What I Never Expected from Pregnancy… (yup, mine!)

What I Never Expected from Pregnancy… (yup, mine!)

What I Never Expected from Pregnancy... (yup, mine!)

So I’ve been holding something back, and it’s been hard on me. I’m typically a spill it all out on the emotional table kind of girl. But this I couldn’t, and so for a long time I’ve been feeling disconnected, from everything, and generally not myself… 

The big news, I’m pregnant with my first child. I’m beyond excited and grateful and 100% emotionally ready to start a family with my husband who I’ve already given the father of the decade award; preemptively but well-deserved. We’re incredibly happy, excited, scared, you name it.

But these past few months have been some of the hardest times of my life, and that’s what I never expected…

I’d like to say it started with the first week of our pregnancy, but really it started before then. Without getting into the details, we lost our first shot at parenthood. And while I thought I handled that loss like a rock star, hardly any tears shed despite the trauma involved, it came back to haunt me viciously during this pregnancy.

But that loss wasn’t my only culprit…

I remember waking up one morning and suddenly the world was different, my world. I was barely a week pregnant and didn’t even know it. But the cliched “dark cloud” came over my life like I’ve never experienced before. 

I could hardly drag myself out of bed, I didn’t want to talk to anyone except a select few who know me inside and out, and I wanted to get off from being online completely. I thought of shutting down my blog, closing my facebook account, and virtually vanishing. I began ghost-writing for other websites and enjoyed the freedom of not having my name on anything. I wanted nothing more than to skip town and hide under someone else’s proverbial rug. 

I was suddenly seeing the world through someone else’s relentlessly sad and dreary eyes. Everything seemed dark and bleak and I cried for any and no reason, every single day. I didn’t know I was pregnant so I just assumed that I was changing, that my feelings of darkness were completely real. That I was that unhappy and my life was really that bad. I began to obsess over things that weren’t real, like my husband leaving me, losing my friends, and endless reasons why my life was crumbling in front of me. I became so certain I would lose my husband, because how could he be married to such a sad mess of a person, that I started planning in my head where I would live, how I would get by, who would get our dog… 

A couple of weeks later I found out I was pregnant (I had suspected as much), but the darkness didn’t fade. And now it was compounded by my fears and anxieties. Fears of losing another baby. Fears of what it would mean for me as a woman if I couldn’t carry a child. Fears that all my years of saying “I’m not really a kid person” were biting me in the karmic tush. Fears of seeing my born-to-be-a-father husband broken by another loss. Fears that turned into obsession. I waited for another traumatic experience to surface, as if it was always lingering right around the corner. 

And so I stopped exercising, stopped socializing, and basically stopped everything that made me happy. And to be honest, I started emotionally eating, something I don’t think I’ve ever really done for such a long extended period of time in my entire life. In just 9 weeks I gained almost 10 pounds, after being the same weight for nearly 5 years straight. As someone who enjoys and thrives off of eating healthy and exercising regularly, I didn’t know who I was anymore and I hated looking in the mirror.  

Day after day I spent worrying and crying and lamenting. I felt so annoyed with myself for not being able to snap out of it that I didn’t want to be around me, let alone have anyone else deal with being around me. I could hardly get myself to do anything. Suddenly I was accomplishing nothing and I no longer cared about my dreams or aspirations. Truth be told, I felt like I no longer cared about me. What should have been one of the happiest times of my life, felt like the darkest.    

When it finally came time for our first doctor’s appointment at about 7 weeks, I was a broken reck. My legs shook uncontrollably as she pulled up the ultrasound and the tears were already flowing. I expected the worst. 

What I didn’t suspect was what she said next… 

“Let’s look at this twin first.”  

Legs meet convulsions. Heart meet attack. Mouth meet speechless. 

“This one is looking good, now let’s look at the next one.”  

Unfortunately, the other twin was not developing. At this point, my brain was fried. I was in complete shock. Twins don’t run in either of our families and this was a completely natural pregnancy. Of all the news I had expected, I had never expected this.

I don’t remember much after that. But I do remember my husband’s first coherent question to the doctor:  

“Okay, is this why my wife has been acting so crazy and eating so much?” 

Doc’s response, yes, her body thinks she’s pregnant with twins, so the hormone levels are even more increased which can affect her behavior. As the highly sensitive person that I am, heightened already hormonal hormones perhaps equaled my emotional disaster. But she explained that at some point my body will come to recognize that the second twin is not progressing and my hormone levels should even out some. 

While I was excited to hear the good news that one baby looked healthy, the news of the other baby not working out did not help my emotional cause. And for another few weeks, I remained in my dark place. 

I tried to see a therapist to at least have someone to vent to where I wouldn’t feel like I was burdening anyone. But unfortunately I picked a therapist at random through my insurance whose form of therapy meant that she did all the talking (literally). In a one hour appointment I maybe said 10 words. 

It became so ridiculous how much this woman talked that I nearly started laughing uncontrollably midway through. I had to think of every sad thought in life to keep my inappropriately timed hysterics from bursting out and I kept wondering if she could see my lips curving awkwardly. Fortunately she was too busy talking to notice. This would have been my first big laugh in weeks, a real shame I had to hold it in! Needless to say, I never saw her again, but I did feel better when I left her office, at least in that moment. 

It’s hard for me to fully understand why I was so depressed. The only way I could explain it to my husband was that it felt like I was going through postpartum depression, even though I was exactly the opposite of postpartum. It was a depression I’ve never experienced before and there was no pep talk or work out video on the planet that was getting me out of it. It simply became me for far too many weeks than I like to remember. And while I’ve been depressed before, who hasn’t, I think this was my first real understanding of what it means to be clinically depressed. 

Then all of a sudden one week, I started to feel better. I stopped crying completely (haven’t cried since) and the dark cloud faded away. I’d still have my moments here and there, but the veil of depression that had taken over me was lifted. 

It’s possible that this is when my hormone levels adjusted to reflect only one baby but I honestly have no clue. The cosmic woo-woo side of me might say that my body was depressed due to another loss, but that would just be silly spiritual speculation that I’m not sure even I believe. I did read that about 10% of all pregnant women fall into depression, so maybe it’s as simple as that. I honestly don’t know the exact cooky concoction of hormones, worry and loss that were brewing against me I just know I’m glad it’s over. 

By about 12 weeks into my pregnancy, I was back to my old self. We are now in our fifth month of pregnancy and the joy and excitement I had always expected to feel, are fully here. I do realize now that I wasn’t in control of how I was feeling during those dreary weeks, my hormones were doing something to me from the very first week of pregnancy. If I had known that then, perhaps the future wouldn’t have seemed so bleak.  

So why do I write this post? 

One, while this is something that’s been hard for me to talk about, I feel like I just cleansed myself as I typed out these words. Words I haven’t spoken to most family members or friends, yet I feel a sense of comfort writing them here. 

Two, when I was going through this I read this blog post: Motherhood Mondays: The Two Hardest Months of My Life. She tells the story of what her hormones did to her when she was weaning her baby off of breast milk. Comfort isn’t strong enough a word for how I felt reading this blog. It‘s like her words enveloped me in a blanket of understanding, hope, and human validation. Suddenly I knew what I was experiencing wasn’t my fault and it didn’t make me a bad person.    

And so I wanted to pay that forward to any woman who happens to read this and is going through what I went through or something similar. If this helps even one woman feel better, it’s worth it to me.  

Being pregnant hasn’t been what I expected. But I have learned why they say having a baby is a miracle. And while I still have worries, because we’re only half way through, I know I’m doing the best I can, nothing is my fault, I deserve this pregnancy, and nothing in life is guaranteed so we just have to keep learning each lesson as we go.  

I wasn’t sure when I would share this story but I started to feel like I just couldn’t go forward until I vented this out. So there it is. By no means is this post meant to be a ‘what to expect when you’re expecting’ kinda post as I think this situation was somewhat unusual but I do hope that it finds it’s way to someone who needs it. 

Have you ever experienced anything like this? 

Please send us wishes for a continued miracle. 

 

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Liking what you read? Sign up for updates... It's FREE!
Share/Bookmark

59 Responses to What I Never Expected from Pregnancy… (yup, mine!)

  1. Stephanie says:

    Wow. First of all…congratulations to you + your man!! You both will undoubtedly be amazing parents.
    And thank you, so much, for sharing this deeply personal experience you’ve been going through. I have never gone through what you’re experiencing, but felt the emotions deeply as I read your story.
    I have SO had all of these emotions before. I think motherhood brings us face-to-face with ALL of our darkness (and our light). It’s such a time of growth. And as a fellow HSP, I know it probably feels overwhelming.
    Kudos to you for posting, venting and reaching out!
    I’ll be sending you lots of loving thoughts for the rest of your pregnancy.
    xo

    • Liz says:

      Thanks so much Stephanie. It really is such a time of growth and to be honest, I’m so excited for the growth it will bring. Thank you for the loving thoughts and lots of love to you, fellow HSP!! <3

  2. Genna says:

    What a beautiful, honest and touching post Liz. I know we spoke about this a wee while ago on Skype but I’m so glad you were able to find some catharsis, hope and light by writing this out.

    And you are right, someone, somewhere will read this and feel comforted by it.

    I wish you & the ickle baba developing, all the very best in health & happiness. You’re gonna be an amazing mama

    BIG LOVE
    Genna xxx

    • Liz says:

      Thank you Genna, so glad to have you in my life. You can be our “ickle baba’s” Scottish auntie! XO

      • Genna says:

        DEAL! I’m getting quite good at this auntie malarky anyway, so should be an old hand at it by the time your babs is here!

        Prepare for some mad skype calls from Auntie Genna

        Gxxx

  3. Liz, what a beautiful and generous post. Thank you for sharing such raw and poignant emotions with honesty and love.

    It’s so easy to assume that because somewhere in the world someone is having a baby every minute, that it’s a commonplace event. But every pregnancy is its own cosmos of experience and emotions that transforms us as much as it transforms what is evolving inside us.

    Sending lots of love and congratulations to you all.

    (And we’re really glad Knish didn’t have to negotiate visitation rights!)

    • Liz says:

      Hey Fiona, it’s so true, it happens everyday so we (or at least I definitely did) take the delicacy of it all for granted. And yes, fortunately Uncle Knish isn’t going anywhere ;) Thanks Fiona XO

  4. melanie says:

    liz, congrats first of all to you and jamie!!

    i got very emotional reading this b/c i too have been in that very dark place before in my life (for different reasons) and i know just how difficult it is and while you’re there, you think you’ll never get out of it. but i’m so happy to hear you prevailed (and btw, i’m not surprised at all considering what a strong person you are!) and appreciated reading your story. the hard part is behind you and you have all wonderful things to look forward to in the coming months/years!! good luck to you and jamie, you are going to make such awesome parents!!

    • Liz says:

      Hey Melanie, thank you so much. Yeah when you’re in that dark spot it feels like it will never end, especially if you try to go through it alone. So glad that’s all behind me & behind you too! Thanks for reading!

  5. Tina Pruitt says:

    Thanks for sharing Liz…wonderful post. I particularly love when you say “….I know I’m doing the best I can, nothing is my fault, I deserve this pregnancy, and nothing in life is guaranteed so we just have to keep learning each lesson as we go.” So beautiful!

    Thanks again for sharing and congrats to you both!
    xo, Tina

  6. Lindsey says:

    Congrats!!! How exciting! What a wonderful new adventure you and your husband are on. I had my first baby this past January and his birth was an absolute amazing experience for me. Breast feeding on the other hand was a complete disaster. I felt no connection to him while I was breastfeeding. I felt so embarrassed and ashamed. I adored him to pieces, but I dreaded feeding him. Finally after 2 months of feeling this way everytime I nursed him, I said enough. Once I started feeding him formula I felt at peace. Parenthood has so many surprises. I have learned that I need to do what is best for me first, because an unhappy mamma is an unhappy baby and husband. Good luck and take good care of yourself. You are an amazing woman. We all are. Lindsey

    • Liz says:

      Hey Lindsey, congrats on your first baby!! That’s amazing. I’m sorry you had to go through that struggle, I’ve heard similar things from a lot of other women. You’re so right, we do have to prioritize ourselves because it would be far more harmful to the child to have an unhappy mother than it is to make adjustments. I’m so glad you found a solution that worked for all of you. Best of luck, and yes, we are all amazing!

  7. Djanira says:

    Thank you Liz for sharing your story. You know I have a similar tale, but haven’t had the courage to go so public, maybe one day.

    I also loved and appreciate the quote that Tina highlighted “…I know I’m doing the best I can, nothing is my fault, I deserve this pregnancy, and nothing in life is guaranteed so we just have to keep learning each lesson as we go.”

    Good for us all to remember as it applies in so many situations

    Love you xxx

    • Liz says:

      Hey Djanira, thank you. I haven’t had the courage to talk much about it but I guess there’s a false safety in writing. I think women put so much shame on themselves, where really there is no fault at all, which feels unfortunate sometimes. But it’s such a hard topic at the same time so it’s understandable. Thanks for reading, sending you lots of love xoxo

  8. Pat says:

    Congratulations! Thank you so much for sharing such a personnal experience, motherhood is such a special part of my life and every one is different. I also appreciate Tina’s quote, Djanira is right it does apply to so many situations.

    xo
    Pat

  9. Gina Guariglia-Kelly says:

    So happy for you!! Congratulations, Liz!

  10. Wow, Liz. This is a really special post. Your honesty is so refreshing, as I’m certain many women go through some tough times during pregnancy that they keep all bottled up inside. I’m so happy for you that the depression has lifted…and that you didn’t shut down your blog! I wish you and your family the best of luck! Congratulations on your little miracle!
    xoxo,
    Rebecca

    • Liz says:

      Thank you so much Rebecca! I was all bottled up for awhile, it feels good to get it all out now that the sun is shining again! We’re so excited for our little miracle :)

  11. Wynndell says:

    Liz, congrats to you and J! Parenthood is awesome and it is truly a blessing. Although I am a male and cannot truly understand the depth of a mothers pregnancy, I can say that my wife and I have experienced challenges with our first child. Although, our son, Walker George Bishop is doing well now, he was born on April 23rd, 2 months premature at 1lb 15oz. He has been in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) since and will remain there for another 4-6 weeks. The separation anxiety has been especially hard on my wife. But it’s also hard to see your child isolated and attached to tubes and wires. I don’t think it’s what anyone envisions for themselves or their child. But we are fortunate, God has blessed us and Walker has been our little miracle as he gets stronger everyday. I chose to share this to help provide some level of self therapy. I wish the best of all things to you, J, and your little bundle.

    Wynndell

    p.s. I know I’m bias, but I make J the second best dad ;) Also, let him know that if he has any questions he can always reach out to me.

    • Liz says:

      Hey Wynndell, I didn’t know your baby was born so prematurely. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard that must have been, and must still be on both of you. I’m so glad he’s getting stronger, he must be a real fighter. Small in size maybe but big in spirit. Not that any parent needs a reminder but I bet the true miracle of his life will never be lost on you. And one day he’ll be big and strong and you can tell him the story of his early birth. Sending you and your wife so much love and prayers. And yes, you definitely get father of the decade award :)

  12. When I worked with grieving parents, one of the women had lost one twin at birth. She lamented about how everyone was telling her, as she welcomed one child and mourned another, “What’s wrong? You still have one.”

    Finally she’d had enough and when one more friend said that to her, she replied with, “Really? You have two kids. Let one go out and play on the freeway– after all, you’ll still have one.”

    So Liz, as the world welcomes your surviving baby, we share in your grief of the twin who did not survive, and of your baby before.

    Diane

    • Liz says:

      Thanks so much Diane, for your continued support, advice and understanding. I can’t imagine any greater pain than losing a child at birth. Thank you for being here.

  13. Lana says:

    Liz you are so brave to share your story and maybe even comfort someone else. You are an amazing person and going to be a great mom!!!! I am so happy for you and Jamie!

  14. shannon says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. This could not have come at a better time. I am 6 weeks pregnant with my 2nd child and felt the exact same way…now I am in the waiting game where I still don’t feel like I can tell anybody I’m pregnant….excited yet worried and on a roller coaster of emotions. Reading your blog today was like having a big hug. THANK YOU!

    • Liz says:

      Hey Shannon, congrats on your pregnancy!! The roller coaster of emotions can be so hard & those first few weeks really do seem to drag on forever. But like everyone told me, eventually they speed up. I wish you the best in your pregnancy, especially during these delicate weeks, and I’m so glad this felt like a big virtual hug :)

  15. Talene says:

    Love the openness and honesty of this! I have definitely felt those emotions before for different reasons (and still do)….so glad It’s all behind you now. And, congratulations again!! I’m so happy for both of you and love that you’re showing now :-)

    • Liz says:

      Thank you Talene! I really like to vomit my emotions out! I’m sure everyone experiences these emotions at points in their life though. Thanks for being here, it’s fun to finally be showing! xoxo

  16. I love you and I’m so happy that this pregnancy is moving along well for you. I’m sending you so much love.

    I’ve been deeply depressed a couple of times in my life though this sounds like it was worse. I know what you mean when you talk about the dark cloud. It’s so hard to explain to someone who hasn’t experienced it, but the world really is different. Even on a bright and beautiful day, there’s this sense of dark and dreary.

    I’m so glad that you’re through this and that you shared your personal experience. Just like that other post helped you, this will help someone understand they aren’t alone in their experience.

    xoxo

    • Liz says:

      Hey Stephenie, thank you. Yeah “dark cloud” seems so cliche but it really does feel that way, like it just follows you no matter where you are. I guess cliches come about for a reason huh. Love you back. xoxo

  17. emma stayman says:

    Many wishes and positive energy your way. :)

    I am very touched by your post, I think we are around the same time in our pregnancies (I’m at 5 1/2 mnths now) and I can relate to pregnancy not being what I thought it would be. I have not had any depression but I do have strong anxiety and fear about losing the baby. Most of the time my thoughts are calm and positive but some days I do slide into worry about if she is ok, I thought I would be overjoyed to be pregnant, not constantly worried that something might go wrong!
    I appreciate your honesty, people do not talk about the fears or sadness of pregnancy and it is hard to feel “o.k.” about having anything other than a joyous mindset about being pregnant.
    Thank you for sharing. :)

    • Liz says:

      Hey Emma, congrats on your pregnancy! I know so many women who are pregnant right now, must be something in the air. Yeah I never fully understood how much worry and anxiety is involved, people don’t seem to talk about it much. To be honest, I had thought pregnancy was going to be a breeze, I was so naive… Thanks for reading and all the best to you in your pregnancy!

  18. Thank you for sharing such a personal story. I am certain you have helped countless others. The hormonal upheaval of pregnancy can surely be a shock. I’m glad to hear things have evened out for you. Remember to be patient and kind to yourself through the many changes that are to come. More ups and downs are likely, especially with the inevitable lack of sleep, but like everything else, that too shall pass. Keep your eyes open for the blessings all around you, even if you find yourself in tears. Every good wish to you!

    • Liz says:

      Thank you so much Cheryl! I really appreciate that. I know there are hectic (& hormonal) times to come, hopefully I won’t be taken so off guard by them now that I’ve been through it. Thanks for your comment, such good advice in every word!

  19. Nathalie says:

    Hey Liz. Thanks for sharing your story. I think what you went through is more common than you may think. During pregnancy our bodies go through so many changes that we have absolutely no control over. All these changes make us stronger women in the end though. You are stronger for not only having to deal with this, but for coming out on top in the end. You are going to be such an amazing mommy:-) I can’t wait for our kids to play and be best buds. Love you mama!!!!

    • Liz says:

      Thanks Nat!! I’m sure you’re right that this is more common than I realize. It’s so hard not having control over your own body! I do feel stronger for having experienced this, and definitely wiser ;) Play dates galore soon enough!! xoxo

  20. [...] heart lead your truth, the outpouring of love that follows is amazing. Liz is a friend and I share her story in many ways. This truth is so [...]

  21. First of all- congratulations! How exciting. I’m sorry to hear of all your struggles with pregnancy and that the road hasn’t been that smooth sailing. Thank you so much for sharing your story- the highs & lows, the good & bad. I think it’s so important that we share our stories & have authentic conversations with others (especially women) so we can have some balance to the very skewed perspective that TV/media project every day. I wish you the best going forward- I look forward to reading more about your journey.

    • Liz says:

      Hey Amanda, thank you so much! And I so agree; the biggest thing I noticed during this time was how it was expected that women should never talk about this stuff, which I found frustrating. Authentic conversations on the realities of pregnancy would make it a lot easier for women to brace for and understand the harder times. Thanks for reading! xo

  22. Tamara says:

    Liz,

    Congrats. I’m so happy for you in this new life. Take it one day & one step at a time. It’s your life to love. You’ll do great!

    xox
    T

  23. Jeri Taira says:

    Congratulations to you both and we definitely send prayers of continued well wishes for all of you. Health-healing, joy-enjoyment, rest-refreshment, love-being loved.

    I’m so thankful you had your few, who knew you well, by your side.

  24. Liz, CONGRATS! And I admire your courage to put your experience out there like that. That is some brave writing. Wow. I am so sorry you experienced that, I have experienced the dark cloud–mine happened when I first launched my business with my two baby boys, and it is not comprehendible and totally uncontrollable it seems. I felt your pain, but I am also so thankful to see your baby bump growing and I wish for your miracle to come to fruition. Love you and everything you stand for.

    • Liz says:

      Thank you so much Cheryl! I can only imagine how hard it must have been to launch a business while caring for two baby boys so many kudos to you lady. You’re amazing for all that you do. Thanks for reading and for all the well wishes! XOXO

  25. Laura says:

    Liz,
    Congratulations! (I am so behind in my inbox). I was not very good pregnant(3 pregnancies) and have delt with moments of depression in my life. This was a very brave post, to share something so personal. Thank you.
    I am wishing you many moments of joy throughout the next couple of months.
    Best wishes for a healthy baby and enjoy!
    Also, now that you are past 20 weeks, start count backwards( I have 15 weeks left, instead of I am 25 weeks) it makes the end feel like it is coming sooner!

    • Liz says:

      Laura! Thank you so much :) 3 pregnancies, amazing! I’m sorry you’ve dealt with depression as well. I do see now how the down moments make the joyful ones that much sweeter. I’m definitely enjoying the high of second trimester, would be nice if it lasted forever! Love the counting backward trick! Lots of love to you & your family!

  26. [...] different would our lives be right now? We wouldn’t be happily married, and we wouldn’t have a baby girl on the way. And that would have been a loss, for both of [...]

  27. Jessica says:

    Congratulations Liz! I don’t know why I only saw this post now, but it was great. I’m pregnant too (due October 5th) and my second month was really really hard. Your words here reflect what I went through exactly. I felt like I had pre-partum depression. I cried everyday and just felt like life was a miserable waste of time. It was horrible. And then I too snapped out of it. I don’t know when exactly, but one day I realized I was laughing again and it felt so good. So even though I seem to have recovered from that dark period it’s good to know that there are others that have gone through the same thing. Best of luck for the next few months!

    • Liz says:

      Congrats Jessica!! You’re just a few weeks ahead of me. Can’t believe you went through this too. I had never heard of anything like this before I went through it. Life being a waste of time was pretty much exactly how I felt. So glad to be out of that dark place. At least going forward we’ll be able to spot this ahead of time if it ever rears its ugly head again. At the time, I didn’t know what was happening to me! Best of luck to you too & glad you’re feeling good!

  28. Oh Liz…didn't know what you went through. So sorry, but glad that those feelings have dispersed. I know, only to well, the despairing places a person can go when depressed. I hope you never experience anything like this again. Here's to a healthy pregnancy and baby girl! I love reading your blogs:)

  29. [...] pregnancy affected me so drastically [...]

  30. [...] have just a few more weeks before I give birth. And I’m full of wonder. Curiosity, hope, worry, excitement, joy, anxiety, laughs, tears, love, [...]

  31. [...] not perfect and pregnancy has definitely affected my healthy eating habits way more than I’d like to admit – sugar [...]

  32. [...] what I can only describe as an emotionally and physically draining pregnancy, I worried that parenthood for this new mom would also bring a scary depth to its difficulty. I [...]

Leave a reply

Current ye@r *