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.