*Warning* Much like my post about post-baby care, this is pretty candid and I talk a lot about my body and say the words boobs and vagina. If you can’t handle it, can’t laugh about it, or are scared to read it, that’s okay. I’ll catch you on the next post.
Pregnancy does some weird things to a woman. You cry about the stupidest things. You get pissed off for absolutely no reason. You eat like a teenage boy. And, you want to sleep basically all the time. Also, you feel may feel sick, and unknowing people might think you’re having a bit too much vino pretty frequently. Your boobs grow to the size of small cantaloupes, and while that’s awesome for small-chested people like myself, it’s also terrible because they hurt like the dickens. Sure I actually have some cleavage for the first time in my life, but oh my gosh, don’t ever hug me straight on. Seriously though.
So everyone is aware that when a woman has a baby, her body changes pretty drastically. Well, I am on my fifth pregnancy now (you can read about my other kiddos here, here, here, and here), and each time I have gotten preggers, I show a little faster every time. This one is no exception. I am eleven weeks along, and looking more like somewhere between 17-20. I remember being pregnant with Judah and being so excited when I thought I had “popped.” Whatever dude. That “pop” has got nothing on this one.
It’s no secret that I’ve struggled with my body image for many years. Appearance, whether purposeful or not, was placed in high value in my home growing up. I’m sure some of it was my own insecurities, but I felt a lot of pressure to look a certain way all the time. This has carried into my adult life, and I work hard every day to get over myself, and to make sure my son grows up comfortable in his own skin. This pregnancy is no exception. Instead of trying to squeeze into certain pants or hide my growing belly, this time around I am delighted with every facet of the growing life inside me. When you lose multiple babies, it doesn’t matter any more. Every day there is evidence of a healthy and growing baby is a celebration. Sure, my hips widened basically the moment I got pregnant, but whatever. My body is doing it’s thing, and baby is doing theirs, and I’m just here to enjoy the ride.
Doctors, midwives, home births, vaccinations, no vaccinations, etc, etc. There are a million things you’re faced with when pregnant. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Do whatever you know is best for you and your child. I don’t care if you decide to have your baby in the middle of the forest, cavewoman style, wrapped in a sheep-skin. If that’s how you feel most relaxed and comfortable, more power to you. For me, I prefer a doctor, a hospital, and most likely an epidural, unless I get to the point where that’s not possible. I was induced with Judah and have felt SO much guilt with that for a long time. I was wrapped up in the pressures of a natural birth and letting the baby come on his own, yada yada. Well, when you’re two days short of 42 weeks, doing 200-plus jumping jacks a day (OMG, that must have been kind of hilarious for my husband to see), and that baby isn’t budging, I think you’ve done all you can to get things progressing naturally. At that point, it becomes about the safety of your child and yourself. I also want to enjoy the birth of my child, and for me, that means an epidural. Now, I’m not one to request one after the first contraction. For me, it’s important to feel some of that pain. Not only to experience the relief, but also to appreciate what’s going on. But I’m not going to feel bad for getting one this time, so long as my labor allows. I don’t care what anyone else says. I also think that if you can do it naturally and feel the best about that, more power to you. And, if you have to have a c-section, you still had a delivery. You’re still fierce. You’re still awesome and powerful, and deserve every bit of credit as that other mom who went cold turkey out in the woods and caught her baby with her bare hands. Either way ladies, let’s all be on each other’s team. WE FREAKING GREW A BABY INSIDE OUR BODIES FOR ALMOST A YEAR AND THEN PUSHED THAT HUMAN BEING THROUGH OUR VAGINAS. Okay? Okay. Phew.
Doctors…I got a good one this time around. It takes a certain type of person to make you feel comfortable enough to joke around while you’re spread eagle on an exam table. It’s a rare quality, I tell ya. You find one of those, consider yourself lucky. So thanks Dr. S for your ability to make me laugh in the MOST awkward situation ever.
And as for this pregnancy, I’m just in it to enjoy it. I’ve never felt more excited, more nervous, and more secure with a pregnancy in my life. I know that’s kind of contradictory, but…hormones. Having kids is the biggest privilege we are entrusted with. We don’t know how long we will be able to parent these little lives, so I’m just excited for my fifth little baby, and the opportunity to fully love this life for however long or short I get to.