Pregnancy is nothing short of a beautiful, awe inspiring miracle.
…but it’s also really hard.
And some of the challenges of pregnancy are rarely discussed.
To encourage you and remind you of all the women experiencing similar joys and challenges, we’ve collected stories from moms who’ve been there and done that.
Megan, mother of two, wishes that she would have felt more prepared for insomnia, hemorrhoids, (FYI: hemorrhoids are extremely common during pregnancy.) and her anxiety.
“Everyone told me, ‘well, if you feel like garbage that’s a good thing!’ Then, when I started feeling good in my second trimester, before I could feel regular movement, I was SO paranoid.” Megan also felt like pregnancy could be really isolating: “People don’t invite you because you can’t drink or participate in the activity, or they assume you’re too tired.”
Ashley, mother of two, wants to remind our readers of the BEAUTY of pregnancy:
“Our bodies were built to grow and sustain life… it stretches us - literally… but it is beautiful. Make note cards to encourage yourself and remind yourself of your beauty, especially on days you don’t believe it as our bodies physically change.”
Becky, mother of one toddler with another baby on the way, said the following about her pregnancy:
“I wish someone would have told me that having a movie perfect pregnancy was never realistic. It comes with bumps and turns and, for most of us, some sort of ‘high risk’ feature: mine has been gestational diabetes, my mom’s was high blood pressure, my best friend’s was breech positioning.
“I also wish someone told me I was going to grow an entire human and only have three sonograms to see them. Total. The whole pregnancy (until mine turned high risk...) That blows my mind. You want me to grow a person, worry about them, worry if I’m making bad decisions, but I only get to see them three times?”
Katie, mother of three, gave us this list of things she experienced but didn’t expect:
Extreme exhaustion during the first trimester
How much my appetite would fluctuate
Constipation (another topic that came up several times that is often undiscussed. Talk to your doctor about this one!)
Manal, mother of one, had to change her birth plan unexpectedly:
“I had placenta previa and had to have a scheduled c-section. I was slightly bummed to not have a chance at a vaginal birth, BUT I was also not married to a birthing plan and could go with it. I know not everyone feels the same.”
Sarah, mother of one, faced challenges with high blood pressure, Covid 19, and heartburn. It also took her longer than she expected to get pregnant: “It took us 22 months to get pregnant. I don’t think infertility is talked about as much as it should be,” Sara said.
“Once I got pregnant it was a pretty normal one I feel like, nausea but no vomiting. I did have some spotting around eight weeks which is apparently pretty common. I had heartburn, but never really had any of the weird pregnancy cravings you hear some people have.
I did have high blood pressure throughout and had to monitor twice daily, had covid at about four months and had to take baby aspirin, which ended up helping my blood pressure. Because of those two things I had ultrasounds every week starting at week 32.
I ended up delivering on my due date. I was scheduled that day for an induction but my water broke about six hours before we were supposed to go in.”
Brittany, mother of three, didn’t expect to be treated like she was incapable while pregnant, especially when she felt so strong.
“Although society is starting to see the strength of a woman, I was always treated as weaker while I was pregnant. People try to be nice and help lift things, etc, but really what they are telling you is you are incapable…or that is how I took it."
"To add to that, I feel even stronger when I am pregnant…not necessarily physically but wholly and mentally.”
Katie, mother of one, gave us a great reminder that every pregnancy is unique. Educate yourself, ask questions, and seek advice from your doctor and other trusted women, but remember that what is true for one mom might not be true for you.
No one told me “that everyone’s ‘advice’ to you was catered to their specific pregnancy and baby. Everyone is different, so you usually get a lot of wrong ‘advice’ ha. Example: ‘oh morning sickness ends at 12 weeks’…for me it took 18 weeks.”
Leah, mother of three, shared these wise words about her pregnancies:
“No one told me how instantly your mama bear instincts would kick in. I have never felt more protective than when I first got pregnant. I would do anything to protect this life inside of me and when they are born you aren’t able to protect every aspect of them, which is terrifying.
“Also, no one told me that you might not feel that ‘glow’ that is talked about so much when you are pregnant. There was no part of me that really felt beautiful. I felt out of my element and at times not beautiful in my own skin. I was so sick, broke out, swollen, spider veins started to appear, an emotional rollercoaster, achy everywhere, and, of course, gaining weight. Yes, the life inside me is and has always been well worth any ache and pain, but being pregnant is one of the hardest things I have ever done and truly believe will ever do.
“Lastly, no one told me about all the potential complications that can arise during pregnancy. Of course, the scary stuff is never talked about much, if at all. It’s not until you have scary stuff show up on a sonogram and have to get sent for a high level testing where it’s completely silent and no one will give you answers until the sonogram and exam is fully complete that you realize pregnancy isn’t always this happy journey. We were told our son could have down syndrome or trisomy 13 and sent to a genetic specialist to talk about options. The only option for us was to give birth to our beautiful boy, whichever way God chose to make him, and be prepared that the road we pictured may look different than what we thought. It can feel isolating struggling with the tough parts that aren’t always highlighted for pregnancy."
"Whether a woman is struggling with some scary news about her baby, is sick all the time, or doesn’t feel that “glow”, the lows are just as important as the highs and women deserve to not feel alone in this experience.”
Emily, mother of two, was on bedrest during both her pregnancies due to risk of preterm labor.
“I focused too much on all the pain and discomforts of pregnancy. Now that I’m on the other side, with my babies in my arms, I realize that while I was pregnant I was being transformed, inside and out. I wish I would have soaked that in a bit more and celebrated my strength while marveling at the astounding design of motherhood. It’s likely that I’ll never be pregnant again, and there are beautiful moments that I should have appreciated more.”