I wrote this a few weeks ago when I was having a particularly overwhelming ‘pandemic pregnancy’ day. There were tears. And just sitting on the floor until I felt ready to stand up again.
As so many of us struggle to find balance between choosing joy and feeling overwhelmed, I decided to share it today..
Happy + Hard, Go Hand in Hand…
Personally, I try to share a lot of happy things on the internet. It makes me feel good. But hard days come. And those hard days are what make me appreciate the happy days so much more.
I try to remind myself that challenging emotions are not permanent. Despite how heavy they feel in the moment. And they always, always, teach me something.
I hope this post brings you some comfort on one of your hard days. You are not alone, and feeling all these feelings is not only ok, but in many ways a good thing — a healing process. Don’t bottle things up, or you will never be able to let them go…
I’m so grateful that most days during this pregnancy – this pandemic – have been good. Happiness. Gratitude. More time with my cats and husband. Good health. But still, some days have been really hard.
A Hard Day.
Today felt hard.
It’s been a lot.
The past three years of infertility — still a fresh patchwork of quickly stitched-together wounds. Scars forming in time. Still unsettled. Still aching.
Yes, the joy has been overwhelming.
You’ve seen shiny pieces of that in my photos, stories, captions and blog posts.
The joy of being pregnant has been like sunshine after a long, frostbitten winter. Blue fingertips, red nose. My frozen face, finally thawed with a mug of cocoa steaming up my glasses.
Spring finally came.
And despite the world crumbling us all as we self-isolate and are bombarded with scary headlines and images, that joy of being pregnant, for me, has mostly usurped everything.
Yes to happiness, is my mantra each day.
Yes to happiness feels like the truest form of self-care I can practice right now.
But the hard stuff is still there.
The hard stuff floats around, like sharp bits of stone and dirt and concrete swirling at the bottom of a swimming pool. Jagged edges, lurking far below the sparkling aqua crests of chlorine-scented splashes. Always there in my mind, despite the soft sunbeams, laughter, cool drinks and warm fluffy beach towels.
My Hard Things List
Those always-there hard things, for me, include this surreal COVID reality, staying well, uncertainty about what parenting a newborn will look like, healing the patchwork of infertility wounds from the past 3-10 years – the fractured relationships and trauma from all the surgeries, tests, trials, hormones and jabs my body has endured — and of course, all the usual pregnancy, new-mom anxieties too.
Everyone has their own list. Like Arya chanting names.
We all have our own jagged edges swirling at the bottom of a pretty pool.
It’s been a weird spring.
Moving into a depressing summer.
A hard year.
You know this.
We are all feeling things.
And we’ve all felt joy swirled with pain.
Tiny snippets of joy are a must.
We look for them each day like a cat watching for that afternoon sunbeam.
Joy keeps us going.
Joy is an essential worker in all of this.
For all of us.
Today, the particular thing that made me cry was the isolation. The fear of being a brand new mom without a real live community to latch onto. Not having mom faces within reach, just a hug away.
I daydream longingly about squirmy baby play dates and smiling at strangers at a playground because by the look of the ages of your babes, you both know you both only got about three good hours of sleep last night. If that. New mom adrenalin keeping you tired, yet oh so happy.
I want to be a new mom out in the world more than anything.
I want family adventures. Silly social outings. Disneyland. Holiday parties. Crowded beach days. Trips to the farmer’s market, all bustling and sweet.
I want to pull on my newfound mom joy like a pair of joy pants and wear them into the world each day.
Social Media Only Does So Much…
But here I am. Eight months in and feeling like the real world never knew I was pregnant.
The one exception I can think of, all the kind nurses at OB and MFM appointments, taking my blood pressure, temperature, checking my weight. Their kind eyes hovering above wide masks, trying to smile at me while asking “How are you doing?”
Instagram and my blog have been my only ways to share.
And Social media can feel like a one-sided conversation with yourself. A flat substitute for real life connection. Comments and likes mixed with mutes and unfollows. Not exactly how most ppl want to carve out their transition into motherhood.
How I Cope..
“I am trying to embrace my inner badass as much as possible.”– me
Besides still choosing joy as self-care, I am also trying to embrace my inner badass as much as possible. And turning to humor and lightness.
And lately, trying to turn off the news as much as possible.
I’m trying to see the big picture irony and wonderment of this moment in history.
I’m hoping that our world changes for the better from all this chaos.
What May Help You…
So that’s me.
How about you?
How are you?
If you are having a hard day or week, let me leave you with this…
Hard days don’t mean things are broken. Or that we are broken.
Hard days just mean we are letting ourselves feel fully for a moment. All the uncomfortable, messy parts of life. And being able to feel fully, is a gift. It brings you empathy and strength, compassion and understanding.
So feel weak and vulnerable and (feel everything) when you need to, that’s a big part of your strength. I promise you that.
And tomorrow we can wake up and start fresh again.
Choosing joy without shame.
With an extra piece of compassion etched in our hearts.
Lots of love, K
- IVF Success Estimator – CDC
- ART Success Rates – CDC
- KindBody – innovative fertility clinic
- Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology
- RESOLVE.org – Nat’l Infertility Association