, and I’m writing again. One foot in front of the other. Finding the things that make me feel good, and whole and energized. Last night we all sat around the table eating broccoli, fish and roasted potatoes. I drank water with dinner. I had a dance party with Aggie as Jeff was cooking and then I made myself a cup of hot tea and crawled into bed. Things that were once normal became obsolete. But they’re back and I’m full of love from the utter bottom of my gigantic heart telling you that whatever it is you’re going through – whatever thing feels impossible in front of you, there’s way to climb, to dig and to find a spot of stillness to really reach inside and know that nothing is permanent. Things change and evolve.
(And I’m here if you need to talk).