Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Long Overdue Update

Maybe I am a cat.

You know how someone decided that cats have nine lives?  I feel like I've got at least three.

There's pre-diagnosis me, post-diagnosis me, and pregnant me.  Let's call them Innocence, Depression, and Prongo Congo.

Innocence and Depression are dead.  Prongo Congo killed them.  She just belly flopped right on top of them and now they are dead.  That's probably why I was so nauseous for a month and a half because I was figuratively vomiting up my former self.  Day and night.  I know it certainly felt like an entire other person came out of me in barf form.

So now I feel like I'm getting to know me as an completely new person.  I'm happier.  I'm friendlier.  I'm lazier.  I'm crazier.  I'm a little chunky around the middle.

And just like making a new friend takes a little time and involves a certain amount of evaluation and hesitation (at least it does if you're an introvert like me), coming to an understanding with my new self has been a bit of a drawn out process.  Because the memory of my former selves still haunt me.

When Little Miss Innocence thought she was pregnant, she used to rub her belly several times a day and whisper, "You are wanted.  You are loved."  I don't do that now.  It scares me.  Like my verbalized affection will somehow make this pregnancy a figment of my imagination, too.  The most I can manage is just putting one hand on my stomach and breathing.

On the other hand, when Depression had hormonal symptoms and mood swings, she would go into a rage and rant at the world about how unfair it was she had to go through so much.  Prongo just laughs and takes it as a sign that things are ok.  Hormones are raging and for the first time ever that is GOOD.

But no matter what I feel about me and who I am and who I was and who I am/was becoming, I can tell you that I know exactly how I feel about my little one, affectionately dubbed "Bear Cub".  I love Bear Cub, and I cannot wait to meet him or her.

And I can tell you the exact moment I knew and my attitude changed from fearful distance to actual love.  It was when I first heard the heartbeat.  For a minute or two, my midwife couldn't find it and I was just lying there on the examination table with my pants unzipped and my stomach covered in goop completely terrified that there was no heartbeat to find and my baby was dead inside of me.  But then she did find it and it was the most beautiful sound I've ever heard.  She said it sounded perfect.  And then I went home and cried because I really like hearing the word "perfect" when it comes to my baby's health.

The second time I got to hear the heartbeat, I recorded a bit of it on my phone and it's the most reassuring thing ever to play it over and over and hear how strong and good it sounds.

So that's how I'm doing.  Identity crisis.  Lots of symptoms.  But a lot of joy and love, too.
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