People keep asking me how I’m feeling. This is a pretty standard part of pregnancy and usually my answer is something along the lines of, “Large.” Because obviously.
The truth is, though, I feel pretty great. I started to type this sentence with the qualifier “for someone who is 33 weeks pregnant,” and then stopped myself because I don’t need the qualifier. I feel great, period.
My pregnancy with Isla was so miserable, I had resigned myself to being super uncomfortable this time around. I’ve been pleasantly surprised, though. While I’ve had some of the same unpleasant symptoms–nausea and aversions early on, fatigue throughout, some aches and pains, and trouble sleeping–for the most part, I’ve felt good. I’m not really glowing on the outside, but on the inside? On the inside, I feel positive and upbeat. My body doesn’t feel like a restrictive cage of discomfort, but with a few exceptions (my bladder and not being able to fit in places I used to be able to fit), feels pretty much like it did before I got pregnant. In fact, there are still times when I can forget I’m pregnant, despite the big belly.
I think part of the big difference between the pregnancies may come down to attitude. I’ve had a lot of time and opportunity to reflect on my attitude while I was pregnant with Isla, and I knew if I got to have a second full-term pregnancy, I wanted to enjoy it more. Knowing what to expect and being able to brush aside the uncomfortable stuff with a “this too shall pass” has made it easy to glide right through the less-than-fun parts of pregnancy.
Another thing is that, despite this pregnancy being something of a miracle following 3 miscarriages, an infertility diagnosis, and 2 surgeries on my dysfunctional uterus, this pregnancy hasn’t had any of the medical issues that came with the first. No placenta previa, no concerns about baby’s health. I haven’t been constantly monitored and poked and prodded. All of my doctor and midwife appointments have been of the pleasant, joyful, non-scary variety. On that front, there has been much less to worry and stress about.
The biggest difference, though, and the one I can truly feel in my body, is that I’ve made a concerted effort to have a healthier pregnancy. I go on a 1-2 mile walk pretty much every day and do yoga a few times a week. I see a chiropractor and massage therapist weekly. I eat well, and I drink tons of water. Maybe most importantly, I’m not spending 50+ hours sitting at a desk. I have a standing desk for work, I’m much better at enforcing my boundaries around working outside business hours, and I do a much better job of getting away from my desk and moving around during the day. I’m healthy and active, and my body is the body of a healthy, active person.
I feel good.
I’m proud of the hard work I’ve put into my health this time. I also know how lucky I am to be where I am in my career, to have the job and the health insurance that I have, because these things are critical to being able to take care of myself. The difference between a pregnancy where I didn’t (and to some extent couldn’t) take care of myself as I am now and one where I could and did has been tremendous. I’m enjoy being healthy and happy, and I’m even looking forward to being pregnant for a couple more months.
Of course, in a few weeks I may be singing a completely different tune, but right now, I’m enjoying pregnancy and enjoying having this excuse to take extra special care of my health. I know once the baby gets here, that will all change. It’s so nice to have this brief time to focus on myself.