Kicks and Cankles: A True Rollercoaster
I’m going to just be frank here. I really don’t like being pregnant. Sure the kicks are fun, and I feel like I look cute up until a certain point, but other than that… nope. I don’t like it at all. So much so, that the thought of ever being pregnant again completely terrifies me.
I’ve been pregnant twice. And I gave birth to two healthy, thriving babies. I promise I realize what a miracle and blessing it is to be able to create a life and sustain an unborn baby for 40 weeks. I’ve been through bouts of feeling so incredibly guilty for feeling so sorry for my poor sick self when I personally know several people who would love nothing more in this world than to be pregnant.
But the impact that that realization has on my 9-month-long nausea isn’t very permanent--which then makes me feel even guiltier.
I’ve had a lot of time to contemplate these thoughts. And it turns out, the fact that I’ve had two very sick gestation periods puts me in the running for some serious empathy towards someone else who may experience similar trials.
I know how it feels to not be able to stomach real food for months at a time. I know how it feels to be completely helpless. I know how it feels to not be able to take care of my young toddler. I know how it feels to be hooked up to IV fluids to help with dehydration. I know how it feels to be scolded by the doctor for losing so much weight. I know how it feels to love someone I’ve never met so incredibly much despite the discomfort and misery.
I hope I can remember always to be kind to pregnant women as they fight silent battles the outside eye can’t always see. Because it is hard and exhausting work.
Earlier this year I was reminded of the rollercoaster that pregnancy and childbearing truly can be. In a span of one single week the following happened: A good friend told me she was pregnant after a LONG and disappointing battle with infertility. My best friend had a baby. I found out a close family member had a miscarriage. I had a good chat with a friend one month away from having her first baby about how hard pregnancy is. And my baby girl smiled for the first time.
Talk about a whirlwind of a week.
Flash forward a few months and my friend had an ectopic pregnancy that needed to be removed with emergency surgery. A family member also received surgery but for endometriosis that is preventing her from getting pregnant. Multiple friends and neighbors have given birth. And my baby girl is getting closer and closer to no longer being a baby anymore.
It’s a lot to take in. So much is involved in creating, carrying, birthing, and raising babies. And the impacts they have on us – large and small, good and bad – last a lifetime.