Readers, forgive my musings. Most everything takes me back exactly one year in time. To a most significant and significantly painful time - Eli's pregnancy, birth and aftermath. One year ago Eli's already been born and I'm left to sift through the emotions and weight that his short life left me with. Now I am watching my stomach grow larger and larger by the day it seems and this only serves to remind me of my struggles last spring. The same struggles, with slightly different emotions, that I have dealt with after giving birth ever since our first son, Wyatt, graced our lives so briefly. Wyatt was our first child, my first pregnancy and my first experience with childbirth. Because we knew that he would not survive halfway into our pregnancy we never had the opportunity to prepare to bring a baby home. So my preparations for Wyatt's c-section included attempts to erase the memories of that pregnancy from my physical world. This meant packing away my maternity clothes before giving birth. It is a tradition I have continued with each and every child since, those living and those not. This baby will be no exception. I not only packed away the clothes but I took on the burden of losing my pregnancy weight, specifically my pregnancy belly, as quickly as possible. It was too painful to still look pregnant, to even chance inviting questions from well meaning acquaintances and strangers. Last year was no different except that I think, like during Wyatt's pregnancy, I indulged my emotions (grief, sadness, self-pity, fear) with food and I found that weight so hard to lose for many months. I lost the last pound of pregnancy weight when I got pregnant with this little one and since that was about six months after Eli's birth it has been a little hard to watch that same stomach which I had worked so hard to deflate puff right back up again. My internal mantra is to remind myself this one is different. That we fully expect to bring this baby home.
Those struggles have made me so much stronger than I ever imagined. To some they may seem petty but to me my struggles with maternity clothes and pregnancy weight are so closely intertwined with the complicated emotions of grief and child loss that they are major battles within the war.