For the past five years I have wanted nothing more than to be around children. I LOVE kids. I love watching them make sense of the world; ask questions that are completely ridiculous but really wanting to know the answer; learning something new every single moment and being so amazed at the smallest things. Kids are brave, resilient, fearless, (sometimes) dramatic, loving, and generally kind. They believe in the greater good and are so quick to let anyone in–it is truly inspiring.
Since this desire to be around children popped up, my now husband has been really supportive in encouraging me to find a career that centers around children. I worked as a lead teacher at a daycare for a while and then eventually moved on to Nanny three of the cutest and greatest kids I have ever known. They have taught me a love I didn’t know could exist, sacrificing my own needs, needing a break from them–but missing them the second I leave, my food is never off limits, and kids keep you humble. I have watched them grow from these tiny little humans who could barely speak into these beautiful little nuggets that have opinions, wants, requests, likes, hates, etc. They have changed my heart and really prepared me for motherhood. Which is a good thing because in a few short months I will have my own baby girl–baby G.
Reading and hearing about pregnancy, prior to be pregnant, was all this magnificent dream that I could not wait to endure. I was READY to be a mom and every month that I got the monthly reminder I wasn’t, made me sad and honestly a little scared. I just believed it would happen so quickly–I mean it couldn’t be that hard, could it? I was wrong… it was months of not preventing, expecting a positive test, being sad and resentful, and wondering if something was wrong me. (I know this is ridiculous, but I also know tons of women out there who expect it to happen in the snap of a finger). Eventually I had to stop wanting control over something completely out of my control and put my trust in God. We did become pregnant and I found out in late February–I was only 3 weeks and 5 days at the time. My pregnancy test came back positive really early on–which is was AWESOME, but also lead to even more fear.
The first couple weeks of pregnancy weren’t too bad, I was exhausted and trying to keep a secret from my family while I waited for week 12 to finally arrive, but overall I was excited. Then day 1 of week 6 hit–which also meant my morning sickness hit. Let me tell you all something: MORNING SICKNESS IS A GIANT LIE. It doesn’t just happen in the morning and it isn’t just a few rounds of vomiting and you’re back to feeling completely normal. Morning sickness, for lots of women, is an all day event that leaves you overly fatigued, emotionally and physically drained, and honestly kind of mad that a tiny little seed can wreck such havoc on your body that early in his/her life. My morning sickness quickly went from horrible to heinous. Week 7 I was throwing up every 10-20 minutes (mostly dry-heaving) and had to go to the hospital for fluids. Week 8 and 9 were the same. Week 10-14 were the worst. I would try to stand up and immediately start my vomiting cycle. I would eat a piece of toast in attempt to settle my stomach, but it would come right back up. I would try to brush my teeth only to dry-heave for 30 minutes straight. I could not drink a drop of water without an hour of my stomach sharing it’s anger at me. I was in the hospital a total of 9 times. I was throwing up blood, staying 1-2 days at a time in the hospital and CONSISTENTLY puking. I lost over 10 pounds in 6 days. I was empty, hurting, and frightened. Being pregnant adds this extra fear that something horrific is going to happen to your baby who you finally were able to create and carry. Being that sick on top of it left me a nervous wreck. I was afraid something would happen to my child or to me. I was living in this constant state of fear on top of feeling like I was the walking dead.
However, every night when I would lay down, I would thank God for giving me the opportunity to feel the way I was feeling–to give me this child that I was going to raise and hold in a few short months. If I threw up only 50 times that day, I would thank God it wasn’t 60 like the day before. I found ways to find the silver lining in that sickness. I know my first trimester was worse than some women, but I also know there are women out there who beg God every single day to let them feel that way. I am so fortunate and blessed to be able to carry my own child–even if it meant feeling like I was going to die in the process of getting to where I am now. I wish I could say God answers all our prayers or that there are reasons some of us are able to conceive naturally or at all, but I don’t have those answers. I just pray that when you or someone you know is struggling through the first trimester–you/they know it is okay to feel horrible and dreadful, but it is also such a miracle. (I hated hearing this at first too because I was definitely in the mindset of ‘how in the hell do people have multiple kids’). My relationship with God was strengthened and deepened throughout my first trimester. I was worried my mental health would take a toll (I suffer with chronic depression) but it didn’t. I was generally happy even in the sickness.
I am now 22 weeks (YAY) and we found out we are having a baby girl, Genevieve. She is expected to arrive in November. I still have a couple days a week where I wake up super nauseous, but for the most part I am on the mend. I wanted to share this story because I know there are tons of women–like myself–who read about pregnancy and other people’s pregnancy journeys and expect theirs to be spot on. The second we read something that isn’t similar to our own, we freak out. For instance, the first 4-6 weeks of knowing I was pregnant my cramps were INTENSE. I thought I was 11 years-old again and going through my first period. You read about cramps on the internet and they say “mild cramping.” So of course your brain turns to the worst. All of our bodies are different and pregnancy is going to look different on everyone. People will give you advice, share their own stories, and try to help you feel better (all out of kindness), but try to not let yourself get caught up in their story. This is YOUR story, YOUR body, and YOUR baby. If you are concerned, call your doctor–not google. If you keep getting unwanted advice, ask them nicely to listen without sharing their own story. All of us mothers have to stick together and sometimes that means shutting up and being there for one another.
I also wanted to share this story because I am lucky. I am lucky to be able to have a child with my husband. I might have complained throughout this pregnancy, but I hope that never made another woman who is unable to carry feel like I wasn’t grateful. I am beyond grateful and thankful and I don’t know what it is like to not be able to feel my child kicking… But I am praying for you. I am praying God answers your prayers–whether that is exactly what you asked for or him answering your prayers in an unexpected way. I am praying that you get to be a mommy–in whatever way God makes that appear in your life. I am praying that we are all able to be on the journey of motherhood together–even though the rollercoaster ride to get there isn’t the same. God is so good and I hope we can all remember that… especially when it seems he isn’t listening.