How I Feel About Pregnancy

12.09.2019

Baby 3 from a couple of weeks ago.

I'm just a few days shy of 30 weeks pregnant, and I wanted to share a bit of a stream-of-consciousness post about how I feel about pregnancy. Not necessarily pregnancy at 30 weeks, but just pregnancy in general.

Recently I was talking on the phone with a good friend who lives in another state, and she said, "How is your pregnancy going? You don't talk about it much, so it seems like it's going pretty well." I honestly never really know how to answer questions about how I'm feeling or how I'm doing. 

My body seems to handle pregnancy pretty similarly regardless of the baby's gender or my age or any other factors. Until our 18-week anatomy scan with J, I thought he was going to be a girl only because my pregnancy had been so similar to R's. All things considered, there's really nothing I feel I can complain about, and nothing all that notable to share, and so I just don't really talk about it all that much.

I have standard morning/all-day nausea for the first 10-12ish weeks, but I never throw up. My feet don't really swell. I don't get heartburn. My blood pressure stays well within normal ranges. I don't have gestational diabetes. I gain the recommended amount of weight. So far I haven't gotten any stretch marks.

My symptoms, as they were, are basically your typical pregnancy complaints. I get out of breath walking across a room. I constantly feel the urge to pee even if I don't really have to go. It's hard to stand up from sitting or lying down. My hips are sore. I get leg cramps sometimes. I randomly feel nauseous until I eat something. Sleeping can be uncomfortable. And there are other complaints too. Truly all of those things actually are frustrating and can be painful, but when someone asks me how I'm feeling, it's easier and seems less whiny just to say I'm feeling fine.

Physically, I don't struggle as much as I know some people do. Mentally and emotionally is where I have a really hard time.

I constantly struggle mentally with anxiety about the baby, and I struggle with controlling and processing my emotions about basically everything. It's not that I enjoy being morbid, or even that I try to be morbid on purpose, but I'm so aware of the fact that my baby could die at any moment. Obviously anyone could die at any moment, but it's the stories about people losing babies before they are born that really get me. Jordan tells me not to read stories like that, but I don't seek them out! They find me somehow, and then I can't stop thinking about it.

Just a few days ago I was looking up the hashtag Fresh48 on Instagram to get ideas for what I should wear for our hospital pictures in February, and there was a photo with that tag that was someone sharing about her baby who died at 37 weeks. They went to her regular appointment and the baby had to no heartbeat. So then for the rest of the day I was all weepy thinking about that happening to that sweet mama and also freaking out about that happening to me. It feels like things like that pop up all time when I'm just trying to innocently look something up.

This is my third pregnancy and my third baby. Not everyone can say that. When I went in for my first ultrasound at 9 weeks, the nurse asked me, "What number of pregnancy is this?" I said three. Then she asked, "How many living children do you have?" I said two.

For some reason, I feel like the Lord has given me a sensitive heart toward those who struggle with infertility and miscarriage and loss of a baby. And I'm very aware that there are many women who aren't able to answer questions about number of pregnancies and children without sadness because the numbers don't add up like they should.

The reality is that although the percentages sit in favor of pregnancy and childbirth ending up just fine, there are so many sad stories of women losing babies, and I don't take it for granted that it seems at least so far that I'm able to have healthy, normal pregnancies. I've personally known three people who all delivered early within months of each other and were in the NICU for an extended time. One of those is one of my best friends. I have close friends who have had multiple miscarriages and friends who tried for years to get pregnant at all. I honestly do not take one single day of carrying my babies for granted.

I truly don't feel like I have anxiety to the point where I need medication or anything like that. Don't get too worried about me! I'm a verbal processor and don't actually think it's even possible for me to bottle up emotions to the point where anyone should be concerned. But I also realize the fact that I do struggle mentally and emotionally with pregnancy more than I do physically. Some of that is also just because I enjoy being in shape and enjoy doing things and going places, and physically speaking, I just can't do things like I am used to being able to; it's a difficult mind-set adjustment.

Truthfully, pregnancy is just so hard physically, mentally, and emotionally. That said, I love how nice and accommodating everyone is. I think it's such a fun and exciting time, and I actually do miss it when it's over, while in the same moment I just wish it were February and the baby was here safe and healthy already--and always with the knowledge that my baby might not actually get here safe and healthy in the end.

So how am I doing? How am I feeling? I'm tired in all the ways. I'm grateful. I'm anxious. I'm excited. I'm nervous. I'm truly taking one day at a time and doing my very best to trust Jesus with what comes after that.

"In your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." - Psalm 139: 16 (ESV)
Michelle said...

I relate a lot to the emotional/mental aspect. James also tells me to stop reading stories of moms losing babies, but they find me too! I would never seek them out. My emotions have been haywire lately. I had two days last week where I cried nonstop. Yesterday was similar. My Bible study has been talking about how God is enough. We can’t put our hope in anything but him. I felt so convicted that I was putting my hope in the baby’s wellbeing. It’s so hard not to do! And of course this all hit me the week I started bleeding. I praise God it turned out to be nothing, but it was a wake up call. It really is something to take one day at a time.

Amie said...

I felt the same way when I was pregnant with Bowen. When we checked into our room to be induced the nurse wrote 'Happy Birthday Bowen' on the board and I thought...why did she do that, he isn't actually here yet. Like I wanted to make sure he arrived alive and safe before anyone acknowledged his arrival. I worried about that the entire pregnancy.

I am so happy to hear that your pregnancy has been healthy and a healthy little one is expected at the end :)

Kaity said...

I can so relate to all of this. Pregnancy is so hard (even without the childbirth part). I constantly joke that if I could have another baby minus the pregnancy+labor part, I'd do it tomorrow. But there is a element of seriousness to it. Pregnancy demands so much of your body and mine is fundamentally different in ways that will continue for the rest of my life. Like you, i haven't experienced miscarriages, or difficulty conceiving, or GD. And yet pregnancy was still really tough for me for all the reasons you cite. This has been on my mind a lot lately and I'm thankful you shared ❤️

Rachel said...

I don't miss pregnancy when it's over. I'm so, so grateful for it, but I think I've found it to be a similarly anxious experience--and a bit of a helpless feeling one, as well, because in so many ways, you don't have any control over the outcome. I'm thankful that you mentioned the numbers thing--it always comes up in medical scenarios, just when I went in to have Glenn the midwife was going over my file and said, "So this is your third pregnancy and second birth?" and the mismatch of the number still hurts. Same with how frequently over the past year I've randomly gotten questions like, "So how does your second pregnancy compare to your first?" - innocent, not thinking at all that those numbers mean something different in my mind than in anyone else's. It's tough. Both Angel and my mom have individually told me in the past couple weeks that neither one of them was ever really feeling certain that we'dc actually get to meet this baby. It seemed like once we got one issue figured out, another one popped up. I feel like I spent the year walking on tiptoe with an axe hanging from a string above my neck...feeling like nothing could be certain. Actually I think I numbed myself to a lot of it and just focused on one day at a time...but a LOT of feelings are coming to the surface now that he's here about how scary it all was for so long.

AnneMarie said...

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! For both of my kids' pregnancies, I went through much more difficulty emotionally and mentally than physically. Especially when nearly every single mom I know (to my knowledge, at least) has lost at least one child to a miscarriage, it is so easy for me to get worried about the "what ifs." A few years back, some friends of mine lost their baby a couple months after birth, and that was one of the most heartbreaking-but funerals-I have ever been to. It's all such a reminder to me to trust in God and live in the present moment. I recently read a book about a priest who was killed in Guatemala in the 80s, and something that struck me is in the days leading up to his death, he was pretty sure he would be killed (tons of Christians were being killed down there at that time)-and instead of living in fear or anxiety, he was joyfully trying to embrace life and spend time with the people he loved. So I've been trying to keep that in mind as I parent my kids, and for any future pregnancies I have-to try, as best I can, to celebrate life and cling to God :)

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