My pregnancy. I have not craved cupcakes.
But something inside me has been screaming and punching and wanting and losing control.
And it hasn’t been her.
(She is like her daddy. She is doing her thing. Just rolling around to say hello and hug me a different way.)
I found out I was pregnant exactly 6 months ago. The night before, halloween, I wore a spotted leotard and lace. I ate fried chicken on the highway at 4am. I helped push start my brothers truck on the dusty road outside the club before the sun came up. I rolled my eyes at men in batman capes and told my friends off for whinging. I slept with my head rested, just out the car window, all the way home. Wind in my alcohol sprinkled hair.
It’s is a serious business. This human-making.
At first I thought the shakes were because I missed my life. I thought the tears were because I was scared and I never get scared. I thought the anxiety was because I wasn’t the boss. I thought the anger was because no one understood. Me. Her. Us. Who we are, who we are going to be, ‘oh the places we will go’.
It’s a funny thing, being part of an eco-system. Everyone knows you best. Knows best. Everyone has their two-cents. All pennies and no peace. Just a filling fountain, full of falling coins.
So I began getting tired. And I never get tired.
I started looking up things on the internet.
‘Happy – people – pregnant – hormones’
‘Pregnant – sadness – but – I – love – my – baby’
‘Can’t – get – out – of – bed – pregnant’
And the clincher.
‘Prenatal – depression’
I suppose there are a few things on this planet I am terrified of.
Sharks. Mental Illness. Grief.
I will avoid all at any cost.
So I did my due diligence. I spoke to some experts. And no one else really. Anything with the ‘D’ word wasn’t something I wanted attached to my bubbly, happy-go-lucky, fairy princess title.
But. That in itself, is crazy. And completely unhelpful to this world. So I am going to come out from under the table here on my blog, my online diary. No woman going through this life-changing process should ever be ashamed to embrace all facets of it’s bewildering course.
“Although pregnancy is often portrayed as a time of great joy, that’s not the reality for all women. At least one in ten pregnant women suffers from bouts of depression. For years, experts mistakenly believed that pregnancy hormones protected against depression.They now believe that the rapid increase in hormone levels at the start of pregnancy can disrupt brain chemistry and lead to depression.” – BabyCentre Medical Advisory Board.
When speaking to a doctor, there were a lot of questions I didn’t understand. They didn’t carry much weight for me. I wasn’t a perfect fit for this condition. But something kept wanting to be said. It was something I couldn’t explain through answering questions about my relationship. Talking about my childhood. Responding to multiple choice about my feelings towards my child. The questions, more questions, questions and questions just confused me more. It just pushed the thing lodged in my chest, further down.
However, luckily – the words inside me have always been much more brazen than the world that tries to write them.
And there was something that wanted to get out and break the walls. Something that would make sense. Something inside me has been screaming and punching and wanting and losing control.
So it did.
Lady. I. Just. Need. Some. Freedom.
Not from her. Not from my baby ever. (Never ever again) Not from him either. Or even from them for that matter.
I Just Need Freedom From The Ghosts.
My ghosts. My family’s ghosts. The patterns. The past. The pieces. I don’t need any of it anymore.
It’s a breathtaking mosaic but I don’t need to keep polishing it. Carrying it. Reintroducing it. Explaining it to strangers. I don’t want to have to explain anything really. Myself in particular.
I don’t need the tattoos of other peoples decisions, the defences of my long-ago actions, this glittered armour I melted around me. It is heavy. And I don’t need it anymore.
The lovely doctor eventually said …. she didn’t think I should worry about the D word.
She suggested I just go get what I need.
So I did.
I started with a paint can.
A wall. My wall.
Truth is, I don’t think I ever missed my old life. I think I got confused. Without realising it, I was simply ready to create a new one.
Both inside my body … and beyond.
One that is the spun around a strong centre for me and her. One that provides shelter for him. I no longer need to build, or be, pillars under other people’s tree-houses.
So, when I am done shedding my skin, you will find it buried beneath the soil. You can go and visit if you like. I’d like that. It is going to be just to the left of the new verandah, beside the river. The one facing north.
It will be marked by the beautiful flowers I am planting alongside it. There is already a garden growing just beneath the surface. You don’t need to know the colours yet. Or how it will fit together.
Just come, sit and wait with me.