And then I got pregnant.
Some may assume the reaction to this would be "yay!", another baby, wonderful news! And the excitement my friends and family have shown has been so heartwarming and lovely and has helped to build my excitement as well. But my initial internal response was not all rainbows and sunshine.
Although this pregnancy was absolutely planned - we were "trying" again - it felt a bit unexpected. My first pregnancy took a while, and we ended up getting the support of science to help it along, and we felt very lucky and excited that we did get pregnant, have a healthy pregnancy, and birth a healthy baby.
I know there are other moms with children close in age (planned or not) that can understand the mixture of emotions that comes with this turn of events. Here are just a few of the emotions that were flying around:
Sadness: for the sacrifice/potential loss of projects and ideas that I wanted to achieve and may no longer have the resources (time/energy/money/attention) to do them.
Disappointment: at myself for not having done more to bring my body to a more physically prepared place (let's be clear, this body is not the body I had when I got pregnant with my first, it has changed, and will likely never be exactly what it once was)
Fear: for the unknown and unexpected that comes with bringing new life into this world and growing our family, and for the postpartum journey itself - it can be a lonely and trying time, to say the very least.
Guilt: for not being more excited about this pregnancy when I have friends that are going through their own fertility struggles - how dare I take this miracle for granted?!
More Guilt: for the baby growing inside of my body and me not giving it the same excitement I did to my first pregnancy
Overwhelm/anxiety: for holyshithowarewegoingtodothis?
As I have moved through the first trimester, bogged down with lethargy and this shit storm of thoughts, it was when we started to tell people that things really began to shift for me. When people showed me their excitement about our news, it reflected to me that this is a time for celebration, and that I am capable of not only handling this next leg of the journey, but it's actually something I said I wanted. They are showing excitement because it's a dream coming true for us. I wanted two kids, and we will soon have our complete family. Thank you, support circle, for helping me move through this.
At a time when my world began to feel small, I also regularly needed to remind myself to take the long view, look at the big picture, take stock of all that I have accomplished and continue to accomplish daily. All of this has been going on while we also moved to a new home and neighborhood, moved our kid to new childcare, became landlords to renters, experienced major changes at my place of work, and began to build a studio in our basement. When I consider the patience and energy it takes just to do all that, I deserve a freaking medal! And it's no wonder it's felt overwhelming.
As roadblocks have come up, I have handled some well, and others not so much. The vision I had for this year has shifted, and in this time of uncertainty I thought it would be a powerful exercise to reflect back on times when I felt like I had momentum, energy, and excitement and share some stories about these times and celebrate how far I have come on this journey of running a business, holding down a full-time job, and becoming a momma.
When things don't go as planned, celebrate anyway.
Whether that is focusing on the work you put in, even if the outcome wasn't what you desired. Or reflecting back on times when things did have momentum and excitement and celebrating what you created then, and then getting curious about what ingredients were involved in that feeling of success. Or simply patting yourself on the back for having the courage to try.
A lot has happened in the last few years! I will be sharing some stories here and on my Instagram feed and I hope it encourages you to appreciate yourself and how far you have come as well.