I’m pregnant and it’s definitely not the best time of my life… What happens when you don’t love your pregnancy the way you feel you should? One mama shares the ups and downs of her pregnancy journey.
It was the end of July 2022 and I was very excited to pee on a stick. Even more so when the stick indicated that I was expecting my first child. By mid-August, I got the medical confirmation that I was pregnant. It was official. The cherry on top? I’m not expecting one baby, but two!
Before reading any further, bear in mind that I am grateful that I will become a mum very soon. It’s something that I wanted (and still want!) very much, but I just didn’t expect it to be this difficult.
I don’t like being pregnant.
I don’t like it and I feel a mix of guilt and shame even saying that. If you are expecting a child, and you’re not “enjoying” this gift of life as you suppose to, know that you are not alone.
Twins! What a start to this new pregnancy thing!
During my first appointment, my gynaecologist said:
“Do you see what I see?”
I saw nothing! It was all black. At that precise moment, I thought she was telling me that there was no baby at all. She continued and said: “There are 2 babies! Double congratulations!”
I was choked. WTF was going on?
Indubitably I was not expecting to have twins. It’s a natural pregnancy, and I guess we were lucky (?) to conceive two babies at the same time. In France, twin births represent about 1.5% of all births. How did we manage to do that? What were the odds? Should we play the lottery more often?
My husband was just thrilled by the news. I won’t lie — I freaked out (and I’m still terrified by the idea of handling two babies at once). I panicked and cried and it took more than a couple of hours to process the news.
When the reality doesn’t match your expectations…
For the past few years, I pictured myself having only one child. One kid was my plan. I imagined us to be a small, close-knit family of three. In less than thirty seconds, the vision of what my life would have been like collapsed and that was rough. At that moment, we went from being a couple to on our way to becoming a family of four. Or five if you include our cat.
Then came the time to make our birth announcement to friends and family. Let me tell you now, they never react the way you wish they would.
As if I wasn’t already feeling stressed enough, the unsolicited comments were overwhelming. The most common reaction: “One baby is tiring enough, but two?”
I guess it’s only natural and they don’t mean any harm, but it really just adds to that initial anxiety.
What is happening to my body?
I am really lucky because so far, my pregnancy has been quite easy. I’ve had very few symptoms and I know that’s not the case for every woman. So I imagine what I experienced with my body was “smooth” compared to others, but that’s not to say it was uncomplicated.
Despite this, I resented my body for presenting me with that first-trimester nausea. I had stopped drinking and smoking, but I was feeling as if I was “hungover”. It was so unfair. It was like my body didn’t want to be my ally on this adventure. Reconciling my mind and body was not an easy task.
As the bump began to grow, as I knew it would, it wasn’t so easy to accept.
“Am I still attractive? Am I still good-looking?”
These might seem trivial when posed next to the prospect of creating life… Well, call me shallow, but I still care about my appearance. I wasn’t convinced by my reflection in the mirror. Luckily, my husband is very supportive. His daily reminders of my beauty are more important than I would like to admit.
As I enter my third trimester my body is not able to move as it used to. Climbing a few steps is a challenge. Walking for too long is a nightmare. I’m out of breath if I walk too fast even for a short distance. Even stretching is demanding. I can’t find a comfortable position on my sofa. If I eat too much, I feel terrible. Sometimes my belly is so stretched I don’t know how the babies will find space to grow. I dread going to sleep because of my back pain and insomnia.
A time to grieve my old life
I loved my life before I got pregnant. More than once during my pregnancy, I realised that my life had already become pretty damn boring.
During my first trimester, I was so tired that I was in bed by 9.30pm. Between that and sipping on soda water, my social life wasn’t exactly what it used to be. Plus, I had to give up my favourite sports, taking away my outlet for any frustrations.
Not for good (I hope!) but for a while. There’s a whole new lifestyle to define.
What does the future hold?
There are unanswerable questions about my relationships. And it’s terrifying.
How is it going to be with my husband? Are we going to handle this new challenge as a team? Is our relationship strong enough to cope with a lack of sleep and crying babies?
What about my friends? Will those without kids still want to see me? Will they understand my constraints as a new parent? How will we make time for one another?
There is no doubt that the changes brought about by the arrival of twins are titanic.
The ups and downs of being pregnant as an entrepreneur
There’s never a good time to get pregnant. I also thought that it was not the right time for me. My marketing and communications business, J. Consulting, launched a year ago my efforts started to be rewarded. Even with the new clients in my portfolio, I am still a rookie.
There are some huge benefits of being pregnant as a solopreneur, especially the possibility to rest as needed or adapt my schedule around medical appointments.
On the other hand, I couldn’t ignore the disadvantages either. No maternity leave, no support and no safety net. If I decide to stop working for three months, I won’t get paid. It’s as simple as that. As a couple, we can make sort it out, but as a working woman, I want to be financially independent.
Finances aside, I don’t want to start everything again. I created my business from scratch and it breaks my heart to think that I might lose everything that I’ve built so far. It’s a lot of pressure and work to anticipate my return to work.
The final stretch
I’m in the final weeks of my pregnancy and I can’t wait to cross the finish line. This pregnancy has not been a piece of cake, but a rather long journey full of pitfalls for which I was not prepared. I know the next steps are hard, but that’s another adventure in itself.
Read More: Your Ultimate Guide To Postnatal Recovery