Who am I?
Ever since I got pregnant, my identity has changed. First, I was a happy yet scared yet miserable pregnant woman, who despite the misery that pregnancy caused me, loved that little baby inside of me with all my heart. After the "12 week mark," (what a joke) I made an announcement to the world that I was expecting.
Four weeks later, I was a screaming woman lying on a table as they performed an ultrasound and told me that my baby had died. Then I was a surgical patient as they scraped my deceased child from my womb.
Then I was a bereaved mother, whose grief had consumed her. And for the past 8 months, has consumed me. I read every single book I could find on miscarriage, stillbirth, grief, you name it, I read it. All in an attempt to understand this new role in my life. The mother to the proverbial angel baby.
Now I've become a woman consumed with trying to conceive. Such frustration I bear every month, as I chart my temperatures, check my cervical mucus and positioning, pee on ovulation predictor strips, trying to pinpoint the exact moment when conception is most likely. Only to be crushed 2 weeks later when my period arrives. I don't understand, when we got pregnant with Quinn we weren't even trying, we had only quit using birth control a month before. (And so HELP ME GOD if ANYONE suggests "You're trying to hard," "It'll happen when it's supposed to happen," or the wonderful wisdom of "just take a vacation with your husband, that'll do the trick!" I will punch you in the face!)
Basically, my whole last year I've been consumed with motherhood and all the joyous and not so joyous and downright tragic aspects of it.
But I'm tired of playing this role. Yes, it will always be a part of me, and yes, I will have good days and bad, but I just want to feel like myself again. But I feel I've forgotten how. I know I'll never be the person that I was before, and I wouldn't want to be. Though my baby died, he showed me I was capable of a deeper love than I ever imagined. But I'd like to know how to integrate these experiences into a life worth living, where I feel like there's more to my identity than just this.
I will always love you, Quinn, and I'm grateful that I've begun to be able to feel your presence, and that you're in a good place, my little adventurer, soaring through the clouds and zipping through the stars, seeing the Kyomizu-dera in Japan, the great barrier reef, the Sarengeti, all all the beauty this world has to offer. I love you more than words could ever express. But I need to be more than just your mommy now. I feel your presence is giving me permission to do so.
So I begin.