(TW: mention of perinatal depression)
One of the things that I was not prepared for was the overwhelming days of #depression during my first trimester. I know right, I am pregnant after so long of wanting to be and now here I was all sad faced and just depressed. I even had a couple bizarre days of thinking maybe I do not want to have this baby after all. This is the kind of stuff that pregnant people think about and go through, but rarely speak it, because other people would think they were insane or ungrateful for not wanting their “miracle rainbow baby” or for being depressed because they are pregnant.
Well, folks, it is true: sometimes, people feel so burned by the Universe (G-d, Allah, what-have-you) that they would rather not be pregnant than potentially deal with the inevitable depression that comes from miscarriage. Heavy shit. But real shit.
I am over that now. Still not turning cartwheels or dancing a jig about being pregnant, but I am not depressed about it either.
Telling everyone that we were pregnant was kind of interesting. Of course, our parents are excited. W’s parents actually did not believe us at first; they thought we were kidding them, but who calls you up on Father’s Day and tells you that you are expecting another grandchild for shits and grins?! My parents are also happy. Besides clients and really close friends, my father was the first person to know that we were expecting and his reaction was kind of surprising. He was really genuinely happy. I am not sure why exactly that surprised me, but it might have just been the first trimester depression clouding my head. I was also not prepared for my maternal grandmother’s reaction, which actually came across as more annoyed than excited. I did not let that get me down for too long, because hey, if you can not be happy about this shit (despite my own lack of fireworks and cartwheels), then I do not need to spend too much energy on you. I do not have the time nor the desire to try and convince someone that it is an amazing and outrageous thing to be pregnant.
Now that I am well into my second trimester, I am actually rather enjoying this pregnancy, on a physical level. I remember with E’s pregnancy once I was done puking and losing weight, I felt insanely well — better than before I was pregnant. I am having a lot more internal discomfort this time around, though. I am not so much enjoying feeling my organs being smashed and scrunched. I also do not appreciate that I can not bend over without squishing my uterus and stomach, making everything all achy and grumpy. Otherwise, I can not really complain about too much.
So, because I know some of you might be wondering, yes, I am a #fat (technically obese) person who is pregnant AND healthy. I would offer you my BMI just to squash myths, but as a midwife, I see no real value in or use for BMIs when looking at individuals and their health. To date, I do not have high blood pressure or gestational diabetes (the two main concerns most doctors associate with #obesity and #pregnancy) and aside from extreme fasting lows in the morning, my hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) has been the least annoying during this pregnancy than at any other time in my life — I call that a win. Oh, and I have not gained any weight, which is not uncommon for fat pregnant folks, but I have definitely gained some girth!
I was a whole one hundred pounds lighter (still technically obese) when I got pregnant with E and I did not have any issues with blood pressure or blood sugar then either. I also did not suffer from the “fat vagina” myth and was quite capable of giving birth to a ten pound, two ounce baby at 43 weeks and 2 days gestation (yes, my “dates” were correct). I have no reason to expect things to be any different this time around.
There is no hiding that I am pregnant at this point. Since this pregnancy is not my uterus’s first rodeo, it was all too happy to expand rather quickly and has really “popped”. I am measuring about a month farther along than a first-timer would, but this is totally normal with a history of multiple pregnancies. I keep having to remind myself of that. Anything to convince myself that there are not two babies in there. Honestly, at this point, I am only about 80% sure that there are not. Do not worry, I will keep you posted.
I have had so many amazing people give me hand-me-down cloth diapers (and a few other baby things) for free. The love that is pouring in is so incredible and a little overwhelming. I have such awesome friends, clients, fellow birthworkers, and random Facebook mama-friends who have dug through their stashes and passed on things. So many people have had babies this year too that are willing to pass along things as their littles grow out of things. It is so much better to be pregnant this time around with lots of other parents around me, as I was pretty much the only person besides my clients giving birth when I was pregnant with E. I do not feel nearly as isolated.
I am still thinking more about what I want specifically for this birth. I did tell my close midwife friend that I would like to not have another posterior baby and that I would not like to have another giant baby. I have less of a reason to worry about having a giant baby this time since I have no reason to mentally try and stave off #labour for a couple extra weeks — we have no pressing home repairs or projects like with my pregnancy with E! The #posterior thing can probably be avoided if I am paying attention to prenatal posture and utilise some of those fantastic tricks from Spinning Babies.
I plan to have a birth pool to at least labour in, as I recall labouring in water being the thing that made the back labour from my giant posterior baby bearable. I will more than likely give birth in the water too, because after all, that is what #mermaids do!
I am still contemplating my birthing team. I do know that it will at least be W, E, my close midwife friend, and me. There are a couple other folks I am considering. The good thing is that we have a large house with three stories, so I can quite easily tell people to get lost and not worry about them at the same time. I have decided that I will not be calling family or announcing publicly on Facebook when I am in labour. I do not need to have constant texts, calls, or comments wondering what is going on or fishing for updates. When I have this baby and have had a good hour or six or 24 to get to soak them in, then I will let the peoples know that cake and ice cream should be had.
That is really it for now. I did get asked for a belly pic a couple days ago. I promise, at some point, I will post a pic of my giant belly, but for now, you will have to make do with a pic of me and my giant pregnancy boobs!