We are honored to share a story written by an AMMA community mama, Lynn Lai.
Pregnancies = 2, Live births = 0 was not something I ever expected to see written on my maternity notes.
I always thought motherhood was just something that would happen naturally, and naively, easily.
It’s all over Instagram and Facebook, right?
The baby announcements, bumps and gloss.
Little did I know. I wasn’t prepared for the guilt, feeling like I had failed in my one task as a woman, to bring life into this world.
I had also discovered this new place between expectation and reality which was a very lonely place to be in.
I shunned all social media and news of friends’ excited pregnancy announcements. How do they make it look so easy, I wondered.
How do they not worry? I feared I had opened a door into the unknown where being casually optimistic was no longer who I was, I had to find a new identity and means to cope with how I would become a mother, and how I would now embark on that journey.
Living in that chasm between expectation and reality, it felt like there was no way out. I couldn’t let anyone in, How would they understand? How do I explain how I feel? Even doctors would say just wait for the next one, it’ll happen again. But how do I know for sure that it will?
Losing myself to motherhood now would be a privilege, some threshold I’m waiting to cross but not knowing until I do, whether it will turn out ok. I want to run full tilt towards it and yet I hesitate. I don’t know if it’s a race that I can win, will I be able to cross the finish line. I worry about the most mundane things, is my bump growing big enough, why aren’t the kicks huge ones that make my belly ripple, must be the layers of insulating fat… I hope.
Even now, six months into this pregnancy, my Instagram and Facebook remain silent. No #babybump posts, just silence.
If I didn’t know then what I know now, would I have been carelessly posting pregnancy update photos complete with gender reveals and baby showers? Probably. But then I stop and think that I wouldn’t have realized how precious this journey has been. How it would have been so easy to take for granted the milestone of becoming a mother. After all, it’s something that just happened, right?
I guess I never really reflected on the fragility and messiness of life until this happened. I don’t think I would have created the inner space for myself and my baby that I have now, if not for the setbacks along the way. When it’s just you and your bump without the rest of the world weighing in, I feel like there’s now an inner calm which didn’t exist before.
Now, I don’t think I want to lose myself to motherhood so much as relax into it, like easing into a warm bath, and letting life take its course, because after all, there is only so much I can think and obsess about. With the rest of this remaining journey, I just have to feel and give myself up to the unknown and hope that in the end, I will finally be a mother.