So, you just found out you're pregnant. Congratulations! The world as you know it is about to turn completely upside down. You might be wondering to yourself “how did this happen?” which we both know the answer. Or you might be jumping for joy after several attempts at trying to conceive a child. I know for me, my first thoughts after the initial “is this really happening?" phase wore off, was "what do I do now?"
Being a first-time pregnant mom is equivalent to being a freshman college student with a declared major they know absolutely nothing about. I have noticed while googling my heart out the past five months that there are a lot of sugar coated articles about how amazing pregnancy is or the necessary items you need on your baby registry. I will admit that pregnancy has been an eye opener and does have many positives, but I have not found an article that walks you through the unedited version of the journey you are truly about to go on. So without further ado, here is my personal tale of the highs and lows of my pregnancy journey thus far. I hope that my story will help you mentally prepare for how your own journey might be. It is important to remember that every pregnancy is a different path. May the odds be ever in your favor!
My first trimester was what some might call “typical” in a lot of ways. I had the mood swings and nausea. Acquiring some pregnancy products was highly recommended, so I bought the belly butter (Burt’s Bees) which I highly recommend as I have successfully avoided even the tiniest of stretch marks! I cut out alcohol and other bad habits I had acquired in the past 25 years, which to be honest was not all that hard for me to do. I did however have some symptoms that I would never wish on anyone which included prenatal or prepartum depression and placenta previa.
Prenatal depression is often not talked about on other pregnancy blogs. I guess in a way it's a bit taboo. This is and should be one of the best times of my life, but for whatever reason I was a tornado of emotions ranging from thinking “I will not be a good mother” to the selfish thoughts like “my body is going to look like shit after this, and my boyfriends eyes will begin to wander. Which I now realize is ridiculous, and I was my usual pessimistic self!
If you are experiencing depression that was not there before you became pregnant, it is 100% preventable, and there are things you can do including, but not limited to, being prescribed medications, or simply talking it out with your partner or a family member you feel comfortable confiding in. I chose the latter, and I am so glad that I was able to vocalize what I was feeling to someone who cared. It made me realize that everything I was thinking was, in fact, all in my head, but it was not “stupid” to think those things. I think any mom would be worried about their life changing in such a drastic and permanent way.
At the beginning of my second trimester, I was diagnosed with Complete Placenta Previa. This is when the placenta is completely covering your cervix instead of being attached to the top right or left corner of the uterus. When I heard this news, I was also informed that there was a higher percent change I would need to have a C-section if my little girl didn't move. Fortunately for me, and a lot of other women diagnosed with this, my baby girl moved enough out of the way for natural birth to still be on the table. For this to be possible, the baby needs to be at least 2 cm away from the cervix. So for now, and hopefully for the rest of my pregnancy, I am out of the woods when it comes to a risky delivery!
Other than that, my second trimester has been night and day from my first. I have a lot of energy; I do not feel sick hardly at all. My food aversions have ceased for the most part, and I can be in the car again without getting motion sickness! I would trade my first-trimester mood swings and morning sickness for my current dilemmas of shortness of breath and not being able to get off the couch as gracefully as before any day of the week! I have accepted most of the changes my body is making as well. I now have a new found love for my belly bump. Knowing that my little girl is growing and swimming around in my belly is amazing, and I am reminded of that every time I feel her wiggle around as if she's saying good night at the end of the day (when she is most active.)
So there you have it. My first 20 weeks of pregnancy wrapped in 1000 words or less. I am in no means an expert, nor do I claim to be one. I realize that every pregnancy is unique and amazing in its own way. I wish all of you mommas to be, or new mommy’s the best of luck on your new journey into motherhood. I cannot wait to be able to be finally able to hold my little girl and introduce her to the life that David and I have built together. The best is yet to come!
** All photos in this blog were taken by David Beardsley. Be sure to check out his other work here.