I figure I’ll break down having a baby into three posts: Pregnancy, Birth Story and Postpartum. I know there’s some people that absolutely love reading birth stories and I do think it’s helpful to read some real people tell their stories so all the first time moms out there can get some idea on what they’ve gotten themselves into. If you’re not one of those people and it can be a bit TMI to read about, you don’t have to read these next few posts, I totally understand. Honestly, before I got pregnant and even up until I gave birth, I wasn’t interested in pregnancy or birth stories and I really never thought I’d be willing to share mine. Now though, I’m all sorts of interested in all the gritty details and totally fine telling anyone who is interested about what my experience was. Don’t worry, I’m not going to get too graphic or anything, I just want to share some of the real life effects of having a baby.
To start out, I’ll just say that we were definitely trying to have a baby. I had an IUD for about 6 years and was really pleased with it, but I knew at some point I’d be ready to have it removed and start trying to have a family of my own. I had a few things I wanted to have done before I had a baby, the main one being I wanted to own our home. We rented a tiny little house for several years and I could not imagine bringing a baby home there, it just wouldn’t feel right. So after we built our home I knew I was almost ready. We did still have a wedding to plan and a honeymoon to go on, which I’ll share about later because it’s a pretty good story in itself, but once we were done with that fun we were both finally ready to start a family together.
Once we decided we wanted a baby and I got my IUD removed, we got pregnant in about 7 months. Since we had been trying for a few months, I was taking pregnancy tests pretty often and when I finally got a positive one I didn’t even know what to do. I mostly just walked around the house really fast trying to decide how to tell Mauricio when he got home. When he got home 500 hours later, it was actually 2 hours but it felt like an eternity, I told him we finally had a positive test. He was so excited/overwhelmed he didn’t know what to do either, he was literally so excited he was shaking! The strange thing to me was when I called my doctors office and said I needed an appointment, they asked me how far along I was and I said oh I don’t know…3 weeks? Their response was, well we don’t need to see you until you’re 3 months along so we’ll schedule you for then. I guess I just expected them to want to see me right away and make sure I was actually pregnant, but I didn’t get that confirmation until I had been throwing up regularly for 2 months. Sharing with with family was much more exciting! Our moms were both so surprised. My mom because I basically tell her everything that’s going on with me and I had somehow managed to not say a word about it to her for months. Mauricio’s mom was surprised because she had been asking us for years when we were going to have a baby and I think she had given up hope that we would ever have one. Both of our dads acted like they sort of knew it was coming, it must be a dad thing. We decided not to share our news early on with a lot of people or on social media for a few reasons, mostly I wanted to tell as many people in person as I could. So in the fall we went on a little road trip and visited some family to tell them, which was so fun, I absolutely loved seeing their reactions in person!
The whole actually being pregnant thing wasn’t my favorite, I won’t lie. I had morning sickness for the first trimester which basically meant I felt nauseous for 3 or 4 months solid, not fun. Then once that calmed down a little, I started getting bad heartburn. And it wasn’t from the normal things that give you heartburn like spicy food, it was from things like bananas or yogurt. So then I was constantly hungry and almost everything I ate gave me heartburn. And lets just say it, it’s exhausting growing another human. I was always tired, no matter how long I slept or how many naps I took. I felt like I was never going to feel fully rested. When my belly was too big to lie on my stomach, the whole sleeping thing got a lot worse. I’ve always been most comfortable sleeping on my stomach, so not being able to do it for months on end was really rough. Then to make matters worse, I also couldn’t lie on my back because after a few minutes I won’t be able to breathe. So by about month 7, a solid night of sleep was pretty much off the table. Then on the off chance that I would have some burst of energy, I would try and do something productive and clean. That was always a poor choice. I would get winded doing something simple like vacuuming the couch, which made me feel so out of shape. I tried staying relatively active during my pregnancy but even a short walk would leave me gasping. It was really hard to not feel like a giant blob of tired after about that dreaded month 7. I’m definitely not complaining, I knew what I was getting in to when I got pregnant, I’m just sharing the really rough parts for me. Overall I really had a pretty easy pregnancy compared to a lot of people. My doctor even told me I was basically a poster child for easy pregnancies. I really feel for people who have rough pregnancies because as much as I love my baby, I was not feeling the love from about 7 months on. Until I met him of course.
Like I said, the last 2 months of being pregnant were really rough. I had gained about 60 pounds by the time I was 9 months pregnant. I know they say it’s normal to gain 10-20 pounds. I don’t know who “they” are, but it sure didn’t make me feel good when I’d see articles assuring me that my 15 pound weight gain was normal. I tried to go on lots of walks, but I was due at the end of March and all winter I was not about to go wander around in the cold. I just made it my goal to be back down to my pre-pregnancy weight when my baby was 9 months old. I figured, 9 months to add it, 9 months to get it off, but more on that with my postpartum post. Since I was huge and just over it, I really wanted my baby to come in March. Also April is a busy birthday month in my family, including my birthday, and I was not interested in still being pregnant on my birthday. Fun fact: my due date was March 31st and my moms due date with me was March 30th. To keep things in check, my birthday is April 14th, so my mom really had it rough. Lucky for me, my doctor assured me that they wouldn’t let me go that long after my due date, and that I would definitely have my baby before my birthday. I tried everything I could find on the internet about how to induce labor naturally, all without any sort of success. I mostly learned babies will come when they’re ready and for me that was a few days after my due date, in April.
One final thing that I want to share is the birthing class we took. Our hospital offers a free birthing class for everyone who is planning on having a baby there, which I would highly recommend for any first time moms.If you have the option to take a birthing class at the hospital you plan to give birth at, do it! At bigger hospitals it might be tough to make it in to a class, at our little hospital they are basically happy if anyone shows up. It was nice knowing what all was offered at my hospital and what standard procedures were. They gave me a guideline for creating a birthing plan, taught us some breathing techniques and it was nice to get familiar with the OB nurses. And just in case you weren’t paying attention during sex ed in high school, they go through all of what you’re about to go through with you. It might sound silly, but it was totally different sitting though that explanation pregnant than it was when I was a teen and didn’t think I’d ever have a baby. The class was worthwhile for us, there was only 6 couples in my group, and yes the dads came too. It was kind of nice chatting with other parents to be as well, and I would watch social media and the newspaper for when they had their babies, most likely they’re going to be in Olivers grade growing up so its kind of fun to know who they are from day 1.
Overall pregnancy for me was a tiring, long and nauseous nine months that made me understand how a whale would feel walking around on land. Its awkward and frustrating not being able to tie your own shoes and outgrowing clothes practically on a daily basis. But for me it was really all worth it when I could feel and see my baby moving. So many times I would just sit and watch him move and wonder what he was doing in there. It’s kind of creepy, but also so amazing to have a little human rolling around inside of you. Sometimes I miss that part, but then I remember the time it took me a good 5 minutes to get up off the couch because I had sunk in too deep and I realize it’s better now that he’s out and crawling around on me instead.
Now after that long read, enjoy some pictures of giant me, I didn’t take near as many as I thought I would while pregnant, but at least I got some.