The question I keep getting asked being so close to my due date is "You must be getting excited?". Throughout the pregnancy I've just answered "Nope, I'm terrified." Anyone who heard this response would probably assume I'm kidding, that of course I'm excited to have another baby.
This baby has the same due date as Maya, who we lost 3 years ago. We found out the sex of this baby the day before Mother's Day. When we found out he was a boy, my emotions took me by surprise. This is definitely our last baby, so this was our last chance to have the little girl that we lost. The guilt of being so disappointed on a day that I should be grateful to be the mother of any baby hit me hard. I spent most of the day crying. I spent the next few months coming to terms with the fact that Isla will not have a sister, that I won't have another daughter and I tried my best to stay positive.
I've had a really hard time with this positivity thing though. I've tried to plan what my life will look like with 3, but it only overwhelms me. I came to a point at my Mother Blessing last weekend when I realized everyone around me can't wait to meet my baby. They want to hold him. They want to talk about his name. They are all excited. But I'm still not excited.
I reached out to a friend who's had postpartum depression. Talking to someone who understood made a huge difference. It seems this feeling of indifference and anxiousness is probably a depression of some sort. I wanted to share this because momstown is about connecting real moms. Yet I've never heard any mom say she's not excited to meet her baby. After talking to a few friends they've confided that at one point or another they've felt the same way. I've been carrying this guilt for 38 weeks. That's 266 days of feeling alone, thinking I'm a horrible person, and cringing when someone asks about the baby. Hoping it doesn't slip out and they "figure out" I'm a terrible mother for feeling like this.
The truth is I didn't choose to feel this way and this isn't what I want. I want to be excited to hold this little boy like every other mom. I want the pure joy of creating a miracle to overcome the obvious hurdles I will face as a mom of 3. Because these feelings are just not there I have to believe that I don't need to feel connected or excited. It would be nice, but it's not required. It doesn't mean I don't love him. It doesn't mean I'm a horrible mother. And it doesn't mean when he gets here my feeling won't change. If they don't change I know that I will get help anyway I can. But for now I'll focus on the fact that I'm lucky enough to have support. With family and a community of moms behind me I will get through this.
photo credit: thebabycorner.com