Looking back, it’s almost embarrassing what I didn’t know when Mr. R was born. I remember while I was pregnant, Jed and I went to Las Vegas for a getaway trip. On the drive back, I can vividly feel the weight of the parenting books stacked on my lap. I had thought the drive would be a great time to read them aloud with Jed, so he and I could learn together how to be parents. I opened one, started to read and had to stop. I opened another one, tried to read and had to stop. The tears came in torrents. The open pages whispered failure and I was completely overwhelmed with all that I should know, all that I didn’t know. My deepest wells of reserves were engaged in a soul searching process of convincing myself I was worthy of having this child, that I could do right by him…let alone how to crochet new burp cloths for him and the best classical music to play him in the womb.
Needless to say, I didn’t read any parenting books. I didn’t read any parenting blogs. In fact, I don’t even remember talking to Jed about parenting or planning or anything. He worked a ton and later (like many years later) he told me that he was afraid he had broken me. We had gotten married and I was so full of life, energy and plans and now… well, I was nothing like that.
Although he never vocalized his fear to me then, it’s silence hung between us, my struggle and his, and the dance we did to try and grow in tandem into this new stage.
I remember walking alone through Babies R Us, at this huge warehouse store, and having no idea which baby carrier was better, which bedsheets, to boppy or not to boppy. I guess I shouldn’t have laughed at those human development majors in college – karma really is a b*#%!
Sometimes I wish I could go back and redo. Go back more settled. More sure. Do more of the normal 1st time pregnant things. Ask for more help maybe. I think people assume there are people helping you. But I needed to ask for more help.
Perhaps if Grace includes a time to try again, Mr. R and I can revisit and I can do better by him. Maybe Jed and I could have talked more instead of bearing the weight of our fears alone. Maybe that is what I believe is signified by Grace and becoming whole in another life – the chance to do it like you wanted, instead of how it turned out.
So when I learned that I was pregnant with #2…I knew exactly what I was going to do this time.
Ask for help.