Part 2: My Emotions During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is wild. It’s one of those things that “you just have to experience yourself”. Mine was far from what I wanted it to be. I didn’t plan my pregnancy, I initially didn’t want it, and I most definitely didn’t know how to deal with it.

Before becoming pregnant, I was at a crossroad in my relationship; I dove into it quicker than I was ready for it. I convinced myself that this guy wasn’t just a distraction. I moved to Hawaii a month before meeting my new boyfriend and only three months before conceiving. I remember that we argued substantially in the short month we were together, and we were ready to throw in the towel. I didn’t plan on staying in Hawaii for more than a year, nor did I plan on spending much of my time with anybody. There was one day that we talked for hours about the demise of our short relationship, and what the next steps would be for us in the case of having a child together. We already had a feeling, and when our feeling was confirmed, we knew that we would have to be strong for each other. We pushed through our differences and began to settle.

Before coming to terms with my pregnancy, I fell into a depressive state. I’ve suffered with depression throughout the years, but nothing like that. More than ever, I felt alone. I didn’t have a support system since the beginning. I was too in denial to announce my pregnancy. Admittedly, I was embarrassed. I was ashamed that I had only announced my relationship with Joshua a month prior to becoming pregnant. I was ashamed that I had nothing to offer my new growing child. I was ashamed that I didn’t get the chance to do what I desired as a young adult. I was only 19.

There was an immense amount of tension in my home before my pregnancy was 100% present to my family. For unknown reasons, my stepfather was holding a grudge against me. We were always so close, but for some reason, we became distant. We could be in the same room for an entire day and not exchange a word. It hurt deeply for me to harbor the big news, but he was already angry with me. My mother and sisters knew of my pregnancy, but they knew not to speak about it. I wasn’t ready to announce it. I wanted to know for certain that there was a baby growing inside of me, so I waited for that day. Internally excited about it, I told some family members whom I felt I could trust. That only initiated tension from an ocean away. The word got around and then everybody knew, awaiting my confirmation. The reason I prolonged my pregnancy announcement was behind a silly dilemma I held myself in. Being a military dependent, I didn’t have the authority to schedule my own appointments. I suppose the clinic was under the impression that I was still 14 years old. It was a long process to pass. With everyone anxious to know the truth, I grew more anxious and depressed. I felt stuck.

At the end of my second trimester, I was finally able to relieve myself from the big secret.  Still, I had no support. My family didn’t support my new journey as I wanted them to, but I didn’t beg for their support either. The news was out, the “congratulations” was here and there, and that was the end of it. On Joshua’s side, it was a completely different show.

The news for Joshua’s family wasn’t exciting to them at first, but with the amount of love they held, it eventually grew on them. He told me that when he finally revealed the secret to his mother, she cried. When hearing that, my stomach turned for hours; I was ashamed and apologetic. Eventually, I could tell that his family absolutely loved him and everything he came with. Coming from what I was used to, I didn’t know how to handle such a large crowd of people and support. At our baby shower (thrown by his family), I felt no part of it. I was there for the measuring of my belly, and that was about it. I knew about 10 people. I felt secluded and overwhelmed. During my entire pregnancy, every family gathering or event that took place left me in shambles. I felt like the elephant in the room, even if I was probably irrelevant to everybody around me. I wasn’t myself anymore. Even then, Joshua and I remained a force.

When I told my closest friends the news, a couple of them congratulated me, and the rest completely shut me out. It blew my mind how a blessing to me was a curse to them. Again, I didn’t know how to handle it. I stopped talking to people altogether and I lost all my people skills. I harbored so much stress and anxiety throughout my pregnancy that it started to show in my child. From week 26 to week 39, my depression grew entirely. I couldn’t eat the way you would think a pregnant woman should. I was told at every single ultrasound and monitoring appointment that I needed to eat more. My baby wasn’t growing the way he should’ve been, so I had to EAT MORE. “Eat burgers and fries and drink milkshakes and just keep eating.” I wasn’t starving myself. I didn’t have the appetite nor the energy. Eating felt like a chore. I was DEPRESSED.

I didn’t talk to people for a long time, almost my whole pregnancy. I didn’t know how to speak properly. I didn’t know how to speak about myself or what I was going through. I didn’t even speak at my doctors appointments; everything was a nod, yes or no. I barely spoke to the eight people who lived under the same roof that I lived under. I lost myself completely while transitioning into motherhood. I became so ostracized that I was submissive in every situation. I didn’t feel like an existing person anymore.

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Mother’s Day

Part 1: My Pregnancy Experience

Before diving into motherhood, I only remember NOT wanting to be a mother. I always had other plans. I had goals and dreams waiting to be fulfilled.

February 2016. That’s when I found out that my life would be changed forever. I was sleepy all the time. I was hungry, but I wasn’t, but I was, but I wasn’t. My hormones jumped all over the place. I loved life one minute and I hated it the next. I wasn’t myself.

Mother Nature’s gift to me arrived on the same day of every month for years. The 14th. Except in March, I was left with nothing. A part of me was excited, but the majority of me panicked. It was a feeling I never experienced before. Who was I? I never wanted a child. I never imagined myself being a mother. I couldn’t bring a child into this world if I had nothing to offer.

When I had a feeling I was pregnant, I bought a whole pack of pregnancy tests. Not just one. Multiple. And in the first second that my pee hit the stick, the positive sign showed up. It didn’t even give me the time to analyze what I was doing exactly. “Let’s cut to the chase.. YOU’RE HAVING A BABY!” I screamed in silence. I didn’t know whether it was a happy scream or a ‘ARE YOU SERIOUS?!’ scream. I took about 7 more tests and basically relived the same scream over and over again. I was most definitely pregnant.. but I stayed in denial.

Weeks after the home pregnancy tests, April 2016, I went to a clinic to get a physical required for a job I was processing. At that point, I convinced myself that I was excited for the new chapter in my life. Curious about the workload, I asked a nurse if I’d be able to pick up the job while being pregnant. She asked if I had seen an OBGYN and I said no. I didn’t go to the doctor to confirm my pregnancy, so she arranged a blood test.

About 30 minutes to an hour went by and I went back to see the nurse. She gave me her condolences and explained to me that the blood test came back negative for pregnancy. I was shocked, hurt, and confused. I walked away holding back my tears. I consoled in my mother as I left the clinic, and it was the first time I had even mentioned being pregnant. I told her that I was sure I was having a baby, but the clinic denied it. She didn’t say much.

Weeks after the clinic pregnancy test, my belly grew. I was tired. I had no energy. I had no appetite. I was drained. Eventually, I felt a fluttery feeling in my belly, but I told myself it was “just gas”. I knew I was pregnant, but I didn’t know I was pregnant. I was so in denial after the clinic’s results. Truthfully, I didn’t want to go back to see a doctor. I finally wanted to have that baby and I was scared they would tell me the same thing twice. I was wrong for waiting so long, but I finally went back. After filling out a pile of papers, a nurse called my name. We did the normal checkup routine and I answered some questions. For a second time, I went back to the lab to get my blood drawn, and then I waited. Only this time around, I got a “congratulations!” I was relieved of my denial. I received my first prenatal care at 25 weeks pregnant. Yes, TWENTY-FIVE WEEKS!

In the whole 25 weeks of pregnancy, I was lonely. I had Joshua by my side and that was it. As I didn’t fully transition into adulthood, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know how to be pregnant. I didn’t know how to schedule doctor’s appointments. I didn’t get advice. I just simply didn’t know. I didn’t tell anyone (important) in those 25 weeks that I was pregnant because I was waiting for a confirmation. I was waiting to finally get an ultrasound or to hear a heart beat before letting the news out. Although a few people knew, I was afraid to share it.

During my first ultrasound, July 2016, the technician asked me a lot of questions about the beginning of my pregnancy, and then she was silent for a while. Just as I felt great relief that I was finally seeing my baby, I felt another weight on my shoulders. She gave me a vibe that told me I should be worried. She then said that she was going to get her own boss to take a look at my baby himself. He told me that my baby was growing short of his gestational age, and that I’d have to return back to the clinic weekly for ultrasound checkups. That was the first ultrasound of thousands. Although most expecting mothers would love to see their baby weekly, it was a bit heartbreaking for me. I had to go to the clinic twice and sometimes three times a week from 25 weeks until 38 weeks. I felt depressed. I was having ultrasounds so often for my baby to be monitored, I was filled with worry. My son wasn’t growing fast enough, so at 39 weeks pregnant, I met my induction day.

The morning of my 39th week, October 26, I ate toast with butter and a handful of grapes. Joshua and I packed our bags. I was ready for my induction day.

When we finally got checked into our delivery room, we jumped right into the induction. I didn’t quite gather my thoughts or emotions before everything happened. One minute I was joking and conversing with Joshua, and the next, pain. I remember laying on my bed in complete silence while people started filling the room. Admittedly, I didn’t want anybody to know where I would be delivering my son. I didn’t want anybody to be with me but Joshua. His family poured in, then my mom and sisters arrived. Or whatever order they came in. I don’t remember entirely what they were all doing in the room, but eventually, I didn’t care. I was in pain and I tried not to show it, so I stayed quiet. I always imagined I’d turn into Godzilla on the delivery bed. I was the opposite of that.

I felt contractions as soon as ten minutes into getting on the delivery bed, so at about 13 hours into it, I was out of my mind. At 8 cm dilated, I decided to get an epidural. More time passed by, and finally, nurses and doctors started coming into the room. A young man came in and introduced himself, explaining that he’ll be delivering my baby. He didn’t mention that he was in training, but I was alarmed when I overheard him asking THE NURSE what the procedures were in delivering. I silently panicked.

At 2:45 a.m., even with an epidural, I felt the pressure of my contractions. Finally 10 cm dilated, I got the “go” to start pushing. I remember unfamiliar faces surrounding me, cheering me on. Joshua was holding my left leg up. He was the only face I wanted to see. Two pushes in, his entire expression changed. I felt pressure, and then it was gone.

2:54 a.m. Everybody cheered. My baby was finally here. And Joshua’s face? He witnessed our son fly into the doctor’s hand.

October 27. I finally got to hold my little human being, Madden Reign.

Almost two years later, I can’t imagine not being a mother. It was almost hard for me to recollect my thoughts and feelings pre-motherhood.

Before diving into motherhood, I thought that I had goals and dreams to be fulfilled, but..

I’ve learned that my son had chosen the best path for me. He taught me how to love and he taught how love should feel. It wasn’t easy for me to fast forward into a new chapter in my life, but with my Madden Reign, everything became possible. I’ve learned how to give without needing to take. I’ve learned how to make sacrifices. I’ve learned that loving myself was just as important as loving my newborn baby. I regained my confidence in the value of my life and my health. Becoming a mother has proven to be a medicine for my personal hardships. Because of my son, I have a better understanding of why we celebrate Mother’s Day. Being a mother is the most rewarding thing you could be.

The Story I am Slowly Unraveling

 

The Beginning.

I heard of the woman who didn’t know where she was when she woke up one morning. Pants unzipped. Shirt ruffled as if someone had struggled to get under.  She left work alone the night before; it had been a long day. She went to her favorite bar where they knew her as a usual and where she met a very unfamiliar face. He was handsome, well-dressed, clean-shaven. A couple beers deep, she became comfortable with him– a little more than she would have if she was sober, She agreed to leave with him. That’s all she remembered. She woke up alone, dizzy, puzzled, and absolutely frightened. Her neck throbbed with bruises, a patch of her hair lied alongside her. Her body was in pain and her heart was shattered. My heart raced when I heard that story, until I calmed myself. That would never happen to me.

And then it did.

Except my story is a bit different. Actually, a lot different. But I know we went through the same traumatic thoughts, emotions, physical and mental pain.

To My Unborn Child

Free-writing. Journal Entry Topic: Write a letter to someone who is no longer in your life.

I never imagined I’d feel a greater heartbreak than any heartbreak I’ve felt before, until.. you. When I found out that you were growing inside of me, my entire body was repeatedly flushed with emotions. I was terrified, and then nervous, and then excited. I secretly jumped too far into the future and had a whole list of names for you. I never had the chance to find out if you would be Madden Reign’s brother or sister, but I had a name waiting to match your face. I never thought that the day I’d meet you, you wouldn’t be meeting me. The day my eyes met yours, the bathtub did too, and so did all the parts in my body that would adhere to pain. You pushed through like a storm and I was strong enough to withstand it alone. You flushed my mind with emotions. You no longer felt what I felt. We were no longer “one”. That was the longest Sunday I had ever known. I went to see a doctor and we looked for you inside me, although I already knew you weren’t there. The doctor searched and searched and I could no longer watch. I winced at the pain from both my stomach and my heart. I sat for hours on a hospital bed in the middle of an Emergency Room, and I only thought of you. I never felt so alone. Sometimes we hear about things happening to people and we often think that it would never happen to us. I never would’ve thought that I’d lose you. In the world that I live in, you never existed. Losing you was a big part of my life being in turmoil. I almost forgot how to love. I sometimes find myself second guessing my existence. If it weren’t for your brother, I might have lost myself completely, the way I lost you. I don’t know how to bring you up in a conversation, but you are so worth mentioning. You have been the secret that was hardest to keep. You deserve so much more. I want you to know that I often think of you. Although we never had the chance to formally meet, I feel you in my dreams. I try not to blame myself for losing you. Your brother did a lot of damage inside my tummy during his growth and it was not entirely ready for you. I will admit, I am not entirely sure I was ready for you either. For that, I am truly sorry. I often wonder how much you would have grown if our timeline was mutual. Perhaps maybe when we are both ready, you will come again, and we will make it right. Maybe someday we will lock eyes and our hearts will beat in tandem.

Yours truly,

Mommy

P.S. I have a lot more to say, but no words would do my broken heart any justice. Until next time, angel.

How do you survive being in love with someone who disregards your flaws?

Not that he accepts it

He just acts like it isn’t there

He pushes you to do things you are uncomfortable doing

He doesn’t care about your wrists

He wants to see you succeed

So he pushes you

He pushes you to overcome your over-dramatic meltdown before attending a crowd

He pushes you to open up to him even when your heart and throat are both swollen from opening up

He pushes you to speak when you are spoken to even when there is nothing left to say

He pushes you to lock eyes with others because he is comfortable so you should be too

He pushes you to listen better, so his shouts can be heard

He pushes you to be all that you could be, but aren’t

Because he disregards

Your fears

Your heartache

Your shakiness

Your cuts

Your bruises

Your anxiety

Your depression

You

How do you survive?

Eventually

You don’t

Douglas Fir

Free-writing. Journal Entry Topic: Write a love poem to your hometown.

Your cold breath on my skin

Say “goodbye” again

Eternal beauty all around

I feel your touch within

Miles separate your body from mine

I’ll be back for you

I’ll never leave your touch again

Our love sits on the timberline

Rainy day- my heart aches for you

I’ll never leave your touch again

Sunshine shows- heartache stops

In memory is your view

Many places my heart has been

I’ll be seeing you

My soul sits in your body

Forever, my beautiful Oregon

Adrianne Jayde
April 23, 2017