Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Regrets

I have a terrible tendency to dwell on the past. I question my decisions. I wish I had said something else. I wish I had done something differently. I think about it all the time. To the point where I don't always appreciate the present because I am worried about what already happened instead of what is happening. I feel like I am not fully engaged in the present and that just gives me more to look back on and regret.

When I finally got pregnant, I wished I had handled infertility differently. I wished I had gone to an RE sooner. I wished I had found this blogging community and started this blog before my first IVF and not my third. I regretted not going to the support group sooner so I could have actually connected with people going through the same hell I was. Instead, I just kept withdrawing further into myself. I felt sorry for myself and very alone. I shut people out which only made the situation worse. I was completely emotionally detached by the time I started my 3rd round of IVF. I couldn't handle any more disappointment so I just shut down. I think I am still clawing my way out of that place and trying to connect with people and the world again. I got really used to keeping people at arm's length and I'm not sure how to let them back in again.

Now that I'm not pregnant anymore, I find myself looking back and wishing I had handled pregnancy differently. I felt really disconnected from my pregnancy a lot of the time. I wouldn't say I was afraid. Sure, I was painfully aware of how many things could go wrong, but I think I was strangely confident that it was going to work out. I held my breath a little at the beginning of each ultrasound until I saw both heartbeats, but I wouldn't say I was overly anxious. Or maybe I was and I just dealt with it by continuing to be a little (a lot?) detached. I wish I would have been as excited for myself as other people were for me. Why didn't I take weekly bump pictures like I planned? I wish I hadn't been so hesitant to talk about my pregnancy with the people who were constantly asking me about it. I wish I had blogged more so I would have a record of it all.

I have been desperately trying to remember how it felt to be pregnant. How it felt to carry around that huge bump. How it felt when the girls moved. But, I can't. I can't bring up the physical memory and that makes me a little sad. (I'm sure that's nature's way of ensuring the continuation of the species. I probably wouldn't feel nostalgic for pregnancy if I actually could remember how it felt.) It feels like such a distant memory now. Yet, instead of letting it go and moving on to the next phase, I dwell. I can't let it go.

I need to stop this pattern. I want to live in the present with my girls. I don't want to look back and regret that I wasn't fully present. I already feel myself starting to think of things I can regret (why didn't I get newborn photos taken? did I try hard enough to make breastfeeding work?). I am making a conscious effort to stop worrying about the past or the housework that needs to be done or how we are going to manage teenage girls and social media. I am trying to stop and enjoy this time. It's a crazy, exhausting whirlwind but it's going to be over before I know it and I don't want to miss any of it. I want to be the mother that they deserve.

I can't change the past no matter how many times I replay it in my head. I can only learn from it and try not to make the same mistakes. The fact is, everything that has happened to me and all the decisions I have made (both good and bad) have led me to where I am today. While my life is far from perfect, I have SH and my miracle baby girls, and I wouldn't change that for anything. 

7 comments:

  1. I am so glad you posted this. I am sorry that you have these regrets. Please know that sharing these thoughts can help some of us live the pregnancy to the fullest and remind us to enjoy it and document it!

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  2. Totally agree with Kimberly's comment. I hate that you feel this way, but you're right - you're so lucky to have your hubs and those sweet baby girls - you definitely know that in your heart of hearts and everything you've done or haven't done to this point got you exactly to where you are today :)
    xoxo

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  3. I am a person that can do this also. I'm an over-thinker. It's one of my best qualities in a way, and one of my worst.

    Perhaps it would be helpful to look at what living more in the moment would specifically look like for you? How would you know if you were doing it?

    I think regrets are a natural part of life. Learning to forgive yourself for your regrets is hard but worth it I think.

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  4. It's so hard not to be a little detached after everything we go through to GET pregnant. I think it's amazing you can recognize this about yourself though, because that is the only way you can change it! You have two beautiful girls and an amazing husband. You are right, time will fly by pretty quickly. I also agree with Kimberly. Thank you for posting this because it serves as a great reminder to ALL of us to not dwell on the past but to take the time to enjoy the present.

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  5. Thank you for this post. I am so guilty of this too. I spent too much time thinking if the past AND the future. But I've noticed on maternity leave I've been more present focused because this is all I have to think about. And it's a lot!

    p.s. I wish I'd done newborn photos too. But so expensive and so hard to plan!

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  6. This is human nature I think. It's so hard to attach ourselves to something when we know all to well what could happen.

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  7. I fight the same battle every day, but I think all moms feel it regardless of whether they had the fought through infertility. I certainly think there is a special kind of regret reserved for those of who who suffered from infertility and couldn't necessarily enjoy all pregnancy had to offer, but even after success, we have "mommy guilt" and unfortunately I think it is innate in us moms. All we can do is as you have suggested, recognize it and try to fight through it. It sounds like you are on the right track and this was a great reminder for me to do the same! Thank you!!

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