Let’s talk about pregnancy, you know that magical time where you’re growing a tiny person in your womb. Everyone talks about the pregnancy glow. But lets face it pregnancy is no cake walk. By the time you have that big beautiful belly your swollen, adapting to a body that is ever changing and growing, and that tiny miracle inside of you is stealing all your energy. At the end you’re pushing your baby down out of your rib cage so you can breath again, if only for a minute. But someday you’ll miss this.
When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter I was beyond excited. I immediately began shopping for all things baby, pinning maternity and newborn photos on pinterest. I felt on top of the world, that was until the morning sickness hit. The dreaded morning sickness that lasted all day and all night. I was that crazy woman in the grocery store buying box upon box of saltines just trying to make it through the week with out vomiting. This was the first time I thought to myself, wow this pregnancy thing sucks.
Truth be told, I never did a maternity session for my daughter, and I regret the hell out of it. I had every excuse in the book. I was exhausted. I didn’t feel pregnant enough, I just felt fat. I so badly wanted the big round bellies other pregnant women had. I looked like I had gained a few pounds, and my belly was easily concealed by a loose fitting shirt. This was evident when two days before my due date a woman asked me if I was pregnant. After a little small talk she asked when my due date was. I replied with Monday. Confusion rolled over her face as she responded which Monday? I quite frankly just didn’t feel “pregnant enough” like the women you see in those gorgeous photos. Boy how was I wrong and I would do anything to change that.
I wish I would have embraced my pregnant body, the imperfections, and had the confidence to document my every changing body. I only have a few images of a pregnant me, most of which are only belly shots. When I look back at these with my daughter she can’t see the excitement in her mother’s face. She can’t see the glow or the longing I had to meet her. Instead she only sees a belly. She doesn’t see the miracle that was. I wish she could see how much I loved her even before I laid eyes on her, but there’s no emotion in the images, just matter of fact pictures. I thought for sure I would make it up with the next baby.
When I got pregnant again I was on top of the world. I couldn’t wait for our daughter to meet her little brother or sister. I imagined the excitement on her face staring at the ultrasound screen showing the little baby growing inside of me. But when the ultrasound tech started the ultrasound I knew something was wrong. The baby that should have been there was measuring four weeks behind. The doctors assured me that my dates were wrong. I should come back in two weeks and there should be a baby. The daily blood work confirmed my suspicions and two weeks later at our follow up we learned the sad truth. This baby would never come to be. In the office I held it together asking all the matter of fact questions while my husband sat quietly next to me. I left the office with pills that would help my body miscarry barely making it to the car before my emotions over came me. I wanted this baby so badly. I did everything a pregnant woman is supposed to do for a healthy pregnancy and it still didn’t work. The loss hit me hard.
I laid on the couch crying over a baby that never was waiting for my body to discard it, but the miso did nothing more that cause a few cramps. The nurse suggested I take another round. I sent my husband to pick up my prescription because I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle the looks from the pharmacy staff thinking I choose to abort my baby, the baby I wanted and dreamed of. The second round did nothing. Word of advice, don’t be awake for your D&C.
The next time I found out I was pregnant I thought surely I can’t miscarry again. I needed to do something to make this baby real. I bought some maternity dresses I had been eyeing up convinced that if I purchased something that this baby would stick around. A few weeks later I sat in the waiting room filled with pregnant woman, I envied them while I waited for the doctor. The doctor informed me that I was miscarrying yet again and my husband tried to comfort me. I pushed him away trying to hold in the tears long enough to make it through the blood work. We arrived home to a package filled with maternity dresses, the maternity dresses I would never wear. Just a cruel reminder that my womb was bare.
I’m four miscarriages in, healing from surgery to increase our odds of having another baby as I write this, pleading with you to not make the same mistake I did. Don’t take anything for granted because nothing in life is guaranteed. Pregnancy is one of the most special and meaningful times in our life, and while 9 months can seem like a long time, it truly goes by in a flash. All those annoyances of pregnancy, I miss every single one of them.
Photos have a way of enhancing memories, and emotions. Those feelings of love you had for your baby, the memory of their first kick. Pregnancy isn’t something we should be ashamed of, we should celebrate it and document it for what it is. Your children should be able to look back at how beautiful their mom was, the glow you had, the love you felt for them.
According to Dr. Ali Binazir the probability of your baby coming into existence is 400 trillion. That is in itself a miracle. It’s time we document it and celebrate it for all of its perfect imperfections.