When I was pregnant, everyone loooooved to tell me how I was going to forget all about how bad it was as soon as the baby was born, or by the time he was two years old, or I was going to decide it was all worth it, and so on and so forth. If there’s anything I like less than clutter, it’s people telling me how I feel or how I’m going to feel. All your wisdom gained from lived experience… was gained from lived experience of being someone who is not me.
So this weekend, I gave away my maternity wardrobe. Grace’s neighbor is pregnant and in need of garments, so I turned over my painstakingly assembled stash. Barring freak accident, I’m not birthing another baby, and that’s final.
Because of this, I will never have some of the memories and experiences that I always wanted. I am more of a captive to the traditional sentimental snapshot moments than you might imagine, and the loss of potential for some of these moments does cause me some pain. Sometimes when I read other women’s blogs and they describe jumping jup and down with excitement about the two pink lines, or tears of love in their eyes during the first sonogram… well, honestly, I want to smash a bunch of windows with a baseball bat. What pregnancy and birth were like for me is absolutely nothing compared to some of the horror stories out there, but it was bad enough for me, and I look forward to someday not being so incredibly angry about it.
That makes it sound so dysfunctional, doesn’t it?
From in here it feels more like how I imagine a hangover would feel. It’s ugly, but you know it’s the “after” part of the experience. You know if you just wait a little bit longer, it’s going to be better, and after that it’s going to be better, until you’re just going on about your day and everything is normal. (The analogy breaks down here because unlike my pregnancy, alcohol has some entertainment value.)
If I were feeling some deep anguish about how I’d always wanted another baby but everything had been so awful and my dreams were shattered, maybe I’d feel like this decision was broken – but I don’t. I don’t feel like anything’s missing from our lives, and if it starts to feel that way in the future, we’ll decide whether to explore other avenues.
I just feel done. In addition to angry, in a place separate from that, and one that feels much more permanent and peaceful. The teensy little bit of my heart that used to twist when I saw cute girl baby clothing, back when Boy Detective was still in onesies, barely makes a noise these days.
So bye bye, maternity wardrobe, and enjoy your new life. If I have need of you again in the future, clothing will be the least of my problems.