Pregnancy is hard. I’m only sixteen and a half weeks in, and I know enough to confidently say that pregnancy is already one of the hardest things I will ever do. Anyone who has been pregnant before would probably tell you the same thing. It’s hard on a multitude of levels.
Before I was even pregnant, I was stricken with a severe case of “baby fever,” which sounds cute but isn’t at all. I would randomly cry all the time, but especially at the sight of a child. One minute I’d be snacking on some pizza and watching TV, the next I’d be sobbing over a diaper commercial. One night in particular, I remember sitting up in bed with tears streaming down my face trying to explain to my husband what it felt like. The best I could come up with was, “I feel homesick for a baby I haven’t had yet.” For me, baby fever felt like I had a child out there waiting for me to bring them home. Daily, I missed a baby, my baby, that hadn’t even been born. I had always known that I loved and wanted children, but it wasn’t until two years into my marriage that this intense longing took over my heart.
I was stuck for a long time at a very clear fork in the road. Should I have a baby or should I go back to college? If you’re my dad, the answer is obvious, but if you’re me it really wasn’t. I took a very, very long time coming to that conclusion. There was so much pressure on me to make the right decision. With two years of college behind me, all I had to do next was choose a major and jump back in at a new school. But I couldn’t comfortably settle on what I wanted to be when I grow up. I went back and forth, and back and forth.
During this process the gaping hole in my chest kept reminding me how much I just wanted to hold that tiny baby, and wake up every two hours every night, and know that I get to be a mother to a tiny little life. No matter how much I focused on the difficulties of having a baby, nothing deterred how I felt. I knew that I wanted a baby and I knew that I wanted one now.
Eventually I realized what the right decision was for me, and I took the path less traveled by. I have a loving husband, a great job with wonderful people, and an incredible group of supportive friends surrounding me. Even if no one else ever understands it’s okay, because I knew that I was ready for this baby and that this baby was ready for me.
Trying to get pregnant was hard. I feel incredibly, incredibly blessed at how short of a time Daniel and I had to wait to get pregnant. I had only been off the pill for about a month and a half when I got that positive test result, but that month and a half of waiting was brutal. When I realized that first month that I wasn’t pregnant yet, even though it had only been a few weeks, I still cried. Waiting for something you desperately want is always hard. It’s all you think about and no matter how much you try to prepare yourself, that monthly disappointment is still rough. I have so much love and respect for the women out there who are stuck in this time of waiting. You all have such strong hearts and I’m sure that it will only make it that much sweeter when you finally hold your child.
Finding out you’re pregnant is hard. For me, it went from shock to disbelief to utter joy to absolute terror. Being responsible for a human life, no matter how much “preparing” you think you’ve done, is incredibly scary. Mountains of responsibility came crashing down on me all at once. Every worst-case scenario started pouring through my mind. Daniel had to take a few minutes to snap me out of it. Sometimes it still hits me hard. I’ll catch myself worrying about the first time my baby gets their heart broken by someone else’s baby. Or how we’re going to afford buying them their first car. Or how I’ll handle it when they rebel in some crazy act of defiance. I guess I’m growing a mom-brain.
And finally, being pregnant is hard. My body has never felt worse than it has these past four months. From the time I woke up to the time I went to sleep I was plagued with constant nausea, and throwing up doesn’t help. You just puke and keep feeling like crap. Eating food might make you feel even worse, so for about a month all I ate was chicken noodle soup. On top of that, you get some severe fatigue mixed in which means being grumpy 100% of the time. You also cry over anything and everything because your hormones are totally hijacked. I was also extremely bloated and couldn’t button my pants for about a month. So you feel fat, nauseated, and extremely tired for a minimum of three months. If you’re really lucky like me, you’ll also get acne like a 14 year old. Talk about a pregnancy “glow.”
Now that the first trimester is over, my symptoms have, for the most part, waned off. Now I am finding myself eternally hungry with random bouts of esophagus-scorching heartburn, but it’s not that bad in comparison to before. And the best part is, I’ve been creating a small human this entire time. No matter how terrible I feel or how bad my day goes, I get to fall asleep reading how my baby has grown this week. I get to imagine a little mini version of myself trailing behind me wherever I go. I can picture being a mother and hearing those tiny giggles for the first time. It’s worth it, and whatever happens from here on will be worth it too.
This is just my experience, my story, and I know that there are unfortunately so many other women out there who have it so much worse. There are women who become pregnant without a choice, and women who become pregnant because of a choice they regret. There are women who love their babies but can’t provide for them. There are women who don’t want the babies in their wombs, and there are thousands of women who stay up at night, crying, because that’s all they want.
I know the system isn’t perfect and I know that pregnancy is hard, but a life is a life no matter how small. My desperate plea is that you would give your baby a chance to be loved, even if it’s by someone else.