We. Are. Pregnant.
The photo says it all. Our excitement is uncontainable. I’m thrilled to be sharing the news publicly now. I’m excited to be able to talk about what these last three months of our lives have been like. It’s been a ride, that’s for sure.
It’s hard to talk about this pregnancy without talking about our two previous pregnancies. I’ve openly talked with people in my life about the two babies we lost, but when I’m ready I’ll be able to truly share and put words to what that was like, because I really do believe in openly talking about how difficult pregnancy can truly be for some of us and how common miscarriage is. The topic will continue to be tabooed if we shy away from sharing our experiences. I don’t need to say much more than state that it happened, and it is because of this history that many of my experiences as a pregnant woman now may differ from that of a first timer’s. There are many ways in which these losses coat my current experiences, and many ways in which they have allowed for very different and positive outlooks on many of the things that have happened so far.
There are so many moments over the past three months where I did not feel like myself. It’s easy for me to sum up the three months in a blur of overjoyed excitement mixed with overwhelming fear and anxiety. From the moment I saw the second line appear on that home pregnancy test I fell to the floor in an incredibly powerful realization of how blessed I was to get another chance. The joy hit me like a truck and filled my very being. The tears flowed like never before. Almost just as quickly, I felt my expression change into worry. What did this mean? How could I keep this one safe, was there anything I could do? The realization again of how frail life was and how removed I was from the position of control was terrifying.
Fear marked many of my first experiences, the first trip to the bathroom was terrifying, the first ultrasound visit that wasn’t related to a miscarriage was also terrifying, pretty soon I realized this was not fair. It wasn’t fair for the little human being that was taking shape inside of me nor was it fair to Christian or me. We made a very conscious decision to remove fear from our minds, and it’s not as easy as it sounds. Lots of personal work had to happen for this to eventually be replaced by the goal which was the feeling of overwhelming gratitude. Meditation, prayer, visualization and daily mantras have kept fear at bay. It’s not like it’s impossible for it to come back, it has and will continue to, but I have a process in place for changing the thinking patterns now, and gratefulness is always the counter to fear for me.
“I am grateful to be pregnant in this moment, I am grateful for the life inside of me and I know they are happy, healthy and comfortable.”
Over and over until nothing else can occupy my mind, let the fear pass.
Right around the time I hit six weeks, the nausea paid me a visit, and made itself very comfortable in my life. It was soon found out that I had something called “Severe Morning Sickness” and this is why I spent weeks on end vomiting about 8 times a day, at all times of the day.
Some days I barely remember being awake, visions of waking up and being half carried to the bathroom by Christian. Vomiting until the blood vessels in my face burst and I left the bathroom only to fall back into his arms. Faint attempts to eat a soda cracker or two.
Days when I would start a timer after eating to push myself to hold in what I ate for at least half an hour before the breathing exercises wouldn’t work anymore and I had to run to throw up. I think the longest I made it was 27 minutes, and I was proud of that.
Without fault though, after every trip to throw up, I gave thanks. Something was happening inside me, and this was my constant reminder, my constant alert that all was well, and I was still pregnant. The gratefulness I felt, and continue to feel has kept my spirits high.
After three weeks of barely surviving on vitamin water and soda crackers, I had lost nine pounds, I looked faint and weak, I could barely keep myself upright and even water was difficult to contain. I was trying to just handle it. And I felt like I couldn’t complain, I didn’t want to either. I’d wanted this for long enough, and it was here and now, I just had to roll with whatever came. I am very much aware of those families that are still in their journey to have their positive pregnancy test and I felt like complaining was the same thing as being ungrateful. Which is very much untrue, but I share in case someone else has ever felt this way. Christian urged me to phone my doctor who quickly prescribed medication due to the severity of what I was experiencing. “All pregnant women with nausea take this,” I got the pills and after some online research on them decided I would give it a try.
It’s crazy but my immediate thought was that I was cheating at this pregnancy thing. Taking medicine to make this ‘easier’? It felt like I wasn’t going to get to experience everything as it should be, like I was choosing the easy way out. Silly, in hindsight, but I remember even then being immediately shocked at how quickly the guilt came over me. I shook my head as I took the medicine and went to bed. Guilt is not something I want to be a part of my life, again, I’m not saying you should block feelings out but I can make the conscious choice to change them.
The next morning, I woke up and went to brush my teeth, it was mid-brush that I realized I didn’t wake up with the immediate need to vomit. Relief seems like the appropriate feeling at this point, but I felt none of it. Instead I froze, toothbrush in mouth, my eyes going wide and looking at my stomach’s reflection. Why wasn’t I feeling sick, why wasn’t I throwing up, did something happen to the baby? Had something gone terribly wrong? The next hour was brutal as I worked really hard to rid myself of these thoughts. It’s the medicine, it’s working, that’s all. But I immediately thought, there’s no way I can take this medicine again, the anxiety it gave me was not worth the relief from the vomiting, throwing up had become my cue that all was well, taking it away was not going to work for me. But I couldn’t even make it to work, I still had to function. The debate was strong and didn’t last long because soon enough I was overcome with nausea and had to rush to throw up. My eyes stayed closed at the end as I gave thanks again and my heart starting beating at a normal pace.
I’ve come far since then, I now take four of those pills a day and still throw up regularly though my average has gone down to threeish times a day, thanks to the medication. It’s still been insane and some days are worse than others in terms of how little food I’m able to hold in but I’m just past the three month mark (14 weeks today!), we now wait and see if this gets a little less pronounced and allows me to focus on eating regular meals, eating vegetables and good stuff more often.
Today we live in gratitude and happiness. Sure, there are moments when we falter, but for the most part we have found balance. For now, we are grateful for each day we get. It’s a new day, baby is still here with us and there’s so much joy in just that simple thought. Christian has always been the biggest love of my life but the love I feel for him has expanded to new levels as I’ve seen him care for me day in and day out. His constant support in rubbing my back when I’m throwing up, always getting my pills, encouraging me to drink or eat throughout the day, just hugging me when I’ve been unable to keep anything in for days and making sure I never need to ask for anything. I’m grateful for him in my life, for all that he is. There is so much love in the small actions you do every day that they are so much more powerful than any grand gesture once a year ever could outdo.
Thank you for reading this far. Now we’re caught up.