Pregnancy: Not the Magical World

I know it is not everyone, but I feel like there are women out there who talk about the joy of pregnancy or are constantly wondering why someone either has not had or would not want children.

Now I am (as of writing this) at the end of my pregnancy and just waiting for the baby to come. My pregnancy has not been horrendous, but in no way would I call it some joyful wonderful 9 months of my life. It has been a difficult journey and it is not one to enter into lightly. It is great if you had no complications and had the perfect time being pregnant. There must be people like that because I, right now, cannot even imagine doing this a second time, but who knows?

The big thing I think is that we talk about not sharing horror stories and I think that is true, but I also think we need to recognize that being pregnant is not as simple as some people make it out to be.

First Trimester

Now in the first trimester there is, hopefully, the joy of finding out that you are pregnant. Although it could also be the shock of finding out you are pregnant depending on your point in life. For me it was excitement because David and I had been discussing kids for a long time and we finally felt that we were at a point to handle it.

At the same time there are so many things that start running through your mind and that you have to learn. Then add on top of that the morning sickness, exhaustion, and worries – it is a perfect storm. For me the morning sickness got so bad I ended up having to work from home for a couple of weeks. I am lucky enough to be able to do that, but I cannot imagine some people being able to do that. It is a lot to have to go through, but it is just the first three months. It is temporary, but it can still be a lot.

Second Trimester

The second trimester does tend to be the better time because you start to have more energy. At the same time you can only hope that the morning sickness has actually gone away, but that is not guaranteed. Luckily there are medications you can take to help with that if it gets to bad and I thank God that it worked for me.

The bigger problem with this time is that early on you are in-between in terms of size. Often times you notice that you are growing, but other people do not notice. If you have any issue with your weight this time can be hard because you do not really look pregnant and you kind of just feel fat. At the same time gaining weight is okay, but it can be a difficult time. This is also the time to start thinking about what you need and to figure out the space issues for where a new baby is going to go.

The really great part about this point is that you should be able to have your first ultrasound and really get to see the baby.

ThirdĀ  Trimester

In the third trimester the exhaustion often returns as well as additional aches and pains that make it difficult to get around – or sleep. The other issue that can come up as you near the end of the pregnancy is the thought of preterm labor, hypertension, preeclampsia, and all sorts of other issues.

Now I admit that I am lucky that my high blood pressure did not show up until late in pregnancy, but I still got ordered on modified bed rest in my last weeks of pregnancy. It did not turn into preeclampsia, but that is something that can happen. Again, this is not every pregnancy, but what happens when this happens and you cannot get off your feet or take the time for bed rest? Now obviously the great part about this time is that you are at the end. You are about to get your body back and you need to remember that!

Final Thoughts

I think the biggest problem with this myth of the joy of pregnancy is it doesn’t recognize the hardship that is possible in pregnancy. I think the joy comes afterwards, but it is still a huge change in your life. This is something that we chose and we planned. I recognized going into this that it would not be easy, but I don’t think you can really understand what it is like until you have gone through it.

I don’t want to say at the end that it was not worth it, but at the same time I honestly don’t know if I will want to do this again. It has been a hard 9 months and while it has only been 9 months it still has been a huge transition. Now imagine doing that with a child that already needs your attention, it just adds another layer to things. I don’t want to say it is the worst thing in the world, but it is something that is not for everyone and we as a society need to recognize that it is not a simple question.

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10 responses to “Pregnancy: Not the Magical World

  1. I think some of that joy comes from women who’ve conveniently forgotten the difficulties during pregnancy! It happened to me at least. When I had my baby at last, and she started to grow, I gained a sense of humour about the whole thing! Perhaps it was natures way of tempting me to go through it again šŸ™‚

    But seriously, you’re absolutely right about the ethos that pregnancy is a bed of roses. In most certainly is not. Parents talk about the difficulties of raising children, the different stages, the stresses as well as the absolute joy, but they don’t often talk in terms of challenges regarding pregnancy. And it’s hard for the father too.

    In my case, I needed the medication you spoke of until the day I gave birth! As my daughter grew and she asked me about growing in my tummy, I remembered only the wonder. The horrendous morning sickness, or the fact she was pressing on my sciatic nerve so that I had to crawl out of bed – that became queasiness and slight back ache!

    And I agree with you about the pressures society puts on us. Not all women choose to have children and it irritates the hell out of me when they are judged because of it. One of my closest friends chose not to have children, and people look at her with sympathy – automatically presuming there’s something wrong with her, rather than a choice she actually made.

    Great post, Holly.I can imagine how you’re feeling right now. The waiting is one of the hardest parts because the excitement wars with the terror – a sense of ‘how the hell am I going to get through this!’ šŸ™‚

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    • I am so excited for the journey about to start once geek baby is born. At the same time I think it is important to recognize that it is not an easy task. I think it gets shrugged off too much. It is something I chose to do and I recognize that choice. It was not a rash decision for me either. It took real thought.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you both for this. I don’t intend to ever have kids, have never wanted to… I haven’t gotten pity yet as I’m young, but mostly people just don’t believe me. I hate it I hate it I hate it. I know what I want. I’ve also heard “Oh wait, I forgot you’re opposed to childbirth…” which is just ridiculous! I’m thrilled for those who want kids! It’s totally possible, as with Holly’s post, to acknowledge that it’s difficult and not for everyone even while choosing it for yourself and being excited about it. šŸ™‚

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  2. This reminds me of a recent Buzzfeed video:

    I’m sorry it has been hard for you. I couldn’t do it. Even if I were in a heterosexual relationship, I wouldn’t be able to. For me, the thought of it feels like some sort of invasion, but…. it will be worth it. I teach little, little kids, and though you’ll have hard times, you will be amazed at how your child will grow, and learn, and have you as their guiding compass.

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    • The after pregnancy is going to be hard but I am excited about it. At the same time it has made me appreciate even more why it is not for everyone. I seriously thought about adoption as an option but decided I wanted to do this. At the same time I appreciate why someone might see it as an invasion.

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  3. hollykerrauthor

    What a great, honest post! Pregnancy is not easy or simple and women do not glow serenely throughout the nine months. Pregnant women throw up (a lot, and for many, many months for me), they fart, they feel fat, they cry, they blame their partners for everything, and many have serious health conditions. But if they’re lucky, at the end of the nine months, they’ll be blessed with a little bundle of joy that will throw up (a lot, for many, many years), fart, cry, poop ( a lot), and blame their parents for everything!
    I’ve done it 3 times and trust me, there will be a day when you’ll be happy you went through this! Best of luck with everything!!

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    • I know that the journey afterwards is going to be wonderfully messy, but when it is your own body that seems to betray you it is so difficult. I honestly am so excited for geek baby to be in this world. I am just choosing not to think too hard about how it is going to happen at this point.

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  4. Saw this way earlier and just had to come and read it. I think Melissa has a good point about what happens when over time when you have a little distance from the experience and also a growing child.

    I’ve had children around me my whole life (none of my own, though — just never believed I was cut out, and still don’t) and I have never known anyone who had an easy pregnancy no matter how much joy it gave them. The difficulties should not be minimized.

    Good you wrote this.

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  5. Wow, this brought back memories. I was working near some docks during my first pregnancy. The smell of the fishing boats made me want to be sick and stay sick all day long. But I was lucky and it didn’t last and it was never bad enough to require medicine. It is a hard process! You need to really want to be a mom to put your body in that much distress for 9 months. My advice to you is sleep! Stockpile as much rest as you can.
    And buy one of those baby milestone calendars with slickers. The first few months are a challenge and you might not have the energy to record all those wonderful baby firsts. The stickers really help keep track of the dates and events until you can get them transferred into the baby’s scrapbook. Good luck and congratulations!

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