Five deep breaths…I am this baby’s lifeline. Yesterday, I had a fender bender that I caused because I was too distracted in my mind. So often, I get asked, “How/why do you keep trying to have more babies? Isn’t the mental strain of it all too much?”

Fender bender - Carmen's Bump Day Blog, Week 17: Feeling Peppery

Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

Truth: The more times I go through it, it doesn’t make me stronger or more of an expert at all.

It rattles me like my “pretty hub cap.” I always think that it comes down to what I think I am able to handle, and I do know loss. However, it still freaks me out to my core with the anatomy scan coming up. I’m having full-blown panic attacks. I know it does no good worrying as I can’t control the outcome no matter what, but the unknowing is the hardest part!

I do take it day by day and have a team of supports, and I know how to look for them. Yet, I revert to my old ways of distracting and busying myself with volunteering, campaigns, and friend visits (all joyous things) while we wait. It’s dreadful, so I’ve filled up my plate too much, knowing full well I’m doing this I can’t help it I revert to what I know. What I know is until I know baby looks OK on that scan, I can’t help but keep building myself up to imagine the worst and knowing what the worst is!

I am feeling so many spicy feelings.

Last bits of summer at the beach - Carmen's Bump Day Blog, Week 17: Feeling Peppery

Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

I am feeling discouraged in wanting to do so much, and though lifting a little gives me this spurt of wanting to do do do, I’m still feeling the effects of exhaustion. With the seasons changing, I want to soak in every last sunshine before I know hibernation season is here and I get all moody. Rather than embracing the rest, I feel restless in wanting to “get it all in!”

Last bits of summer - Carmen's Bump Day Blog, Week 17: Feeling Peppery

Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

I’ve been feeling the itch to get everything organized as this nesting period begins in my second trimester, but it also allows me to go on these intense cleaning sprees (after I always feel better). I get started, and I just feel rage during the clean, knowing it will all end up back as it was.

Instead of enjoying this little time I have with my kids as now they are back at school, I find as they play and are making messes, I’m edgy about all this stuff that I have to attack later or worse, do as they are embracing the moment, rather than just letting them do and enjoy it, then harping on what we will have to clean up or put away later and immediately feeling guilty after. GAH! 

Dealing with mess - Carmen's Bump Day Blog, Week 17: Feeling Peppery

Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

I want to keep myself put together, and yet the mundane “sh*t” is the last thing I actually want to do.

Then being reminded when I mention any exhaustion or overwhelm when hubby says jokingly, “You know what’s really going to help with that? Another baby!” I want to show that I can handle it, and also I know he’s right. I can’t help but keep myself from boiling over while knowing I will welcome and embrace the chaos of this new baby as I’ve always done. It is just different somehow. These “nit-picky” things that I’m busy with now are only there to take away all the many emotions that are currently swirling in my very hot pot, which I know will melt away somehow (not every day mind you). When the baby comes, the fear of loss will go with it…I will only “really be okay” once I know this little 🫑 is alive in my arms.

Carmen's 17-week bump with a pepper - Feeling Peppery

Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

I don’t feel “strong.”

I’m terrified, and I don’t want to read too far into it if this is a premonition, because I didn’t fear it before the worst happened. I’m immediately sent back to my losses, not the good ones. I think of the kids being so attached to this little babe and think to myself, “How do I explain it again as my kids already talk like that? If this baby doesn’t die, right mom?” It’s woven in our core, this knowledge that it does happen and once you know it you can’t un-know it. With all the meditation, breathing, and support in the world, it’s one excruciating day at a time. Some days are OK, but every day just as thoughts of Kaia and Jude are, loss is always present.

We learn how to find a way to get through the days, but that ache is always there, and some days it takes hold of us, and you need a little jolt and crack to see what it is and name it as such. I seem strong on the outside (or whacked), but I’m overwhelmed most every day. Some days (most days, in fact) I just hide it better than others. 

Remember, sometimes we don’t know what’s happening below the surface or that there are seeds/waves (dysregulation) within, even when our outward expression may appear OK.

Until then, all spices are game (stomping my feet, time outs, grounding, gratitude, breathing, and all)!

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