The Day I Put On My Big Girl Panties

I got my period today and I was devastated. I cried in the bathroom for ten minutes, found my husband, and cried another bucket. I was like a crazy person.

Drawing by Damien Dejos, my eldest son: "Mama with Baby in Tummy"

Drawing by Damien Dejos, my eldest son: "Mama with Baby in Tummy"

Except, I wasn’t.

Seven months ago, we had a miscarriage and lost our would-have-been-second child.  We were devastated. We allowed ourselves time to heal – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually; and when we felt ready (and gotten the go-signal from the doctor), gave it a go again.

And over the course of the last few weeks, I felt certain I was pregnant – nausea, dizziness, 24-hour sleepiness – same symptoms as the first time I got pregnant. These symptoms had me cranky and overly cautious all at once. I stopped exercising as hard and said no to rough play with my 3-year old son. My dealings with those around me felt mundane, driving me to feelings of impatience and restlessness – the idea of being possibly pregnant was consuming me. And at the back of my head, I knew I wasn’t my best self – not the best wife/mom/daughter/friend to the people I loved. But I rationalized and thought to myself – soon enough, they’ll know why I’ve been acting this way… and everything will make sense. 

Despite these less-than-positive emotions, my husband and I were giddy. We giggled over our little secret: we were pregnant!

Except today, we found out, we obviously weren’t. And I cried buckets – mourning the loss of the idea of being pregnant. Like I was a crazy person.

Except, I wasn’t.

And in that moment of silence – that space between “buckets of tears” and “I’m okay now”, I allowed myself to truly feel – true grief over the loss of my child from seven months ago, throw a tantrum that I didn’t get what I wanted today (!!!), shame and regret that I had put my life on pause over the last three weeks, envy over all the people on my Facebook thread who had children so (seemingly) easily, and finally, reassurance that this roller coaster ride I’ve been on is insane, yes, but not abnormal.

And just like that, I felt freer, lighter, and happier than I had in weeks. I put on my “big girl panties”, hopped on the treadmill, and ran like I hadn’t in such a long time. I wrestled with my son, then called on two of my best friends and set a date for Mojitos Night (yay!). I felt alive again and my life was back on track.

Do I still want a second child? Hell yes! But I realize now that anxiety happens when you seek to control situations that are beyond your power and that are bigger than you. I will be ECSTATIC when I finally see the beautiful face of my second child; until then, I will take each day as it comes; and celebrate and revel in each moment I am given. I will maximize the opportunities I have, work with what I’ve got, and ready my life for the blessings in store.

It’s time to live my life on play.

***

And to all the Moms (and Dads!) out there, who have been through the difficulties of getting pregnant and/or moving forward from a miscarriage, I respect you, I celebrate you, and I send out my love to you. You are my heroes – with your courage, your love, your hope, and your choices to keep moving forward. We are all in this together! And if you are not yet ready to move forward, that is OKAY. Take your time, take a breath (or two or a million!).