So after my initial "pregnancy" blog post (with the belly shot at 20 weeks), several people mentioned they wanted to know exactly what was so different, and for more details, as I had so briefly and vaguely mentioned. :)
I am all about sharing and being open and transparent, but wondered if a post with such personal information (and that isn't on a mommy forum like mothering.com or diaperswappers.com) might be crossing the line of a little bit TMI? :) But I thought, why not oblige and transcribe my thoughts and feelings onto, well, not paper, but digital paper? For all the world to see? Well alrighty then, why not?! Here goes! :D
BUT, this post is not very "man friendly", so I figure with fair warning to any male readers (although I doubt there are many, if any at all), I will go ahead and open up a little about "Pregnancy Experience, Fourth Edition", ha!
So HERE is your warning! Men, and/or easily grossed out, squeamish people, you might want to close this blog and/or browser window, and not read any further! You have been fairly warned! :)
For a little background, here is a brief history:
My first two babies were complete and unplanned surprises. Blessings, but definitely surprises! The second two, we were blessed to have planned. I was 19 with my first baby, 20 with the second, 23 with my third, and am now 25 (but will be 26 when he is born) with baby #4.
With the first two, I was super young and in such great shape! I was a dancer my entire childhood and teenage life. After the birth of my first baby, when she was 2 months old, I took up martial arts and LOVED it, sticking with it even through my second pregnancy and halfway into my third. I started to miss classes here and there, and then stopped altogether. The reason being a busy schedule and lack of baby sitters, not by my own choice. :(
I did gain slightly more weight during my third pregnancy, than I did with my first two. Coincidence? I don't know. My third was also my biggest baby, weighing in at just over 8 lbs. (Pretty huge for my small 4' 11" body). But I still dropped all of the weight and got back into shape quickly (thank you BREASTFEEDING! :D Hahaha!), so who knows.
Which brings me to my current state of 25 weeks pregnant with baby #4!
I feel so blessed and privileged to be expecting yet another baby. I realize there are many families who are hoping and praying to be pregnant and for a healthy baby, and have not had that opportunity yet. One of those families being my best friend, so I do not take pregnancy for granted in the least. And I am thankful for having that to keep me accountable, and remember to be thankful for everything we have been blessed with.
And I have always loved being pregnant, despite all of the discomforts.
That being said, this time around has truly been the hardest (and at times the most painful) pregnancy yet, even though I am barely over the halfway point. And with my history, I'll probably go a couple of weeks past my due date anyway, so I've still got another 4 months to cook! :)
The reality of it is I think this pregnancy is really taking it's toll on my little body, which is barely 4'11", and about 105-110 lbs. normal weight, so small framed.
One symptom I have experienced without fail, all four times, is severe morning (all day) sickness. However, it did seem so much worse this time. Maybe I blocked the old memories of it out, or maybe just the daunting reality of caring for a (very high maintenance) toddler and homeschooling two kids while trying NOT to puke on the floor in front of them took its toll on my weakened, exhausted body? I don't know, but I felt like this time was so different.
I lost weight with each pregnancy, thankfully this time it was only about 8-9 lbs., because I worked diligently to stay nourished and hydrated, which is way easier said than done, as any other "throw-upper" pregnant mama can attest to!
And of course, I have thankfully gained it all back, and then some, thanks in part to Christmas tamales. :)
I experienced some varicose veins behind one knee with my third pregnancy. They showed up well into things that time, around 25-30 weeks or so. Pretty mild, nothing I worried about, and they disappeared shortly after I gave birth.
This time around, they showed up at 9, yes, 9 weeks! I was still in losing weight, super sick mode! I know, weird huh? It's only in one leg (my right), which I find kind of funny, but I've come to find out that is normal for varicosities during pregnancy. They were incredibly painful, but my wonderful and amazing midwives have me on a great homeopathic regimen of White Oak Bark and Hamamelis Virginiana, which is essentially witch hazel taken internally. In just over one week of taking them, the pain has been relieved almost completely, and they are decreasing in size, purpleness, and "bulge", haha, but are still incredibly ugly. I can't stand them. I pray that these too, will go away after the birth, or I vow to never wear shorts again. Ever. Booo!
See? Not very "men" friendly, so if you are a man and still reading, I recommend you close this browser now. :)
Okay, moving on...
My butt hurts. :P
No really, my pelvis and tailbone hurt! Like, seriously aching, sometimes hard to walk, sometimes piercing pain, hurts. This is a first for me, unless it is one of those blocked out memories I didn't want to remember. :)
Did you ever fall hard on your bottom while playing (for example, skating?) as a kid, and then have a sore tush for a few days afterwards? Well that's about what I can best relate it to! :) This is a recent development, right around 21-22ish weeks, so it is due to the wonderful hormone called Relaxin, which loosens up the ligaments to prepare for birth, as well as from the increasing weight of the uterus and baby, lying upon my coccyx. Very sore hip flexors are right there with the sore tailbone.
In addition to the above, I am feeling that very familiar sharp, shooting, numbing, tingling pain, a.k.a, pregnancy induced sciatica. Yet again, a literal pain in my butt, and legs too. :)
I did experience a taste of it with my first two pregnancies, and a good sample with my third, but of course, this time it is much more severe. This is also directly due to the weight of the uterus and baby pushing on/pinching my sciatic nerve. Lucas sometimes calls it my "Psychotic nerve", hahaha! Thanks for the sympathy babe! :P
On top of those, my lower back is beginning to feel the strain. I have not had back "issues" in any of my other pregnancies! At least nothing severe enough that I could remember. The pain and aches I am experiencing make me feel just about out of commission.
BUT, any other mama of 3 (or more!) will tell you being out of commission is NOT an option! :) And mama doesn't get any sick days or days off, so you just suck it up. :)
Alright, enough of my "complaining" and venting. In all honesty, pregnancy and birth really truly is, I believe, one of the most wonderful experiences a woman can endure, and a God given "right of passage". Also, I find it totally neat and interesting to find that 1 Timothy 2:15 says:
"15 But women will be saved through childbearing, assuming they continue to live in faith, love, holiness, and modesty." (New Living Translation)
I am not claiming or even going to pretend to be a biblical scholar (or any kind of scholar for that matter, haha!), but taking that scripture for it's face value, I think we, as women, truly have a great calling, and I think it's pretty awesome!
Yes, pregnancy is hard,
puking is never fun,
backaches and pelvic pain are a (literal) pain in the butt,
and getting through the days that seem to drag on forever is tough.
But once I feel those first flutters, and then the big kicks, and then the somersaults, and yes, even then when it looks like an alien is trying to escape from my stretched out, seemingly paper thin skin, I am in LOVE! I love my baby, I love that my body can grow a baby, and I love that God felt we are fit enough parents to even deserve another one! Because even I sometimes totally doubt I am mama material, haha! But I know I am blessed, I say I am blessed, and I believe I am blessed.
Psalms 127:3 Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!
And, that is all. For now. :)