I’m pooling in guilt. Guilt. Everywhere.
I am guilty of feeling neglectful to both of my children, one of who has yet to even arrive.
I halfheartedly read bedtime stories at night and grit my teeth while my daughter flops around on my lap, pushing the baby sideways inside me. I pray that she drops off to sleep soundlessly, that she does not need my comforting because I can’t wait to lay her down and be able to breathe again. There is little room for her to fit on my lap right now, my guts push into my throat, turning a once savored ritual into nightly torture. And it is only getting worse. I am so uncomfortable, I push her to the side. I keep pushing her aside.
I am running out of room for everything. I am running out of patience. Of endurance. Of time. I am just running, toward or away from what I don’t know. Rushing, pell-mell, harum-scarum from one thing to the next, and suddenly, I am six months pregnant. Six.
With my first, I celebrated the passing of each week. I counted her kicks, read developmental books religiously, rested my hand on my belly for 90% of the day. I focused on being connected to my pregnancy the ‘right way’. I never laid flat on my back. I purchased every baby-wrap, sling-thing, I read the owner’s manual of her car seat from cover to cover, I inspected my breasts as regular intervals to make sure they were gearing up to do their job. I never bathed in water over ninety degrees. I rolled my car windows up on the highway to seal myself away from harmful vehicle emissions. A moment never passed in which I forgot I was growing a life inside of me. I was a committed pregnant woman.
I am guilty of being too busy to commit to this pregnancy. I am a mom now. I am packing lunches, finding panties, cleaning bath tubs. I am grocery shopping and vacation planning and life living. I am winning small battles of toy-picking-uppage, I am combing through hair lines for ticks, smearing SPF 70 on still-soft skin. I am cooking and cleaning and laundering. I am too pregnant to be the same mom I was before. I am too much of a mom already to be as good at this pregnancy as I was the first. I’m half-assing everything. I am worn. I am worn the fuck out.
I need a remedy for my guilt. I need a serum, an elixir, an answer to why I can’t just be an every-woman. I need this to be over so that I can get our life back to its organized chaos. I am so tired of being this tired mom. I am so tired of being pregnant.