That seems a bit contradictory, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, it’s a fairly accurate description of how I feel.
Before I even got pregnant, I knew that this would be my last one. I deeply desired to enjoy every second of it and to get as much out of it as I could. I planned the timing of the pregnancy so that I would have my baby right at the start of my favorite season, summer, allowing me to wear all my fun dresses, spend labor outside (maybe even birth outside?!?), and not be completely sequestered in the house from cold weather. Of course, baby had other plans and thought a few months earlier would be a perfect time to be born. Silly me for trying to plan.
This pregnancy has been the most difficult, both emotionally and physically. Although it technically is a PAL (Pregnancy After Loss), and those are known for being scarier and more emotionally fragile, I started out feeling fairly optimistic and at ease. I don’t know quite how to explain the “at ease” part, except that because the previous months involved so many devastating experiences for moms I knew, it seemed to me that having a live baby in nine months was a crapshoot and while I could try my hardest to accomplish this goal, there really was nothing I could do….either I would or I wouldn’t. This quickly changed, however, when I experienced the exact same miscarriage symptoms at almost the exact same time frame as before. I immediately lost all my composure. Luckily, this time around we were prepared with false unicorn root and other supplies. I called the Midwife, who calmed me down and provided the practical assistance my freaked out brain needed. In that moment, her voice was my lifeline…something I will never forget. It was a rough couple of days, emotionally, but we made it through. Although the day started with what I was positive was going to be another loss, within a few hours all the pain and bleeding had stopped. I couldn’t help but be amazed, even through my fear. We decided to have an ultrasound to confirm that baby was okay, which he/she was.
Two weeks later, the night I got married, there was a little bit more blood. Most likely, it was a warning sign that I had done WAY too much…what bride doesn’t on her wedding day?? The following Monday we decided to have yet another ultrasound to check in with baby, who was growing like a weed and just swimming away comfortably.
There have been no more bleeding episodes, thank goodness. What there have been, though, are many other new-to-me aches and pains. I’ve always sailed through pregnancy, delighted at my changing form and experiencing very few negatives. This time, I had fairly strong nausea for several months, sometimes lasting all day, varicose veins in my legs, perineum and rectum, lots of practice contractions from about 20ish weeks, round ligament stretching, the list goes on. These are all common “ailments” of pregnancy. I mean, sheesh, I AM growing another human being and that takes a lot of work!
I now understand a little better those women (such as my beloved aunt) who are miserable and just ready for pregnancy to end. Not that I wasn’t empathetic before, but I didn’t really understand because pregnancy has always been so easy for me. I get it now.
I have to say, though, that being uncomfortable (for me) does not equate to wanting it to be over. For one thing, this is still a really groovy experience…growing a baby, watching my body change, feeling him/her squirm around inside me. I know that while I’m ready to not have any more children, I will miss being pregnant. It only makes sense, I LOVE pregnant women. I love the soft curviness that we develop as our wombs become ripe with babies. I love the way I feel so womanly and sensual. To me, this picture exemplifies how I feel…lush and beautiful.
What was my point? Oh yeah, that even though I am UNcomfortable, I still wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. Truly, I love being pregnant. It’s like being in a different world for nine months, some kind of dreamy, euphoric state. That’s it. 🙂