warning……long personal post, may be TMI.
(picture behind story at bottom)
Today marks 23 weeks for my 6th and final pregnancy. It also marks my toughest one. Here’s a little background on my other pregnancies, my first pregnancy at 19 years old; I was very sick had all the symptoms of pregnancy, then around 13 weeks I miscarried, I woke up bleeding one morning and then had to have a D&C. It wasn’t easy, especially because I had several friends who were pregnant as well, I didn’t understand it why it had happened. My second pregnancy at 20/21 was sickness, alllllllll day sickness, I would throw up day in and day out, I wanted to sleep for 9 months, but come the 2nd trimester I started to feel more human again, then my first daughter was born. My third pregnancy at 23 was the same as my second, symptoms lasting a little longer with this one, but by this time I knew how to control the throwing up and knew when it was coming. After about 18-20 weeks I was feeling more human, with just a bigger belly, my son was born. My fourth pregnancy at 25 was very different from the other, I wasn’t sick at all, the day of my missed period with the others I was sick immediately, this time I wasn’t not even a little bit. I took it as maybe God was giving me a free pass this pregnancy that it was going to be easier on my body, so I wasn’t stressed or scared. I was excited that we were going to have another one and that it was going to be throw up free. 9 weeks in on Thanksgiving morning, I miscarried. It was very rough on me, I didn’t understand why I was losing this baby, when I had had two healthy pregnancies before that. Shortly after my miscarriage I got pregnant for the fifth time at 26. Again symptoms happened right away and continued, they let up around 15 weeks and I was feeling great-as much as you can carrying a large watermelon around 24/7. Our second little girl was born.
I always knew I wanted at least three kids. But after my third came, there was this overwhelming feeling of I don’t think I’m done, I don’t feel like our family is quite complete. When people would ask me if I was done having kids I said, “I am for now” and left it at that. 18 months after she was born I become pregnant, with my sixth pregnancy. My husband and I were very excited to have another one. Of course the day of my missed period I woke with the typical symptoms, nausea, throwing up, feeling like a ton of bricks hit me, exhausted. It made me happy knowing that this would be a good pregnancy that these symptoms brought comfort to me knowing that we would have another little one soon. The next day I woke up feeling like a million bucks. I felt amazing, didn’t feel one drop of sickness, I was then very hesitant and scared, my last miscarriage was this way. I wasn’t a drop of sick my last miscarriage, all I could think was I’m going to miscarry. I immediately set up a blood draw with my doctor, I wanted to calm my nerves and know before it would happen (ok logically speaking I wouldn’t know before it happened, but this calmed me, at least for the time being). Then after an extremely long weekend we did it again and my numbers kept going up-which was a good sign. My doctor-seriously the best doctor EVER-calmed me a little and said EVERY pregnancy is different, no two pregnancies are the same. So I took that into consideration and went on hoping every day I would get sick. It was my since of comfort during pregnancy knowing that it would be a good pregnancy. Morning after morning I would wait to see how I felt and I felt great, minus being tired. Finally after about 2 weeks it happened. The sickness happened. The days of forever happened. In my other pregnancies I would immediately throw up and then eat something and I felt a lot better. But with this one, this one was completely different. I would wake up and throw up, then I would eat something, and throw up again. Then I would eat again, because I knew if I didn’t I would be sick and it would be painful if I didn’t eat. By lunch time I was done for the day, I was so exhausted that when I put the baby down for a nap and a movie (yes I did it and I had to) for the other two I would nap. I had to, I had to nap every single day, if I didn’t I wouldn’t make it through the day. Immediately after I woke from my nap I would be sick and I would feel so gross, I was always hot and felt like a ton of bricks. I would count down the hours until it was bedtime. That was the only time I sort of felt good, laying down and hoping I wasn’t going to get sick, that I could just fall asleep and not think about being sick. My sense of smell was also a trigger for me throwing up, oh man anything and everything would make me throw up. I counted down the days and tried to survive on anything I could to get me through and get me energy to take care of my kids. This was over the summer, the whole 2.5 months my kids were home from school that I was feeling like death had taken over my body. I would cry myself to sleep a lot, because I felt like I was failing my kids because I wasn’t able to do things, I didn’t want to do things because I felt horrible, so horrible. Â It made me second guess my pregnancy, if we, I, was doing the right thing by having another baby. I wasn’t present with them and they knew I felt terrible. They knew my routine of being sick or knew I had to pullover to throw up. I hated them seeing me like this, it made me feel very weak in front of them, I was very weak.
My kids were so incredibly kind to me. My oldest helped out so much, getting me water, getting me a blanket, being a little mom. Whenever I was sick my son would come up and ask me if I was ok. My littlest one helped me in the bathroom, she would come in with me (like any toddler) and would rub my back as I had my head over the toilet. My mom snapped this picture of them all waiting in the hallway as I was in the bathroom throwing up. They were all concerned for me and wanted to make sure I was alright. When I finally hit the 12 weeks I was hoping and praying the sickness would soon go away. Each week after that I would keep hoping and wishing. It was a very strange pregnancy for me, I would throw up every morning into the 2nd trimester and still be extremely tired (napping every day I could), but then I would randomly be sick, even after I did everything I knew or thought would insure me not to, making sure I ate, making sure I didn’t go sit down or lay down immediately after eating, or making sure I ate the right things. I have a few other friends who are pregnant as well and as I saw them announcing their pregnancies so easily I was hesitant. At first because I am a professional photographer, I feel there’s this higher expectation (or maybe I put it on myself) to have a creative announcement. I thought of so many different things I could do and I either didn’t have the energy to do them or I didn’t think it was going to be good enough. I hadn’t told many people that I was pregnant. My family eventually found out or was told by us. Then as I was getting bigger and telling people, the comments started rolling in……the hurtful ones.
“You’re pregnant again?” (with the shocked look, are you crazy?)
“Don’t you know how much kids cost?”
“Baby number 4?! WOW!”
“Don’t you know how kids are made?”
“Do you think that’s a smart idea?”
“Oh WOW you have your hands full”
“This is the last one, isn’t it?”
“I hope one of you is getting fixed after this”
“Birth control is affordable you know”
“You’re a busy mom”
That’s just a few of the comments I have gotten so far, I don’t assume it will stop anytime now or after baby comes. Adding these in to me not feeling good has made it harder and made it harder for me to want to announce to the world that I’m pregnant again. I have thought about keeping it secret until baby comes, but this being my last pregnancy I want to share it, I want to be excited for it and not have to feel as if I have to hide it. I’m tired of the mean comments I’ve gotten so far, that I should feel ashamed that I wanted another child. This child should come into a world that is accepting and loving, not one that wishes their parents didn’t make the right decision by having another one. I have felt defensive as I have told people that I am pregnant with 4, I wait for their negative comment, and I say immediately after “this IS the last one” but I HATE that I feel that way. Feel that I have to say it like, I’m wrong for wanting to have another. Having been extremely sick and having this by all means be my worse pregnancy and then having to defend myself, it hasn’t been an easy 23 weeks. As you continue to have kids, people get less and less excited for you. Every child should be celebrated and loved, no matter if they are the first child or the fourth or seventh for that matter. JUST over the last 2-3 weeks I have finally started to feel good again, haven’t thrown up but maybe once or twice and haven’t been as tired as I was. I still have annoying symptoms that I know will go away once baby comes, but at the moment make things more uncomfortable. It’s also helped that I have started to feel the baby kicking. Feeling the little kicks inside are also such an incredible feeling. I have 17 weeks to go till this little one arrives and now that I have finally felt the courage to come out and “officially” tell people and not feel ashamed like I was feeling, I feel better. Maybe I over think things-ok I do, my husband tells me all the time I do-but I’m the one that gets the looks and the comments and I am only human, I can only take so much of it. I’m not even sure if anyone will even read this, but if they do I hope that you think before you make one of those comments to anyone expecting. Every child deserves to be welcomed into this world, even if they are still growing. Show them this can be a wonderful, kind place to live.
Story behind the pregnancy picture
Like I said up above, I had no many ideas on how to announce the pregnancy, but I was either too sick to do any of them or I didn’t think they were good enough. This picture wasn’t what I wanted, I wanted a perfect silhouette in front of some flowing sheer curtains and wanted to look like a beautiful pregnant woman, with the perfect round belly and of course perfect messy bun. Instead I got this picture taken in front of the only windows/doors that had light coming in, distracting porch chairs on the deck, messy bookcase and a chair-a chair that could’ve been moved easily, but wasn’t- it’s a glimpse that not everything is perfect, and nothing will be. The symbol of this pregnancy for me, that it hasn’t been easy on me emotionally or physically, or my family. That it has been rough, but there is an end in sight and we are slowly but surely getting there. In a blink of an eye we will be there and be long past it, time will fly the moment our little one arrives.