This is something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I don’t love being pregnant. Honestly, I don’t even really like it. Yes there are things that I LOVE about it and there are things I enjoy about it – like feeling kicks, knowing I’m creating life, the anticipation of the baby’s arrival, the baby shower, watching Siena get excited to become a big sister…. And I know I’m lucky to be able to naturally conceive a child and I’m lucky to be carrying not just one, but two, healthy babies.
But pregnancy is hard. It’s not all cute weekly bump photos, ultrasounds, and eating an extra cookie (or three) because “the baby wants it.” The first trimester was really, really hard. Last time it was hard and this time it was worse. Living with non-stop nausea (and I can’t even imagine those who are constantly throwing up!) and exhaustion for months on end can really wear on you. I wouldn’t say I was depressed, but I had symptoms of depression. Nothing seemed wonderful anymore. I wasn’t motivated. I felt guilt over my lack of motivation and productivity. Nothing sounded good to eat. I was uncomfortable, sick, tired, and scared. Mom guilt starts with the child in the womb – was I doing enough for these babies? Could I ever love them the way I love Siena (second and third time moms always tell me YES)?
Half the time I wasn’t even thinking about them at all, I was focusing my attention on keeping my toddler alive and happy and how to make my never ending to-do list get shorter (when instead it just got longer). Sadly when I did think about the twins, I got a sense of anxiety at the idea of trying to manage three children under three. The financial burden alone is overwhelming, given that I will have to cut back on my work hours. Imagining breastfeeding two babies is scary, especially since I struggled to breastfeed one baby. Instead of dreaming of my two tiny little beautiful babies to cuddle, I often thought about the sleepless nights and the unending list of chores. Even with an incredibly supportive husband who I know I will be able to rely on, I’m scared for those early months.
In the first trimester, I felt guilty for taking naps every day even though that’s what my body was literally forcing me to do. I felt privileged for even being able to take naps (even though this meant I was working less and making less money). Honestly part of me even feels guilty even saying these words out loud becuase I don’t want to offend someone. But I also know that there have to be other women who feel like this and I want them to know they’re not alone.
I’m happy to say that those depression like symptoms mostly disappeared after the nausea stopped around 16 weeks. I won’t lie and say I still don’t have some anxious thoughts about the upcoming early days and how I’ll ever manage to have time for myself with three small children at home. I miss feeling like myself. I miss pushing myself hard in workouts and going for long runs. I miss drinking wine (more than one glass). I miss sleeping on my stomach. Sleeping is getting harder and I know it’s jut going to get worse as my belly grows. I know that I’m actually in the best part of my pregnancy and I need to take that for granted and enjoy it. This will be my last pregnancy and it’ll be over before I know it.
Focusing on the good things is the best thing I can do for myself right now. These children will be so loved. I’m getting the large family I always wanted. These hard times in the early days will be worth it. Without a doubt.
Fellow moms and moms to be, do you like being pregnant?