Saturday, November 28, 2009

Honestly

So this is a challenging post to write. Mostly because it's probably not what everyone wants to hear. But it's going to be honest. I know there are some blogs that I enjoy a lot- those that are honest. And honestly, life isn't always a box of chocolates. So here we go...

You know what? I didn't want to be pregnant this year. You want to know how that appointment for the ultrasound actually went on Wednesday? Here it is.

I ran and swam that morning. I was so distracted and distraught about the upcoming ultrasound on my run home from the pool that I tripped. Over nothing but the asphalt. And I fell. Right on my shoulder. And I cut my chin on the road. I was an absolute mess.

Scott met me on the way to the clinic. As we drove there together I cried. I told him there was no good way for this to come out. I did not want to be pregnant. I did not want them to find a heartbeat. But what woman wants to go through a miscarriage? How could I possibly hope for a miscarriage? What kind of monster would I be? I cried some more.

I kept myself together for most of the appointment, though I was silent and stone-faced when the tech excitedly announced that she could see something. She must have thought that I didn't understand or something because she kept saying, Congratulations!! I couldn't reply to her. Instead I just pursed my lips together as the tears flowed down my face.

I know all this is probably unbelievable to some of you who try and try to get pregnant. I can't imagine how hard that must be. All I know is that for me, the girl who gets pregnant even when she is actively trying not to, fertility sucks.

Eventually I did want to have another baby. But I wanted another year alone with Moana first. I wanted more time so hopefully we could move out of this 2 bedroom condo and into a house with more room. I wanted another year to capitalize on my fitness and race again. Just one more year before I sacrificed myself again for the sake of expanding our family.

Instead, part of me feels like there's been a hostile take-over of my body. Call me selfish, but I really like having my body as my own. Sharing it with another growing human being is tough, and requires sacrifice. It's so tough that it really would have been nice, for once, to actually plan and prepare and try to get pregnant. Instead, I am required now to sacrifice myself while this Scrappy little baby grows and grows, and I grow along with it.

In the end, I know I will be happy. I will be happy to hold my little baby once he or she is born. I will be happy that Moana gets to be a big sister. 5 years from now, I will be glad that I had my two kids close together so hopefully they can be good friends. But for now, I appreciate the text I got from Jenny after my ultrasound. She told me to give myself permission to be pissed off. So while I will not wallow in a pity party for myself for the next 8 months, I am taking some time to let myself feel how I feel.

Wow. Honestly? This post wasn't that challenging to write. I guess when you write from your heart it all just comes flowing out. Thanks for listening. And I hope I didn't offend anyone. I just had to get this out because if I didn't, and just pretended all along that I was thrilled to death to be pregnant again, I would feel like a fraud. Be assured, I will love this baby, though likely more after we are done sharing a body. ;)

37 comments:

DR said...

i think we all have feelings like that...especially with the hormones! after my daughter was born there was like a few days where i wasn't even sure if it thought she was cute...and i hated myself for that.

thanks for your post and your honesty.

cherelli said...

hey Michelle, seriously it's a relief to read that all is not rosy when everything you planned for gets diverted by a pregnancy...I may be hoping to get pregnant but half of me is terrified at sacrificing my independence and goals to produce a child(to a fair degree)...my dad promises me that my mum was the same til the hormones kicked in (which gives me some hope); here's hoping that things come around for you mentally sooner rather than later, that you enjoy your time with Moana and Scott for the next 8 or so months without feeling too tortured having your body taken over. Great honest post, best wishes.

The Chapples said...

Thanks for your honesty, Michelle. It is terrifying to have so little control over our bodies. I agree with Jenny - let yourself grieve for the loss of your plans for the coming year.

Heather said...

Thanks for your honesty. I kind of know what you were talking about because I was pregnant as surprise with Angeline and hated the people who acted as if not being over the top happy was somehow cruel to those who had trouble... Allow yourself to feel what you need to. It will all work out as you mentioned, but that doesn't mean it's not hard now

Lizzie said...

I have very similar feelings to you Michelle - and I'm not even pregnant yet!! All my friends have raved about it and I definitely feel the 'eyes on me' even if nothing is said. I did have one friend though who the second time she got pregnant said that she was happy b/c this would be the last time and she hated being pregnant. So you're absolutely not alone and shouldn't feel ashamed or unvalidated in how you feel. Thanks for being honest!

Mnowac said...

If you can't be honest here, on your blog, where you write and share your life to mostly strangers, where can you be honest? Your friend who said to give yourself permission to be pissed off is very wise. Congratulations on this scrappy little baby though, he/she is a fighter just like their mom and you will love them all the more for coming out of the unexpected, out of nowhere and clinging on. GOod luck with the rest of your pregnancy.

Running and living said...

Michelle, I am glad for this post. I think women are rarely honest about how pregnancy sucks, how breastfeeding sucks, and how being a parent is such a sacrifice and difficult task! I think it is one thing when you chose for that to happen, and another when it just happen..your body doing something that your mind is not ready for. I think allowing yourself to be pissed off is the best way to move forward!

Angela and David Kidd said...

I totally understand. I'm going to be pissed when we get pregnant and because I have some fertility issues ours will only be planned. It's a huge strain on your body, then there's the first three months of no sleep and you were in amazing race shape. It's all worth it in the end but it sucks in the beginning. For some reason many women aren't willing to talk about the fact that childbearing is also a burden. But no doubt when you see this little boy (I'm convinced scrappy is a boy) you will be head over heals in love.

Nitsirk said...

I totally understand. I think if I were to get pregnant right now I would feel the same way. I am enjoying having my body to myself and finally feeling fit again. It's hard to give up so much of yourself for so long. You have been through a real emotional roller coaster these last few weeks. Hang in there.

Katie said...

I totally agree - the best thing you can do right now is let all those feelings be there, pretty or not. Probably if you tried to make yourself feel like you "should" feel, all these feelings would only grow and come out later in some more painful way. Feelings aren't everything, but when they get treated like they're either everything or nothing, I think that's when they actually make trouble.

PS - I think even people who really wanted to get pregnant have these kinds of feelings from time to time, if they're honest.

Jennifer Harrison said...

Michelle, IT IS OK. And, I knew this is how you felt..IT IS honest and just because you were/are upset is FINE...you don't owe anyone any explanation. And, this is from me - who struggled for awhile to get pregnant and then used fertility (hence the twins) and was on bedrest for 8 weeks, blah blah....Not many know my fertility struggles b/c it was before blogs (twins will be 8 in January). But, that is OK....just because one woman wants a baby doesn't mean the next woman SHOULD as well.

MOST women want their bodies - I get that. There are not many things better than siblings that are so close in age....long term, it is amazing. My sister and I are 16 months apart and I know my sister was an 'accident' (she is the younger one) and my mom downplays it now (of course) but it was a strain to them financially too - they were in their early 20s AND my dad was in Vietnam in the war.

So, it is ok to be sad for a bit - of course. But, you had a great year and did just amazingly super racing and training = and after Scrappy is born, your next season will be JUST an amazing and I will help you get all your mojo back and get back into 100%++++ shape in no time!

xo

endurancegirl said...

another vote for "Thank you so much for posting". I also feel like it is completely looked down upon to not be 100% excited and know that when the day comes for me, whether planned or excited there will be a part of me that doesn't want accept it and let go of certain things. Your honesty is so refreshing...you've definitely challenged me to be honest and not worry what others will think.

Elizabeth A. Rich said...

I am with everyone Michelle! I love that you are so honest with your blog and it's great to hear that everyone's lives aren't so peachy. Each day we go through a series of different emotions and I think many people are afraid to talk about the unpleasant ones... but we are only human and sometimes we need to realize that we have ups and downs. Thanks for being so candid and I will learn from your experience!!!

Megan said...

They said it. I'm saying it too. Thank you for sharing this.

Regina said...

We can't help how we feel about a situation, especially when it is unexpected. Your feelings are real and valid. I also might add, understandable. It's so hard to, as you said, share your body (really more like give it up) and if you breast feed as I did, birth isn't the end of that sacrifice. I struggled for so long to get my "life" back as I saw it. For the first 7 months after my son was born, I stood in the shower every night crying and asking myself "what have I done? I don't want this life."

I guess what I am trying to say is, most of us have been there at one point or another. And as you say, you finally adjust and accept, but for now, you have to feel the way you feel and know it is ok. Your honestly reassures us that we aren't the only ones who have felt the same regret.

Trisaratops said...

I'm echoing the crowd here but thanks for posting this.

I felt similar things with my first pregnancy--I felt worried and scared that I wasn't "enjoying every second" of being pregnant, that I missed my long runs, that I hated my hips getting huge, and that everyone told me how wonderful it was to be pregnant. I just didn't feel that way AT ALL. I felt selfish for missing these things and not feeling like pregnancy was awesome and super fun and isn't this just the BEST?

Then, throw in there the guilt from the fact that Matt and I basically just LOOK at each other and get pregnant, while many, many of my friends were suffering from rounds of miscarriages and infertility, and I felt HORRIBLE. I started to really despise myself a bit.

Then I realized that these were MY feelings, that everything has a way of working out in the end, and that I didn't owe anyone an apology for anything my hormones were making me feel or do. I think I'd be in your same boat if this baby I'm pregnant with now wasn't planned and I didn't have "one more season" to enjoy being a mom of one and racing, too. But know that things will somehow work out in the end--you are right, you'll look back on this in a few years and be so glad that Scrappy made up his/her mind that NOW is the right time.

Hugs!

Alili said...

I SO appreciate your honesty. Hubby and I were one of those couples that took years to conceive and I had come to the point where I 'knew' that it would never happen and eventually we'd adopt. And then there were 2 lines. And I was thrilled and absolutely pissed at the same time. My body image was suspect to begin with and I was finally getting to a place that I was happier in my own skin. Every plan went out the window and all of the self-confidence went with it. Your attitude and honesty are a breath of fresh air - so THANK YOU, as a new mom to be THANK YOU for keeping it real.

Rebecca DeWire said...

Being pregnant is hard enough, I can't even imagine what it must be like when you weren't planning on it. Then throw on top of that being a competitive athlete, and it makes everything even more challenging. It would be one thing if your hobby was knitting and you could just continue while pregnant, but when you are a triathlete...being pregnant turns your world upside down.

Clare said...

you can be pissed and still love scrappy. if there's one thing you seem to be able to do, it's multitask! my only words of comfort are, MAN that first year went so fast, so i'm sure time is speeding up and scrappy will be out in no time. and you'll do another ironman while i still haven't broken 10 miles! but continue to be honest...it's good to read and makes us all breathe a little easier knowing other people feel these things too.

N.D. said...

I completely know how you feel. Period. I'm trying to adjust also.

H said...

You're in a good place, you're the fittest you've ever been, you've just competed in the Ironman World Championships, life couldn't be better... I see exactly why you don't want this to happen...just yet! Coming to terms with exactly how you feel and why you're feeling it will make the process easier along the way I'm sure. Your honesty is there to keep yourself real, this is who you are and it's refreshing. You know, we know (even though some don't actually know you) that you'll be an amazing parent to your second child, just the same way you are to your first, but right now that seems a far cry from the athleticism of your daily life. Stay strong and plan your come back the second time around :) x

Molly said...

There's no way anyone could begrudge you your feelings about something so intensely personal. It wouldn't be fair. I appreciate your honesty! I'm one who does not intend to ever have children and I know I'd have a lot of negative emotions if I ended up pregnant!

Ange said...

pregnancy is tough tough tough. I remember sitting on the floor, holding my first born, Crying and crying because my time alone with just him was over. I know that's just one piece of it for you. You are an amazing athlete. Your body is rock solid. It's hard to lose that. But here's a little secret....you'll be Faster after you have this baby and get yourself back. It won't take you long. I mean look at what you Just did! Kona LESS THAN a year after Moana!!?? that is amazing. Let yourself have these feelings and with time..you will be ok. You know, I have 3 boys. (And this is a bit different but ....I'll share and maybe you'll get something from it.) I have 3 boys. I secretly wanted a girl. I thought I would DEfinately have a girl by #3. How could I NoT? Right? I had "bad feelings" when I found out it was a boy. I was sad. I cried. And that felt mean!! I felt like a bad Mom. When my baby boy was born, my 3rd boy, I realized that he was jsut right. I can't imagine if Nick wasn't Nick. It's perfect to have 3 boys. It was meant to be and I am SO happy with it now.
You will find peace in this but it's great that you could share and get it out there. Allow yoursel to feel.

trifitmom said...

there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with your feelings.

GoBigGreen said...

I cant say I have ever been pregnant, bc I havent. But I can also say that there is nothing wrong with feeling like you do. Just as Jen said, you will be back in no time, and a few years from now you will be thrilled to have siblings so close in age. I had 3 siblings and I loved every minute of having them around ( haha, usually!)
Hang in there and again, you do not have to feel bad for feeling as you do.

DC Running Mama said...

I have to admit that this was a hard post to read, but it would be hypocritical of me not to say that there weren't times in my much coveted pregnancy that I hated being pregnant. As everyone else said, we all go through periods where we wish we weren't pregnant. I guess the flip side of this is that after you have "scrappy" you can be done and won't have to think about your next "off" season and can just concentrate on getting better and better.

The Salty One said...

If we all loved being pregnant no one would have ever invented birth control :)

Life is complicated and things can be both wonderful and horrible at the same time. I am happy you are honest and it makes me feel better about my own feelings and my own inner conflicts.

Hang in there. Scrappy will be a beautiful baby and the 7 months or whatever you have left will be a distant memory.

Mary IronMatron said...

Oh, Michelle. Like so many women here who have commented, i get it too. I had two unplanned pregnancies--and the last one--like you-came when my second was not even a year old. It's okay to be pissed and sad.

Kathy said...

Hey Michelle!

If someone gets upset with you, your blog or your feelings....then I would question their friendship. Your a great person, in many ways and your integrity is what more people need.

Love you and know that I am thinking of you.

Kath

Katie A. said...

A little late to the party but...thanks for sharing this. I really appreciate it. Your feelings seem so right on. We have put off trying for a family for the same reasons: I am just not ready to give up my body.
Go ahead a sit with your anger and pain. It will all work out in the end because you are a strong woman. And quite frankly, you make cute babies!
Thanks again for sharing...I really enjoy your blog and your honesty.

Alicia Parr said...

Not the same as your situation at all, but to be perfectly honest, I felt guilty for getting pregnant so quickly. I know many that try and try and spend lots of money trying some more. And we did it the first month we tried. A big part of me thinks that labor was so difficult in part due to this guilt.

I agree with the others who say FEEL YOUR EMOTIONS, no matter what they are. No good comes from burying them and there is tremendous release when you share. You can think back on this moment during Kona 2011 and think, wow, here I am again kicking butt this time with 2 little ones. Consider yourself in training for THAT moment. :)

P.S. I understand the disappointment after working so hard to get fit and in shape again. I would feel the same way, but you got back in shape SO FAST after Moana. You looked better at 3 months post partum than I do now at nearly 15 months post partum. I wonder if I will EVER be able to wear a two piece again without having people want to pluck their eyes out when they see me.

X-Country2 said...

Are we being honest today? Because I'm hopping on. :o)
Honestly, I'm one of those struggling to get pregnant people. I just spent thousands over the last month trying to make a baby and will find out on Sunday if it work or not.

I hate that I can't do this on my own. I hate that we had to resort to trying to make a baby in a bright, cold, exam room with my husband in a chair across the room and 2 medical people shooting me up with stuff. I hate that I checked my phone a bunch of times this weekend to get updates on you at work, at home, and at the millions of appointments I had to attend. And I hate that I'm so terribly jealous of people like you that I didn't always wish for good news. (What kind of person does that make me?!)

I totally agree that you're allowed to be pissed. It's a big, expensive, disruptive deal, you're right. But once the dust has settled, revel in the excitement. Revel for me because the other side is a million times worse, I promise.

Jennifer Yake Neuschwander said...

Thanks for being honest. Say whatever you want on your blog. It's your blog and your feelings. I think if you write how you really feel it makes it possible to start dealing. People never hold back when they tell you how you should feel or what you should think. That makes it really hard.

Charisa said...

I think it's great that you even realize you didn't want to get pregnant this past year - most people wouldn't let themselves think that. It's healthy.

jessica said...

OK, so I'm reading this as someone who 1.) struggled with infertility before being told I was "a lost cause" (yes, a Dr. used that phrase) and 2.) was an accidental baby, born a few months after my parents' married at ages 19 and 21. I have to say, there is absolutely nothing offensive or irritating about what you're saying. As a mom, I wish we could all be so honest, and as a daughter, I wish my parents had talked or joked about their fears rather than making it feel like a secret.

So, basically, you have enough to think about without worrying what others think :)

MamaFeather said...

Thanks SO much for sharing your story. I hated being pregnant and the thought of doing that again make me queasy. Moana + Little Scrappy are lucky to have such an awesome, honest mom who relishes her life and independence.

Angela said...

Michelle, this was me during my first pregnancy. It was an accident (unplanned) and I had the hardest time adjusting to the idea of it. I couldn't enjoy it because I secretly didn't want it and was scared to tell people. So I understand what you're going thru and as you said, the feelings will change once you meet the new addition.