Pregnancy Reflections

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As I draw near to the end of this pregnancy, I find myself growing increasingly reflective. It's more than possible that this will be my last pregnancy (at the moment my husband and I feel that two kids is enough) and so on the one hand I feel all maternal and sentimental about it, but on the other hand, I'm also bit fed up! It seems a good time to explore both feelings and have it as a record to look back on in future years (maybe when I feel tempted to have another one and am looking back on the experience with rose tinted glasses!).

THE GOOD

I have been fortunate not to have terribly difficult pregnancies and there are definitely benefits to this state of my body. Let's get the superficial stuff out of the way first:

  • Clear skin
  • Thicker glossier hair that needs washing less often (less oil, yay!)
  • Less body hair - man it's nice not to have to shave so much!
  • Being able to eat... and eat... and eat... and the baby just consumes the excess calories (although I have put a bit of weight on the thighs and backside too!)
  • How nice everyone is to a pregnant woman
  • Pregnancy is a legitimate reason to slow down a bit and take things easy for a while

On a deeper level, there is almost nothing more exciting than taking a pregnancy test and those two little lines showing up for the first time. That moment when I realised I was PREGNANT was so exciting, SO exciting. I remember literally jumping up and down and grinning so hard my face hurt. It was wonderful to just hug the secret to myself for a few moments and praise God for giving me such a blessing. Then I got to break the news to my husband and later on to family and friends... It was a very happy time.

My first positive pregnancy test. Crazy how excited that little faint pink line on the left got me!

There is also something wonderful about knowing that my body is nourishing my baby inside me, that she is being "made in the secret place" and "woven together in the depths of the earth" by God (Psalm 139:15). It is an awesome thing in the true sense of the word and it makes me feel nurturing and protective of my unborn child. I like wondering about what she looks like and what sort of personality she has, knowing that God already knows all of that as well as the details of every single day that she will experience on this earth. In a way, it's like he's making this present for me and my body is the wrapping paper - I couldn't open it early even if I wanted to! He says "wait" while he finishes the work and then one day, she will come out and I get to meet her, love her, raise her and teach her about Him. What a beautiful gift and how thankful I am for it.


THE BAD

I almost want to stop there without even mentioning the bad stuff - it kind of pales into insignificance after considering the kindness and wisdom of God in the way he creates new human beings. But for the sake of balance and honesty, I have to mention the things I haven't liked so much about pregnancy as well. I guess these are the things that are a result of living in a sinful, fallen world - the things that I would have escaped had Adam and Eve not disobeyed God and paradise had continued.

First and probably most significantly for me, has been the fatigue. In my first trimester it was debilitating. I would wake up after a full night's sleep and still feel exhausted. I would drag myself out of bed, get my daughter up, make breakfast for us both and eat it, say goodbye to my husband as he left for work, turn the TV on for my daughter and then go back to bed for an hour. Some days I would then put her in the play pen for another hour so I could get even more rest! During her nap in the afternoon, I also slept. Then I went to bed early in the evening (I tried to make it until 8:30pm at least so I could spend a little bit of time with my husband still). This lasted until around 18 weeks, when I started to get a bit more energy back. I felt pretty good up until probably around 30 weeks when the fatigue started to come back again and it's continued up until now. It's not as bad as my first trimester (thankfully) but I usually feel very tired by the time the afternoon rolls around, which is a pain because that is when my daughter is in bed and I get some time to myself. I'd like to do some gardening or blogging, but oftentimes I just don't have the energy and end up either napping, reading or staring blankly out the window. My bedtime also seems to be permanently fixed at around 9pm these days.


This time around there have also been a lot more aches and pains than there were with Sophia (my first). One particular kind of pain has sent me to the hospital a couple of times (first at 28 weeks and again at 34 weeks) to check and make sure everything is ok. It's been this continuous ache in my lower abdomen that would wrap around to my back and shoot up my sides if it got particularly bad.

The first time it happened we were staying with my in-laws and had left Sophia with them while my husband and I went out for a lunch and movie date. The pain actually started that morning while we were at church (it was a Sunday) but I didn't think much of it as I expected it would go away soon enough. It didn't. Halfway through the afternoon session movie we were watching at the cinema, it had gotten so bad that I couldn't sit there any longer, so we decided to leave and go to the hospital to get it checked out. Not the way I wanted to spend the rest of our date! Anyway, it all turned out to be fine and it was put down to my muscles/ligaments stretching.

It happened again at 34 weeks though, and this time it was a weekday and I was home on my own with Sophia in bed having a nap. I freaked out and called a friend who lives close by, who kindly offered to take me to the hospital. My dad was able to come and look after Sophia while we went. Again, it was a false alarm, but I felt reassured to have the checks done and be told that there was nothing wrong. Since then I have been wearing a pregnancy support belt and although I have still had more aches and pains, thankfully it hasn't been to the level where I've felt the need to go to the hospital again. Let's hope it stays that way until the real thing happens!

The last major down side of pregnancy for me is the restrictions. There's food restrictions - no cold ham, no smoked salmon, no sushi, no soft cheese and no take-away salads due to the listeria risk. I am so sick of the food I am allowed to eat! At the moment, what I am craving most is a Subway chicken teriyaki footlong sub with all the salad (minus pickles and jalapenos) and sweet onion sauce - oh yum, yes please. Closely followed by smoked salmon sushi. Also camembert cheese and cold ham on crackers. Excuse me while I just go off and daydream about that a bit....

Smoked salmon how I miss you

Oh yes, so we were talking about restrictions. Physical restrictions was the other kind I wanted to mention, especially in the third trimester. Having a big tummy makes gardening so much harder - that is the worst one for me. But just everything in general is harder and I get sore, puffed out and tired with basically any sort of prolonged physical activity.

THE UGLY

I can say this part pretty succinctly - the ugly part about my pregnancies is that I feel UGLY. I don't enjoy having excess weight on my body, even though it's perfectly natural during this time. It makes me feel unattractive and not like myself. I am looking forward to getting this baby out so I can get my normal slim physique back again (hopefully it will come back)!

This is basically how I feel right now

THANKFUL

Although pregnancy has had its trials for me I have to say that overall the word I would use to describe my experience is "thankful". I'm thankful to God that after two miscarriages, I was able to carry and give birth to Sophia. I'm thankful that I didn't have any more miscarriages before falling pregnant with this one. And God has been gracious in the way he has allowed only a certain level of discomfort with my pregnancies, far less than what many other women experience with morning sickness and the like. All in all, I recognise what a privilege it is to have been able to carry and give birth to my own children and I thank God for it.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

If you're a woman with children reading this, what did you enjoy about pregnancy? What did you hate? Is pregnancy something you miss at all?


4 comments

  1. This is such a lovely honest post, and I especially love the way you acknowledge, honour and praise God for the wonder and privilege of allowing you to participate in the incredible process of bringing new life into the world. But you made me laugh too, especially about the food, which was no surprise to me at all, dear foodie friend :)
    Pregnancies were a long long time ago for me (ahem, about as long ago as your mum's........), but I haven't forgotten the significant aspects, such as the endless morning sickness and the absolute awe of watching my body change and grow, seeing those little feet pushing under the tight drum of my belly, the precious awareness that I was nourishing a new life.
    I'm glad you've documented this in such a beautiful way and shared it with us. You are a wonderful mother and this new baby will be blessed to have you and hubby as her parents.
    We are so looking forward to meeting her soon and to hearing Sophie excitedly tell us that she has a baby sister!!! xxx

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  2. Pregnancy is a strange time - so much joy mixed with the reality that our body is completely out of our control and doing its own thing. I am always in awe of how our bodies grow this perfect little human being and often we don't take the time to appreciate the wonder of it because we're caught up in the discomfort and weariness (a bit like parenting small children - soooo much weariness goes with that period of time in my memory!)
    We're all so pleased that it's almost time to welcome this new little person into the family and if you do as good a job of parenting the second time around as you did with Sophia then I'm sure this child will be an absolute delight too.
    The countdown has begun (and your baby present arrived from Amazon today - so it's getting real down here too!) Savour these last moments if you can xx

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  3. Hi Hannah, Wish you the very best.:-)

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  4. All the contents you mentioned in post is too good and can be very useful. I will keep it in mind, thanks for sharing the information keep updating, looking forward for more posts.Thanks how to sleep during pregnancy

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