I’ve been a bit quiet on here for the past few months as I’ve been busy growing two little babies inside me, which has proved to be a truly magical and challenging experience. Now in my third trimester and feeling a little more like myself again, I am excited to post a lot of the pregnancy content I have been thinking about/ lived through over the past few months. Starting with a little snapshot into my very personal pregnancy journey.
Before becoming pregnant and with the gift of hindsight I have realised that pregnancy is hugely glamorized. That pregnancy glow, great hair, cute clothes and pregnancy work out routines are all over the internet and Instagram. Perhaps this is because only women who experienced all of these amazing pregnancy symptoms create the online content? Hmm, probably not. Or perhaps people were afraid to say what they really felt. More likely. My experience has been mixed; I have experienced pure tear falling joy and elation at having created two babies with the person I love most in this world and also the real physical and mental challenges that come with having a baby and the strain it puts on your body.
Before I continue I think it’s important for me to caveat this post. This is an honest account of what I have experienced and it is in no way meant to cast a negative light on pregnancy, purely a real one. There have been times when I have felt like a failure, in particular that my body was failing me and I have felt quite alone. The days spent in bed or on the sofa watching Downton Abbey re-runs soon get old. Therefore, if you have been feeling like me I want you to know that it does happen to other women and you are not a failure, far from it. When my husband congratulates me on making it through another week and tells me how proud he is of me, it’s all worth it.
Since finding out we were pregnant and having the first two weeks of symptom free pure joy I feel like I’ve experienced every pregnancy symptom out there. We’re talking morning sickness, lack of sleep, pelvic aches and bad skin to wind (oh god the wind), learning what I can and can’t eat all over again, heart palpitations, extreme fatigue, sore back, stretched skin, burning skin, rib pain from my growing uterus and not to mention the sexy swollen cankles. And it has taken real mental strength to keep positive (and not be that whining bitch, I really have tried!) to see that every symptom and every challenge just means that our babies are growing and my body is adapting to make room for them. In a strange way, I have actually missed some of these symtoms when they have gone as they have made pregnancy feel very real for me.
I know that list may seem a little daunting and this is by no means to say that you will feel all or any of those symptoms. A lot of my friends only had a couple of them and each pregnancy is completely different but if you are experiencing them, know that you’re not alone and please ask for help from those closest to you. Living the other side of the world from my family and closest friends definitely made this journey harder for me but their support from afar has meant the absolute world to me and is something I will never forget.
The best way I can think to describe the sickness in the first half of my pregnancy is to think of the worst hangover of your life and imagine that for 24-hours a day for 2.5 months and you’ve got the picture. During those times when I felt so ill I have often thought my body was failing me. Why am I reacting so badly where others seem to float through pregnancy without one symptom? I mean, Serena Williams won the Australian Open at four months pregnant ffs! At that stage I could barely lift my head off the pillow. Hats off to her but SERIOUSLY?! An explanation came at week 8 when we discovered we were expecting twins, which went some way to explain why I had been feeling as ill as I had.
As time goes by, you learn to adapt, getting used to the crazy symptoms and soon they start to diminish until one day you realize you haven’t felt sick, or you can eat baked beans again or you actually feel you have the energy to leave the house. And it feels amazing. It’s incredible to think that whilst your body has been working so bloody dam hard and you’ve been feeling rotten, that your babies (or baby) have been growing day by day and becoming healthy little human beings. When you see them move for the first time on the scan, or feel them kick you will feel a connection like no other and literally marvel at what your body has done.
So the positive from me telling you this? No matter how awful you feel right now, there is light at the end of the tunnel and you will feel like yourself again and you will look back on that period of your pregnancy and think shit, that was bad but you got through it and it soon becomes a distant memory.
So for now I’m going to allow my body to continue doing magic inside me to make room for and sustain our two growing babies, hopefully keeping them snug and safe until October.