By Amalia Liberman
Nesting Days Guest Writer
The Japanese proverb, “giving birth to a baby is easier than worrying about it!”, is the basis of my experience and advice to an expectant mama out there.
It was only three years ago since my second delivery, but you'll soon see why the events are still fresher than a cadaver in my head. The first thing you need to get rid of in your head is the double extremes in your expectations. Sure enough – there are studies done that can tell you what mothers have gone through during this period – both veterans and newly expectant mothers. You probably remember your first. The questions that went through your head – still innocent and probably young with all the expectations of what it would be like! Was the pregnancy experience all like you had imagined it to be?
My First Pregnancy Experience in Brief
Just to get it out there – I was quite shocked when I tested positive. At first, I wanted to attribute my loss of monthly periods for something else, but the test gave me the shockers! I was only 21 years – 9 months 2 weeks and 1 day down from our wedding day, and here I was starting to plan my whole life. We had decided to give it four years to first settle down in our careers before starting a family – I guess heavens had other plans.
My love and partner gave me a 5-minute silence that day when I told him I've tasted pregnant! Well, the look on his charming face did make me laugh out of my shock. Fast forward – our firstling never gave us an easy pregnancy experience – I especially. Up to the last trimester, I would vomit like all hell had broken loose. The kicks started during the 5th month and increased in capacity as she grew. She was a stubborn one, and we are still surprised at how calm and collected she came out!
We had bargained options of getting a postpartum doula, but I was quite adamant - feigning strength I never had. I must admit that my hubby was more present than I cared to admit at the time. The what-ifs are what worried me most: what if I experience preeclampsia? What if I experience preterm birth? Will the baby be okay? Why was I always so tired? I was flowing with fear for a long time during my first pregnancy experience because I was so ripe in this and felt like no one knew what I was going through! See, I told you I was naive!
The fourth trimester is the most sensitive stage for the child.
Luckily, I only got to experience long labor with a manageable hemorrhage and a slow delivery. The calmness in the little girl is still a puzzle to this day. I thought I was off the hook!
My Second Pregnancy Experience
In truth, pregnancy experience stories have not only overflowed the internet but also reality – I had become acquainted with so many mothers and even found a mother’s community and tips on how to tackle certain hurdles.
It was four years down the line after my first fruits and this time I am more mature and knowledgeable, right? What's more, we already had a functional baby crib, a nursery, the best nursing cover, and the necessities we would need for any other arrival. I thought I had experienced enough turmoil with my first. Things were different - during my first, second, and third trimesters, my pregnancy experience was nothing but pure bliss.
I delayed my prenatal visits until the 19th week when the back pains started. This time, they were not as advanced and I had not vomited during the whole period. But the minute our scan results were out, we were rudely awoken from reality.
See, we had this perfect plan – we would have a boy child and put a stop on that journey and focus on raising the family. If my support and partner was not with me when the results came in, I wouldn't be alive!
Dreams come true!
The Major Difference?
Where I had expected the latter pregnancy experience to be more demanding and stressful than the first, I experienced fewer physical constraints even though labor took much longer this time; the delivery was perfect.
Yes, we were in a financial capacity to provide for two kids at our tender age. I had managed to start my own business, and he was climbing up that ladder in his career. But you don't just receive such news in smooth grace.
The fourth trimester was particularly a hard one this time. When any of them was discontent, they both cried. When you placed them in separate rooms, you wouldn't have peace. Feeding was now more stressful – sleepless nights would sometimes mean no milk produced! I would, at times, cry myself to sleep, and my hubby had to take a work leave for four months and work casually at home.
You need as much help as you can – don't shy off from asking for it!
Three years down the line and looking at them and recalling my pregnancy experience, I wouldn't have it any other way. See, you might comfort yourself with pregnancy experience stories, but your story may be as different from theirs as the day is tonight. The variables are not in your hands to control as you will – you have to stop all the worries. Yes, you can do some exercises and take some preventive measures after your first, but your outlook should always be moderate – not too positive, not too negative. How was your first experience like?
Amalia Liberman is a wife and a mother of two as well as a novelist and writer, the author has been featured in Women's Health magazine and also written different articles in lifestyle magazines. Her passions lead her to search out knowledge with all her searching and she doesn’t mind sharing her findings.