Every pregnancy is different. I feel like that isn’t a secret for most people, but I don’t want to make that assumption. For some folks, it’s a surprise. I, for one, grew up thinking it would be fantastic. I thought I would smile all day long, every single day. That the joy of growing a human would put a bounce in my step. I would dash here and there, doing all of the things I had always done. Swollen ankles? No big. I’d just plop them on a pillow and fix that real quick. Morning sickness? Well, it’s called “morning” sickness, so it shouldn’t last very long. After all, that’s how it is in the movies, plus my mom didn’t even get sick with all three of us.
Oh, past me. You were adorable.
Pregnancy is amazing. It is something that many of us have difficulty describing. Don’t get me wrong. We all have a generic description to give the general public — I think that’s the same description I grew up hearing. However, when you come down to it… how do you describe this? How do you describe the excitement and the fear? They happen at the same time. How do you describe the instantaneous love or slow-growing love? How do you describe the feeling of your uterus growing, your ligaments stretching apart, and the intense physical pressure of a baby growing inside your body? How do you describe baby kicks? That’s been the hardest for me.
I have an this incredibly intense need to have more than the generic explanation ready. I want to explain everything in as much detail. I want people to understand. I want them to be amazed. I want them to hear from a real, live person how pregnancy feels without having to Google it or find it in a book, written with the intent to sell or get views, rather than to inform and educate. It’s different for everyone, but I want people to know how it is for me.
Honestly, I don’t know why. That’s how I am with a lot of things. I think I just want to help people understand the world around them. I read everything I can and love to learn. Maybe I’m just hoping others do too. I don’t know.
All of that aside, pregnancy has been… well… not the most fun.
I think that is definitely something a lot of people don’t talk about. I have to credit a friend of mine for messaging me on Facebook to let me know that it is okay to have bad days. That it is okay to dislike pregnancy and not enjoy it. After all, she didn’t and when she learned to accept that it was easier for her to manage. I seriously thank God for that conversation, because she really opened my eyes up to what I was experiencing… a wee bit of misery. Or so I thought. To be perfectly honest, I am truly miserable this time around. This second pregnancy has been horrible. Not the worst in the history of all things horrible, because I have many online friends and acquaintances who have it much worse, but it’s my own version of horrible.
In a tiny nut shell, I have vomited more than ever and for longer (I suspect HG*, but was never formally diagnosed, although I was given prescriptions for such and received fluids), I have been in more pain, had a harder time walking, etc. The first four months were absolutely dreadful. I lost fifteen pounds, since my stomach could not tolerate water, much less food, and at 7 months have finally gained seven of it back. Two pounds last month and five this month. Like I said, not the worst, but for me it hasn’t been fun. I have enjoyed the kicks and the movement. Those will never cease to be amazing, no matter how horrible I feel. And I look forward to her getting here. We’re all so excited! I’m just the type of person who would rather give birth 3 times in one day than endure a pregnancy for 9 months.
Women who thrive and love pregnancy, like my mom, y’all are amazing. You truly are and I often wish it could be that way for me. It just… isn’t. And ya know… I’ve grown to be okay with that. I am very open about my discomfort and how pregnancy makes me feel. It helps me to process it and it also removes the glittery shimmer that covers the idea of pregnancy. I think sharing stories like these brings another side of realness to it. There are many ways to become a parent. One of those ways it by sometimes being a miserable pregnant woman.
When it is all said and done, the most important thing is that baby comes to us as healthy as possible. I will gladly (okay, maybe not gladly) endure just about whatever it takes to ensure she is okay. After all, protecting one’s child doesn’t start once they’re born, it starts in the womb too.
(Please, please know that I mean no disrespect to those who suffer from infertility. I have dear friends who have. I cry and celebrate with them. However, this is my own story and we are all allowed to enjoy or not enjoy things in our lives, while also acknowledging our luck and blessings.)
Ya know, I had originally written this post several weeks ago with the intention of segueing into how hard days become great days when the smallest of tasks are done, but I had to put it on the back-burner (because parenting), and now my fired-up feelings of pride and energy have subsided. I do promise to make a post reflecting those thoughts and feelings soon, though, because I think it is so important to acknowledge that even small chores/tasks are worth celebrating, even if it’s taking out the trash or doing the dishes.
* If you are unfamiliar with HG, please take a moment to click the following link and learn about it. www.helpher.org