This pregnancy seems to have happened in a time warp. I have simultaneously been pregnant for 43 years, and somehow only have 60some days left to prepare for birth and a newborn. The end seems very surreal to me, since pregnancy is just my natural state of being now, right?
This pregnancy has been hard. I won’t lie. With both Ella and Alice’s pregnancies, I had the Goddess glow going in. I felt like a walking miracle, and I was always conscious of the wonder of bringing a child into the world. I didn’t understand people who didn’t love being pregnant, and secretly judged them. I relished in my new body, in the stretch marks and curves, because they were outward signs of the transformation I was undergoing inwardly as well. There were complications (gestational diabetes, gallbladder attacks, changing providers, insurance battles) but overall I could not wait to repeat the experience.
Becky’s pregnancy knocked me down, with 7 months of vomiting, SPD, and a more complicated birth, but I was optimistic that, since the first two pregnancies were so easy, hers was just a fluke, and the next would be easier.
To which I can now say: Ivory, you are a foolish, foolish girl.
This pregnancy has been hard. Really hard. And in a way, it’s a small blessing, because I have no further qualms about being done. This is my last pregnancy. Period. If another child wants to be a part of our family, they need to find another uterus to gestate in first, because mine will no longer be open for business. Four children in seven years is apparently my body’s breaking point, because I am broken, broken, broken. Hyperemesis is still hanging around, though thankfully I stopped losing weight somewhere around 40 lbs, and am down to only throwing up once or twice a day (a cause for celebration!). SPD (where the ligaments that hold the pelvis together are pulled apart) is back with a vengeance, and there have been days recently where I have had to revert back down the evolution chain and crawl everywhere, since my pelvis could no longer bear my weight. I have mystery hives, insomnia, diastasis, a host of issues from being malnourished for so many months, and (as a result of it all) have really struggled emotionally this pregnancy. I know this could all be worse (and I am oh so grateful that nothing is currently life threatening to Sam or I), but to say I am discouraged is an understatement. I don’t feel like a Goddess – I feel like a huge, itchy, exhausted, groaning timebomb.
And yet, when my midwife was scheduling our next appointment recently, and noted that it would be in two weeks instead of a month, I was confused. The appointments start getting closer together towards the end, and since this pregnancy is never going to end, they could never get closer, right? Oh. Wait. That’s right. I get to give birth in two months. Yay?
This all sounds very depressing when I write it out, which is part of the reason it’s taken me so long to do a proper pregnancy update here. When people ask me how I am, I generally say “Well, I made it here!” because that feels like an accomplishment. I refuse to give in and just dwell on all of this, because there is nothing I can change. This is just my new normal.
The fact that Tom has put me on bedrest nearly anytime he is home, and has taken on 90% of all of the house stuff (cooking, cleaning, keeping the kids alive) for the last 7 months makes a world of difference, and makes me adore him all the more. The fact that I have a group of friends who make it easy to forget how horrible I feel, and who ignore my crummy moods when I just can’t shake them, makes me feel much less alone. The fact that I have three awesome kids reminds me why I wanted another child so badly. And then there is Sam, who is by far the most active baby I’ve had so far, which is both a (literal) pain, and a great comfort. This is not a baby harmed by months of malnutrition. This is a baby who loves the sound of their sister’s voices; a baby whose favorite time of day is 3am; a baby who will be here in two short months.
This is a baby, not just a pregnancy. Thank god.