“Are you excited?!”
“I’ll be excited when the baby gets here.”
>Insert mortified look here<
Raise your hand if you’re a mom or mom-to-be and can relate. Yep, thought so.
I’ve been wanting to write this post for weeks, but a bit scared. I’ve written it in my head a dozen times. A friend asked why I was scared to post it and I said ‘I think I’m scared of not being bubbly positive Lisa Frank happy on the blog’. Her response? “Anyone who has been pregnant won’t expect Lisa Frank”.
When you hear people talk about pregnancy and expectant moms, you get the impression that it’s a few weeks of morning sickness followed by months of glow and excitement and people ooh’ing and aaah’ing over your glorious, kicking bump. Sometimes, it is!
With my second child, I could have been the poster-woman for one of those pregnancy magazines. He broke my ribs just before my third trimester – they wouldn’t heal because there was still a baby in there moving them around all the time – and I was still a perky little ball of glowing sunshine with an adorable basketball bump. I ate what I wanted, gained only 25lbs, slept great at night, and had obnoxiously clear skin. And my boobs? They were amazing, y’all. Amazing.
With my first child, though? Negative.
13 weeks pregnant with my third? Uber negative. This time around, I have hyperemesis gravardium. I am lucky to get out of bed. I slept through an entire weekend last weekend. Did you know there’s a suicide rate for women with HG?
Numerous times, I have told my husband ‘I just can’t wait for this to be over.’ And, he almost always responds with ‘Geez, babe’. It’s not that I don’t want to be pregnant – that’s not what us miserable pregnant people mean, especially after 2+ years of trying to conceive with the help of fertility specialists. What we mean is, we’re ready to be at 10 months. We’re ready to have our bodies back. To feel some resemblance of normal. We’re ready for this to be over, so we can hold our child and not have to keep pretending we’re 100% happy about being pregnant all the time.
With my daughter, I was a very young newlywed and pregnancy was nothing like I expected it. No one warned me.
I couldn’t wear a shirt for weeks because the simple feel of cotton on my breasts made me cry.
I gained 86lbs – nearly double the tiny 92lbs I started out with. Have you ever doubled in size in 5 months?
I had road maps down my thighs and on my lower back starting at four months. I wouldn’t have minded my oddly-placed tiger stripes, but they itched.like.hell.
I was so sick that even in my third trimester my husband would have to pull over on the side of the road 2-3 times anytime we went somewhere.
I had restless leg syndrome and leg cramps so badly I cried every night for weeks.
And then on the way out, two weeks after her due date? After 24+ hours of labor and 4 solid hours of pushing? My adorable daughter – my best friend in the world – broke my pelvis. BROKE IT.
Pregnancy is not easy. It’s not always fun.
There are moments of baby shopping where you squee (and maybe even cry) over adorable newborn onesies and ‘I love my Daddy’ shirts. There are ultrasounds where you can’t help but cry because, “look at that, he totally has his uncle’s ears!” There are baby showers and birth classes and unexpected gifts from friends that make your day.There are endless moments when you think about the baby growing inside of you and get super excited (or scared – scared happens, too).
But it’s hard to stay excited when you’re trying not to fall asleep at your desk….again.
Or when you can no longer comfortably reach anything, much less to shave or tie your shoes.
Or when you’re laying in the floor of the bathroom for the 5th night in a week, really wishing you could just keep something down.
Or when you’re laying in bed, on a heating pad, trying to get comfortable because sciatica and lower back pain.
And that’s okay, Love.
That’s totally okay.
It doesn’t mean you’re not grateful. As someone who took over two years to get pregnant with help, and has had three losses, I know I’m not ungrateful. I couldn’t be happier, to be finally having another baby.
It’s perfectly okay to not enjoy every waking moment of pregnancy. It’s perfectly okay to not enjoy any moment of pregnancy. Pregnancy isn’t something most of us would volunteer for if it didn’t result in a baby. The baby is the whole point.
Don’t let a single person make you feel guilty for being uncomfortable and/or miserable while your body has been taken over by something growing inside of it.
Eventually, you’ll have a wild child in our arms. You’ll be able to reclaim your body as your own. And those are worth being excited over. Pregnancy is all about what comes at the end, anyway, isn’t it?
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