Sometimes the Birth of My Child Feels Like the Death of Me

During the nine months I grew my baby, I grew a second heart.

One body, housing two hearts... Each with its own beat, making a little soundtrack there inside of me.

For nine months, my body created a little heart – it’s still hard for me to process – adding a little to it day by day, a little here, a little there to make it whole… to make it grow. And as his grew, mine did too… to hold each new hope dropped inside, there for my little one.

During the nine months, my body constructed that little heart, painting winding paths that stretched throughout its body. My dreams for my baby stretched too, lengths beyond measure.

“I grew that. I made it. It’s mine,” I thought.

Until it wasn’t.

After nine months of growing two hearts, I had to let one go.

Growing hearts is a funny business. I’m not sure if you gain one or lose two.

Because sometimes, it feels like I gave my heart to someone else. No matter what I think or do or say, it beats for another. I plan and sing and laugh and weep for someone else. I live and breathe for someone else. And somehow there’s not so much air left for me now. Not for the old me.

I grew a baby but I died a death. A little bit. Somewhere inside of me.

Some of the old me I lost because it wasn’t important anymore. Some of the old me, there just wasn’t time for.

“Take care of yourself,” people tell me. “Self-care is number one.” But aren’t I? That heart beating outside of me… I grew that. I made it. It’s mine.

I’d forget to shower, playing with my little heart. I’d forget to eat, reading to it. I wouldn’t plan or sing or laugh or weep unless it was for my little heart.

Except sometimes… Late, in some small corner of the night, I remember the person I used to be. I try to bring up that person who had plans – who would sing for herself, or laugh and weep just because. I wonder if she ever existed, where she was, how to reach her. Was it real?? I would try to bring up memories. What she thought of, why she laughed, how she felt. But all I manage to remember is now trapped inside my photo album. The feelings, the thoughts, the dreams… They’re just too distant.

Don’t get me wrong, I know about gratitude. There are so many women out there trying to conceive, dreaming to grow that little heart… to plan and sing and laugh and weep for another. I know I’m lucky to be able to do all of that. It’s precisely why my heart beats for someone else.

Years later and I can’t stop it. That’s just how I’m wired, I guess.

I know I should end on a positive note. I should say how it’s all worth it. But I won’t. Not because it isn’t. But because I also need to grieve.

Somewhere inside of me, I died a little death. And if I don’t recognize that, I don’t think I can find myself again.

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