Anyone who says they love being pregnant must be a freak of nature, because my relationship with my pregnancy has been far from wonderful. Apart from the magical experience leading up to finding out I was pregnant from my previous blog, everything after that has been a real struggle.
In many ways, struggling with pregnancy is a taboo topic. Because the pain of infertility is so real and raw, it seems wildly insensitive to suggest that pregnancy is anything but a blessing. Not to mention carrying a baby feels like your first official job as a mum, and if you’re already not coping with the pregnancy, then you surely are going to fail when the baby comes earth side, right?!
Now don’t get me wrong, of course I’m extremely thankful to be having a child with my Husband, and we are definitely excited, but this whole pregnancy experience has to be my biggest challenge to date. I don’t want to come across as whiney and sooky, but writing out my feelings in my blog helps to clear my head… and maybe find other expecting mums who feel the same as I do.
First off, morning sickness needs to change it’s name to ‘all day and all night sickness’. From 4 weeks pregnant I experienced constant nausea, and for someone who HATES being sick and literally fears throwing up, this was quite the challenge for me. It was mentally and physically exhausting.
Going to work involved carrying a spew bucket around, and napping on my lunch break. Luckily for me I have a very understanding employer who lets me come and go as I need, especially on those days where I just can’t move out of bed.
My sickness also affected my social life. Leaving the house was incredibly difficult for me, and going to a cafe or restaurant was just pure torture with all the smells of food making me want to hurl. I even had to put a holt on my beloved weekly yoga classes, which in turn made me feel even worse.
Along with the all day sickness comes severe exhaustion, which see’s me in bed majority of the time. And I should also mention the restless legs, aching breasts, pounding headaches, dizziness, stomach cramps and twinges and don’t get me started on the weird and wacky dreams. Then there’s the stuff no one warns you about like your nipples changing size and colour, wierd bodily fluids, itchiness…everywhere, gassiness (my husband can attest to this), heartburn, and how about your brain just deciding to switch off, which leaves you doing some pretty stupid stuff like pouring your cereal onto a plate rather than in a bowl, or wondering why the front door won’t unlock with your car key.
Sleep?! What is sleep?! I don’t know why, but during the night I literally have to get up to pee atleast 4-5 times… Crazy! I suppose it’s a way of my body getting used to having broken sleep for when baby arrives. Mix that with weird dreams and restlessness, and you get a walking zombie during the AM.
My hormones are definitely all over the place, my poor husband! I cry at the drop of a hat, or if I have to eat broccoli… Yes, I sobbed like a two year old because I didn’t want to eat broccoli for dinner, when all I wanted was a pizza! I feel myself getting fired up over little things, or just overthinking and being irrational. I’m usually such a quiet and calm person, but I feel like there’s a bomb ticking inside of me and anything will set it off… ANYTHING!
I’m now 16 weeks pregnant, and I can see my body is changing so much. I find I stare at myself in the mirror naked after I shower, just studying how my body looks so different. My veins are bulging from carrying so much extra blood, my hips feel wider and the ‘bump’ that just sticks right out makes me feel like an alien. I just feel swollen and lumpy and I’m not even half way yet… I’m only going to get bigger! I never had the perfect supermodel body prior to getting pregnant, but I have always been quite lean and trim, so It’s hard to get used to seeing my body look different, especially when your favourite jeans dont go up past your thighs now! My usual clothes don’t fit me very well anymore, but I’m still too ‘small’ for Maternity clothes, so getting dressed is becoming a challenge these days. My skin feels dry and blotchy even though I smother myself in oils and moisturizer and the hormones are doing a great job on the pimples popping up all over my face! It’s really hard to feel good about yourself when all of a sudden you feel frumpy and spotty.
Another challenge of pregnancy is the ocean of unknowns. Everytime I have an ultrasound or scan I hold my breath, praying there will still be a heartbeat. I always get so anxious the days leading up to it. We are completely powerless! We can’t control the changes in our body, the sex of the baby, the health of our child, the time he or she will choose to arrive, the details of labor and delivery. It’s terrifying!
We announced our pregnancy to all our friends and family just a week ago, and already I wish I had waited a bit longer. I thought I was ready for the world to know, but I’m not. I know everyone is excited and they all mean well, but I literally cannot deal with all the baby talk, horrible birth stories people feel they need to share, and being asked a thousand questions like if I’m going to breastfeed, or what pram we’re buying. It’s all just too overwhelming and I don’t even have the answers to their questions yet!
My husband and I thought we would go have a look in Baby Bunting a couple of weeks ago (a baby one-stop-shop) to have a look at potentially buying a cot… WOW! I had never felt so out of my comfort zone! We were in and out of the store within 5 minutes, there was just SO much stuff, crying babies and children… I had to get out! We haven’t bought anything for the baby yet, nor even made a start on the nursery. There’s just so much to think about, so much money to be spent, where do you even start?!
I’ve seen many friends and family members go through pregnancy over the years, and they all made it look so wonderfully easy, and exciting! I never recalled hearing about their struggles, or never saw them looking drab, They all looked so good pregnant and happy, but yet I’m still waiting for my pregnancy ‘glow’ to arrive. When does the glow arrive? I want my glow!
Every person is different, so every pregnancy will be different, I understand that. I just never thought I would struggle as much as I am. I keep reassuring myself that it’s ok to not have it all together, I’m allowed to be scared, and I don’t have to have all the baby equipment in the house yet. I’m just taking each day as it comes with whatever challenges, thoughts or feelings that arise, after all this is a brand new experience and as much as it is hard, I want to try and enjoy it, look back on this and be proud of myself.
I’ve learnt that you have to take baby steps, trust that your body knows what it’s doing, and even though I feel overwhelmed, I can still do this! I’ve come this far already, and I’ve overcome my fear of blood tests, I’ve made it past the difficult first trimester, and my baby girl is as healthy as can be, that is all an accomplishment in itself.
I’d love any advice, or to hear if you’ve been on a similar path to me. xx