8 months pregnant & single: my story and how I've coped.
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8 months pregnant & single: my story and how I've coped.
|Sun, 04-29-2012 - 2:33am|
Hello, world. I am in my last month of pregnancy. I am 2 weeks and 3 days away from the expected arrival of Iris Rose, my first daughter, on May 15. What I'm going to tell is my personal account of the struggles I have experienced these past 9 months of carrying a pregnancy amidst a relationship falling apart. I want to offer hope and the sense of knowing you're not the only one to any woman who is struggling to feel appreciation, engulfed in all the overwhelming emotions that these hormones can raise from your gut. To any woman who is doing this alone or deaing with emotional abuse, know that it is not you. I have been far from perfect, but finally in the last month I feel I am learning to cope with everything wrong to a degree and forgive myself for the hurt I've endured and stress I've placed upon myself and my child. It has not been easy but as everyone has been reminding me, there will be a reward. It will be pure and time consuming and I know all of my troubles will disappear as I'll finally have found true love. And I cannot wait to be a mother. First off let me start by saying that this was a tough choice. From the moment I found out I was pregnant I was overcome with joy but, at the same time, there were extremely complicated circumstances surrounding my relationship. We shared a tremendous amount of passion, our union was fast-paced and intensely blissful for an entire year. However the passion between us could easily turn negative often and we were under the influence of different substances majority of our time together. It would come to light two weeks before I found out I was pregnant that I'd been cheated on, and sometime after being cheated on was when I conceived. The days leading up to me telling my boyfriend about my pregnancy were rough, I had ripped him a new one when finding out about the break of trust, and in the aftermath he went from begging for my forgiveness to simply sliding out of the picture day by day. He is not one to admit when he has done wrong, and so there is little room for someone with that mentality to work towards a solution of something they feel no guilt for. It wasn't the best timing as you can imagine. He was sleeping at friends' houses days leading up to me telling him, I couldn't get in touch with him once I did know. Infact, I broke the news to him by waking him up off a friend's couch and throwing the positive tests in his lap, angered at the fact he wasn't answering my calls nor had we seen each other in days. Needless to say, his reaction wasn't one of happiness. It was complete disgust and there was immediate accusations made at me for "trapping him." It hurt more than I can say. Not only because I still felt love for him and wanted things to work, but the lack of understanding and the level of blame was a lot to handle. I had had a few days to stare at those tests, to contemplate my feelings. I had cried day and night just out of immense emotions all over the spectrum, but in the end my synopsis went something like this: Okay, here I am, here we are, here is this not even a month after our relationship begins to fail. Fast. Never using any birth control methods and at the same time not changing anything about our routine, I have now conceived a child in the most negatively charged time of our relationship. To see this as a blessing or to see this as a curse? Which will I choose? Ultimately I chose to view it as a blessing. A new life emerging like a Phoenix from the ashes of decaying matter. I was still wounded deeply by the past but I was ready to give up that grudge and work at it if he was. Yet therein lied my problem. He was not about to change anything to work for this, he did not see the miracle in disguise I was seeing. There was the other woman in his life still- the one he cheated on me with. In some drug-induced mindstate he was convinced he could have both of us, but I was not having this philosophy obviously. Like a child angry at their parent for grounding them, he blamed me for trying to stop his affair. Yet he could never leave me, only try to make me leave him, at the same time professing how he could not live without me in his life. The situation was even more painful because the other woman he loved pretended to be my friend. Lying to my face and letting him say terrible things behind my back, only keeping me close to stay closer to him. He'd tell me to use his phone to send a text message and leave the screen up where he would confess to her, "She's trying to trap me. I wish this baby was your's. I love you." among other phrases that cut to the bone to read. You may be wondering why in the hell I was even still trying, I myself wonder why still to this day. But we all know, love is complicated. Plus our lives were entangled together in more ways than I could begin to explain. I wasn't ready to lose what was still there. Nobody is ... When you truly think you're in love with someone. But I was more than an emotional wreck, I was verging a mental breakdown. The lack of empathy and support was enough to drive me mad, but at the same time I was helping him run his business in those times to earn what money he supported me with. It was just never good enough. I wanted him to succeed, I wanted to be the driving force behind his success and share the benefits alongside him like he'd always talked about, like we had been doing before the breakdown. But he was far too gone to see how much I was trying, or to even care. He would tell me to get rid of the child and it would send me into conniptions, the next day he'd be telling me how he wanted to try. Up and down we went, up and down for months. I did not stop using drugs for almost 4 months as it was my easiest means of coping with the deep sense of rejection and confusion I was feeling daily. It hardly made me feel any better once the high disappeared though and I was still in the same damn situation I had been in. Confused on a daily basis as to what to do next, going back and forth between the idea of abortion or single parenthood. I went home to visit my parents for Christmas, and ended up staying with them after an argument erupted over the phone and nearly had me screaming. I stayed until I was nearing 6 months pregnant, I was clean by this point, I had seen her on an ultrasound and thanked the cosmos above for allowing me to carry such a beautiful, healthy little life inside me. I was depressed and my relations with her father looked grim in the first weeks of my stay. My family is great, my mom helped me get all the beginning priorities taken care of, but my dad has brain damage from illness 3 years ago, and that causes a lot of stress and strain on everyone in my family. There was nowhere for me to sleep except their couch. I kept in touch with my baby's father and the longer I was away, the better our phone conversations were. Things actually started looking more positive near the end of my stay, though there were still some arguments, he understood I was having this baby with or without him and I was busy preparing myself mentally and physically to take on single motherhood if need be. He was very positive when talking about his daughter and from what I could tell he had moved on from this other woman by the time I was 5 months. My hopes were high that we would eventually see eye to eye and I could return to the city and we'd work together on this. So I did return to city in early February, given it was a little sooner than I'd hoped, I couldn't wait any longer to at least attempt to get our relationship in order. And here I am now. I am now at my 8 month mark, looking at 3 more weeks until she's due, and I am still alone in this. Though we slept together and he would visit often in the 2 or 3 weeks after my return, I have carried this child with almost no physical nor emotional help since early March. Looking back, you could say I've been alone this entire pregnancy with the exception of the month of February. Thats not to say I don't have a support system, there are people in my life who care about me, but this is obviously not how I wanted my first pregnancy to turn out nor how anybody wants it to. I want a family, a unit. I am still just as much of an emotional wreck these days as I have been in the past. It's been a never-ending whirlwind of guilt and doubt and pain and love. I have coped with it many different ways though, which I will illustrate. I've had intense bouts of depression where, for almost 2 weeks at a time I acquire insomnia, digestion problems, and can barely make myself get out of bed. I've done scrapbooking to deal and I've managed to complete all the pages leading up to her being born, but even that just overwhelms my emotions and I begin to cry. Walking my dog is one of the only things I have found that curbed the depression by a large margin, and the warm weather settling in has helped tremendously too. The only problem these days is that I'm so heavy now that my pelvic floor aches quite often and I have contractions all throughout my walks so they've become less frequent. But I'd say putting yourself in the sunlight and working your limbs is what has gotten me through many fits. I stretch and pull out a few yoga moves these days, it helps when your body feels good. I've written my feelings out in bouts also, yet most times I find myself staring at the paper trying to put these intense emotions I'm experiencing into words. This is the first full account of my pregnancy I've ever written and it's already making me feel empowered. Another thing I've done is sketch. It's always sketches of myself in very pregnant states, and I do that less often than any of the other activities mentioned. The weather here is so finicky, I had 2 weeks of nonstop sunshine and heat where I took the opportunity to lay out by the pool, and that helped take my mind off plenty. I'm looking forward to the sun coming out and starting this routine again soon! And of course, whenever there's a moment my friends arent working/at a bar/ at school, I try to make dinner plans with them or simply visit just to chat. It's difficult with them though. I am racking up more mommy friends this past 2 weeks in preparation for a new support system once she's out and that's been vital in supplying me some peace of mind about the future. I've begun to learn Spanish using the iPad and am still working on a routine for practicing. I've applied, gotten accepted, and am waiting on the very last bit of the admission process into a community college, then it's signing up for my online classes this summer. It's going to be very busy juggling a baby and college for the first time but I don't doubt my capability at all. If I can get through what I am dealing with now, I'm positive about conquering much, much more afterward. I've never been a big junk food eater or soda drinker, which helps a lot, and I've changed my diet some to suit my digestional needs and to keep from reaaallyyy packing on the pounds. Less meat is something I've worked on lately, and less snacks or deserts with sugar added. Not only does it make you feel healthier when your nutritional intake is good, having self will to follow through makes you feel much stronger. And I don't always follow through immediately, but writing To Do lists with some of the tasks being as simple as 'do your laundry' or 'make your bed and tidy up space' are good pick-me-ups too. You see, I haven't found my one solid fix for the depression or heartbreak, but I am trying as hard as I can in these hormonal fueled times. I've eliminated most of the emotional abuse out of my life, yet I'm still trying to find a way to ignore it completely. The most important thing I've learned is to remember... though I may fall asleep and wake up alone, there are other women who have endured this also, even if they're hard to find. Though I've made mistakes and out myself in a lot of the negatively charged situations, I am not weak and I am not unintelligent. Things happen unexpectedly, you choose how to deal with them. When someone is putting you down, or making you think there is something wrong with yourself, just know that it takes a strong mind to overcome guilt and anger and forgive yourself and others. If you can forgive that person, you're already winning. It's their problems with themselves that forces the anger or hurt onto others. Sometimes the person is yourself. Nobody is ever perfect, some just will never admit it. Heartbreak will complicate any matter, especially a matter in which love created a human being. But it is merely a colloquialism and my heart is no where near physically broken. And so this life goes on, and time eventually heals what you can't undo yourself. I'm thankful for my loving companion that is my dog, as weird and anxious as she is, her happiness when I just so much as put a leash on her is one of the things that makes me smile most. Another important thing besides keeping negativity at bay as best as you can is to not remember the love and union once shared. I cannot think about what I'm missing-- to be brief, little things like going to the movies or a concert with the one I love. Even if things do mend, which I am not counting on at this junction, it won't ever be just me after she's born. At least not for awhile. I will be a mother then, a proud one at that. I just can never look back and wish for these things I can't have. It's just not in the cards. I have been promised by her father that things will change when she's born, and that we'll be a family but that miracle change of events is only a slight possibility. I have to look at the present, and not wish for the future. Presently, I am alone in this, so I'm planning life accordingly. I would love to experience sex now while I'm so sensitive, and experience someone loving my belly, but-- Ahh, see? I can't write these wishes out because I cannot dwell on what I don't have any longer. Accept your status and learn to love yourself. I am working on my body image and slowly regaining esteem. I will only let you know after she's born how much of a blessing and gift it is to finally have in my arms what I've gone through so much for. My own little bundle of purity and love. I'm sure I will see things different then, I know I will. I cannot wait to have my love restored. I cannot wait to be a mother. If you are going through anything similar, please just remember, you're not alone (even when you are), and don't be too had on yourself. I wish I hadn't let someone else use so much of my energy andntake up so much brain space. But it happens and you just must be strong no matter what and forgive yourself and others.