Does pregnancy come with an instruction manual?

I think it’s about time I actually start writing again.

I am now 17 weeks, 5 days pregnant. The pregnancy came as a total shock. We got engaged just a few weeks before it came time to buy a home pregnancy test. We weren’t even sure this was what we wanted. But when it comes down to it, this baby is us, and it was made out of love. How can one deny that?

It hasn’t been all sunshine and unicorns though. Far from it. I’m not in the best place in my life right now. Seemingly, I had it all. All is gone now. I lost my job, my apartment, my independence, my pride. I am 1,500 miles away from my fiance.

This isn’t really how I imagined my first, and perhaps only, pregnancy. I certainly don’t need a white picket fence, but I do need a family. I want my fiance to see my belly grow, to be an active part of this pregnancy. I don’t want my current reality to be my child’s reality–ever.

I need to turn things around for myself — get my life back on track…for me and for baby. I know that. (And constant lectures from random people in my life do not help, thankyouverymuch.) I don’t want my baby to know his/her mother as the person I am today, as I sit her in front of this computer. I want him/her to see me as the person I was a year or two ago. When my fiance describes the girl he fell in love with, I think, Wow, she really was something special. I want her back. Getting there is the hard part…the part I seem to need an instruction manual for.

I don’t mean to be sad all the time. It’s a combination of all the lovely hormones brought on by pregnancy and my current life circumstances. People don’t think I am excited about this baby. I am, truly. S/he’s all I think about. I think about what an honor it will be to be someone’s mom. But I also have such a high level of stress and anxiety, that is all that is noticeable on the surface. I can’t bury it.

I’ve always had mountainous dreams and goals for myself. I’ve accomplished a lot of them, but right now I just feel a cloud of failure following me. I took a huge risk by moving to New York — I dreamt of it my entire life — and it didn’t work out. My confidence crumbled. Now I must put a lot of my dreams on the back burner and transfer my thoughts to what goals I have for my child. I’m okay with doing that, but right now I’m just a bit lost in my own life.

I often feel like I am all alone on an island. I look down at my belly and think about the beautiful baby growing inside of it, and then I look around and I’m completely alone. People occasionally offer advice (solicited or not) or comfort, but I often wonder whose support actually runs deeper than vocalizing it.

If I had just one wish right now, I would wish that I could come home to my fiance each and every day and he could hold me like he used to while he rubs my belly and all would be right in the world. I don’t need a lot of money or a lot of jewels…but that, that I do need.

6 Responses to “Does pregnancy come with an instruction manual?”
  1. Mama Mando says:

    I found out I was pregnant right after we got engaged as well. A little back story-my boyfriend got a job in California (we lived in Iowa) in March of last year. I was just starting grad school so I stayed in Iowa until I was done-which would have been this coming October. We had a long distance relationship, he came back to Iowa over the 4th of July, proposed and I actually ended up pregnant from that visit! I found out later that month, then found out it was twins. It was extremely difficult to go through all of that without him there. I quit my job, got rid of my apartment, almost all of my things went home with my mom and I took a plane w/2 suitcases of my stuff to Cali in September. I showed very early because it was twins so I couldn’t get a job. My fiance and I then got married court house style because we couldn’t afford to pay for health insurance for me on our own. I sat in a studio apartment for 8 months and cooked babies while my family and friends were across the country. We were extremely tight with money and I was so worried about the babies. My husband had a hard time interacting with my belly/the babies and rarely talked about/asked about them so I felt very alone.
    The second they were born it all changed. He’s the most wonderful daddy and everything worked out for the best. I know what you’re going through. I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life. My husband supports us but I am an extremely independent person and really need to earn a paycheck somehow. But I know I’ll eventually figure it out! Everything always works out like it’s supposed to…so hang in there 🙂

    • Erin says:

      I’m so glad you commented 🙂 A large part of the reason I started the blog was to find a release in my writing, but another part of me was hoping I could find *someone* who could relate to at least part of what I am going through. With you, it’s almost like looking in a mirror! I totally find comfort in the fact that I’m not alone.

  2. Michele says:

    First off, thanks so much for checking out my blog! And the first thing I thought when I clicked on yours was, “yes, she’s going to have a mixed baby!” I sometimes feel like I’m in a special club, and we always try and seek each other out. I started taking my oldest daughter to Gymboree when she was just a few months old (which if you have the opportunity to do, you should. In the beginning it is a great way to interact with other moms, and there are five of us that still get together once a week…almost two years later). Anyway, I look over at this little girl that has a whole head of hair, just like my daughter. And her mom and I start talking and we quickly realized that we are both married to black men. I adore my husband, and we were raised with very similar morals, outlook on life, etc., but there will always be that difference, and certain things that I won’t understand about being black. Right now this isn’t an issue, but I do wonder about it when the girls are older. Will I just be their “white” mom?

    I’m sorry that your situation in New York hasn’t worked out. I think your blog will help to vent your frustrations about what’s going on, and there are obviously a lot of people out there that have similar experiences. Once your baby is born so much will change, and really as long as you are present to love your baby, that’s the most important. Everything else (eventually) falls into place.

    • Erin says:

      Haha, I totally know what you mean about feeling like we’re in a special club (even though my baby’s not here yet!). Your family is beautiful by the way. Alik and I talk about how we were raised, our childhoods, our experiences, etc…and you’re absolutely right, though I can understand him, I can’t really understand what it’s like being black. One of my fears is that my child will see that difference and feel s/he can’t come to me or that I can’t relate to him/her.

      And my blog has already helped so much. Writing it out–getting it all out there–helps. And all the wonderful comments from different moms helps so much too!

      • Michele says:

        We talked a lot about that difference the first year we started dating (we knew each other for years before getting together so talk about marriage started fairly early). He has always said that they’ll never see the difference in our home. That may be true, but then I have to worry about what will happen outside the home! I am grateful that we live in a progressive area. It is somewhat of a bubble though. We visited his family in South Carolina a few years back and we clearly got some looks for being a mixed couple. It really was the first time I ever experienced it (outwardly).

        Writing it out is so helpful, however large or small you write it out. My youngest was born three months early last year. I kept an online journal to keep friends and family up-to-date. It was pretty much about the facts, not much exposition in the writing itself, but it really helped. Especially when people were able to comment on our all little milestones. What’s funny is that I don’t consider myself an overly cheery person, but I really stayed incredibly upbeat throughout the whole ordeal. I think I just had to, otherwise I would have fallen apart. That whole experience led me to my blog, which I can now, thankfully, focus more on the funny moments of being a mom.

        • Erin says:

          I think about that a lot too, how will my child be treated outside of the home? Of course at home with mommy and daddy s/he will be loved and we will be open about race, should there be any questions. My goal is to provide them with the tools and knowledge needed to negate any negative comments that may come their way.

          Alik was born in SC, lived there until about age 12, but we haven’t been there yet. We actually haven’t been anywhere in the South together, now that I think about it. We have been all over the North though 🙂 We used to get some nasty looks from tourists in NYC and even some comments from the locals, but whatcha gonna do?

          I agree about writing. Already, I’ve written some really deep things…things that I needed to get out. But in other posts I’m sarcastic…they’re more fun. No matter the mood, writing is something I genuinely enjoy and I’m oh so glad I decided to start this blog.

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    • 3,351 mamas since April 10, 2010
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