Pregnancy: Expectations Vs. Reality
Expectations- having them can ruin things and not having them can also ruin things. I don't think you want to go into life or any worthwhile endeavor without having any expectations. But the problem (maybe just for me) is they are usually unrealistic, especially when it comes to things like marriage, parenting, and as I've recently discovered, pregancy.
I once read someone say "Pregnancy- the happiest reason for feeling like crap". And I couldn't agree more. While scrolling through social media you may see glowing moms, pretty dresses, darling bumps, and heartwarming shots or pregnant mama's with older siblings. I participate in the taking of those pictures, so I'm not judging anyone for taking them. But they certainly don't contribute to realistic or healthy expectations.
What you won't see on social media is the exhaustion, the stretch marks, frequent bathroom trips, "morning sickness" (which btw is all day, not just in the morning) weird cravings, clothes that no longer fit, melt downs that come with said clothing that doesn't fit, heartburn, swollen feet, backaches, and Braxton hicks contractions just too name a few.
This is my second pregnancy not my first, so why set the bar so high the second time around? The first time around I found out I was pregnant it was a few months from my 20th birthday. I always knew I wanted to have kids so that wasn't a surprise so much as the timing. I thought maybe 5 years into marriage and after getting a degree. Not 6 months after my wedding. Maybe the full time job kept me too busy to "expect"anything from being an expectant mom. It was pretty much a healthy pregnancy with no adverse affects besides the usual fatigue and swollen feet.
Cue the second pregnancy: Since having my first born I've had time to daydream about another pregnancy. From the moment I held my son I knew I wanted to have more, at least one more. I saw these stay at home moms (which I wasn't until recently) taking these gorgeous bump photo's, wearing the prettiest clothes, doing healthy activities like going to the farmers markets with their families, and taking yoga, and drinking smoothies.
Well this pregnancy was pretty much guaranteed to be different from the first for a few reasons. Before my son's first birthday I had my thyroid removed due to thyroid cancer. And life post surgery has been spent with trial and error lab work, prescriptions and symptoms revolving around hypothyroidism. The past 2 years I wasn't even sure I was going to be able to have more children bc I read a lot of women had trouble conceiving especially with thyroid levels that were out of range (me). So you take the health problem and that fact that I already had a child and those two things made pregnancy very different.
We also had some other curve balls thrown our way. Almost as soon as we found I was pregnant my husband lost his job, and that was really hard. God was still so faithful to provide for us during that time. But I wasn't able to get too a doctor till the beginning of my 2nd trimester when my Husband started a new job. Things were kind of hectic for awhile. And this time I had to go on a prescription for nausea that I am still taking bc it has been constant 24/7.
What can you expect from being pregnant, honestly? You can expect to be stretched in every way. Physically, mentally, emotionally. You can expect to feel both stronger than ever and weaker than ever. You can expect to experience the greatest kind of love and joy from someone you have never seen or met before.
My expectations this time around - not entirely realistic. My reality- still beautiful. It has been so special to share another pregnancy with my husband and for the first time, my son. God has provided comfort, encouragement, and support through beautiful community and people in our lives. The joy of partaking in the experience of creation is one that can't be overshadowed by lifes curveballs or medical conditions.