The Woes of Pregnancy
The Joys and Woes of Pregnancy
Pregnancy certainly is a rollercoaster of ups and downs. It’s been fascinating talking with friends and family about their own pregnancy experiences. Everyone’s pregnancy experience is unique – but there are definitely some common woes that we all go through.
I recently connected with Ashleigh from Growing Graci, an awesome pregnancy blog I’ve been following. We quickly discovered that we were both living in Las Vegas, and in our third trimester – what a crazy small world! Over an iced coffee and a London Fog (earl gray latte), we chatted about all things pregnancy.
It only seemed natural to share our combined thoughts on the joys and woes of pregnancy on our blogs.
Keep reading to find out the woes, and hop on over to Growing Graci for the joys!
What has been the scariest part of being pregnant so far?
Ashleigh: Honestly, there have been so many scary moments during my pregnancy! However, by far the scariest moment was when I had some unexpected bleeding in the beginning of my second trimester. Though it wasn’t much, it was a really scary moment and it prompted a very frightened call to my doctor and a few hours of hoping beyond hope that everything would be okay.
Lucy: I feel lucky to have not had any bleeding – I can imagine that being really scary!
I was really scared going into my first ultrasound. After experiencing a blighted ovum and miscarriage six months earlier, I was so desperate to see SOMETHING inside the gestational sac on this ultrasound. I just didn’t want to go through the emotional heartache and physical pain of another miscarriage. Fortunately, everything looked great during the ultrasound and I’ve gone on to have a healthy pregnancy. The first trimester is an anxious time for most women but can be especially scary for those who’ve experienced a previous loss.
What has been your least favorite symptom of pregnancy?
Ashleigh: Let me start out by saying that I’ve not had the best pregnancy in the world when it comes to symptoms. I feel like I’ve gotten them all. However, my least favorite symptom has been the pelvic pain that I’ve experienced since the second trimester. I’d say that was followed closely by the morning sickness that still gives me grief in the third trimester.
Lucy: I’ve been lucky for the most part. Other than feeling exhausted, I managed to avoid most of the undesirable pregnancy symptoms during my first and second trimester. However, now I’m in the final month, more symptoms have popped up. Like Ashleigh, I think pelvic pain is my least favorite of those symptoms! I wake up multiple times in the night with hip pain, and rolling over to relieve the hip pressure is a nightmare/Olympic event. I’ve had some cramps and Braxton Hicks too, that are a pain in that they seem to happen whenever I’m trying to get stuff done around the house!
Were there any symptoms or experiences that you felt unprepared for before they happened? Emotional or physical?
Ashleigh: Before I got pregnant, I really had no idea about the whole slew of symptoms that I’d experience. For some reason, I really thought pregnancy would be a lot easier. The thing that I was most unprepared for, however, was the immense identity change that I’d feel as soon as I got pregnant. Suddenly my whole life was changing, and it was changing quickly. I was definitely in shock for a chunk of my pregnancy. Each time I saw that the baby was okay and healthy, the easier it all got. I finally felt confident again when I knew everything looked good at the anatomy scan.
Lucy: I’m such a research junkie, that most of my physical symptoms I felt prepared for. The one thing that took me off-guard in my third trimester (until I spoke to girlfriend’s who had also experienced this) was, TMI, crotch-sweat. I guess the combination of blood-flow, hormones and living in a warm climate means that you end up having a lot of extra heat downstairs. Just one of the super fun pregnancy symptoms that is completely outside your control…
Emotionally, I think I’m feeling very sensitive to the loss of my mum. Normally, I’m pretty put together, but pregnancy hormones and not having my mum around on his journey has left me feeling pretty raw.
How have you struck a balance between what you mentally want to do and what your body will allow you to do?
Ashleigh: I struggle every single day with trying to navigate my to-do list. My energy has really tanked in the third trimester, but in my head, I still want to be getting a million things done. Each day, I have to remind myself that I’m pregnant, this is temporary, and that I have to listen to my body. Most to-dos will wait until you can get around to them! I try to remember that my most important job right now is to make a healthy baby.
Lucy: I can TOTALLY relate to Ashleigh’s response. Mentally, I want to get tons of things done. Physically, I just want to laze around, watch netflix and nap. I’ve learned that I need to make the most of energy when I have it, and indulge in relaxation when that’s what my body needs. I’m very glad that I got a lot of things done during my second trimester, when I had more energy, strength and mobility.
There are so many guidelines out there about what you should and shouldn’t do while you’re pregnant. How have you navigated all of these guidelines?
Ashleigh: I’ve definitely tried to do research about what is or isn’t healthy during my pregnancy. While there are a lot of widely accepted guidelines, there are more guidelines that aren’t so well accepted. I’ve tried to do my research, be informed and then make decisions based on what my doctor and my gut tell me is right for my baby. Deciding what you will do (or not do) during your pregnancy is a very personal choice.
Lucy: I totally agree with Ashleigh in that deciding what you will or won’t do during pregnancy is a personal choice. I’ve researched the ‘whys’ behind some of the lists of items to avoid, and this has helped me guide my decision making. I dislike the fear and judgement surrounding some pregnancy guidelines – I’ve read of comments online that seem to be coming from a position of fear over fact. As Ashleigh states, do research and be informed, and make a decision on what is right for you!
Have you dealt with any negativity during your pregnancy?
Ashleigh: I have definitely dealt with negativity during my pregnancy. To the outside world, my pregnancy definitely could have happened with better timing. I had quit my corporate job to start a business when I got pregnant and my relationship with my boyfriend was less than a year long. Our families were definitely worried and as the baby of my family, being pregnant pushed me to create boundaries with family members. It’s been a rough road, but I know that it is all going to work out in the end.
Lucy: For the most part, pregnancy has been a really positive experience for me. However, during my first trimester while juggling a full-time school schedule (completing my MBA), leading a student-ran venture capital fund, and working for a startup, I occasionally struggled. For about a month, I was feeling overwhelmed, tired and just trying to get to the finish line. This combination with pregnancy meant I was a bit more emotional than normal. This was held against me, which sucked. I had to make some tough decisions about who I wanted to spend time with and how I wanted my life to look post-graduation during this big life change.
Don’t forget to head on over to Growing Graci to read the sister post, “The Joys of Pregnancy”.