It is difficult to admit that something you have yearned for desperately has been a struggle.
Ever since Little Miss H has been a few months old, I have wanted a second baby.
The miscarriages that followed just made my desperation for that child more intense. Each loss took us further away from our longed for second child. But each loss made me more determined that we needed to become a family of four.
During that heartbreak I would never allow myself to hope that I would be where I am now. Almost 35 weeks pregnant. And with the finishing line in sight.
If I had allowed myself to see this pregnancy in my future, then I am sure that I would have seen a pregnancy full of joy.
The reality has been very different. And it is terrible to say that something you wanted with every fibre of your being has been a struggle.
The anxiety and fear of the first trimester was overwhelming. I couldn’t feel excited or happy about being pregnant. Any scares or scans filled me with fear. I expected to be told that we had lost the baby. And even though the scans were always positive. I could not help but feel that we had been here before. That we were stuck in a terrible loop that we could not escape from.
The 12 week scan left me in physical shock. And at that point we announced the pregnancy publicly. But I still could not relax. The tears weren’t so frequent but the anxiety would not go.
I only truly began to relax after I had passed 24 weeks and knew if our baby decided to arrive early then he would have a chance.
But I now find myself feeling very emotional once again
I am impatient with Little Miss H. I am irritable with Mr H. And I cry at some point on most days.
Mornings have become increasingly difficult. And on some days I struggle to get up and face the world.
I wish that I could crawl back into our comfy, warm, safe and inviting bed. And spend the rest of the pregnancy in a healing and numbing sleep.
Sometimes the enormity of being pregnant with our second baby feels overwhelming. Especially after everything we have been through to get here.
But the arrival of Little Mister H approaches and I have decided that I don’t want to feel overwhelmed anymore.
I have accepted that I am struggling and that this pregnancy has been difficult. And I know that I need to admit how I truly feel.
Not out of shame, or a desire for sympathy but because I am sure that I am not the only woman who is feeling this way. And if you do share these feelings then I want to throw my arms around you and give you a big hug. Because you’re doing great. As am I.
But I know that the only way I can defeat these feelings is by acknowledging them and accepting them for what they are. They are negative feelings, they are not facts and they do not control my life.
So here I am admitting that I am struggling.
I am struggling with pregnancy.
I am not as excited or filled with happiness as I was when I was pregnant with Little Miss H. Although I love the few bits that we have bought Little Mister H I am reluctant to fill his room with all his tiny belongings. And I know that I haven’t allowed myself to bond with my unborn son in fear of the heartbreak of losing him.
I am struggling as a mother.
Poor Little Miss H is already being neglected. She is not receiving the love and attention that I wanted to give her before Little Mister H’s arrival. Instead, mummy is impatient, snappy and often emotional. There have been too many PJ days and too few trips to the park. And CBeebies in on the TV all the time.
I am struggling as a wife.
I am not giving Mr H the support he needs and I am not pulling my weight. Every day the house is a tip. I can not get motivated to do all the dozens of chores that need to be done before Baby Boy is born. My default settings are either constant moaning or crying.
I am taking and taking from my wonderful husband and not giving anything in return.
I am struggling as a daughter, sister, family member and friend.
There have been forgotten birthdays. Messages I have not replied to. Phone calls that I have not made.
But mostly, I am struggling because I am fearful.
I always knew that pregnancy and being a mum would not be easy. That even though I am on the maximum dosage of antidepressants, I still have an extremely high risk of having pre or post natal depression.
And I fear that this may be the future ahead of us.
I was lucky with Little Miss H. I seemed to survive unscathed. And in some ways becoming a mother made me stronger and helped me take greater control over my mental health.
Maybe this difficult pregnancy has rocked the boat. Maybe this time I won’t survive unscathed. Maybe this time the odds aren’t in my favour.
And I wonder what that will mean for us as a family. And I am fearful. For my unborn child. For my daughter. For my husband.
I don’t want us to start this new chapter fearful of the black clouds overhead.
So I am doing the only thing that I know will destroy that fear. I am doing what I need to do to take control.
I am reaching out for support.
I am asking for love, understanding and patience from my husband, daughter, family and friends.
I am asking for additional support from my midwife, health visitor and local mental health services.
My midwife and my health visitor will visit me weekly for as long as needed once the baby is born.
I am looking into having Cognitive Behavioural Therapy once again. As a I know it can give me the mental tools that I need to survive daily.
And in writing this, and admitting that this pregnancy has sucked and that at this moment life is tough, I feel like I am taking control. I am pushing the fear away and I am doing what I need to make sure I can cope with whatever life throws at us.
And in a few weeks time when Little Mister H is born, I am going to love him so much. The excitement that I have kept at bay will escape and I will be filled with joy and love for my growing family.
And the wonderful reward of being able to welcome our sweet baby boy into this world will be all that matters.