What a journey this pregnancy was…from the very beginning it was a whirlwind of emotions, anxiety, nerves, sickness, pain, exhaustion, heartburn and reflux. Basically you name it and I had it. It was completely different to my previous pregnancies. I LOVED being pregnant with Arden. Apart from my SIJ pain with him it was a breeze and I felt amazing, fit and strong throughout the 9 months and his birth was pretty textbook, he even came on his due date (here is his birth story)!
This time round from the moment we found out that we had finally conceived our little baby I was worried that we had made the wrong decision going for round 3 and that I wouldn’t be able to handle it. Sickness kicked in pretty early and lasted 4 months straight. whilst I had nausea with the boys this time round it was so bad that I ended up only surviving on meds to control it. That along with exhaustion and just wanting to sleep the afternoons away but not being able to because I was running around after the other two made for a very hard few months. It didn’t help that we wanted the boys to be the first to know but also didn’t want to tell them too early so we waited until 14 weeks before sharing our news with our family and friends. That meant 14 weeks of trying to hide how I felt and 14 weeks of trying to cope and do it all by myself.
My SIJ pain kicked in at 8 weeks but I went straight to a pregnancy physio to figure out what I should and shouldn’t be doing to keep in under control this time round. I am so glad I did this as by simply stopping certain exercises etc I was able to keep the pain and discomfort to a minimum this time round.
Once the sickness eased at 16 weeks I was met with a few weeks reprise before the heartburn kicked in. I’m not just talking about a little heartburn. It was excruciating! Some nights I would even wake up to bile in my mouth from the reflux! NOT FUN and again the only way to feel slightly human was to get medication to relive these symptoms as I had been skulling back bottles of Gaviscon and it wasn’t even touching the sides!
So whilst dealing with all these ‘joys’ of pregnancy I was still struggling emotionally to connect with the baby and was feeling very anxious about how I would cope. Looking back I think that I was just in so much pain and physically and mentally exhausted it made me doubt myself and my capabilities as a mother. I had become a grumpy ‘yelly’ mum. I had no patience with the boys and they were misbehaving due to the way I was acting and also because they were coming into this ‘unknown’ stage of their little lives where they weren’t too sure how this new baby would affect them.
Those last few weeks, whilst I hardly slept tossing and turning in pain or peeing 6 times a night I did really enjoy each of those not so little kicks. I wasn’t counting down to have the baby. I still wasn’t sure how I would cope. I was scared that because I hadn’t bonded with baby whilst being pregnant I wouldn’t be able to bond once he or she had arrived. The fear of developing PND was very real as I went into those final weeks. From the very beginning of the pregnancy I simply went through the motions of what I was supposed to be doing from taking the bump shots, buying the clothes, prepping the room etc etc. I did it all but lacked the excitement that I had had with my previous two pregnancies…which looking back on now I know was due to fear of the unknown. If it wasn’t for the fact that I knew I was carrying a big baby and that I was really concerned about the size of it and the size of the exit that it needed to use I would have happily kept being pregnant! The last month or so of pregnancy for me was the best. I felt the best I had felt the whole time. I wasn’t in a lot of pain. I was enjoying all the kicks and movements. At 41 weeks I was torn between wanting to stay pregnant as it was easy and I knew what I was doing and wanting to get this baby out before it was too big to come out without causing a lot of damage.
It was a journey thats for sure…It was a learning curve about myself and how I doubt myself and my capabilities. I remember at the very beginning saying there is no way I could ever have another baby. My body simply could not handle it. The sickness, the hip pain, pelvic pain, back pain, the emotional rollercoaster. By the end that was mostly all forgotten and I was saying that I can’t imagine never experiencing having another little human moving and growing inside of me again..even amongst all the self doubt and anxiety there is just something simply magical about feeling that baby inside of you, even when they are constantly kicking you painfully in the ribs!
I went into the labour with no ‘birth plan’ as I know things don’t always go to plan but I did go into it with some ideas of how I wanted it to go and what I wanted to experience this time round. The labour went the same way as the pregnancy did. Took me by surprise with how different it was. Let me down. Made me doubt myself. I was left feeling like my body failed me right to the very end with this pregnancy. Except it hadn’t. I grew a beautiful, healthy, strong baby boy and despite the fact that nothing went as expected, my body didn’t fail me. It grew this gorgeous not so little human, and then I managed to successfully birth him…all 10lb 5oz of him. But thats another story that you can read about here.
I wanted to cherish every kick, hiccup and movement knowing that it could very well be the last baby I ever carried. I wanted to document my body changing every step of the way so that I could look back on it in awe of how amazing our bodies are! I tried every step of the way to remember to cherish these small things amongst all the aches and pains.