I’m just going to come out and say it. Pregnancy is torture.
Are you shocked by this statement? Or do you agree?
I’m currently in my fourth pregnancy. I have two children, which means I suffered one loss. I just entered the second trimester, and even still, I’m terrified something will go wrong at any moment. And I just spent the last three and a half months living with a secret no one knew about, hoping and praying that nothing would go wrong. So I’m just a little bit emotionally exhausted, waiting over here by myself. Don’t mind me. Pregnancy is torture, especially when it’s still a secret.
But that’s just the thing. To talk about it or not to talk about it, right? To be vulnerable and reveal the truth too early or not to and be in your head for three months waiting for the “OK, there’s less of a risk anything will happen now” go-ahead from the doctor. It’s a personal decision, and one we can’t take back once we put it out there. But also it’s something so joyous and amazing, why wouldn’t we want to share it right away? Despite having been through this before, I didn’t really know which way to go.
This pregnancy feels different
But maybe it’s because I’ve been through this before. Or maybe it’s because I’ve known the feeling of a loss, the way it hurts to your core and bubbles back up as a painful memory every once and a while. The memories come back like it was yesterday. I can see clearly when we got the news, how we told our families, how we cried together. Or maybe this pregnancy feels different because I had a child after that loss. I now know the joy that comes after you’ve weathered a terrible storm and survived to see the clouds part and a rainbow appear. And now, with this new pregnancy, everything is unknown again.
Or maybe it feels totally brand new
I’m 39 and pregnant, and I’m older than I was when I had my other children — even if just by a little bit. 39 and pregnant. 39 and pregnant. It seems so bizarre, and yet it’s not. More and more women are waiting to have children. This isn’t weird. It’s totally normal. But it’s something I can’t get out of my head right now. I’m 39 and pregnant. Is that why it feels different?
Being older is one thing — with age, comes experience, right? — but there are so many other things I’m thinking about too. My body is older, my mind is changing, and my perspectives are broadening. And yet, I have other first-time responsibilities too, like helping to take care of an aging parent and trying to be an active parent at my child’s school. There’s a lot more going on, and yet, I’m pregnant anyway, and the pregnancy doesn’t seem to care about any of this.
And now I’m overthinking the future
I already feel bad for this child, as she will be so young when I’m so much older. She will grow up having to take care of me sooner than she should. I’m already thinking about everything I need to do to stay healthy, educated, and relevant to make sure she doesn’t shoulder that burden as soon as she might. I’m exhausted while I overthink everything that goes into being an older mom — at least the older mom I wish I could be. Maybe that’s why I’m so tired right now.
Pregnancy is torture.
The waiting and fears of the unknown. The hope for joy, dreams for the future, plans for what could be. My emotions are scattered, yet I have no expectations. I’m hopeful yet cautious. I’m cautious yet hopeful. I can’t decide which way to be, how to act, or what to say. I’m starting to tell people. Instead of saying, “I’m pregnant!” like a normal person, I provide my full medical history like I need to prove it’s OK that I’m pregnant, that this pregnancy has meaning, and will succeed. This baby will be OK.
Until she’s born, this pregnancy will be a weird kind of torture. Or maybe until she at least gives me a kick to say, “Stop worrying, Mom!” Let’s start there.