Every pregnancy is different, to be sure, and not just every pregnancy for every woman but every pregnancy a single woman experiences. My first was hell, for example, and I couldn't wait for those 40 weeks, more or less, to be over. But something changed between the day I had my daughter and the day I found out I was pregnant with my son; a change that altered how I felt about pregnancy in general. So, to my surprise, I loved being pregnant the second time around, and I'm not just saying that because it's what women are "supposed" to say, either.
I was honestly surprised to feel so much unabashed joy during my second pregnancy, especially since it wasn't easy. I had suffered through two miscarriages prior to finding out I was pregnant with my son, and after the pregnancy was confirmed the doctors told me that there was a good chance I wouldn't be able to carry my current pregnancy to term, either. The term "threatened abortion" swirled around in my head, making it incredibly difficult to simply focus on the positive: that I was pregnant.
But even in those moments of intense fear and uncertainty, I knew there was nothing more beautiful than those double lines on that positive pregnancy test. They meant I was given another chance to start a journey that, my body willing, would end with a baby. They meant that I had a shot at experiencing pregnancy again, and bringing another human being into the world when that experience came to an end.
I wasn't going to take that chance for granted, and I wasn't going to wish even the bad parts of a very wanted pregnancy away. After all, my husband and I had been trying for another baby for years. I had almost convinced myself it couldn't happen. But it did, and that was reason enough to love my pregnancy and whatever pregnancy symptoms I had to endure.
As a result of my previous miscarriages, my polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and my tilted uterus, my doctor gave me a very specific set of self-care instructions to help keep my future baby safe. Knowing what was at stake, I followed them to the best of my ability and, in the process, found a way to truly worship my body for all it was accomplishing day in and day out. Sure, pregnancy wasn't always comfortable. In fact, for the most part it wasn't comfortable at all. But even the most comfortable moments were signs that inside me a life was growing; a life I couldn't wait to meet.
Before I was pregnant with my son I used to raise my eyebrows at moms who swore they loved being pregnant.
I don't want to downplay how difficult my second pregnancy was, or lead anyone to believe that I was happy every single second of every single day. At the time I had a toddler in preschool who needed my attention, and a husband who worked a lot to provide for his family. We didn't have any family members living nearby, and I was working-from-home to try and supplement our income. I was exhausted, to say the least, but even at my most tired I couldn't overlook just how differently I felt during my second pregnancy. The fear of potentially losing my son morphed into this intense joy and sense of profound gratitude for even having the opportunity to carry him at all. Even with my swollen ankles, my high blood pressure, and the eventual leaking of my amniotic fluid, I loved pregnancy. Even when I was at my most exhausted I would spend my nights rubbing my belly and talking to my son. Through my anxieties and fears I developed a bond to that pregnancy and my baby; a bond that still exists today and now that my son is almost 7 years old.
Before I was pregnant with my son I used to raise my eyebrows at moms who swore they loved being pregnant. I assumed they were lying and trying to present a "perfect" front that somehow insinuated they were naturally destined for parenthood. But after carrying my son to term, and realizing just how transformative pregnancy can be, I understand. There are a million ways to feel about a pregnancy, and every single feeling is valid. It doesn't matter if you love it or hate it, your pregnancy is yours to experience.
To me, that's a beautiful thing.