Today marks the first instalment of my new blog series Why Didn’t They Tell Me… where we explore some of the things about fertility, pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and parenting that we wish some had told us about before or that we wish we were taught in school. I am honoured to share the personal experiences of members of the community in an effort to help people connect with those with shared experiences and reach out to those preparing for these stages of life. Some of these stories share raw and real moments and they may be hard to read. These stories are not meant to scare anyone, but rather to shed a light on multitude of experiences that can be had, not all of which are fun and happy. (We will have uplifting stories, too!)
Our first contributor wishes to remain anonymous and I would like to extend my gratitude to them for being so open and honest in sharing their story. They are sharing their experience with the first trimester of pregnancy after a previous loss.
“I didn’t have the best first experience with pregnancy. Now, we’ve gone through all those moments a second time, thankfully with better outcomes, and have made new memories from brand new experiences but I have to say that my first impression of pregnancy stands.
I absolutely hate the 1st trimester.
I wish that this is something that people talked more about or taught in school. Pregnancy is wonderful, exciting and you’re filled with joy; there are definitely days where I feel that BUT it’s also scary, lonely and honestly, you can just feel like crap for three months and have to suck it up because no one can know yet.
I know that this is not everyones experience but I have found that when I’m honest about how I feel, with doctors, midwives and some friends who found out, I get a look of concern and confusion and talked to about depression and postpartum depression.
I know that this is a real issue that many women encounter but for me it isn’t the case and hopefully postpartum depression will not be either but I would love it if people stopped looking at me like there is something wrong with me for saying how I feel.
I think that we should honestly prepare men and women for the realities of pregnancy, that it’s not just this magical and beautiful thing, that it can be really hard and that it is NORMAL to feel completely miserable sometimes. Getting rid of the guilt we place on the women who are having a harder time with pregnancy and even parenting would be wonderful and I believe it begins with honest education and communication. I don’t think that the majority of women feel that they can speak about anything except how excited they are because they will be judged and that needs to end.
Also, I think that many women are under the impression that once they’re pregnant they will see their doctor and their baby right away and in some cases this happen but the majority of the time you don’t get to see anything until at least 8 weeks, sometimes 12 and that, unless something goes wrong (in which case the doctors usually can’t do anything), you’re completely on your own and it’s almost impossible not to worry. Even after your 8 week or 12 week or 16 week appointment you still have to wait another month to know that things are okay. It’s hard and scary and you can really feel like you’re going through it alone even when you have an amazing partner and support system.
If we were to take pregnancy out of the equation and had someone who woke up every morning with their body and mind exhausted, who felt nauseous all day, who was bloated, constipated and uncomfortable, who had horrible headaches, whose body was changing in weird ways, who had no control over their emotions, who woke up 3x a night to pee or started suffering from insomnia, or both and was trying to pretend like they felt absolutely fine and happy while they worked for 8+ hrs it would be completely crazy. We would not expect someone to stay silent about that and we would not expect them to feel happy about it. We need to stop expecting this from pregnant people.”
If you have an experience you would like to share about your fertility, pregnancy, birth, postpartum, or parenting experience please contact me.