Since I didn't blog at all while I was pregnant I thought I'd do at least one rewind post to talk a little about the experience of my second pregnancy, how it was different from my first, how it was similar, new lessons learned, etc etc.
First of all I always like to include this disclaimer: I'm going to discuss all of the many things I HATED about pregnancy. BUT, and this is a big but, I know how unbelievably lucky I am to have had two healthy pregnancies and how many women would give anything to be pregnant at all, regardless of how hard it is. I absolutely get that and I hope anyone who reads this knows that I am so aware of how fortunate I am at the end of the day.
But I also feel like it's important to talk about the real side of pregnancy and the very real fact that while pregnancy for some women looks and feels Iike this:
For a lot of women, myself included, pregnancy looks and feels much more like this:
And my pregnancy was SO not a hard pregnancy compared to some. I know women with way worse morning sickness or women who have to be on bedrest. I didn't have major complications or pre-existing health issues to make things harder like diabetes or a heart condition.
And so because I had a healthy, non complicated pregnant I know I shouldn't complain right? My OB said my pregnancy was textbook, that I made it "look easy" at like every appointment towards the end (and God love her but every time she said this I resisted the urge to throw something at her). I gained the right amount of weight. I passed every urine and blood test with flying colors (minus some mild anemia).
But still, like with my last pregnancy, I just did not love those 10 months, at all, like even a little bit. I did not feel like a goddess. I had no desire to dress in a flower crown and flowy dress and take romantic sun dappled photos in a field.
Its supposed to be this magically divine time for a woman, or at least if Pinterest were to be believed. You're supposed to be super excited about what new fruit your baby is the size of each week, and glow, and be in touch with your womanhood.
But here's my confession, I just don't like being pregnant.
A lot of it is for physical reasons, including:
-Like with my last pregnancy, I had morning sickness. This time it wasn't as bad (I didn't puke nearly as often, just low level nausea all day). But it lasted longer and made random reappearances through my third trimester. I definitely had major aversions, the hardest of which was hot coffee, which lasted literally until I gave birth (if you know me, you know nearly a year without coffee is pretty -unthinkable).
-I had hormonal headaches/migraines like I did last time, a few of which lasted for days.
-I had the normal first and third trimester fatigue, which I think everyone gets but definitely was harder this time because I had a toddler to take care of and couldn't just nap all day if I wanted to.
-I had all of the standard, "normal" pregnancy issues: a perpetually stuffy nose, frequent bloody noses, reflux, itchy skin, teenager level acne, weird skin stuff like dark patches and rashes, dizzy spells, insomnia, muscle cramps, frequent Braxton hicks starting at like 20 weeks this time, restless legs at night.
-By the end of my pregnancy I had to get up to pee, no joke, every 30-60 minutes. Which I think is partly why waking up with Bobby hasn't felt like much of an adjustment.
-There's also the roller coaster ride of hormones going through your body. My husband I'm sure can vouch for this but pregnancy doesn't exactly make you the softest, gentlest version of yourself. I would find myself irrationally angry or upset after the tiniest thing, and then a minute later be totally back to normal. It's like being a roided up teenager mixed with a lady going through menopause. So a real picnic.
-The worse physical symptom so far started about halfway through my pregnancy and it basically was a combo of back, hip, and pelvic pain that varied from a mild annoyance at rest to so bad I could barely walk. I am an active person. I have a toddler. Our routine involves a lot of walks and time at parks and playgrounds. And this pain made that impossible. It made every thing hard, even just walking across a room or getting up from a chair. Work was almost unbearable (being a nurse is the opposite of sedentary). Getting up from a horizontal to vertical position was EXCRUCIATING and as I mentioned earlier I only had to do this roughly 10 times a night. Rolling over in bed took about 5 minutes of mental urging. And emotionally it really took a toll to be in pain every day and not be the active person I want to be for my daughter. It sucked. I didn't have this with Ryland and my OB basically said it's common with subsequent pregnancies because your first pregnancy basically turns all of your ligaments and tendons to loosey goosey crap (paraphrasing slightly).
-So yeah there's all the physical stuff but more than anything I struggle with not feeling like myself during pregnancy and have both times, just a general "off" feeling, made all the more difficult when you're expected to be all glowy and goddessy. I am grateful to have not had issues with postpartum depression, but especially after two pregnancies, I now recognize a (very mild) prenatal depression (which is a thing, just not talked about much). It's not that I feel sad or cry all the time. It's just a weird bleh feeling, a lack of my normal excitement and enthusiasm that again is very mild but definitely noticeable. Both times I've had babies I've been able to spot this more after delivery because of the noticeable difference in how much better I feel overall, like a fog lifting. Despite all the hormones and emotions associated with a newborn, overall I feel like myself again and more interested and excited in everything (even on a lack of sleep which really says something).
So basically I'm just not one of those women who loves pregnancy, which can feel like a shameful secret, particularly in this Pinterest and Instagram era of everyone's flower goddess photo shoots and fruit baby countdowns.
And I don't want this post to come off as a pity party or whole bunch of whining (even though it is). I just want to be honest, because I'm guessing there are other women who feel this way, who know pregnancy is a gift and 100% worth it, but also kind of 10 months of lameness.
I think it's okay to feel this way. Okay if you don't feel like this:
And instead kind of feel like this
At the end of the day, pregnancy is temporary. And you do at least get a pretty great consolation prize.
I'm a thirty-something mom of two, wife, pediatric RN, and writer with a passion for the all the big and little things in life.