I feel like this is a silly thing to feel that I have lost. And I don't know if it's more of a symptom of the problem, or its own problem. But here it is: I wish I hadn't lost my first pregnancy at 25 weeks so that I could have had the whole thing...so that I could have seen how small I might have carried that entire first pregnancy.
I have been known to be a little vain. This looks like vanity. And then I just feel worse for feeling something so superficial and unimportant.
But I feel it.
A friend is 18 weeks pregnant and said she has "no belly to speak of." And somehow, I am jealous. Or envious. I get those too mixed up. I just started feeling bad about not getting my first, tiny pregnancy all the way through.
I look at the picture of me pregnant with Blue at 25 weeks, and even in
profile, I barely look pregnant. In the 3/4 view, pregnant.
And I know that you sort of get what you get, genetically, with carrying big or small, high or low, with gaining a lot of weight or not gaining a lot of weight. (So I'm not really sure why we think small pregnant women are so virtuous.) But we all know that you pop out sooner--and sometimes farther--in subsequent pregnancies than in first ones. And I probably spent more weeks wishing I looked pregnant that first go around than I ever actually was. (I mean did. Look pregnant.) Then the second time I kept trying to convince myself I didn't have an obvious belly at 22 weeks. And I feel like my first pregnancy, and all that goes with it, was taken away. The cute, tininess of your first time. The blissful, invincible happiness that after the first trimester everything will be fine. But I focus now on the physical difference. I wonder then, is that what I really missed out on? Or is this just another way I missed out on having that baby? And that's what I really miss...that baby. But I can't shake this feeling that I really miss not having the tiny pregnancy.
People still told me I was small in months 7 and 8 and beyond with
Sprout. Then I wonder, did my uterus stop stretching at that 25 weeks
point, so that I am the same size I would have been with Blue at 7
months, 8 months? Like I'm trying to convince myself that I didn't miss
out. But if that's the case then how could my uterus have been any
bigger at 22 weeks with Sprout than it was at the 25 weeks point with
Photo evidence of the difference. I actually wore those pants with Blue at 25 weeks (above), whereas with Sprout I just squeezed myself into them for the benefit of the comparison photos. The comparison photos that I now hate.
Why do I care so much about this? Even Mr. E, who has been so wonderful
and understanding about all these nuanced and confusing emotions, isn't
Another blogger said recently that she was still so angry for being shortchanged when so many other people weren't. (I won't get into how I'm jealous or envious or whatever about the fact that she articulated the sentiment when I could not.) I think that pretty much nails it. Why does my friend get to have her tiny pregnancy and I don't? Why do other people get to have six kids with no losses and no problems* and I lose my first and it shatters me? I envy people who can't seem to stop having children. But I don't even want six kids! I just want to have had my first tiny pregnancy. God, what is wrong with me?
I just feel like I missed out. And it isn't fair. The whole ordeal of losing a baby--it isn't fair. I think I am feeling that more acutely now than before. I am mourning other losses, the ancillary ones that maybe I never focused on before. And maybe they are important. Or maybe I am just having a narcissist's meltdown.
*I know I don't know their story. Maybe they had six losses to go with their six living children. But the people with six kids usually make it seem pretty easy to have six kids.
Here, let's look at 20 week photos: