If you are a woman who has had children, or anyone who has known a woman while she was carrying a child then you most likely know that the task is not an easy one. It’s not all fun bump pics and planning nurseries. It’s exhausted days, sickness for weeks (or months), growing out of clothing, adjusting to lots of new weight and a new centre of gravity, it’s painful kicks to ribs and cervixes, running to empty your measly bladder every 10 minutes, it’s new sensations and worries about each one – and the list goes on. Don’t get me wrong, it’s also joy, expectations, dreams, anticipation and feelings of love like you’ve never had before (spoiler alert that love intensifies with every single day).
Yesterday I was having a conversation with a co-worker about my pregnancy. She was wondering how I was feeling, I gave my usual response of a shrug and “not to bad actually” and then I said, “I actually don’t mind being pregnant at all.” See, being pregnant with Marfan Syndrome poses some risks that aren’t always present in a healthy woman’s pregnancy and it also means that my joints have a much harder time adjusting to the extra hormones and weight that my body accumulates. Most people think I’m crazy when I say I don’t mind being pregnant because they see me waddle around like I’m 40 weeks pregnant but the waddle starts around week 10-12 because my hips and my pelvis begin to become painful. Usually the pain increases every 2-3 weeks and I mentally take about 5-7 days to adjust to the increase and then life is fine again.
Yesterday, however, I came home after work with pain that was normal and by the time I got into bed at 6:45pm I could barely lift my legs into the bed. My pain had not only intensified this time but I began to have new pains that I had never experienced before. I tried and tried and tried to get comfortable and finally fell into a very fitful uncomfortable sleep. I woke up at 1:30 right on schedule with my bladder, and I couldn’t fall back asleep again but instead of it being simple pregnancy insomnia it was because I was still in so much pain. Then I let the pain do something to me that I never let it do, I let it get to me mentally. So I lay in bed last night going through all the what ifs in my life right now.
- What if I can’t adjust to this pain this time?
- What if the pain continues to get so bad I literally can’t walk?
- What if I really do have to stop working early?
- What if my last echo (on Nov 1) shows really bad news?
- What if I have to have open heart surgery while pregnant or worse while I have a NICU baby?
- What if I can’t carry this baby to full term?
- What if we can’t pay our bills?
- What if……
Honestly, it was ridiculous! Yes those are all risks of my pregnancy but as of right now they aren’t imminent risks (aside from the pain) and they aren’t risks I ever overly stress about. As I lay in bed worrying about my ability to overcome my pain I let my mind get the best of me and finally I had to just yell at myself to STOP being so ridiculous.
I made myself remember the truth that I know:
- This baby was conceived and given life for a reason beyond my ability to understand.
If I truly believe that (which I do) then I have to believe that every struggle along the road of bringing this babe Earth-side is not only worth it but also possible. I also have to believe that life will work itself out, every detail will fall into place and every “what if” will fall to the wayside. It might not be how I would like it to happen, and it might come with even more struggles but it WILL work out.
I wrote this all out, not just for my own processing, but also as a reminder to whoever reads it that life works itself out. Whatever struggle you are dealing with – surrender to the process and remember that the end will come eventually, it’ll be hard and strenuous but it will be worth it.