One thing I have come to realise in my adult life is that pregnancy is such a blessing. It is not guaranteed that a woman will fall pregnant just because she has all the correct parts/organs to do so.
Watching repeat episodes of The Jeremy Kyle Show or even walking around the town centre and seeing kids with kids you can be forgiven for thinking it is easy to get pregnant. Whether you’re young and have no life experience or had a one-night stand, even if you just locked eyes with a guy… poof! You’re pregnant!
During sex education classes at school we were educated on all the ways of preventing pregnancy which I spent just over a decade trying to do. Even when I went to the GP surgery to see the nurse for another pill prescription, she always tried talking me in to getting the implant, because the pill and condoms were not enough and I was still risking falling pregnant, which must NOT happen.
It was drilled in to me from early on that I must not get pregnant, and quite rightly so. Why would I want to risk having a baby before experiencing life, making those mistakes and learning from them, living with friends to learn independence and budgeting money, earning and wasting money(!), spontaneous trips to various places in the country, putting myself first?
By the age of twenty-seven I had done all of the above and even managed to find the most amazing man to spend my life with, bought a house, got myself a steady and well-paid job, visited different countries for holidays and even got my own fur baby to nurture and manage to keep alive (which the same cannot be said for any house plant I bought…). I wanted children so now was the time to get on it! Judging by how easy the world made it out to be I could even have two babies by the time I was thirty. How amazing was this plan? I had done everything right and now I could be rewarded and promote myself from ‘adult’ to ‘mum’. Easy.
It took twelve months to get the result we had been hoping and wishing for, but even then, 9 weeks later, it was taken away from us. They say nothing can prepare you for having a baby. Well, nothing can prepare you for having a miscarriage either. The pain (emotionally as well as physically) is like nothing I can even try to put in to words. You don’t imagine that it can even happen to you because it is one of those traumas that only happens to other people. It doesn’t matter how many times people say to you ‘it’s one of those things, it wasn’t meant to be, it’s not your fault, don’t blame yourself’… you will blame yourself. You were supposed to grow this beautiful miracle inside you and you failed. The one thing a woman can claim as her divine right in this world, and you managed to blow it.
Ladies. IT. IS. NOT. YOUR. FAULT.
Your body is such a powerful tool, it was looking after you. Something with the fetus wasn’t right and your body knew it and it had to do what was best for you. If anything, that just proves that your body is the shit and will do all it can to put you and your health first. After all, we’re women. We are bloody strong creatures and nothing will keep us down for long. That being said, the healing process is not quick and easy. In actual fact, the memory of it will never leave you.
We were lucky. Just under 6 months later the result was positive again. We found out at 5 weeks and were so happy however the following 15 weeks were not easy. Despite the private scan at 11 weeks, the NHS scan at 12 weeks, the morning sickness until 14 weeks, those little kicks at 18 weeks, I would not allow myself to accept it and relax until the 20 week scan. The anxiety was unbelievable. All those days I spent in bed suffering morning sickness (something I can only compare to recovering from the worst hangover in history after one too many jagermeisters…) all I kept telling myself was ‘it’s fine, it’s a good sign, just go with it’. I never complained. As long as I was suffering it meant my body was doing the right thing.
I am now at 35 weeks. Lots of people say to me ‘oh wow, that’s flown, hasn’t it?’. My response? No. It has been the longest 35 weeks and 3 days of my life. Even now I think there is some small part of my brain that does not accept that all this is really happening. Is that because of the miscarriage? Most likely. It is probably why I don’t even have my hospital bag ready yet (yes, yes, I will get to it!).
As far back as I can remember, I have always wanted a baby bump. I don’t know why. Maybe because I have always had a little extra plump on my front and would have preferred it to be a baby instead of excess fat. My bump took 27 weeks to make an appearance, but even then it still looked like I’d had one too many pies. By 30 weeks I finally started to look pregnant and now there is no denying it. It is only small compared to others at my gestation which I am hoping means my little cherub will be small and not the 11lbs like her father was… (pray for me and my condemned hoohaa). I have my bump and I bloody love it.
I’m not going to say that this pregnancy has been 100% delightful, but I am filled with so much guilt every time I begin to complain about something. Morning sickness? It’s fine, it will all be worth it. Back pain and sciatica? It’s fine, it will all be worth it. Feet swollen so badly that it’s uncomfortable to walk? It’s fine, it will all be worth it. Major hormonal tantrums whilst at work making all my colleagues uncomfortable? It’s fine, it will all be worth it. Haemorrhoids? What a huge pain in the ar… oh was that the baby kicking? Ok, ok, it’s worth the pain. I am allowed to complain, but am I going to jinx it?
Yes, I have been blessed with this pregnancy. So, before the birth comes along with all the trimmings (contractions, pain, bleeding, tearing, pooing in front of others and losing all dignity) I want you to understand that falling pregnant is not always so easy. Lots of women suffer miscarriages and really struggle to conceive (more than you think, and more than I realised too). So next time you’re at a party and want to ask the couple who have been together for so many years yet don’t have kids, ‘so when are you having a baby? When will your parents be grandparents? You should do it now whilst you’re young’ please think twice. It might come across as a conversation starter but in actual fact you could be unknowingly punching that woman in the uterus. No one would intentionally cause that much upset if they knew the facts, but you don’t know what someone could be hiding. Some people might not want kids but some people might not be able to. Please think twice.
Right, it is time for me to pull myself up those two flights of stairs and get myself in bed to try and combat this unbelievable back pain before my final day at work tomorrow. But don’t worry about me and the pain. After all, it will all be worth it.