I wish someone had said that to me when I was pregnant with J, instead everyone myself included thought that I had to be over the moon to be pregnant, we’d already lost one baby and had been trying for a while and then I was pregnant – I was excited that we were going to have a baby, but enjoy the pregnancy I don’t think so. My second pregnancy I thought was going great I seemed to be enjoying it but then things changed and much like the first I was putting on a face to show that I was enjoying being pregnant but it wasn’t what was really going on inside.
Everywhere I looked friends that were pregnant were enjoying their pregnancies we talked for hours about the latest shopping trips they had been on walking through the shops or virtually finding the perfect stroller, cradle, clothes to bring the baby home from the hospital in. All the while I smiled and nodded and thought to my shopping trips to find baby things for the first baby and then to stock up when the second one was due to arrive.
The first few weeks of both of my pregnancies were difficult after having a miscarriage you expect every time you pop to the rest rooms that there will be signs, every ache and pain you worry if it’s cramps that will signify the end. Combined with morning sickness it made for a worrisome few weeks. The few people that we told that we were pregnant were over the moon for us and happy.
Then around the 8 week mark, things started to go from worrying about what may happen to starting to hurt. We all know aches and pains are normal in pregnancy but at 8 weeks after a day of teaching I was in agony and it only got worse, by 14 weeks I had a visit to the emergency room as I couldn’t get up my hips and knees had gone – I was given crutches and exercises, but these didn’t help and then at 20 weeks pregnant at the half way point I was in a wheel chair and my dose of pain medication was as high as it could get.
Pictures of what a 20 week pregnant woman should look like showed ladies standing holding bellies in summer clothes and I was stuck in doors on my sofa with a pack up my husband had made me on pain killers just so that I could sit or sleep and a wheel chair to go out and do my baby shopping.
As the pregnancy progressed it didn’t get better and instead of enjoying trips to get things for the new arrival it was horrific, getting in the car was painful, being pushed around stores with baby things on shelves beyond my eye site and being unable to help with the basics of preparing for bringing our much longed for baby home made the next 18 weeks some of the most difficult I have gone through.
People would say thinking it was for the best “Cheer up your pregnant and being miserable won’t help you or the baby” but really all I needed was someone to say – “It’s ok not to enjoy being pregnant not everyone does!”.
After the birth which wasn’t anywhere the antenatal class vision of birthing I didn’t forget how I didn’t enjoy pregnancy but instead knew that I wanted to have another child so that J wouldn’t be an only child and have a sibling to enjoy his time with. Luckily our second pregnancy happened quickly without any miscarriages.
The first 28 weeks went by and I wasn’t in pain but I was tired being pregnant and looking after a crawling baby/toddler was tiring yes some things helped but then came the Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) and it was discovered I had gestational diabetes, gone was the occasional mid wife visits instead we were on 2 weekly and then weekly and then twice a weekly visits to the hospital, monitoring blood sugars injecting myself with insulin and arranging for the date when the baby had to come out.
Yes I could walk unlike last time but it wasn’t easy and the constant hospital visits the side effects of the medication and the pressure of having a “big baby” was difficult. Again I didn’t enjoy pregnancy and it was OK – I didn’t have to the end product was a beautiful tiny baby girl that I held in my arms.
BUT I wish someone anyone had said that it was OK not to enjoy pregnancy and I hope if you are reading this that I am that person that is telling you it’s OK, what ever your circumstances you really don’t have to enjoy it some of the time, all of the time. Yes the baby is amazing but each pregnancy is different and no one can know how you feel and what you are going through as they can’t walk in your shoes for those 9 months. Look away from those pictures of joyful mums holding their pregnancy bellies and realise that is just a imagine like those in magazines to give a fleeting glimpse or the “ideal” of what pregnancy is supposed to look like.