Oh, please know before you read on that mummy loves you. Mummy loves you so so much; you are only the size of an avocado but my love is the size of the world. You have only been growing inside me for 16 weeks and 5 days, I have only seen black at white flickering images of you on an ultrasound scan, but I love you fiercely already. I promise.
I have to be honest though baba, I’m scared. You scare me. Terrify me, in fact. It is not really you I am scared of, it is what your arrival in this world may mean. I am scared what might happen to me once you are born. When I first found out about you, I wish I could say I cried with happiness or danced with joy, but that would be a lie. When that extra pink line appeared on the pregnancy test, my heart sank and I couldn’t force a smile to play around my lips. Baby, you are our little surprise and, well, it was a big surprise for mummy seeing that positive result on the pregnancy test.
I’m sorry I wasn’t happy to find out your life was sparking inside me, the first thing I could think about though was how hard my life may be about to become. I saw that line and memories from hell flooded into my mind, memories of the awful time I went through after your big brother Alex was born. I had postnatal depression after Alex arrived in the world, I was sad and overwhelmed and anxious and I cried most days, often more than once a day (often more than three times). My mind backed me into some pretty dark and scary places, I lived every day in a bubble of anxiety and it took me a long long time to get better. I was probably on my last stretch of recovery when we found out about you. I had been taking my medication for about 10 months, I had learnt coping strategies, was asking for help when I needed it and I was happy. I felt like me again after feeling like a terrified child for so long.
When the pregnancy test told me about you, that’s all I could remember: the bubble of anxiety, the depression, the guilt and the loss I’d felt over not being able to enjoy your big brother when he was a baby. I forgot about all the good things that I was going to get to experience with you: the cuddles on the sofa, the soft coo’s and gurgles, your first smiles, the smell of your little head and the love. Baby, the love you will make me feel, it’s that kind of love that hits you like a bus and makes your heart swell so big you swear it is going to burst. I can’t wait for those things again, I really can’t.
I’m trying to focus on the positives of you, on all the good that you will bring when you are born. I am trying my best not to be scared but it’s hard. This fear is difficult to describe. I feel like someone who once stepped into a fire they weren’t expecting to be there, some roaring flames caught them off guard as they stepped through a doorway. It hurt, the fire was unbearable on their skin, they turned and ran as far away from it as they could. Help was given to heal their wounds, although the pain lingered on for a long time. Eventually they started to feel better and promised themselves they would never willingly walk through that doorway again, they avoided it at every cost. They tried not to think about what had happened to them as it reignited the pain as quickly as a fresh flame to the skin would have done. That’s how I feel. Post natal depression was the most painful experience of my life, I didn’t expect it at all and I had convinced myself I wouldn’t have another baby as I didn’t want to find myself in that turmoil again.
Yet, here we are, 16 weeks of you growing inside me and it’s only a matter of 24weeks until you are here in the world with me. I can’t pretend you’re not real anymore, this was my only coping mechanism in those early terrifying days, to pretend that you weren’t real. My belly is growing and stretching, I’m tired, my boobs hurt and in the last couples of days I have started to feel you move, your loft kicks and stretches feel like butterfly wings fluttering against the inside of my skin. I’m pregnant, you are real, I have accepted that now and I am trying my best to keep positive. Some clever famous person once said the only thing to fear is fear itself and I refuse to let fear of what may or may not happen stop me from enjoying this pregnancy, from enjoying feeling you grow and to stop me from feeling excited about you joining our family.
Like I told you at the start of this letter, I love you so much baby. You may be a surprise but you are very much wanted. I can’t wait to hold you and kiss you and tell you I love you. I’m just a bit scared, that’s all, you won’t believe it but even mummies and daddies feel afraid sometimes too.
Keep cosy and warm in there baba, I can’t wait to meet you in July.
If you enjoyed this post you may also like to read other posts about pregnancy over in the pregnancy section of my blog.