Romper's Trying project follows five women with very different stories through a year of trying to conceive. Where discussions about fertility often focus on the end goal, they'll document what it's like emotionally, physically, and spiritually before you get there — the anxiety, the hope, the ovulation kits, the tests. How do you function when getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term isn't a given? Read on for one woman's answer to that question.
Ambreia has a 2-year-old son and has been trying for a second child for a year and a half. This is the fourth installment of her Trying diary. You can read the previous entry here.
He’s back! He’s back! I'm not doing the single parenting thing anymore, and it feels great to have my in-home support system again. I really had no idea how much of an impact my husband made until I experienced being pregnant while trying to take care of a 2-year-old. It was really hard, and interestingly enough, around the time he got back, I felt immensely better.
This past month, I began trying to walk several times a week again. There were days that it was difficult to get the motivation to walk because my energy was so low, but most days I would do it anyway because I knew that I was not only helping me but the baby.
I didn't get an ultrasound at the 16-week doctor's appointment, which I was sad about but got over. Instead, I went through the "best" part and was pricked by a bunch of needles for the basic genetic testing. It's not something that I have spent a lot of time thinking about, but I wonder how we will adjust if our baby has any developmental delays . I had a small bout of nerves when the doctor's office took longer to call me back about my results than expected.
Being the high-anxiety person that I am, I was worried that additional testing would be needed and awaited that phone call with something approaching fear. In the end, I called them after a few days and found out the information had been in my chart, and they just didn't let me know because there was nothing alert-worthy. I was also happy to hear that my blood work didn't show any complications with my own body.
I'm really anxious about giving birth again, considering how rough my first experience was. I had a tiny health scare this month, possibly from overdoing it with the walking. One day after an extended (roughly 1.5-mile walk) my legs went to sleep for nearly 12 hours. To be safe, I was advised to go to the emergency room. Thankfully, their biggest fear — blood clots — wasn't detected.
There were several times that I had to cancel at the last minute because my energy was too low.
I completely forgot how much being pregnant changes your entire body. I can't walk as much as I'd like because so much of my body's energy resources are going to the baby. I've decided I need to speak with the doctor during my next appointment and ask them if there are any acceptable energy boosters I can take during pregnancy. These prenatals aren't cutting it!
Low energy was the defining quality of the month — it affected everything. Pregnancy has lead to FOMO and insecurity about my friendships. My local best friend wanted to hang out, and there were several times that I had to cancel at the last minute because my energy was too low.
I'd gained about 12 pounds by now and it wasn't hard to see each one — I started looking properly pregnant this month. The way my body was changing made me think this month made me do a lot of thinking about breastfeeding. Of course, it's pretty hard not to think about breastfeeding when your boobs have grown two or three sizes and all of your bras are too small. And don't even get me started on my nipples.
Anyway, I breastfed McChub for one and a half years. I want to breastfeed this baby as well but what happens if I run into new challenges? Or what happens if there's a delay in my milk? Logically, I know that I have the research skills to find donor milk and lactation consultants to help me work through those issues, but there is so much to think about.
In the beginning, getting out of bed each day was a huge struggle.
Since I'm getting bigger, my belly makes most of my clothes look dumb. It kinda does a number on your self-esteem, but the good news is I have started to feel the baby move quite regularly. I'm shifting out of the sickness and reluctance and more into the excitement of it! There's a person growing inside of me, and my family is about to change.
I thought about a few names and my husband, and I have one that we have been considering for a long time. But that name will only work if we have a girl. I have thought of ZERO boy names.
Since I was feeling much better this month, I've been able to transition my focus from surviving to thriving. In the beginning, getting out of bed each day was a huge struggle. Now I'm back to cooking, working, and even a small amount of cleaning. I'm so grateful that I started feeling like myself again. Now, it's time to do all I can while I still can — time for doing rather than feeling like I'm missing out. Because this is it, and I know the baby will be here before I know it.