I feel like I shouldn’t say this. It took me about 4 years to even get pregnant. Then I spent the next 5 years getting pregnant four times and miscarrying each one. Then I went through the long, arduous, expensive adoption process only to get approved and then have to remove myself because I was pregnant again. And then that pregnancy was way too short, and Hannah came so early and we spent almost 4 months in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit. My journey to becoming a mother has been very long, tedious, tearful, confusing, scary, and (finally) joyful. I understand how it feels to be barren. I understand how it feels to lose pregnancy after pregnancy. I can still feel the hopelessness that would fill my body as my babies’ lives emptied. Almost like an aftershock from a tragic earthquake – I still feel the desperation and desire to be a mother. I remember the sour feeling in my stomach that I would swallow down as I dug deep to find joy as friend after friend welcomed their babies. I would hold those babies and love them and wish and wish with all my might that I would possibly one day have a little one to call my own. So I feel very guilty complaining about my pregnancy. I am thankful for Henry, but the process to get him here just plain sucks.
The truth is that pregnancy really doesn’t suck for everyone. There are so many people in my life who are really, really good at making babies. They don’t seem to have issues with weight gain, morning sickness, muscle soreness, bleeding, swelling, glucose levels, etc. And then on top of that, they carry those babies full-term, and end up delivering at home in a lavender-infused bath with 1 hour of easy labor and no drugs. “Only two pushes, and my 10 pound baby is here! And no tearing or episiotomy!” #eyeroll (I’m exaggerating, of course. I’m pretty sure it’s not hygienic to have lavender in the bath during a water birth.)
The truth for me is that pregnancy is really, REALLY hard. Perhaps it’s my “advanced maternal age,” but I seem to be exhausted all the time. I felt nauseous most of the first trimester. I get dizzy easily. My blood sugar has to be tended to. Because of my history, I have to go to the doctor every other week for ultrasounds. I get to have really painful shots in my butt every week to boost my progesterone levels. I got to have a surgery in my hoo-ha to stitch up my cervix in hopes it wouldn’t open early again. I’m under heavy-lifting restrictions, so I can’t even pick up my toddler. I’m starting to have trouble finding comfortable positions in which to sleep. My skin is completely wacko and zittier than normal. I get hot flashes, and sweat like crazy. On top of it all, I deal with the emotions of being pregnant after four miscarriages and one very-pre-term birth. “Will he stay in long enough? If he comes early, will he do as well as Hannah did? If I can just make it to (insert date here) I will feel better about his chances. What if we lose him? What if I get put back on hospitalized bedrest? OH! And I’m not getting paid for maternity leave this time (thanks job), so how are we going to handle that?”
I have spent over 11 years worrying about my reproductive system in one way or another, and I’m so over it.
I am so very thankful for Hannah, and very thankful for her little brother growing in my belly right now. But oh my goodness – I am looking forward to him being here (big and healthy, of course!). I am looking forward to moving past this stage in my life, and not thinking about my cervix or ovulation or periods or any of it! For me, pregnancy just sucks.