Pregnancy is hard. Period. Even a “text book” pregnancy with no complications is challenging. I knew this from my first go-round but, as the last weeks of my second pregnancy fade away, I now know what a “hard” pregnancy feels like.
Let me start by saying that, on the spectrum of high-risk pregnancies, I am on the lowest end. I am not on bed rest, my blood pressure is actually low, and there is not an immediate threat on my baby’s life or my own. I’m mainly considered high-risk because I have gestational diabetes and our daughter’s growth is being monitored for that and other reasons. I never expected to encounter any of this! My mom had three normal pregnancies (one in her 40s) and my first pregnancy, though uncomfortable, was completely normal. When the nurse told me I failed my first glucose test, I thought there had been a mistake. When I found out I failed the first of component of the longer glucose test, I knew this pregnancy was going to be very different from my last.
Fast forward to today. I am okay and my baby is okay. That is the most important fact. But, I MISS FRENCH FRIES! I miss going more than a few hours without taking my blood sugar. And I miss going to bed without first injecting insulin into my stomach. This pregnancy has drained me physically, mentally, and emotionally in ways I never thought possible. Just the math involved in tracking everything is exhausting.
But that all brings me to my real point in this post. As many times as I have been encouraged and told that I am doing a great job, I have to say, I’m not. I’m not as strong as people tell me I am. I feel like a baby when my toddler doesn’t nap, and I could cry because I can’t have my therapy fries (I don’t do retail therapy, I do French fry therapy). I feel like a brat when someone says something so kind and I still snap because my blood sugar is low but it’s not snack time yet. And I feel like a drama queen when I think about all the moms who handle so much more than this.
The Real Strong Ones
In addition to bringing all of my own weaknesses to the forefront, this pregnancy has also allowed me to see the strength of others in a whole new light. Moms who have gone through way more injections than me just to get pregnant, you are strong. Moms who carry their children knowing they will have significant challenges after birth, you are strong. Moms who sit at the bedside of a sick child, you are strong. Single moms who do it all yourselves, you are strong. Your strength is not news to me; however, my own deficiencies have allowed me to appreciate your strength more than I ever could have before. I want to be strong like you, and I want you to know that I see you. I truly see you now, and you are all heroes to me.
Since I originally wrote this post, we welcomed a sweet baby girl into the world. She was born on Valentine’s Day, and I am continually inspired by all you strong mamas out there!