For most people, pregnancy is an exciting time. I always thought it would be an exciting time for me, and being a mother is something I have always wanted. But excitement was not my first reaction, and took me getting half way through the pregnancy before I truly felt excited. So, I wanted to share some of my first thoughts, because I know I'm not alone, and I know some women may not feel excited at all during pregnancy. Some may not even feel particularly excited once the baby is born. But that doesn't necessarily mean they love their kid any less or that they're not as good a parent as someone who can't seem to contain their excitement. We have this bad habit as a society to hold certain expectations around pregnancy, especially of women, and shame and guilt them if they fall short of those expectations, which is really unfair. Hopefully, sharing some of my thoughts can help us be more empathetic towards all women going through pregnancy. And hopefully there are also some funny insights.
First of all, thank you to all my friends who have shared their true experiences about pregnancy and motherhood, because that's how I knew I wasn't alone. People have a lot of opinions about pregnancy and motherhood, and mommy-shaming is real. And ugly.
When I started to get the inkling that I was probably pregnant, I was in denial. Biologically, this is good timing, and I've been saying we should start trying "in the next year" for about two years. But I also just had a major career change which I've only just started finding my groove in. So, I kept telling myself this was not happening; and it took me about a week before I knew I had to pee on a stick and confirm this, because I started peeing way more frequently than usual. So, I thought this is either a UTI or an early pregnancy symptom no one ever told me about. You hear about morning sickness, spotting, maybe some other symptoms, but frequent peeing is not one I knew about until I googled it to confirm it for myself. And I knew it probably wasn't a UTI, because when I get UTIs it is miserable.
My second thought, was damn it. I didn't get to lose my new decade weight gain from turning 30, and now I can't lose weight! I will get into this more in another blog, but I even searched many blogs and articles about whether there was any safe way to lose some weight while pregnant, knowing fully well the only way I'd lose weight is if I suffered severe morning sickness. I know, it sounds crazy, but again, I'll get into this later.
My third thought, was "Damn it. Am I going to miss my friend's wedding next year?" I have an old friend tying the knot across the pond next June, and I'm due in March. Blogs and experts vary on their opinion about travel with newborns, but ultimately I will rely on my pediatrician's advice. Some say it's easier and preferred because at 2 months old, babies don't really do anything other than eat and sleep. Of course, there are concerns about babies getting sick at that age and we all know how nasty airplanes really are. So, we'll see.
Finally, I thought fudge-monkies. Is this going to stall some of my goals with writing? How do I make money while I give birth and for the few months after? Why does our country have such terrible parental leave policies, or really zero parental leave policies? God, I hope I can breastfeed so at least we'll have free food for a little while. Okay, that was a few different thoughts.
So, the thought of being pregnant was more stressful and disappointing than I would have liked. For a moment, when I thought of the actual life I'd be bringing into this world, I was somewhat excited. But for some reason, that didn't last very long, and it wasn't until I found out the gender of the baby that I started to feel some excitement, but still mostly concern. And then of course, I've battled this feeling of guilt for not being excited. When I share the news with friends and family, everyone is always so excited, and I'm also thinking, "Really? Are you really that excited for me?" For a while I just felt bad that it seemed like everyone else was way more excited than I was. I already loved my son so deeply, but that still didn't change my excitement about the timing of it all. When we had our 20 week ultra sound that tells you whether your baby is developing well or not, and the doctor confirmed that all is well, did I start to feel relieved. Finally in the 20th week, I felt what I'm 98% sure was a little kick or a punch and that did send me into full-blown excitement.
The best news I got, and something I do look forward to, is that one of my best friends is also pregnant and we are due a couple weeks apart. So that gives me great comfort. It also made me think, not only is it biologically a good time for me to be pregnant, but this is no doubt God's timing to remind me I'm not alone, and that my life is so filled with love, our child will be born into a giant pool of mad, unconditional love. I know I have an incredible support system and I'm constantly reminded of that.
People have babies all the time, and everyone figures out how to make it work. I know we will, too, so I'm doing my best to stay positive and keep hustling while I can. Although you don't realize how tired your body really becomes when you start creating life inside you. You hear about fatigue being a symptom, but at least I never thought how much work my body is actually going through to create this new life, which is causing the fatigue.
So anyways, if you're feeling less than enthused about the massive changes happening to your body and your life, you're not alone. You've got this, just stay jawesome :).