I can’t sugar-coat it all…

Flowers&house

My heart aches for warmer days and an old house with far away neighbours.  Wide plank floors and a wooden screen door off the kitchen.  A big wrap around porch perfect for iced tea and late night chats.  Tall trees perfect for naps in hammocks and summer picnics.  A pond and an old wooden rowboat.

Pregnancy takes me to such a dark and melancholy place.  Instead of filling up with guilt and hating myself for feeling what I'm feeling, as I did in the first pregnancy, I am rolling with the punches and sinking into the warmth of it all.  Instead of wishing for this time to feel as miraculous as it actually is, I am tasting each and every aching morsel of it and just allowing everything to flow through me.  Hot tears fall while inadequacies bubble up and intermingle with belly laughs and a calm strength.

I would like to say that I have learned to love myself more since the last time, but I haven't.  My body is creating a human life complete with a spirit and all of its little teeth yet all I can do it look at how puffy my face looks and how dull my hair is.  I always manage to put myself off with the lie that I will learn to love myself later; when I am done with pregnancy; when I am thinner; when my hair grows out.  I would never lie to my husband or children the way I lie to myself nor would I deny them my love as I repeatedly do with myself.

Heather wrote about pregnancy as a long sea voyage we take to be united with the sweetest of souls and some of us just get more seasick than others and I like that way of looking at it.  It made me think of the words I wrote early in my last pregnancy: "…the juices and hormones slosh around as I lay shipwrecked on the bed the way nature intended perhaps for a woman to surrender fully to her body.  It brings her to her knees and reminds her that nature is in fact running the show…"

I am slowly realizing just how much I live and do for others while trying to fit it all into my own truth.  Perhaps it is the plague of an only child who never had a sibling's bad behaviour to distract people's attention from my own.  I began this blog to be a happy go lucky space for crafting and creating, but I can't deny the ugly stuff that still bubbles up and I can't help but put it into words.  And oddly enough, people respond just as much, if not more, to the truth and reality.  Everyday I learn how to be more real and honest despite the reactions I get and writing gives me that.  I can't write about perfect pantaloons and the gratitude without sometimes writing about the frustrations and the darkness.  I can't sugar-coat it all…it's just not who I am.

e.

P.S.  I so appreciated your encouragement with regards to the repeat c-section vs VBAC debate and would love to hear your detailed stories if you are willing and able to share.  Please email me at applesforpoppyanne@hotmail.com

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26 Comments

  1. Posted January 21, 2010 at 11:32 am by bright and blithe | Permalink

    Oh, my heart just aches for you. I was wretchedly sick 24 hours a day for the first four months of my pregnancy. There is no feeling quite like it. It’s indescribable. Hang in there, and thank you for being so candid. Blogland needs more posts like this one.

  2. Posted January 21, 2010 at 11:44 am by Desiree Fawn | Permalink

    I really think that it’s beautiful in its own right that you can take the crummy feelings you are having and put them out like this instead of masking them, or swallowing them whole.
    I think a lot of us mama’s try to do it alone & sink within ourselves to find strength that can’t always come from within.
    Hang in there & I’m sure that the happy feelings will come back — especially once you see your little Poppy & your baby Poppette together!
    Much love!

  3. Posted January 21, 2010 at 11:44 am by rae | Permalink

    i think our writing and our thoughts are kin today.
    though i’ve got no babe in the belly to help make sense of me… (insert crooked smile here). be well, sweet girl.

  4. Posted January 21, 2010 at 12:33 pm by heather | Permalink

    yes erin. resisting makes it worse. you are doing crazy intense soul growing work, that is all about one breath at a time. and long hot showers where you just sit on the floor of the shower and feel a tiny bit better for a short time, and your baby is all about whatever it takes to keep you breathing, one breath at a time. your baby loves it when you cry too. crying clears your body and your field so beautifully and you both relax after. i will write more for you on my vbacs, k? maybe a dialogue would be fun.

  5. Posted January 21, 2010 at 1:26 pm by annie | Permalink

    I love being a mother and raising a child. Love it. But I didn’t love being pregnant. At all. It was crazy uncomfortable and I threw up so often for so many months that my esophagus didn’t fully heal until my kiddo was three. I could never get on board with the whole “pregnancy is so blissful and beautiful” stuff- it was hard work for me. Worth it? Yep. But nobody’s idea of a good time. Thanks for being so honest- I think it might help relieve some of the latent guilt that many of us feel about our own struggles with pregnancy.

  6. Posted January 21, 2010 at 3:18 pm by Internetweirdo | Permalink

    This is the first time I have commented on your blog. I just wanted to pass on the quiet thoughts from some weirdo off the internet who really enjoys reading your blog (and, if it makes you feel any better, I was pretty envious of – and inspired by – your love for your daughter while I went through a year of undiagnosed PND after my second baby was born and couldn’t bond).

  7. Posted January 21, 2010 at 4:19 pm by Annette | Permalink

    I got this note from The Universe this morning. It’s def for you too.
    “Dear Annette, (and Erin)
    What if funky, confusing, gray, lonely days were just part of a “system” that, in turn, created bright, rich, happy, friendly days?
    What if they were just meant to give deeper elements of your creativity a rest?
    What if they were deliberately crafted holidays, of a sort, devised by your inner psyche to relieve you from the pressure of artificial expectations?
    Would you still bemoan them, wonder what’s wrong with you, or fear that they’ll never end? Or, Annette, (and Erin!) would they kind of tickle you pink?
    You party animal, you –
    The Universe”
    Also, sugar-coating is so lame. I love blogging for cultivating and creating the things that bring us joy, make us content and give energy to the happy things we want to grow in our lives- but when it delves over into some contrived desperate competition of who is the more perfect, handmade, serene, crafty, organic Goddess of everything then I lose interest entirely. When your blog has those elements in spades, it’s real, beautiful and I rejoice for you because you don’t manufacture some trendy crunchy image but live this awesome authentic life. You tell it like it is, wonderful and not so. I, for one, hope you always will because I think you’re awesome no matter how you’re feeling. I’ve always said that your light shines through even when you’re feeling shite. You just can’t really see it right now, and I know what that’s like. I just hope you’ll trust that it’s there.

  8. Posted January 21, 2010 at 4:50 pm by JoAnn | Permalink

    The first time I ever read your blog a few years back on xanga, it was the most raw, real and honest entry I had ever read. I was hooked. Life is a quilted collaberation of great days, good days, blah days and outright crappy days. I for one relate most to those that share that, like me, they are human and their quilt is just as varied as mine. 😉

  9. Posted January 21, 2010 at 8:30 pm by Amanda | Permalink

    this morning i got into the car to find my 7 year old crying. he had a sad daddy goodbye today. “it’s okay to feel sad. just feel it. a new emotion always comes along to take its place.” i am also trying to practice what i preach!

  10. Posted January 22, 2010 at 9:41 am by Kate | Permalink

    Thank you for giving me some company. I so appreciate your honesty and vulnerability. You are not alone! It’s o.k. to feel this way — it really is.

  11. Posted January 22, 2010 at 9:55 am by AW | Permalink

    OMG the whining is driving me crazy! Do you think you’re the first person to be sick while pregnant? Just be glad that you’re not having to get up and go to work as well as care for other children.
    There is no reason that you can’t exercise while you’re pregnant. I did with all of my children until the day they were born.
    You were beginning to fool with with this blog, pretending to be maternal, but alas, the old Erin is back.
    You’re not dead your pregnant. Quit feeling sorry for yourself!

  12. Posted January 22, 2010 at 1:34 pm by Annette | Permalink

    Hey AW- since when is anyone here claiming to be the first person who is sick while pregnant? I didn’t read that anywhere, did you? A person is allowed to be as real and honest as they’d like in their own personal space and if you’re somehow annoyed by that- for reasons having nothing to do with Erin, but your own unresolved bitterness- then I don’t know what to tell you except for move on. And wish all of us whiney humans well and that we could all be as perpetually upbeat and NEVER inclined to vent and seek support like you must be.
    God forbid someone vent in their online JOURNAL. What’s more, I’ve seen a lot of gratitude and optimism in this blog which is one of the reasons I love it so much.
    As for the post in question- is it whining or resolving in an honest way to be where she’s at in the best way she knows how? P.S. Everyone’s experience is relative, and you know, it could be possible that pregnancy is kicking Erin’s ass in a way that’d be impossible to understand because…oh, that’s right, you’re not her! I guess you hadn’t considered that!
    And ‘pretending’ to be maternal? What an asshole thing to say. Shame on you.

  13. Posted January 22, 2010 at 3:38 pm by apples | Permalink

    Charming AW
    e.

  14. Posted January 22, 2010 at 4:49 pm by AD | Permalink

    Dear AW,
    Coming from someone who
    loved being pregnant, I feel nothing but sympathy for Erin. Everyone experiences pregnancy differently. She’s not whining, she’s explaining how she feels…something you obviously feel the need to do as well! There’s no reason to go on her blog and be a bitch. Go vent to someone who cares what you have to say…because I don’t think you’ll find anyone here who does.

  15. Posted January 22, 2010 at 5:41 pm by Vic | Permalink

    wow.. you can find stupidity in some of the strangest places.
    Ass is a good word.. I have a couple more of my own I could add, but they’d be wasted.. because Asses never see themselves as they really are. Maybe they don’t have hindsight??
    And btw Erin, I do Not like the way your hormones take you to dark places during pregnancy. I don’t see that as being totally normal. I hope your doctor/midwife/medical person is on top of this.
    You’re a good person luv, we only have to look at Poppy to know that.
    xx

  16. Posted January 22, 2010 at 6:39 pm by Ana | Permalink

    Ignore the comment, love. Life is hard and takes it’s toll on each of us in different ways. You are doing the best *you* can, even if it’s often not happy or comfortable. And sometimes doing the best we can even means *not* doing our best some days. What’s that quote from Plato… something like “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”.

  17. Posted January 22, 2010 at 7:56 pm by Beth | Permalink

    AW – go troll somewhere else, this is not the place for your hate or ignorance.

  18. Posted January 22, 2010 at 11:36 pm by Katy | Permalink

    sending you love, love, love… and 3 cheers for being real :)

  19. Posted January 23, 2010 at 11:42 pm by M | Permalink

    Shame on your hormones for putting you through hell and shame on a blogger who continues to read and then tries to rationalize YOUR emotions with hate and contempt. Be strong, soon you will have YOU back, and a beautiful babe to make it all worthwhile. Thank you for being real.

  20. Posted January 24, 2010 at 7:33 pm by naomi | Permalink

    Erin, just take one day at a time, maybe one hour at a time. It is ok for you to be where you are at right now. During my second pregnancy I worked in a health food store and passed the slow hours by researching conditions including, of course, nausea during pregnancy. I found that it can sometimes indicate low vitamin K and low B6. I also struggled with depression during and after my pregnancies and found that a B multi helped. I won’t write here about other natural and safe ways to deal with depression but feel free to email me.
    PS during my pregnancy the craving for an old house with plank floors was so overwhelming that I successfully badgered my husband into moving and as beautiful as the house is, I am much lonelier than I imagined I would be…which is hard for a soul already predisposed to melancholy. I hope that you sleep, deeply and well tonight(which means that I hope that Poppy sleeps well!) and wake up feeling strengthened.

  21. Posted January 24, 2010 at 10:18 pm by heather | Permalink

    who is AW? you know this person? i would have deleted that shit! but how nice that annette comes in and tells him off. i am so sorry you’re getting messed with. but you also seem like you may not be letting it in? all u need to be doing is breathing. it’s seriously that hard for some of us to grow a baby. much much love! h

  22. Posted January 24, 2010 at 10:20 pm by heather | Permalink

    oh, and it’s a her. so crazy!!!!!! she is on a big fat ego trip.

  23. Posted January 25, 2010 at 2:29 pm by Jeannette | Permalink

    Ah, Erin, what a breath of fresh air! I am so glad you’re letting this be real and sharing this with us. The-world-is-so-fabulous-all-the-time posts were getting old. Now, this is not to say that I think you should focus on the negative and let yourself stew there. I do believe that we bring more of what we focus on into our lives. I wish for you more shiny days than gloomy ones…. more laughter than tears.
    Do you have a naturopath in your area? There are lots of great natural remedies for elevating mood and your sense of well-being but I don’t know what’s ok during pregnancy. You could invest in a light box and change the light bulbs in your home to full-spectrum light bulbs.

  24. Posted January 26, 2010 at 9:57 am by Lil | Permalink

    I like your honesty. It’s true that sometimes on the blogosphere the oh-my-god-my-life-is-so-perfect posts can get old. It is refreshing and inspiring, but sometimes it feels so far from real life that I’ve got the impression my life is shit :o), or that i’m just reading a nice (fictional) book. So, thanks for sharing some of your bad times too.
    But I agree with Vic : hormone fluctuations can be rough, you should tell some medical professional about it before you really get badly depressed.
    Concerning AW, I admit that a good kick in the ass can be useful sometimes (and I bet this comment lifted your mood a little by tickling your warrior side, and then by all the nice comments you got after AW’s isn’t it ?). But, the kick-in-ass technique is very tricky and the most efficient kicks are given by close friends.

  25. Posted February 2, 2010 at 10:22 am by Bev | Permalink

    Well, not sure if you know this or not but I am a labor and delivery nurse and I ended up having a c/s with Jane, after hours of pushing,and opted for a repeat with Jack rather than try a VBAC. I have seen successful VBACs, even had one yesterday at work. Many VBAC attempts end up in the OR again, docs don’t like to gamble with them much. It really varies from mom to mom. Most successful ones are moms who have already had a vag delivery and end up with a c/s because of some other issue in another pregnancy. If only we had a crystal ball…
    Good luck with whatever you decide.
    As someone who has taken care of hundreds, maybe thousands, of pregnant women, all pregnancies are different and everyone’s experience is justified and true for them. You are a positive, honest and loving soul. Those little seeds can make us miserable, as you know, pregnancy is not always a state of wellness. Be well and find your silver-lining. Maybe you need some sunshine too…xo
    cousin bev
    P.S. I think A.W. must stand for “A** Wipe”. (Would be very un-March-like of me to omit the humour, haha!)

  26. Posted February 11, 2010 at 11:16 am by a friend | Permalink

    I just stumbled on this blog today, and noticed the 1/25 note about the AW post, and had to read the comments to find out what that was about. I’m appalled that someone would have the nerve to post such a hateful thing on another person’s blog. If you don’t like the blog, why read it? And more importantly, why contaminate someone’s day with a mean-spirited comment? That is not only hurtful to Erin, but to all the other people who obviously love the blog and are appreciative of someone “keeping it real” by documenting her own feelings. Erin – I didn’t read your post as “whining” at all, just expressing feelings. Feelings are never “right” or “wrong. I hope you aren’t ending the blog because of some jerk that is having a bad day, or a bad life, and wants to take it out on you. Keep your chin up, it is courageous of you to share your life and thoughts with the Universe, unfortunately there are some bad apples out there that feel the need to disparage others in order to make themselves feel superior.
    {big hug}

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