Irony is how when you become pregnant, everyone around you spends the next nine months “preparing” you for how hard and how tough it is to raise a newborn, and how miserable you will be when you lose massive amounts of sleep, how distasteful it is changing diapers and taking care of an infant, how you’ll never have a moment alone, ever again…
…And how truly unhappy you are when you don’t get to be awakened every couple of hours to feed them. When you don’t get to care for them after spending the previous nine months arranging your life to accommodate them. ‘Hard’ is deciding whether or not to start getting rid of all the baby clothes you were given. ‘Tough’ is coming home from the hospital, walking into your bedroom and seeing the forever empty crib, or watching as your husband uninstalls the carseat and fights getting choked up as he puts it out of sight. ‘Distasteful’ is making memorial arrangements when all you want to do is forget, or calling the insurance company to tell them that their “congratulations on the birth of your son, he’s been added to your policy” letter is out of place and you end up bawling in the ear of the customer service lady.
‘Miserable’ is sitting in the waiting room at your doctor’s office and being surrounded by pregnant ladies and knowing they will probably never know the pain you know. ‘Miserable’ is watching other mothers comfort and care for their infants or young children.
‘Miserable’ is the moments spent alone.
Back when I was still pregnant, I wrote a blog post that highlighted an article about how so many people try to ‘scare’ new parents-to-be with all the gory little details and unpleasant caveats. About the sense of one-upmanship: “oh, so you think that’s bad…” And I can say with even more sincerity now that people need to Knock It The Hell Off. Because none of you know shit about what’s ‘bad’ or ‘hard’ or ‘miserable.’ You have no clue what I would give to be able to hold my son and be able to care for him. You have no idea how I would love to be awakened by his crying at three a.m. and be able to get up and soothe him. You only think you know ‘miserable’ and ‘hard’ and ‘tough.’
And that’s the definition of ‘ironic.’
I apologize if I sound a bit angry and/or bitter. I am, a little bit, at certain times, like when I think back to all the helpful “advice” I received that made potential parenthood seem like such a horrible trial. I am surviving the LOSS of my SON, my firstborn, my ONLY CHILD, and I can honestly say that if I am ever truly blessed with a living child to raise, nothing can be so horrible as what I have just gone through. I am walking through the shadow of the Valley of Death, and while I am scared to my wits’ end, I know I’ll come out on the other side.
It’s all about perspective.