My clothes don't fit, my life as a mum doesn't fit (like a slightly-too small sweater, it didn't have time to get comfortable, was returned too quickly, and I'll live my life wishing it had come in my size), and I certainly don't want my new life as a baby loss momma to get to be all to comfortable. I want to move on to be one of the success stories which motivate me to power through all the dark days. I want someone just starting out on this terrible journey to see my words and realize things will get better... That there is still hope, and light, and maybe even joy to be found in life- I'm not there yet.
I want to be surrounded by my children, hunkered down on a cold morning eating breakfast in our pajamas. I want to chase them around the yard, scooping them into my arms before we crumble to the ground in a fit of laughter and tears.
But wishing for it doesn't make it so.
I still don't understand how we got to be here. How it is I have come to need to make due in a life where my skin doesn't fit. Where my life doesn't fit. It's an uncomfortable life, full of difficult situations, questioning faces, pity and despair. I am not this person.
I can't pretend like this didn't happen- I would never want to. I remember when I was pregnant, people would tell me to make sure to moisturize my stomach to prevent stretch marks (ha, like that even works). I remember diligently doing so until my first few began to appear in the later stages of my 2nd trimester. "Oh well, it's not like people won't see my baby and know I'm a mom anyway", I would tell myself. Now? My stomach is ravaged by stretch marks which appeared while making the best thing I have ever made.
My stretch marks might be the only thing which would identify me as a mother to strangers who might observe me in a bikini (not gonna happen anytime soon...). Scars to remind me that this journey really happened, that I really did grow the most beautiful little boy.... One who lived nearly his entire life within me.
My husband reminds me there will be more, if he has anything to say about it. Stretch marks on top of stretch marks, he says.
I did everything right. Save for a few friends, no one knew we were expecting until after the first trimester. Even then, I kept my secret close to my chest and didn't want to show my cards too early. Bad things happen when you get too confident, I told myself.
I silently counted down the days until viability day at 24 weeks, managed to hold myself back from buying the stroller, the crib, the dresser and rug until 28 weeks, didn't get the nursery painted until nearly 32 weeks... All of these things, ways of controlling my anxiety... Not wanting to get too excited for something which was wanted so very badly, but I feared wouldn't happen. "You're silly, and you're over thinking it", I was told.
I bought the best of everything I could. We spent 4 hours painting Jack's nursery. My sweet boy lived in clothing gifted to us in his first few short days, not getting the chance to wear the things his mommy procured for him in anticipation for his arrival. He now wants for nothing. All those things? I didn't need them.
I have closets full of clothing meant to cover a tiny little body, drawers full of wipes and diapers to change his little bum. I have lotions and potions to calm his skin, and toys to sing sweet lullabies to ease him to sleep after a particularly difficult day. I collected these things, as I went along my path of pregnancy. How could I have ever known it would end like this?