To the pregnancy I wish I had,
So long, prenatal yoga classes. I will miss the Sunday restore class instructor who sized up my bump, week by week, the most.
I bid adieu to the cute maternity clothes I would have worn to the office, to dinner with friends, to the baby showers. Now, I seldom wear anything but leggings, as I dress for work-from-home Zoom calls and the occasional trip to the grocery store.
Farewell to the third trimester chiropractor and acupuncture appointments. I would have had proper posture and no stress, emulating those “glowing moms” I follow on Instagram and going into my final weeks feeling like a queen.
Good-bye to the physical touch I longed for during the “mommy spa day” my husband had booked. Instead, I dream of the massage and facial and of hands rubbing my aching feet. I would have told our future son or daughter how their dad pampered me.
After our disastrous attempt at a “babymoon” in Tulum several weeks ago — a towed rental car, heat stroke for him and food poisoning for me — I told myself we would make up for it. Maybe we’d take a weekend trip to Taos or Jackson Hole in the spring. No more.
I cried the day I realized we would not be traveling to Ohio to see our family and friends, who were throwing us a baby shower. Weeks ago, I had convinced myself that if we could not fly there, perhaps we would drive. Again, not happening.
My heart aches to not see our moms. For them not to see my growing belly or to feel the baby “kick.”
There was a short window of time when I clung to the baby shower with our “Colorado family” in Denver. It was going to be fun and light-hearted — there would even be booze for everyone except me (my request)! Okay, okay. You get the point.
I feel guilty to mourn the pregnancy I had imagined. I feel vain for having pined for such experiences in the first place — to stay fit in yoga class, to relax during massage, to squeeze in one more pre-baby trip to a favorite mountain town. Because I know those experiences weren’t necessarily for the baby or in the name of being pregnant, but because they were for me, too. For the woman I still am, before the baby comes.
Those desires I yearned for might have been superfluous, but I lust for them, nonetheless.
What is it like to be pregnant in a pandemic? It’s as though I’m standing on the edge of a cliff, looking into dense fog, searching for the pregnancy I wanted — the one I had hoped for and imagined since that crisp October day I knew I was pregnant, a lifetime ago. Now, I can’t help but wonder if I will want a second child if not for the pregnancy alone, to make up for the experiences I’ve lost in this one. I know that should not be the deciding factor for bringing another life into the world, and I admit that it is selfish of me.
In those moments, when I feel bad and in the dumps, I remind myself of other moms around the world. Those who live in war zones. Those who live in the pits of poverty. Those who are in refuge, looking for their next home. Because I know. I know this could be far worse.
But this is how I feel today, as I grieve for the pregnancy I wish I had.