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Looking at My Future With Fear (Anonymous)

December 8, 2010

My age: 31
Number of pregnancies: 2
Age of my child: 18 months
31 weeks with second pregnancy

I had made it to the ripe age of 28 without giving the though of having children the time of day. Then my husband broached the subject after his younger brother celebrated the arrival of his second child. I won’t lie, I was cautious about the idea, my body being my main concern. After years of dealing with depression and various eating disorders I was finally at a place where things seemed okay. I had found a sport I loved, long distance trail running, and I had maintained a healthy weight for three years, something I had never dreamed of. Of course I had the idea that I, unlike many women, would be able to control every aspect of my pregnancy and come out of everything much the same as I went in. This proved to be my greatest folly. I had a bit of a struggle getting pregnant, which became my ultimate goal for months, if not my obsession. Being a perfectionist I constantly fight with having control over everything, and doing everything to the ninth degree.

When my doctor started making plans for my husband and I to see a fertility specialist I found out I was pregnant. My joy was short lived when I was placed on bed rest 5 days later with spotting and cramps. I was told that my body was threatening to miscarry and the best I could do was to keep my feet up and wait. Wait, me? The first thought in my head was, when can I get back to the gym. Of course I was horribly concerned about the baby, but old habits die hard and my weight was also at the forefront of my concerns. I made it to nine weeks and was sent back to work after a second ultrasound confirmed that all was well. Then at 18 weeks I was pulled off work again and put on modified bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy. Talk about losing control. My emotions were up and down due to the pregnancy, my own depression and the fear I had for my child. I managed to eat pretty healthy for the majority of the pregnancy and gained 40 lbs which I was not overly happy with, but I carried quite well. In the end my son arrived 2 days past my due date, apparently he came to the conclusion that it was rather comfy in Mommy’s tummy. I had a difficult labour which lasted 30 hours and ended in an emergency c section due to my son’s position. I was not upset about not having a natural labor ( at the time ) and was happy to have three days in the hospital with the nurses to show me the ropes. I healed really well and enjoyed nursing my son for 13 months. During my 12 months post partum I was not surprised to find out that I had PPD, but what I was surprised about was how difficult it is to be a Mother. My husband is a sub contractor and thus he has to put in long hours when the work is there, mostly to compensate for the slow season in his trade. Fortunately the recession has not affected him too much, unfortunately this means my husband is rarely home. Time to myself and help with my son has become a luxury. None of my friends have or want children and I have had to limit my interactions with my Mom due to some lines that have been crossed on her part. Daycare has been annexed by our paediatrician because of the number of times my son came home sick and the severity with which the illnesses would affect him. It was during one of his colds 7 months ago that I became sick as well and found out I was pregnant. I must have conceived within days of his first birthday which seemed like a miracle after my attempts to get pregnant the first time. I wound up taking 4 pregnancy tests at home and then seeing my GP for a test before I went in to see my obstetrician. When I found out I was pregnant I had only just grown comfortable with my son’s routine and had found time to workout and take care of myself. I was upset that I still had 10 lbs to lose and a lot of toning to do but I thought I would be able to maintain what ground I had gained. Then the morning sickness hit, I had never dealt with this in my first pregnancy and most definitely not to the degree where I had to be placed on medication. I was one of those women who found that eating helped calm the sickness, and that’s when the scary weight gain started. At this time I also seemed to become ill every time my son came home with something, which was approximately every two weeks. I am now 8 months pregnant and have gained 40 lbs in addition to the 10 extra pounds I started with. I fear seeing my doctor and stepping on the scale, which humiliates and saddens me. I should love going in for my appointments, as I did with my first son, there is nothing like hearing your child’s heart beat. I am overextended, exhausted and have little patience for my 18 month old, who is a bundle of little boy energy. I hate myself and the future I see for myself. I feel as though I can barely manage with one child and dealing with two seems impossible. It has taken forever to get my son to sleep nine hours a day, I don’t know when I am going to rest with two kids under the age of two, let alone when I am going to be able to put some focus back on myself. It seems as though I have a target on my back when it comes to other people’s opinions. I hate being judged within a glance or based on someone else’s preconceived notions. My doctors blasé comments about my weight gain and the lack of support I am receiving from my family and friends seems to be making matters worse. If people knew about the dramatic changes that have happened within my family life the last two years I don’t think they would be so quick to believe that they could do better. I am truly at the end of my rope. Sometimes I hate being a Mom and resent my family. I worry about failing as a parent, most especially in the ways that my parents failed me. I feel so detached from the baby I am carry now, because everything I have is being spent on my son.

Who am I? What have I become?

first picture: 7 months before my first pregnancy
second picture: 4 days after I found out I was pregnant, 5 weeks pregnant, I had to put on weight to help get pregnant
I have no post partum picture as I refused to be photographed
last 4 pictures: me as of today 31 weeks pregnant with second child

Updated here.

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12 Responses to “Looking at My Future With Fear (Anonymous)”

  1. Shannon Says:
    December 8th, 2010 at 7:44 am

    First of all, you have an amazing pregnant belly! I really hope that you seek out a counselor of some kind to talk to…just a way to get your emotions out. That being said, shouldn’t you be thrilled that even though your first pregnancy was so difficult, and you had to be put on bedrest the whole time, this time you conceived easily and everything is going smoothly :) I am 24, had my first baby at 20 (start weight about 110…end weight in the 150s), 2nd baby at 22 (start weight about 125, end weight 177). My first son was born with many medical issues and passed away at 19 months. I am not a fan off hearing people be so upset that they are going to have 2 children…I have had 2, and only have one with me…do you know what I would give to have both of my babies? Please take nothing for granted, you are blessed to be able to have 2 children…and think how close they will be since they are not too far apart in age! Any mark, any bit of loose skin, any little bit your breasts sag will be totally worth it. I am 24, have loose skin, stretchmarks everywhere, saggy breasts…I weight 123, but don’t look it! I have been able to carry 2 amazing boys…that is worth all of my marks. SMILE

  2. Teri Says:
    December 8th, 2010 at 9:17 am

    I think all mothers can relate to how you are feeling. Our situations may vary, but I think we all feel overwhelmed and unsure when a new baby is on its way. These kinds of feelings are normal. I had all of them. After the birth of my third child I struggled with depression and couldn’t seem to enjoy my three beautiful children whom I loved with all my being. I felt guilty that I wasn’t happy. I finally decided to go to counseling and it has helped me tremendously. Not everyday is great but I have so many more good days now. I just want you to know that you are not alone and that there is hope. You can do this! You are blessed and loved and your story is shared by so many. I am currently pregnant with my 5th child (a huge surprise) and I too wonder how I am going to manage everything that we mothers must juggle (I am a homeschooling mom). Just knowing that other moms understand know how I feel and how hard, yet wonderful, motherhood is, helps so much. Stay strong and find someone you can talk to about how you are feeling. Hugs to you!

  3. M Says:
    December 8th, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on it’s own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

    You have an opportunity each day to love and be loved. The circumstances of the day can and will throw us a curve ball, but we can move past them and make something good of it. You may have never heard what I quoted in the first paragraph or you may know it by heart. It was written over 2,000 years ago. That type of love is living and growing inside of you right now. Soon you will see it in that babies eyes and your baby will see it in yours. My hope is you will see what that baby sees when you look in the mirror. God bless.

  4. Colleen Says:
    December 8th, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Have you considered a nanny/babysitter? It really sounds like you need time for yourself, either to go do gentle exercise or just to get away and be YOU and not “mommy”. I know you said your son can’t go to daycare but there’s no reason why you can’t have somebody come over for an hour or two a day (or even every other day) for some alone time. My friend is a nanny and she absolutely adores the little boy she cares for, so it wouldn’t do your son any harm to be away from you.

    You are a beautiful pregnant woman. You have great skin and a perfect, womanly shape. Please see a counselor (or continue to see a counselor?) because I feel your PPD is causing a lot of your problems.

  5. Lani Says:
    December 8th, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Hello my dear,

    You have to be good and kind to yourself. It seems that you are the one who first judge yourself (after pregnancy) about your physical looks. You have to be grateful to yourself and to your body for being strong and the sacrifices it made. You have become a better person and most of all, a great mom. You have to see how much more beautiful you have become.. see your inside beauty. Outside beauty can be worked on and in time with patience and perseverance, you will be strong and fit. ‘Strong and fit’ or healthy has to be your goal for your body than what hollywood say is ‘sexy.’ You have to be good and kind to yourself. Others have a lot of worst situation.. they got a lot of stretch marks and some have even lost their babies. So please my dear, see the beauty in being a mother. You are much stronger and beautiful…

    SMile, life is beautiful. YOu need to have more friends who will support you and encourage you. Get involve in a good church and good group.

    I am praying for you. Godbless.

  6. anonymous Says:
    December 8th, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    I just wanted to thank everyone for their comments and to clarify that I am in no way ungrateful for my children, my son is the light of my life. I just had no idea how hard being a mother would be and that on the advice of my councillor I would end up limiting interactions with my own mother and family. I guess what I was trying to get across is that I am having a hard time essentially raising my child alone, and thinking of what two children could mean. Throwing body issues into the mix is like the straw that broke the camels back.
    Shannon I am so incredibly sorry for your loss.

  7. anonymous Says:
    December 8th, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    LOL, sorry everybody I just wanted to amend my spelling in my comment. I ment counselor, my local government has not been helping with my family issues.

  8. Kace Says:
    December 8th, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I sensed an aching lonliness in your story. I’m sorry you’re struggling right now. Having battled an eating disorder and depression, I know how extremely hard it is to lose what control you feel you have over any given situation. In the same sense, I felt how much you love your child. Just the little bit you’ve shared about the struggle you’re going through, I can see how strong you are. It sucks to go through the days knowing how much energy you have to give in order to be strong, for even the smallest thing. Thats the nature of depression, how much effort it takes to just make it through the simple things, like playing with your child, making dinner. Make no mistake that you’re are a strong woman, to keep going when everything seems so overwhelming, it’s strength.
    My life hasn’t been easy, and the depression that resulted from different things was so hard to get through. I think if you find someone to talk to, someone you can lean on, things will get better for you.
    I have to say I envy your prego belly. My own pregnancy belly wasn’t the cute one you could tie with a bow. I carried my baby everywhere…it wasn’t pretty, but it WAS awesome =)

  9. Mary V Says:
    December 9th, 2010 at 6:44 am

    Your belly is so adorable! Congrats mama. It might take some time, but the weight will come off, especially since you were so active before. Sorry your so down, I was similar to you, used to doing things for myself and not have to worry about kids and such, after I had two babies I realized that I am still very much that independent woman. I love my babies, but I am also doing things for myself, I feel like you can not be a happy mom if your not a happy woman first. I am in school and I stay busy working out, my gym has a daycare so the kids have a blast while I try to work off baby fat :) Then I am thrilled to spend time with my kids. Sometimes you have to take a step back and see what makes you truly happy. Enjoy your pregnancy :)

  10. Mina Says:
    December 9th, 2010 at 10:46 am

    I just want to tell you that you are not alone in your fears and feelings. Being a mom is really hard sometimes, and your feelings of resentment are not uncommon – many of us have those feelings at times.
    I said to a friend recently that one of the things that’s hard about being a mom (esp a SAHM mom like I am) is that we’re always the ones who “take the bullet”…we make sacrifice after sacrifice (time, hobbies, career, our body, etc), and while we know we wouldn’t really have it any other way, it does make us feel resentful at times…
    I don’t have advice for you, and it sounds like you are doing everything you can to feel better, but I can offer you this: you are most definitely NOT alone.

  11. Debra Says:
    January 2nd, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    I just want you to know that even if you are feeling tired (I understand, my child is also just 18 mo… and I’m also a SAHM for two older stepsons, with no support network) — I think you look young, beautiful and energetic (I can’t believe you’re over thirty from those shots!).

  12. L Says:
    February 2nd, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    similar situations my huby is also a subcontractor. my son was sick in day care when hew was 1.5 yrs. he had a sinusinfection every two weeks. blood tests reveal his wite blood cell count was low and could not fight off infection. he was on constant antibiotics. we took him out of day care wheni was 7 months pregnant with my daughter. it took awhile but his immunity built itself up. i too dont have close family on myside and live far from my friends feel a little isolated at times. however, because your feeling overwhelmed, tired from pregnancy and other life stuff your probably irritated. try to find something you enjoy and do that everyday. it may raise your spirits. you will get through it its probably just life taking a toll on you. best wishes..

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