Tonight I broke down and googled “twin pregnancy: is it supposed to be this hard?” I’ve been debating posting this blog for over two weeks because I really am so thankful to be pregnant after our journey but I am struggling, guys. I feel like pregnant women get this oxytocin-induced amnesia after delivery and they have a hard time remembering the pains (literal and otherwise) of pregnancy. Everyone has said that once you hold your babies, you forget about all the stuff that led up to you having them. At 16 weeks and experiencing worse nausea and all-day sickness than in the first trimester, I pray that is true. I feel certain that it will be. Someone I love dearly, who may or may not share some of my DNA, also told me recently to stop complaining about it because all I talked about for a year was how much I wanted to be pregnant (It wasn’t Chad, he’s been amazing!!) I took this to heart and realized that it’s absolutely true and whileI don’t want to whine but I also want to be as authentic in my pregnancy as I was in our infertility. As a first time pregnant woman, I have read it all and signed up for every email. What to Expect comes to me on the reg, as does the Bump, Barycenter, Pregnant Chicken and a specific one for mothers of multiples since we are having twins. And all of them have this magical glow to them that mention the symptoms but characterize them in fairly harmless or innocuous ways such as “you might be feeling a bit sick to your stomach lately but that just means your baby is growing”. I was surprised to have the feeling I had experienced in our infertility journey of “am I the biggest whiner? Is no other pregnant woman this miserable??” No one tells you that everything inside your stomach has the uncanny desire to be on the outside of your body, most of the day. And if you smell onions or deli meat, you could and might cause actual bodily harm to your husband in an effort to make it to the toilet in time.
If I am very honest, pregnancy has brought me to my knees. Literally. Often in front of the porcelain stallion. I have been sick almost every day and around 11 weeks it sort of changed from just a sudden urge to vomit to an all-day feeling of being ready to vomit and often actually vomiting. I have been absolutely exhausted most of the day, every day. There has been acne. In various places. I am amazed at how much snot the human body can hold on a daily basis from this congestion. There has been changes to anatomy parts. There is a constant and persistent feeling that someone is kneeing me in the crotch (it’s called pubic symphysis pain and it’s usually worse with twins). At 14 weeks, I began sleeping with 3 pillows around me and between my legs. Recently, the lower back pain has kicked in. And there has been things that even I, the over-sharer, would be too embarrassed to tell you.
All of this to say, pregnancy has been hard for me. My hopes clung to a reprieve at our second trimester but that hasn’t happened yet. And in my anxious mind and heart, it begins to feel like I will never feel good again and that the next 5 months will be more than I can take. I do take comfort in the fact that billions of women have done this and survived, even if I swear sometimes I will be the one who doesn’t make it. The google search produced a much-needed laugh and feeling of camaraderie with other pregnant woman who read Scary Mommy. Apparently, it’s perfectly normal to feel as if you are hiking Everest when doing just about everything! Getting down on the floor to play cars with your nephew presents pains that last for the next two days. And getting up not only makes you hate all your life choices but also takes about 5 minutes. The good news is that while I am still very much over-anxious most of the time, I have complained enough to my doctors and I have finally been getting some good meds! Sleeping and allergy pills, for the win!
Sometimes I think about when I’m finally not sick everyday. About how I will have two newborns who need all of me, all the time. It’s just a bit overwhelming sometimes. So, what is wrong with admitting that something that might not be hard for millions of other women, has been much harder than I expected it would be? Can I share that and not be judged? I’m not asking for all your sympathy or for you to do anything about it; Chad has learned the hard way that there is not much he can do when I’m sick or in pain, though he tries valiantly! All I’m encouraging us to do is understand that things that are easier for some are harder for others and vice versa.
Motherhood might be second nature to you. It’s not for some. You might have taken to marriage like a fish (or duck?) to water, but that isn’t how most people adjust to it. Please allow things to be hard for other people even if they weren’t for you. And maybe don’t offer platitudes or words you think will help them. Often, we offer those things to make ourselves feel useful but they don’t help the person we are trying to comfort. But you can be honest with them about something that makes you feel weak. You can hold their hand, rub their back, or send them a meal. It’s ok for things to be hard. We aren’t bad Christians or weak women or failures if we admit that. Go for it, I promise I’ll listen!