Somewhere in my heart there is a folder of images of the perfect pregnancy. I can see them clearly: bad days are spent cozied in bed with a book and whatever hot beverage comforts without sickening. Mornings after bad nights are calm and relaxed, and we set aside the hurry of a normal day to accommodate the rest this body needs. Good days have boundless energy to accomplish all the tasks that have fallen by the wayside on the bad days. Things are uncluttered and the children are never excessively needy or quarrelsome. I can enjoy the process of pregnancy, take care of my own, and look forward peacefully to the day the new baby joins us.
I can see it all so clearly that it’s unacceptable to believe that the images could be false or impossible. Somewhere, somehow, this glorious tenth pregnancy of mine exists–it must–but I can’t grasp it. Our days are not always easy. I am in physical pain. I am emotionally fragile. The children are human. Things I want to accomplish are left undone, again and again.
When I can’t achieve that ideal good, I blame myself; I get angry and progressively more miserable with my body and my emotions and the fact I can’t make this process match the possibilities in my head. What am I doing? I wonder. Can I ever do it again?