The other day Julia came into the house sobbing. She had been playing outside with Elise and Nelson. She climbed into bed with me and through her tears tried to explain her problem. "I want to become a mermaid," she said, "but if I do I'll never see Elise again, and I'll be so sad." Then she buried her face in my shoulder and wailed. I lifted her head and tried to reason with her. "You can't really become a mermaid, sweetie. So you don't have to worry. You'll always be Elise's sister." She pushed her face back into my shoulder and continued to lament through muffled weeping, "But I really want to be a mermaid and then I'll have to swim away because that's what mermaids do and then I'll miss Elise so much." She looked up at me with her mossy green eyes looking like little swamps of misery. And in that moment I understood her terrible angst. Her problem was completely irrational but it made total sense to me.
Lately I feel like swimming away too. Expecting baby number three should be the most exciting thing in my life right now, but with all the nausea, fatigue, and hormones it's been hard to embrace it as a blessing. Instead I feel like disappearing to a time and place when I felt healthy, happy, and carefree. And yet I know I'm blessed, so when I have these thoughts it makes me cry. How can I be so selfish?
Unlike Julia, I've been unable to get over these feelings. While she stopped crying five minutes after her breakdown in my bed, I've been wallowing in feelings of loneliness and self-pity on and off for weeks now. I've been unwilling to read any pregnancy books or consider any baby names. I've avoided sharing my pregnancy news with those I've yet to tell, and I'm shockingly despondent when people who do know ask me if I'm excited.
Of course I realize that my body is going through a lot of changes right now. I think that the hormones must make you think and act differently. In a few weeks, I'm pretty sure that I'll feel happy again. But for now I'm going to climb into bed and cry over my predicament: I want to be someone else right now. And yet if that happened I would surely miss the life I have in this moment. It's completely and totally irrational, but it makes perfect sense to me.