It's not that I haven't noticed – I'm well aware that I'm settling into my second trimester of my third pregnancy and I haven't published a single word about it here.
So, hi. Hello. I'm pregnant, and I'm here. Ish.
I know well about myself that I'm no expert writer, communicator or expresser when I'm waist-deep in the madness of a thing, and believe me when I'm say I'm there, exactly—that I'm still so lost in that fog of confusion and incredulity that settled around me the minute I saw two lines appear on that pregnancy test, and that I see no discernible clearing on the path ahead. I'm struggling through depression, and I feel alone inside a great echo chamber filled with nothing but the sound of my own shocked gasps for air and explanation. Will I ever settle into the soft knowing that this isn't some strange fabrication of my imagination, or with the belief that this will end well? I want to.
I never expected to feel so empty about something that an earlier version of me wanted so desperately. But that's the crux—she who wanted this is no more. That woman wrestled endlessly with the grief of having the rug pulled out from under her feet, with the injustice of having no say in the way the days of her life panned out, and with adjusting to the normal she'd never've chosen for herself at all. It was a long string of days that were blessed, hard, joy-filled and petulant all the same.
Nobody needs to tell me how babies are made. I know how this happened; I just don't know how. I've been widely and wildly vocal in my coming to terms with my infertility. I've written about it for places like the Washington Post and Refinery29. My story's been featured on outlets like Cup of Jo and Babycenter. This wasn't me kidding around—this was me wading through the mire, thinking and feeling out loud and coming very much to terms with my own quiet acceptance that the doctors were right all along, that an only-child my dear, sweet daughter would be, and that, for better or for worse, I would survive this.
So bear with me as I wrestle madly and sporadically with the existence of this small and growing person inside me; and know that it's not that there exists no love or gratitude—I hold those virtues in spades—it's only that I've spent the past four years cloaked in my secondary infertility diagnosis, and the battle has been monstrous. I'm learning as I go that for we, the women who know this struggle well, the torment of such a thing doesn't dissipate upon receiving the blessed good news that life is growing and thriving inside us. There's residual numbness, broken hearts and bones, and leftover shrapnel buried deep within us. We've still got our armor on—and rightly so, as the storm is far from over.
But yet, here I am. Floating somewhere between 15 and 16 weeks along, amazed at this body of mine – that which, just maybe, never actually failed me at all.