About my pregnancy that is. Don’t ever think I’m complaining. Because I sure as hell am not.
I noticed some of my followers on Instagram went down when I announced I was pregnant back in September. Although I never did that myself (unfollowed people because they were pregnant – it gave me hope that it would be my turn soon one day), I understood.
But over the past fortnight, since my back troubles really took hold and I started talking about them, I’ve noticed my followers have gone down. Not loads – they’ve actually remained a bit static, but the amount of notifications I get of new followers (on average 10 a day) means that I must be losing some because otherwise my count would be going up.
I don’t think my Instagram content is smug-preggo, but equally I’m not going to NOT post bump or nursery shots because I’ve waited ages for my turn. I’ve paid my dues and I’m going to revel in my happiness at being pregnant without apologising for it.
So I can only think that, since explaining about my back issues, some people are (wrongly) thinking “ugh, she’s complaining and doesn’t realise how blessed she is, I’ll unfollow her.”
That couldn’t be further from the truth. Trust me.
I’ve had 3 niggles during this pregnancy – and believe me, I’ve come off lightly here and I know how lucky I am compared to others.
1. Constant stuffiness of the nose. Since before I got my BFP my nostrils have felt constantly constricted. I can breathe through them (just about) but at night I have to breathe through my mouth. Not stuffy like a cold though where you sound congested and have a nasally voice, but you can feel the blood vessels are so tight up there. And so dry too. And my left nostril is ALWAYS bloody which is weird. I don’t find it something to complain about, or even that annoying really, I just incorporate clearing my nose multiple times a day as part of my routine. I know it’ll disappear once I’ve given birth. It’s no biggie.
2. Heartburn. I think I only ever experienced indigestion and heartburn twice in my entire life before pregnancy. I could never really empathise with Dave whenever he experienced it (which was/is a lot) so when it struck me (again, around the time of my BFP and it’s never left me since) I was like WOW, I can see how horrible this is now! And nothing I do relieves it. Avoiding eating at certain times, avoiding laying down after eating, avoiding certain foods, antacid pills, Gaviscon, milk, water… it’s always there. I even get it when I’ve NOT eaten. But again, it’s something I’ve experienced daily since September and I’m used to it now. And it will also disappear once I’ve given birth.
3. My severe back and hip pain. Like I’ve explained in earlier posts, I’ve always had a bad back before pregnancy and it was always in the back of my mind how my body would adjust to being pregnant, carrying all that extra weight on my front, and not being able to do my usual back-pain-relieving remedies of laying on my back or front. I was prepared for it. So when it came, the only thing that surprised me was how soon I would suffer with it. I thought I’d maybe be able to power through until around 35 weeks (by which point I would have finished work). But it did become apparent that with the nature of my job and how physically hands on it is, it wasn’t going to be compatible with my developing pregnancy. I’m sure if I hadn’t had my fall in the middle of the night nearly 2 weeks ago, I might possibly still be at work today. But then again, each day was getting worse than the previous so it would have been very likely that sooner or later my body would have found a way to say ENOUGH. And I’m just grateful I didn’t collapse in front of my class miles away from home because that would have meant an ambulance jobbie which I would have felt really embarrassed about. It is what it is. Yes the pain is always there and no I can’t simply relieve it the way other “normal” pregnant women would. But there is an end in sight. As soon as Ollie is out, I can sleep on my back again which will undo the usual aches and pains of the day. I will be able to lose the weight so that my body isn’t under more stress than necessary (I don’t think it helps that I’m all bump so my weight gain hasn’t been distributed anywhere else – but I haven’t gained loads anyway, I’m still a size 12 in maternity clothes). I’ll be able to stretch and exercise with ease afterwards as well. At least in the meantime I can catnap throughout the day to counteract the no sleep at night, I can sit or lay down in whatever position I want for as long as I want during the day, and I can be miserable and cry if I need to in private before dusting myself down and carrying on. All that would be impossible if I was at work still. So again – this niggle will also disappear after birth.
But what I have not done, at any point, either through my blog, Instagram, to friends, family or to Dave, is complain about any of the above things.
I’ve never felt fed up. I’ve never wished time away. I’ve never felt sorry for myself. I’ve never whinged.
I HAVE explained though. I HAVE gritted my teeth and got on with it. I HAVE always remembered how lucky I am and how blessed I’ve been to have a smooth-running pregnancy. I’m not naive enough to not realise that other women have it so much worse than me.
But it’s not a competition. And it’s the luck of the draw, the hand we’re dealt with, the genes we’ve inherited.
My mum never got nausea or sickness with my brother or I. She didn’t have stretch marks. Her pregnancies were as smooth as mine. It seems, just like my periods followed her pattern (roughly), so has my pregnancy. It is what it is. And I’m grateful for that.
But who’s to say that my next pregnancy (if I’m ever lucky enough to have another) would be the same anyway? Maybe next time I’ll have the worst sickness throughout, be riddled with stretch marks all over my body, have no heartburn or backache, put on loads of weight everywhere…
This is the pregnancy that has been blessed to me. And I’m gratefully experiencing whatever is thrown at me every single day. Because I waited 20 months for this. And let’s not forget that not everything is a bed of roses with my marriage at the moment; my struggle has been with Dave’s mental health for the past year so forgive me if my smooth pregnancy is my trade-off.
But just to finish on this complaining thing.
I get the whole anger felt by the TTC community about a pregnant woman complaining about her pregnancy or bad symptoms. I felt that too. Wanting to scream at her “BE FUCKING GRATEFUL YOU BITCH!” But there’s a difference, I feel, between a woman who accidentally fell pregnant (or didn’t try for months and months) whingeing every single day about every single thing, and a woman who has tried for ages having a bit of a rant or a vent about looking forward to the pregnancy being over so they can have their baby in their arms. Cut a bit of slack. It’s a tall ask to not have any pregnant woman complain about their pregnancy ever. You’d have to be whiter than white to be like that.
So please don’t misinterpret my documenting of my pregnancy’s highs and lows as complaining.
But if ever I do, feel free to give me a metaphorical slap round the face.