Enjoying Your Pregnancy! No, Seriously

No, no, I am not pregnant. But a number of my friends I follow are.

Esperanza pointed out the strange feelings that following pregnant IF bloggers can cause. Esperanza has one child, I have two. She’s in a different place than me. For me, pregnancy blogs sometimes make me feel guilty.

Why’s that?

Well, for starters my pregnancy was full of fear and strange medical terms like “hypermesis”, “round ligament pain” and “irritable uterus”. I had gone through three IVF attempts, one loss. A twins pregnancy is a scary “high-risk” pregnancy, even if you haven’t gone through infertility and loss.

I spent the first six months trying to find food that wouldn’t make me puke my guts out. I could not enter restaurants, even go outside sometimes. Food could not be prepared in my apartment. There are certain streets in San Francisco that I could point out where I vomited, multiple times, due to the smell of cigarettes or, I don’t know, chicken being cooked five blocks away. I spent a lot of time in bed. I went on leave. I was threatened with hospitalization a few times, thankfully never having to spend a night there.

I never had on makeup and rarely took a shower (I puked a lot in there, OK! TMI?). I am proud to say I read “Swann’s Way”, which was so difficult to understand that it kept my mind deliciously occupied, as if I was engaged in a puzzle. I am not so proud to say I watched all of “The Hills”, Season 2. Oh, Lauren. Girl, we SO needed to talk in 2007.

AT 28 weeks, I had my babies’ shower. It was a beautiful, stunning party put on in an art-filled mansion by one of my MIL’s friends. I remember feeling like a deer in the headlights. There is only one photo of the event, and it is not of my “Bump”.

In fact, I only have one photo of me “bumping out”, as EOnline is calling pregnancy now, as if it were a simple fashion trend some celebrities have decided to try on for size. I don’t know when it was taken. My parents had sent me a fun top to wear, and Darcy insisted on a photo of me in it. I am so, so glad he did.

At 31 weeks, I had to go to the ER for premature contractions. Luckily a drug was able to stop them. At 33 weeks, I had to go back. They were stopped again. During that time, I tried not to be scared out of my gourd. I spent a lot of time watching tremendously bad reality TV shows, all from Bravo and MTV. I was prescribed official bedrest.

Finally at 35 weeks my OBGyn, who was an amazing, stress-free, breezy lady who always made me feel calm, breathed and said I should enjoy my life now, quick, before I was a mother. That last week was fun. I was able to eat in one restaurant where my girth freaked the heck out of our hostess, who made sure we knew we were seated VERY close to the exit. Hee!

All this is to say, I look back and am sorry I DIDN’T document my pregnancy with more photos. I wish I had OWNED my pregnancy more, instead of feeling like a ginormous fraud. I wish I had allowed more people to fuss over me.

So preggo bloggers: keep on documenting. Show your bump at all the stages. Buy pretty maternity clothes. Let family and friends spoil you a little or a lot. And tell us about it! You deserve to enjoy this. You have earned it. Don’t let fear rule.

Because soon, this will be you.

Did you enjoy your pregnancy? Are you enjoying your pregnancy now?



Filed under Family, Infertility

18 responses to “Enjoying Your Pregnancy! No, Seriously

  1. Mo

    Yay! What an awesome post J, thanks for putting it out there.
    Oh, and I’m sorry I’ve been so crappy with my commenting, you’ve had some amazing stuff on here lately. Know I’ve been reading every word!

  2. Yes I am enjoying it! Thanks so much for writing this. It’s quite tricky to go from writing about waiting and treatment to actually come out on the other side being pregnant. I have felt guilty at times for enjoying it, knowing so many would want this. Also because maybe I should be more scared in the beginning and feeling cautious.. or maybe I know too much 🙂
    Sorry you had such a rough pregnancy! can’t have been easy.

  3. I felt scared for the first trimester. I was lucky to get pregnant very easily, with just two treatment cycles – but my best friend had 4 miscarriages in the prior 2 years (2 silent ones, one ectopic, one chemo), and that left an ingrained fear in me. I was scared out of my wits every time before an u/s that there will be no more heartbeat. Or something else will go wrong because I have PCOS and my hormones are doing weird unpredictable things (these fears are making a comeback now that I hit trimester 3… what if my brain decides to go into premature labour because of these freaky hormones?!)..

    Mmmm, I even received some “hate mail” about being pregnant and not grateful (I think people should know the difference between “fear” and “ungratefulness”). Anyway…

    Once I hit trimester #2 and started sharing the news with family and friends (and even facebook – at about 20 weeks), I started to believe that this is for real, this is happening – and started (gradually) to enjoy it. I document my every cough, scare, cramp – and my every joy and wonder. In part, for my own memories. In part – for that friend of mine. I hope one day she will get pregnant, and just as she was able to guide me through the IF treatments forest with her advice – I will have very detailed notes on pregnancy for her… And, perhaps, my baby will appreciate this journal, when he grows up?

    Detailed documentation made me think more about my pregnancy, and the baby, and the future – beyond pregnancy. It prepared me. Connected me with the changes taking place. I am aware, mindful, and living in the now – something I rarely could achieve before.

    But I do realize that it is easier for me to enjoy the process for I have never suffered loss – only the emptiness of not being able to conceive without external help. I admire the strong women who are fighting some really scary demons as they sail through their pregnancies along my side in the blogosphere…

  4. Thank you so much for writing this! I am trying to push fear away and enjoy this pregnancy as I might never experience this again. I really appreciate your perspective 🙂

  5. I love that you posted this today. I understand and sympathize greatly with your pregnancy experience – so much so that it practically gave me flashbacks (except that the one picture you do have is so great that you could use it to rebuild the whole story if you were so inclined). This has been on my mind lately and I’ve even written a post about it – if I can ever can get around to publishing it. It is great advice and I’m honestly going to work on applying it. Unfortunately, it does not come naturally for me.

  6. Great post! It’s so hard to let go, but eventually you do just have to embrace your pregnancy and give into the idea that it’s going to happen. I think I’ve been really lucky to have a very smooth pregnancy for the most part, although I’m now getting impatient for the next part! 🙂

  7. Lut C.

    I really liked this post. 🙂
    There’s early onset survivor’s guilt, there’s trying to be tactful, but there’s so much more to experiencing PG and parenting after IF.

  8. Love this post. Easier said than done, though, to ditch the fear. My first pregnancy was a breeze. Then RPL … and I spent my entire second *successful* pregnancy waiting for the other shoe to drop, to lose yet another baby. That doesn’t mean there weren’t moments of joy. It’s just that it wasn’t as documented or celebrated as the first one was. And while I sort of regret that, I’ve also accepted that I was a different person then, and I did what I could to survive emotionally from day to day. That said, we should definitely show blog love to the pregnant ladies in waiting … because having a community rally around me made all the difference during those long, anxious months!

  9. Well, after 8 years of infertility hell, I can honestly say that I was stressed and terrified during the majority of my pregnancy. Started with late-onset OHSS and a week of hospitalization at the big fancy teaching hospital in my state, then a week of bed rest, round ligament pain from the get-go, a couple of episodes of unknown bleeding, then an emergency c-section at the end – so, yeah, no. Topping it all off was that fact that no one recognized my pregnancy – I’m fat, see. people I’ve known most of my life had no idea…and then, because I’m mixed race but my blond haired, blue-eyed son totally passes for white, a number of people have asked me “where he came from”, which as you can imagine is pretty effing awesome in 2011.

    One picture was taken, and I don’t know where the film is. I really wish I had been strong enough to demand more pictures, but I didn’t want to jinx myself. If FET 2011 works, I’ll take more than one…not that anyone is going to take note except for us.

    I am still bitter, obviously. But, y’know, life goes on.

  10. I always thought I would keep a pregnancy journal — I even had a blank journal that I had kept specifically for the purpose. I never wrote a word in it. I only have one photo of myself visibly pregnant. This was 13 years ago, pre-blogs & the weekly/monthly photo idea never occurred to me. I did think I would have SOME photos, but it seemed like there was plenty of time….

  11. Pingback: Enjoying your pregnancy « Yolk: A blog about eggs and sperm

  12. Great post! I recently said to my husband that infertility has taken so much away from us and then our loss did too and at some point we have to accept that this might work otherwise it is going to be a looooooong 9 months! Bumping out. I like 🙂

  13. Excellent advice! It’s awful that after finally achieving viable pregnancies, we often can’t enjoy them. Having D via surrogacy, I obviously wasn’t pregnant, but we have only a very few pictures of F pregnant with him. Not sure why? It wasn’t intentional. I was a nervous, anxious wreck until we hit about 30 weeks and then I finally was able to exhale a bit.

    Thanks for the compliments on the floor and hutch! My husband installed hardwoods in the bedrooms before D was born. He started in December and finished in May. D was born in June. I don’t recommend major house projects before a baby joins your family 🙂

  14. Thanks for this post…this is something I’ve been thinking about a lot. I’m 19 weeks pregnant and have been doing a lot of documentation. But I’ve also been really sick and scared (still) something is going to happen and am not feeling very pretty with all this extra weight…really looking forward to the day when I can have my body back! So enjoyment has been complicated by a number of factors.
    Anyway, thanks for the encouragement! 🙂
    And sorry you had such a hard pregnancy…

  15. Hi! I found you on Elphaba’s blog. Great post! I really want to enjoy my pregnancy when I finally get there.

  16. Nat

    Enjoyed this post! Thanks for sharing. Yeah, I realized how much fear has been eating into me since getting that very precious first bfp and how much I worry unnecessarily even when the Obgyns tell me everything is a-okay and refuse to see me too much. Then on the other end I tell myself to quit being ms paranoid and just enjoy what comes along but I didn’t want to put myself out there to much. So lately I decided that I could do it on the blog since not many friends from FB know about it – phew. Just a few that I treasure.
    Bumping out eh!

  17. Such a great post. And, I’m trying so hard. After a loss at 12 weeks about a a year and a half ago, I’m now pregnant with twins after my first IVF. The last time, I told myself I’d enjoy every second of the next one because I was afraid to do so the first time. So far I’ve dealt with OHSS and a subchorionic hematoma and continuous bleeding since about week 5. I’m 8 weeks, now, and I’m basically trying to force myself to feel positive about it when terror is always in the back of my mind. At this point, I’m telling myself that no news is good news and I might as well be happy while waiting for the next scan. I really hope at some point I get to turn this to genuine excitement and happiness.

    On the other hand, I am definitely taking pictures.

  18. Amy

    I’m trying…but finding it hard to get past the fear, frankly. Only eight weeks…I am excited to be two weeks further along than I’ve ever gotten before, but after several early losses it’s just so hard to believe I’ll really get another 30 weeks. I want to take pictures…feeling held back by not having cleaned any area in my house to make a decent enough background (oh, if this spotting would just STOP ALREADY!). But you’re right – I know I will regret not having these mementos if/when (when! right? WHEN.) it ends in a baby….even if the pictures show a dirty house reflected in a dusty mirror, I guess.

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