My age: 31
Number of pregnancies: 2
Age of my child: 18 months
31 weeks with second pregnancy
I had made it to the ripe age of 28 without giving the though of having children the time of day. Then my husband broached the subject after his younger brother celebrated the arrival of his second child. I won’t lie, I was cautious about the idea, my body being my main concern. After years of dealing with depression and various eating disorders I was finally at a place where things seemed okay. I had found a sport I loved, long distance trail running, and I had maintained a healthy weight for three years, something I had never dreamed of. Of course I had the idea that I, unlike many women, would be able to control every aspect of my pregnancy and come out of everything much the same as I went in. This proved to be my greatest folly. I had a bit of a struggle getting pregnant, which became my ultimate goal for months, if not my obsession. Being a perfectionist I constantly fight with having control over everything, and doing everything to the ninth degree.
When my doctor started making plans for my husband and I to see a fertility specialist I found out I was pregnant. My joy was short lived when I was placed on bed rest 5 days later with spotting and cramps. I was told that my body was threatening to miscarry and the best I could do was to keep my feet up and wait. Wait, me? The first thought in my head was, when can I get back to the gym. Of course I was horribly concerned about the baby, but old habits die hard and my weight was also at the forefront of my concerns. I made it to nine weeks and was sent back to work after a second ultrasound confirmed that all was well. Then at 18 weeks I was pulled off work again and put on modified bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy. Talk about losing control. My emotions were up and down due to the pregnancy, my own depression and the fear I had for my child. I managed to eat pretty healthy for the majority of the pregnancy and gained 40 lbs which I was not overly happy with, but I carried quite well. In the end my son arrived 2 days past my due date, apparently he came to the conclusion that it was rather comfy in Mommy’s tummy. I had a difficult labour which lasted 30 hours and ended in an emergency c section due to my son’s position. I was not upset about not having a natural labor ( at the time ) and was happy to have three days in the hospital with the nurses to show me the ropes. I healed really well and enjoyed nursing my son for 13 months. During my 12 months post partum I was not surprised to find out that I had PPD, but what I was surprised about was how difficult it is to be a Mother. My husband is a sub contractor and thus he has to put in long hours when the work is there, mostly to compensate for the slow season in his trade. Fortunately the recession has not affected him too much, unfortunately this means my husband is rarely home. Time to myself and help with my son has become a luxury. None of my friends have or want children and I have had to limit my interactions with my Mom due to some lines that have been crossed on her part. Daycare has been annexed by our paediatrician because of the number of times my son came home sick and the severity with which the illnesses would affect him. It was during one of his colds 7 months ago that I became sick as well and found out I was pregnant. I must have conceived within days of his first birthday which seemed like a miracle after my attempts to get pregnant the first time. I wound up taking 4 pregnancy tests at home and then seeing my GP for a test before I went in to see my obstetrician. When I found out I was pregnant I had only just grown comfortable with my son’s routine and had found time to workout and take care of myself. I was upset that I still had 10 lbs to lose and a lot of toning to do but I thought I would be able to maintain what ground I had gained. Then the morning sickness hit, I had never dealt with this in my first pregnancy and most definitely not to the degree where I had to be placed on medication. I was one of those women who found that eating helped calm the sickness, and that’s when the scary weight gain started. At this time I also seemed to become ill every time my son came home with something, which was approximately every two weeks. I am now 8 months pregnant and have gained 40 lbs in addition to the 10 extra pounds I started with. I fear seeing my doctor and stepping on the scale, which humiliates and saddens me. I should love going in for my appointments, as I did with my first son, there is nothing like hearing your child’s heart beat. I am overextended, exhausted and have little patience for my 18 month old, who is a bundle of little boy energy. I hate myself and the future I see for myself. I feel as though I can barely manage with one child and dealing with two seems impossible. It has taken forever to get my son to sleep nine hours a day, I don’t know when I am going to rest with two kids under the age of two, let alone when I am going to be able to put some focus back on myself. It seems as though I have a target on my back when it comes to other people’s opinions. I hate being judged within a glance or based on someone else’s preconceived notions. My doctors blasé comments about my weight gain and the lack of support I am receiving from my family and friends seems to be making matters worse. If people knew about the dramatic changes that have happened within my family life the last two years I don’t think they would be so quick to believe that they could do better. I am truly at the end of my rope. Sometimes I hate being a Mom and resent my family. I worry about failing as a parent, most especially in the ways that my parents failed me. I feel so detached from the baby I am carry now, because everything I have is being spent on my son.
Who am I? What have I become?
first picture: 7 months before my first pregnancy
second picture: 4 days after I found out I was pregnant, 5 weeks pregnant, I had to put on weight to help get pregnant
I have no post partum picture as I refused to be photographed
last 4 pictures: me as of today 31 weeks pregnant with second child