Friday, 1 June 2018

Why I’m Hating My Pregnancy…

I feel awful even typing that title, but despite all my best efforts, ignoring it doesn’t make it any less true…


Rewind to this time last year, and I’d just been sent home from work with the threat of another miscarriage on the horizon. The third one of the year, we couldn’t understand why this was happening and what we’d done to deserve such bad luck. At the end of June, our worst fears were confirmed, and I subsequently lost our wee baby. Yet another miscarriage in October, coupled with unwanted results of genetic testing, and we learned that I have a chromosomal abnormality which greatly reduces my chances of having a successful pregnancy.
 
So why am I sat here, having just entered the third trimester of my current pregnancy, wishing I wasn’t pregnant at all?
 
Now I don’t want people to misunderstand, I’m not wishing that the wonderful miracle I’m carrying didn’t exist – we are over the moon at the prospect of becoming new parents again – I’m just wishing that I didn’t have to get pregnant in order for our dreams to come true. I suppose it’s more a case of my previous pregnancy expectations being tainted by all the worries and stress of an over informed mind.
 
Throughout this whole pregnancy so far, there has never really been a moment where I’ve allowed myself to ‘feel pregnant’. As soon as I watched those two pink lines appear on a stick in my work’s bathroom, I convinced myself that I would go through another early miscarriage, and lose it within the week. I’d be sat in another doctor’s office while they tried to be nice and inevitably said things like ‘these things happen’, and ‘lots of women test far too early, they should just wait a week or so to be sure’.
 
When we’d made it through that first agonising week, I knew we’d be facing a more painful miscarriage and all I could think of was the words from my fertility doctor telling me that I shouldn’t have any more d&c’s because it would start to damage my womb lining. Every trip to the bathroom resulted in a thorough inspection of my knickers and the toilet paper, looking for early evidence of loss, and I’d told Paul to prepare for the worst in an attempt to ease any future pain we may experience.
 
In a roundabout way, I’m grateful for my earlier miscarriages, because it allowed for more careful monitoring to try and set our mind at ease. A seven week scan showed the tiniest wee blob and a flickering heartbeat. A nine week scan showed a baby shaped blob that seemed to occasionally ‘jump’ of its own accord. When the scheduled 12 week scan showed a fully formed baby with arms and legs waving about, the tears of relief started to pour… but I still couldn’t relax and just ‘be pregnant’.
 
Having made it to the second trimester, many women would now be excitedly shouting from the rooftops with their wonderful baby news – not us. Now I’d convinced myself that our wee baby would be unfortunate and suffer from one of the nastier outcomes of my shitty chromosomes – trisomy 13. It’s something that can be easily tested for if you either have a spare £450 or don’t mind increasing your chance of miscarriage, but given that neither of those options were great for us, we chose to wait until the 20 week scan where it can be detected… 80% of the time.
 
The 20 week scan came and went, yet still I was convinced that something would go wrong – maybe the sonographer got the gender wrong and we would spend a huge wad of cash kitting our baby out in the opposite colour clothes than what we intended to?!
 
I knew Paul’s nerves were easing by this point, but I still couldn’t shake the uncomfortable feeling of dread that I was carrying everywhere with me. Paul paid for us to have a private gender scan so that we could avoid any further surprises, and it also gave us the opportunity to include our other kids in the experience – needless to say, they were both hoping for different outcomes, so one of them left the room a little disappointed!
 
After all this, we should now be more relaxed, right?
 
Clean bill of health (almost) – check
Gender confirmation – check
Gender specific item of clothing for cutesy Instagram reveal in not too distant future – check
 
Why am I still not excited?
 
For any of you out there who became a parent during your teenage years, I’m sure you’ve experienced your fair share of criticism and prejudice. Now that we didn’t have any medical issues to worry about anymore, all those buried feelings of shame and self-loathing came back with a vengeance!
 
Every time I leave the house, I imagine people staring and whispering nasty comments behind my back. The bigger my belly grows, the more I see people eyeing me up and down and making silent judgements in their heads. It doesn’t matter that I’m nearing 30 and happily married. It doesn’t matter that I’m at an age where it’s now ‘acceptable’ to raise a family. It doesn’t matter that people seem excited and want to chat about all things baby with me – all I want to do is hide and pretend the reason I don’t fit into my jeans is purely due to the PhD weight gain, and not my little wriggler carving out a temporary home for themselves.
 
If it’s not feelings of shame for being pregnant, I’m also beating myself up with all the guilt I feel for even putting this blog post into words. I feel like I’ve spoiled this whole experience for Paul, and I can’t stop thinking about the friends and opportunities I’ve lost on my furious quest to expand my brood.
 
I’m really hoping things start to improve soon – I don’t want to have wasted my last ever experience of pregnancy wishing the time would pass quickly…
 
Our baby shower and gender reveal is scheduled for the end of this month, so perhaps a good celebration will be just what I need to lift my mood… hopefully!
 
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12 comments

  1. I'm glad you shared. I'm sure it helps to get it out of your head. I have no experience to share but all I can say is it makes sense to me that you're reacting this way. I hope you find something to make these last few weeks comfortable and enjoyable as they can be. I'm so glad your year of hard losses has been followed by such a fantastic gift. Good luck with your beautiful new bundle of joy. Lots of love, Sarah xxx

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    1. Thanks for the kind words Sarah, it’s definitely made it easier to speak about my feelings like this, I’m hoping things now start to improve! :)

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  2. I'm sorry that you don't feel like you've been able to enjoy it and hope you can find some peace with yourself soon to enjoy it as much you can - you're growing a human. It's an incredible achievement and by all accounts it sounds like everything is going well! Might I suggest talking to a professional if these feelings continue? Don't know where you're based but there is a good group in Edinburgh called Juniper for informal mental health support for mums, your mental well-being is just as important as the health of your little one remember x

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    1. Thanks for the heads up, it’s definitely something to consider. My midwife has been helping me keep on top of things mostly, but I’m definitely consider other options if things don’t improve! :)

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  3. I have been with you almost every step of the way through your miscarriages and your now pregnancy yet I cannot begin to understand what you are going through! All I can say is that you and Paul are wonderful parents, just looking at your kids right now is a testament to that. Your face when you speak of even the little things they have done is a face of such pure joy. I know it's difficult to get excited right now but you two deserve all the happiness after all the grief you have gone through. And as for the people giving you looks!? Sod them!! Only you know your truth!! All the judemental so and so’s can just go crawl back under that rock they’ve just came out of!!!

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    1. Haha thanks, in a way, it’s not so bad now that I’m house bound, but it’s also really lonely too :( To top it off, I’m struggling to get any work done because I’m so tired, I’m hoping I can manage to stick to my deadlines though :)

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  4. I can understand this completely. You're so brave to share this raw honest. Returning the love and support you've given me xxx

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    1. Thanks Lynsey, I was nervous about sharing because I didn’t want to seem ungrateful, thanks so much for the support! Xx

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  5. I’m proud of you! And a little saddened that as your father I made you ashamed to bring life into the world because of my insecurities! Having gone through the same emotional turmoils you are trying to deal with let me tell you and your blog followers, the day you were born was the most happiest day of my life! The day Megan was born was the the second happiest day of my life! The relief of seeing my daughter well and my granddaughter well was something I wished for but feared the worst like you! I relaxed when Logan came along! All normal I thought and hoped. Then the fear I always had arrived! And you have overcome against the odds!! Don’t feel guilty anymore, rejoice in the shared joy of all who love you! Trust that you will not make the same mistakes as a parent that you have been burdened with! Be blessed and rejoice that the family will be complete! Love the fact that you are very pregnant and your grumpy furious dad only ever wanted the best for you! Congratulate yourself on your achievements so far a rejoice that you have come through to a world of love and happiness with Paul, Megan and Logan plus one to come! I have always loved you dearly. Leave the past behind, concentrate on the now and the beautiful future ahead as a family. Love you ��

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    1. Thanks Dad, I’m not cross at you and don’t blame you for anything, venting like this helps to make sense of my feelings and improve my mood. I’m hoping I’m now not too tired to finish the PhD though! :)

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  6. I totally understand how you feel and how you feel is not wrong at all. There is so much going on and the thought process is so tedious but have hope and faith that everything will happen in good time and you have so much love around you so stay strong. *Hugs*

    www.yeahlifestyle.com

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    1. Thanks, I’ve got 9 weeks to go now, so I’m hoping things start to improve! :)

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