Before I ever got pregnant, even married for that matter, I dreamed of what it would be like to be pregnant. I just knew it was going to be one of the greatest times in my life. I would feel great, have the pregnancy glow, be fit because of all the prenatal yoga, and look incredibly cute in all the latest fashions. That is what pregnancy was to me. The time you felt best in your life!
One morning in July 2010, I woke up convinced I had the flu. My whole body hurt and I could barely move. That night I was so nauseous, I couldn’t eat dinner. After a few days of this, I had the thought, “could I be pregnant?” I knew it was too early to test so I waited. Finally, I took a test and sure enough, I WAS PREGNANT! I was ready to start my amazing, glowing journey!
However, it was nothing like I expected. I spent most of my time in a hot bath for the back and muscle pain I had or on the couch sleeping off my queasy stomach. Days would go by where I accomplished nothing. I used to give myself one chore for the day, such as unloading the dishwasher, not even loading it. It would take me several days to finally finish this one simple task. My sweet husband would come home from work everyday and just look around. He never said a word but his face said it all, “What have you been doing all day?” I couldn’t really begin to explain how I felt physically and emotionally. The pregnancy itself was riddled with several minor medical “conditions” that caused me to be high risk. Between feeling ill and stress from the pregnancy, I was counting down the seconds to my April delivery. But no matter how bad I felt, I knew this had to be a freak thing and that my next pregnancy would be the amazing pregnancy I had always dreamed of.
When I found out I was pregnant with my second child after having lost one baby and trying for 15 months to get pregnant, I almost couldn’t believe it. I had no pain or queasy feelings. I just knew I was about to begin my great pregnancy! But once again, I found out how wrong I was. By the end of my first trimester, I could barely walk because my hips were so stiff. Each night, my husband would help me to bed like I was an 80-year-old woman. He would do counter pressure on my hips to offer temporary relief. I saw a chiropractor regularly but the pain and stiffness would never completely go away.
During my second trimester, I began struggling with depression. I would find myself just laying on the couch overwhelmed with life. I felt guilty for my thoughts. I should be happy and feeling blessed about this new life I was growing, yet all I could do was lay around feel sorry for myself. In my third trimester, anxiety replaced the depression. I would wake up at night gasping for air from panic attacks. When I was awake, my mind raced with all the things I had to accomplish. I would make a list of all the things that needed to be done but couldn’t figure out what to do first. This was still not the magical experience I was hoping for. I knew for sure my next pregnancy would be different.
Now, I am 32 weeks into my 3rd pregnancy. I started school a week before I found out. That was life changing enough so at first I didn’t know if it was school or the beginning of another rough pregnancy. I threw up many times a day for the entire first trimester. I soon was cramping from dehydration. I was admitted to the hospital for i.v. fluids and medicine to help me hold things down. One night my husband looked at me and said this should be our last baby, that it was just too hard on me and he did not want that. My heart sank. I wasn’t sure if I even wanted more children, but I didn’t want the number to be determined because of my pregnancies. I am supposed to finish school on October 10, which is one week after my due date. I have tried everything to finish early or make arrangements but nothing can be done until we see how far I make it. I feel like I can’t focus on this baby. I rarely have the time to just sit and enjoy it. I am struggling with depression and anxiety again. I’m tired, cranky, and stressed to the max. Nausea still comes and goes. My stiffness and pain has returned and getting worse day by day.
By far, the third pregnancy has been my best; but I can honestly say it is only because I have adapted. I have a 4 year old and 15-month old to take care of, I am in school, and I am still trying to run a household and be a wife. I do not have the time to stop. What I have realized is I just do not enjoy being pregnant. I hesitate to state that fact. I know there are lots of women struggling with infertility who would give anything to be in my shoes right now. It seems given how blessed I am, I shouldn’t have a right to complain. I am thankful to be pregnant, but it still sucks!
It doesn’t mean I love my kids less or even want fewer of them. Pregnancy is a process that my husband and I chose to go through. Some women love it and that is great! Others, not so much. It is okay to admit if you do not like being pregnant. It doesn’t make you less of a woman or a mom. It makes you honest! We do not need the extra pressure of pretending its something amazing for us, if its not. We need to embrace it and allow help when offered. And offer help to other pregnant women when we can. For me, I try to find good days and celebrate them. I make the most of it with my girls just being the mom they deserve! I dance with my husband when my body doesn’t ache. I try to stop occasionally and just feel my precious baby move inside me. And, no matter what, I still look forward to the end!