Thursday, February 23, 2012

Just How Deep the Denial Goes

I've had a few people ask me lately if I've started buying baby items yet.

I'd love to say yes.

To say that I'm confident in my pregnancy and I've started buying onesies and bibs and cute baby outfits.

But the answer is a resounding no.

Not a thing.

I haven't even looked.

I haven't walked through the baby section.

I haven't stepped foot in a baby store.

I haven't browsed baby clothes online.

While many things have changed for us as the pregnancy has progressed and my husband and I are now able to talk about the baby, there's still a bit of denial going on that we will actually have a baby come August.

We've managed to set the pregnancy week that we will sell our Olympics tickets, we've decided when my husband will discuss paternity leave with work and we've set midwife and ultrasound appointments through March.

But we haven't talked names, we haven't cleaned out the nursery, we haven't looked at furniture and we haven't bought any baby items.

I don't even mark my calendar with anything farther than the next week in the pregnancy.  As in I hit 15 weeks pregnant yesterday but I have not yet written 16 on next Wednesday.

Pregnancy is still a here and now concept and still too hard to put into future context.

But just how deep does the denial go?

Have you guys heard of  Designer clothes for cheap?

Well, just a week or so ago Citizens of Humanity was having a sale, so I bought some jeans.

Let's think about that for a moment.

I was 14 weeks pregnant and I just bought a pair of non-maternity jeans in my regular size.

It didn't even occur to me that they wouldn't fit.

It didn't occur to me that I would be growing OUT of things like jeans and it probably wasn't the time to buy regular jeans.

They arrived yesterday and guess what?  They don't fit.  Not even a little bit.  

My husband looked at me like I was crazy when he saw them sitting on the kitchen counter.  

"Are those maternity jeans?" he asks.  "No" I sheepishly reply.

"Do they fit?" he asks.  "Of course not." I say.

I can wrap my brain around being pregnant IN THIS MOMENT RIGHT NOW.  But I have a little trouble when it comes to thinking about the pregnancy IN THE FUTURE.  Obviously it did not occur to me that my pregnancy would be progressing and that regular jeans would not fit.

I thought I was doing so well, but perhaps I still have a few hangups to work out.

It's a little sad.

I find myself commenting on other newly pregnant after a loss blogs, saying "it gets easier with time." blah blah blah.  Like I'm so wise just 7 or 8 weeks farther along than they are.  And while it DOES get easier emotionally, as in I am not constantly worrying about losing this baby anymore, that miscarriage obviously still has a hold on me and I can't fully come to grips with the possibility of this pregnancy going full term, let alone an actual baby resulting from said pregnancy.

What can I say?  Your brain does some funny things in an effort to protect itself from damage.

To everyone else pregnant after a loss, it IS easier as time goes on, I promise, constant thoughts of miscarriage have all but vanished, I have a moment once a week or so when I'm convinced the baby is dead but I think that might actually just be a normal pregnant woman thing and not specific to my pregnant after a loss situation.  I am WELL past where I lost my last one and thus have nothing to compare the rest of this pregnancy to and have no reason to assume things will go awry.  

But I DO have trouble with the concept of pregnancy and a resulting baby mentally.  And I don't know when or if this will go away.  When I see a picture of how big a 15 week old fetus is inside a body I am perplexed, IS THAT REALLY HOW BIG THAT THING IS ALREADY?  Maybe all women feel this way?  I don't know.  But there it is.

I'm still scared I won't have a baby come August and apparently I'm still deeply in denial about needing maternity clothes and baby stuff.

I know I have a long way to go yet before things like naming the baby and buying it clothes become a dire need but in the meantime I should probably concentrate on buying APPROPRIATE clothing for myself and maybe quit buying non-maternity clothing?

One thing at a time.


  1. Ha. Though I have managed to buy a few things, after doing so nearly every time there is this feeling of tempting fate or something. Seriously, why does IF and loss have to be such a huge mind efff??

  2. I've been wondering when I'll actually be able to think about my due date without a "hopefully" in front of it, etc. Thanks for posting about this, at least now I know that it's normal to have trouble grasping it!

  3. I have no advice as I'm still working on becoming pregnant, but I wanted to say that I think what you are going through is completely understandable. The mind and heart take time to heal from anything, big and small. A loss like you experienced is up towards the huge end of the emotional toll scale. I don't think you should rush things. Let yourself be cautious. Let things slowly fall into place. You'll find your way to maternity pants when you find yourself eyeing your husbands as a viable option. :)

  4. I bought a bib at 10weeks, then at 16 weeks I bought 3 onesies, last week (21wks) I bought another 3 onesies and a snowsuit... I think it takes time for our heads to catch up with the rest of us. I won't be buying any nursery stuff till after viability, and not painted the room yet.

    As to maternity clothes, I bought a pair of maternity leggings at 15wks, and they were amazing, I bought 2 more pairs at 18 weeks, still need to pick up some tops though :)

    It does get more real with every ultrasound, and now I feel him moving everyday it really helps. It does seem the standard answer but it's true, as your pregnancy progresses it gets easier to accept this could actually work out *hugs*

  5. Oh, sweetie, I've been there, too! I know what it feels like to be pregnant and then NOT. There's an innocence about pregnancy and motherhood that you never get back. When we finally got pregnant again, I was a complete wreck during my first trimester, and my second only got easier once we had the ultrasound at 20 weeks that said everything was fine...that SHE was fine. After that I felt like I could breathe, but it wasn't until around the 24-week mark that my mom and husband sat me down and said it was time to start working on the nursery and preparing.

    I just couldn't let myself HOPE that it would all work out. It was too painful. But it DID work out - and I have the most beautiful little wildebeest of a toddler I've ever seen.

    Have you talked to your midwife about this? Mine was amazing and really helped me to process what was happening, both in my head and in my tummy :)

  6. Seriously! Almost all posts you write I find myself nodding my head and saying, me too! LOL

    The main difference in this post is that I have not had a miscarriage. But I am finding that after trying for 3,5 years, the reality of actually being pregnant is still hard to grasp.

    Only this week did I buy the first baby things since I've been pregnant: some (brand new) cloth diapers at a second hand store. And within the next week or so, I'll be buying a used crib from a coworker. So, definitely not a bit spender, but it's something. I know Hubby won't be wanting/willing to buy stuff for a while (until it really really sinks in, I think) and I agree, as we'll be moving in 3 months, so it'll be easier to not have to move extra stuff.

    As for maternity clothes, I have thought about it a bit, but I just hate clothes shopping, so it hasn't gotten done yet. And the one bra I've been using is still decent. I'm worried I'm going to get even bigger! Ack!

  7. i think the weekly "oh my god! my baby is dead!" freak-outs are totally normal, in the latter part of pregnancy, i would poke and prod at winston anytime he was still (sleeping) terrified he'd died.

    Also, no need to rush, the whole nesting thing will kick in and make you go nuts in preparation. And if not, again, no worries, babies are soooo easy, especially if you plan to breastfeed and co-sleep. some diapers, wipes, a beanie cap thing and swaddling blanket or two (or three in case of spit-ups and/or diaper leeks - if you go the cloth route). mostly the clothes are just cute, in warm/mild climates all you really need is the blanket. Even little girl newborns are easy, all the bows and barrettes etc are just cute fun, not necessities.

    oh, yeah and hautelook has some cute onesies right now btw... ;)

  8. yeeaahhh...I felt the same way until probably 18 weeks. I held off buying things forever because I was in denial. I still wish I had waited even longer, like viability, to buy the things I did. For obvious reasons, but I wanted to at least enjoy part of my pregnancy! I think what you are going through is a natural path that we take as IF'ers. I am sorry you aren't able to fully immerse yourself in this pregnancy yet, but it will happen. Give yourself a break and you'll find your way. At least that is what I am hoping for.

  9. Don't forget 85%! The odds are in your favor. Okay, buying jeans in your regular size is kind of funny. At least you have something to look forward to AFTER the delivery and weight loss, because you will give birth and bring home this baby!! :)

  10. I just tried to comment on your post and blogger just rubbed me of all my text...

    Ok so here we go again. I just read your comment on my post and went to read yours which I had not seen. So funny we are writing about the same thing at almost the same time in pregnancy. Talk about collective experience... I have thought about whether it's denial or fear as well. But the more I think about it the more I think it might be more to do with the brain just not having registered the new reality yet - the new identity has not been formed yet. For me at least it has been sooo many years of living with the identity of not being able to get pregnant, that it's gonna take awhile to reprogram....

  11. I am right there with you in those thoughts. I've been wondering when I will relax a little and enjoy being pregnant but also when will it fully register? I mean it's weird and hard for me to think that there will actually be a little human being come August. I don't know these thoughts must be normal because I am feeling exactly what you have described.