I am not one of those people who has said that I have hated pregnancy or that I feel like I have awful pregnancies. I've also never particularly loved being pregnant. With this pregnancy, I'm not sure I would use the word hate, but I'm definitely towards that side of the scale this time around. I've experience nausea before, throwing up every so often, learning the tricks of the trade where I avoid certain foods, eat every so often, blah blah blah. But those tricks have not mattered at all this pregnancy. I started getting what I would call average morning sickness right away, lasting about two weeks, and I thought, "Oh yeah, I know how this goes." But right around 6 weeks it changed, and it turned into morning, afternoon, evening sickness, all the time. I had the hardest time deciding what to eat, it literally changed every day. And then I got smart and decided to choose the foods that were easy to throw up. I was miserable. I have always looked at other women who get really sick during pregnancy and have felt so bad for them, thinking I could never do it. Well, I was right to feel bad for them. And I was right to think that I couldn't do really do it, 'cause I didn't really. Things in my life were sort of chaotic. Luckily, that ended about 15 weeks.
Right around 12 weeks, I started getting chronic migraines. I get migraines normally fairly so often, but that is one thing I love about being pregnant - no migraines. Wrong. They lasted about 3 weeks, and I was able to get through them with some newly prescribed medication. The migraines turned into just average headaches around 15 weeks.
Right around 15 weeks the itching started (yes, THAT itching). Luckily, LUCKILY, it was fairly moderate and came off and on. I got testing done right away and right now my levels are within the normal range, so phew nothing to worry about yet. It's still there, but again, it doesn't keep me up at nights like it eventually will.
I started feeling good. It was amazing. I felt hope that I was in my second trimester groove, and even started bragging about it. Then 16 weeks, I got slammed with the worst flu I've ever had. I think for me, the flu has always been a two to three day thing where I rest a lot, take some pain meds, maybe if my temp gets high call in an antibiotic. But I'm very good at sleeping, and that has seemed to work to my advantage. This flu was different. Apparently, there is some awful flu going around the schools, so maybe I got that, I don't know. But I was literally in bed for 5 days straight. I walked downstairs usually once a day to see if I could find something to eat. Other than that, I was holed up in my room, sweating, in pain, and in absolute misery. Luckily I was able to get some meds, and that has started the mending, but I am pretty sure it will take a while before I am completely healed. I still can't eat (it's been a week), my throat is extremely swollen, I have a cough, and I get winded when I walk about 10 feet. This flu sort of traumatized me and I'm not exaggerating. There were a few times where I hoped I would slip into a coma or something so that I could escape the pain. Nick and Briz are now fighting it, and so we are not socializing much, but I'm just glad I am able to get out of my room.
And comes the last piece of the puzzle to my pregnancy thus far. My emotional stability. I knew that being pregnant again/having a newborn would be a bit of a roller coaster for me. I was talking openly with my doctors about it and my therapist before I got pregnant. And I was overwhelmingly grateful when I first found out (we had been trying for a bit and I was starting to get a bit worried that we would need to try some more intensive fertility treatments), so I was just so excited initially. I like to think that may have lasted a bit longer had I not been so sick, but who knows. Either way, the emotional struggle started fairly early. I started having nightmares every night about death, about my baby dying, both in-utero and outside. I had dreams filled with anxiety and self doubt (Luckily most of those dreams have subsided). During my times when I am awake, I question myself. I wonder if I can handle another baby. I feel like I have forgotten all about being a mom to a newborn. I am scared that I will be disappointed that this baby isn't Holland. I feel guilty at times that I am forgetting my other baby. I feel angry that I am pregnant for the third time and yet most people don't know that. My family seems in a strange way more incomplete than before. And above all, of course, I am beyond scared that I won't be able to keep my baby alive.
I wouldn't normally consider myself a worrier (analytic sure), and I know you might be thinking that some of those thoughts and feelings are normal. They aren't for me. You also might be thinking that they are kind of absurd thoughts, but it's difficult to reassure me because of my last experience with a baby. It's funny how many times I hear, "Oh well, they'll survive," or "Well, my kids haven't died yet . . ." I don't have that rationale in my mind anymore. So . . . I worry. And yeah, I'm pregnant, so chances are I'm slightly more emotional than normal anyways :)
I love being a mother more than anything else. I have craved it my whole life, and never did I crave it more than after Holland died, but as we all know, being a mother is a complicated thing. We face so much physical and emotional pain, uncertainty, doubt, insecurity, and fear. It is hard to face a lot of those negative emotions surrounding motherhood when I would love to be a googly eyed pregnant woman, just elated about onesies and baby nurseries and showers. But I'm not. I truthfully don't care about any of that (for now :) ).
I have had some of the most tender moments of my life through the last few months because even when I doubt myself, I have found strength through others, particularly my daughters. So for that I'm grateful. And maybe soon once I can eat food joyfully, then I will be less grouchy :)