You make a lot of changes in your life when you’re pregnant. Some may be welcome; most aren’t. You do it because the end result is worth it, and after you’ve got your baby safe in your arms, you rejoice at being able to drink your coffee. And margaritas. Wear your regular clothes. Sleep on your stomach. Lift a box. You are, once again, independent. Albeit with a lot of new and demanding responsibilities.
When you don’t get your happy ending, there is no rejoicing in the things you missed for months. Every excited thought is accompanied with the sad acknowledgment of the reason you can do these things. I used to drink a lot of Cokes, 2-3 a day. While pregnant, I cut them out entire for the first trimester until I decided it was making me too cranky, and then I allowed myself one delicious soda, each day. The day we came home for the hospital, I wanted a Coke, but I’d already had one. And then I realized, it didn’t matter if I drank 2, or 3, or 8. I can have all the caffeine I want. I should be celebrating, but it’s only because Amy died that I can do this. If she hadn’t, I’d still be pregnant. Drinking one Coke a day.
I can lay on my stomach, meaning I can once again enjoy doing my jigsaw puzzles on the floor and sleeping on my stomach. I can take the trips I wasn’t going to take this summer because I’d either be heavily pregnant or home with a newborn. I can do my entire job, lifting and all, without asking for help. I’ve lost 10 pounds in two weeks, so I’m already several pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight, and I can even diet a bit and get down to a healthier weight if I want to. I’m still on blood thinners, so I’m not really supposed to drink, but if I want to have a little, it hurts no one. It should be thrilling, but instead it makes me cry. I should be 25 weeks pregnant right now, but I’m not. Enjoying that seems like a betrayal.
Not being pregnant is far easier, far more comfortable, than being pregnant. Not having a child means your life is much less complicated than if you have one. So in that sense, I’d rather be uncomfortable, and cranky, my life more complicated. Trying to navigate the complicated line between myself and my family and my job and how it would all work together. That’s what I wanted, but it’s not what I got, so I’m trying to enjoy these bittersweet silver linings, but it breaks my heart a little anyway.