When we finally decided to try for a baby, It took us 9 months to finally conceive successfully. I stopped birth control December of 2016. It turned out that my ovulation was off from what the apps on my phone said (I ovulate on day 18/19, not 12 or 14) so I was missing my window completely. I realized this when I started to read Taking Charge of Your Fertility in July 2017. I only had to read half of the book to figure out how to track ovulation using the signs my body naturally made, and we first got pregnant in August 2017. *I highly recommend this book if you are having trouble getting pregnant based on your mobile apps alone. Your cycle could be off and you could be missing your window completely!
Unfortunately, we lost this pregnancy due to it being a chemical pregnancy (you can read about my story and experience here), so when we got pregnant the following cycle in September, our successful pregnancy was slightly tainted with fear of loss from the get-go. Both my husband and I were afraid to get "too excited" and get our hopes up too high, and every week- when I was one week further than the last pregnancy- my hope and excitement began to grow.
The First Trimester
I will always remember my first trimester as being obnoxiously bloated, nauseous (but never throwing up), extremely lethargic, and sweaty. It was also super hard to keep this secret that we slowly began to let into our guarded hearts (neither my husband nor I are very good at secrets). But other than feeling like 3 months of some sort of flu bug, we had our first ultrasound and we were "in the clear".
The Second Trimester
This trimester was the hardest of all of them, for so many reasons. If you have been around for a while, you know how open I am to talking about my battle with depression and my mental health journey- because I firmly believe holding it in and pretending everything is alright is NOT helping anyone, especially yourself.
I realized sort of early on that my depression was creeping back in. I was already prone to depression, but it didn’t help that my body wasn't my own, I was worried about work and money and insurance, my hormones were all over the place, and I just didn't feel like myself. Not that you need reasons to be depressed, these things just DID NOT help.
I ended up getting a new contracting job that paid well and doing what I love, and I tried to do all the things you're supposed to do when you feel depression coming on, like listening to Air1 and reading self help books and cognitive behavioral therapy. But nothing was really helping.
Then I had my 24 week glucose test. Which I failed by 2 points on the fasting part. Let me repeat that. 2 POINTS. I was so upset. Then all the thoughts race through my head... Did I do this? Is it because I'm overweight? Who was I to be selfish enough to get pregnant while being overweight? These nasty, negative thoughts clouded my head. I had about a two and a half week window before meeting with the "diabetes people" as I call them (they go over how to check your blood sugars and how to change your diet, etc.) so I took it upon myself to change my diet and start walking/exercising 30 mins a day. And you know what? I felt great! Those were 2 of the best weeks I had in the 2nd trimester. I didn't even gain any weight for those 3 weeks, which made me feel pretty dang good considering I was at my highest weight I'd ever been
Then I had my appointment with the "diabetes people".
They were mostly okay with my new diet I had adapted since being diagnosed, but of course had to put in their two cents (like I needed MORE carbs per meal and I needed to eat MORE than I was...) and they showed me how to poke my finger 4 times a day. That's the part that got to me- that because I failed my glucose test by 2 points (which might not have failed if they had taken my fasting blood draw right when I checked in, not 2 hours after waking up...) that I am now in this category that is judged and misinterpreted for putting this on myself (aka, because I'm fat).
It was the sugar-free icing on the sugar-free cake. I came home from that appointment and just cried and cried out of frustration and anger. The next day I was at work and everything made me want to cry- the way someone would speak to me, if I didn't do something right the first time, just having to talk to people, all the negative thoughts attacking me and my self worth- I was holding back tears literally all morning. So later that morning I called my Women's Health practice and told them I needed to see someone ASAP. I had gotten off my antidepressants a few months before getting pregnant because I wanted to be able to get through this pregnancy without antidepressants, I wanted to try for my daughter. But I was not coping well, and with my hormones just getting more intense, I knew I needed help. It was not healthy for Eliana's mother to feel this way 24/7.
So I saw a midwife and she agreed that the risk of being on antidepressants in the 3rd trimester outweighed the risk of me being severely depressed (plus we have postpartum to think about, too). Within a week I felt better, by two weeks I was actually KIND OF enjoying pregnancy for once. I continued with the diabetes-controlled diet and poking my finger multiple times a day (I just have to say, I experimented with this sometimes out of curiosity- and a cheeseburger and tater tots did NOT skyrocket my blood sugar. It was only a problem in the mornings, which I fixed by eating something high in simple carbs and protein before bed. So yeah. BARELY diabetic... I'm still salty about it.)
The Third Trimester... or what we got through
The 3rd trimester I felt pretty good. I was eating better, exercising (go figure, scientists know what they're talking about with that one) and I was in the best mood consistently, it was noticeable by anyone I had really come in contact with in those last 6 months. In the third trimester I started having hot flashes and night sweats, which freaking sucks but hey that's hormones for you. I was working a lot in April with my contracting job and weddings on weekends, by my last wedding in April I knew I did the right thing in not taking weddings in May because I was exhausted and sore. Being on my feet so much did cause me to have swollen ankles and feet most days after work. I had to wear a belly support band when I worked because my body would just hurt half way through the day.
I did have a premature rupture of membranes (aka my water broke) at 34 + 3 on Mother's Day 2018. I you'd like to read my birth story click here.
I just have to end with this: pregnancy was very hard for me, for many reasons. It was not the fairytale pregnancy that I thought and worked myself up for for 9 months. That being said, my daughter is the most amazing thing I've ever created, and will be my biggest accomplishment by getting to raise her. If we have more kids it will definitely be a few years if we can help it, because children are amazing little miracles and my husband and I believe we can raise pretty great humans, and the world needs more good humans lol.
Thank you for reading. I encourage you to go read Eliana's birth story here