(this was the last picture taken of me while i was pregnant...this was sunday, the day before i went into the hospital to have gwen. i was 34 weeks and 5 days pregnant in this picture. i will always treasure this picture)
it has been almost 7 weeks since i was last pregnant. and i've missed it every day since.
i've thought about writing a pregnancy post for some time now. for months i wrote and rewrote my thoughts on pregnancy in my head. but, every time i would sit down to actually type them out i couldn't do it. it just didn't feel right. the weeks went by but i still couldn't write down my thoughts and feelings. for some reason talking about my pregnancy while i was pregnant was too special. it was still too much mine that i couldn't share.
but somehow, weeks later i still have the desire to talk about pregnancy and this time i want to share.....
it's funny but one of the comments that i received most after having gwen 5 weeks early was "at least you got out of pregnancy 5 weeks early" or something along those lines. you would think that i would feel that way. relief that i was done being pregnant. relief that i could finally just hold my baby in my arms instead of in my ribs. but although i did love having her in my arms i didn't feel relief that i wasn't pregnant. instead i felt cheated and robbed.
before i got pregnant the first time i thought i had it all figured out. i'm not sure why but i always thought i would have an easy pregnancy. interestingly most of my pregnancies were different from one another (i've heard this is common though). my pregnancy with gwen though...this was far from what i expected.
it wasn't easy. like not at all. i got super sick really early on and it didn't go away. my "morning sickness" was an all day sickness that lasted well into my second trimester. and even then it never truly went away. i was nauseated all the way up to week 34. i had told myself i wouldn't complain. that i had asked for this. but to be completely honest i did complain. because it was hard. it was hard throwing up countless times a day. it was hard not feeling like myself. it was hard not wanting to eat but having to eat every 10 mins.
now i know this was due to my preeclampsia but i also swelled up like a crazy lady. right around week 30 i woke up to swollen hands and feet. and they didn't stop. i started gaining weight like crazy and stopped being able to fit into all of my shoes and most of my clothes (even my maternity things). my face swelled up so much so that my teeth started moving. i didn't even know that was possible. my hands got so swollen that i had pregnancy carpal tunnel and even got to a point where i couldn't write. opening the milk every morning hurt so bad it made me cry.
and then on top of all of this my hormones were going crazy (not unusual i know) and i found myself from one extreme to the other almost daily. i would cry for no reason or be angry for some silly little thing.
but despite all of this. all the pain, sickness and mood swings i still wasn't ready to be done being pregnant.
though i was big, tired and in pain i never got to the point of pregnancy where i was ready to be done. that point that every women talks about. i was mentally planning on 5-7 more weeks of pregnancy. i was ready for 5 to 7 more weeks of pregnancy.
so when i woke up the day after having gwen and i looked at my sad empty belly i cried.
i cried because i couldn't feel her kick me anymore.
i cried because i couldn't hold my belly and know there was a sweet baby girl inside anymore.
i cried because i didn't know what it felt like to go into labor.
i cried because i didn't know the rush and excitement of "hey honey my water just broke".
i cried because i wasn't pregnant anymore and i still wanted to be.
maybe it was all the medicine i was on. or all the hormones (again with the hormones...gosh these dang things). but i truly mourned the loss of my pregnancy. it didn't seem fair to me that i had to struggle so much to get pregnant and then experience what i had just gone through.
every time someone would comment "at least you got off the hook early" my thought would be "but i didn't want to be off the hook early". but instead i would laugh and respond "yeah i'm lucky". though i didn't feel lucky inside.
i think deep down i have this fear that i won't get pregnant again. that deep down this was my one and only chance and i wasn't able to completely experience it. i think most of these thoughts come from struggling with recurrent miscarriages and infertility. or maybe it's just my own crazy self.
i kept most of these feelings to myself. honestly i felt horrible feeling this way. of course i was so beyond happy gwen was in our lives. and i wouldn't have traded all the time we've had with her for anything. but yet i still struggled.
until one sunday i was talking to a dear friend. she also struggled with infertility and she also had preeclampsia with her first and she felt the same way. she told me it was okay to be sad. and that it was okay to mourn the fact that i wasn't pregnant anymore.
so i did just that.
i went home and i mourned. i cried and i told my heavenly father how sad and mad i was. i told him that i felt cheated. how could my body do this to me? how could it struggle so much to stay pregnant in the beginning only to struggle again in the end? how could my body kick my sweet baby out early and cause her little life to be in danger?
and again, just like how i was reminded after one of my miscarriages, i was reminded that it wasn't about me. it was about her. it was about her little life and her plan. gwen needed to come when she did. i needed her to come when she did. and that was what mattered.
every once in a while i feel a pang of sadness that i'm not still pregnant. when i see a cute lady with a little baby bump i feel slightly jealous. but then i tell myself to have faith. have faith that i can indeed do this again. that i can get pregnant again and experience all the ups and downs of pregnancy.
so now i get to go back to cuddling my sweet little peanut and remind myself that i will one day morn the loss of the newborn stage. and that it's okay. but also to learn to enjoy each step along the way.
and those are my thoughts on pregnancy.