So this has been a long time in the making. I have reached out to friends and family to see if there was interest, then to see about hosting recommendations, then to announce that I finally settled on a website and name. . .all stalling tactics. I wasn’t sure I could do this. I have fretted over a clever way to start. I have wondered if I am the right person to even try to write a blog. I can be rough around the edges. And life has thrown some unexpected challenges my way in the last several months that complicated my decision to move ahead. But I have determined that I have to take my own advice; if I don’t start, it will never be a success.
Now that I have sat down to put my words out there, a new detail I can use as an excuse to prolong my debut settles comfortably into my mind. Where to start? The whole impetus to beginning a blog was because I felt like there wasn’t a voice for my pregnancy experience. Pregnancy was scary. And I didn’t talk about it too much. Partially because I didn’t want to worry friends and family, but mostly because only a handful of people really understood. But now that my kiddo is 16 months old, can I start with that? Or do I just dive into where we are in our lives right now? I have determined that a little bit of history is important. So here goes…
Pregnancy is a beautiful thing. This is what you hear everywhere. It is what you are told. It’s the expectation. I expected to glow. And maybe I did. There is so much joy, excitement, and anticipation when you are growing a tiny human. But I never felt like I was glowing. I just sweat. All. the. time. I felt short-changed, like no one was honest with me about how rough pregnancy can be for some people. No one prepared me for pregnancy with an autoimmune disease.
I have Hashimoto’s. Basically my body doesn’t recognize that my thyroid is supposed to be there. My body is angry at my thyroid. So angry that it has taken on a sole mission to kill my thyroid. This sounds a little dramatic until you realize that your thyroid controls EVERYTHING. Sleep, digestion, skin, hair, nails, emotions, the ability to get pregnant, the ability to stay pregnant, energy, metabolism, and about a thousand other things. My endocrinologist told me that she was to be my second phone call when I got pregnant, because that is when the monitoring must begin – immediately.
During my “high risk” pregnancy I had the privilege of being monitored by three doctors. My OB, my endocrinologist, and an ultrasound doctor. I should know his official title, but I don’t. But the point is, I had three very capable people making sure my baby survived and thrived. I had my blood drawn monthly to monitor my levels and ensure that my medication was keeping things where they needed to be. And I was physically pooped. I was sick for 16 weeks. The term morning sickness must be a joke. I was sick ALL DAY. I would have days where I would cry because I wasn’t sure how I would keep going, but I knew I had no choice. I held on to the notion that the second trimester gets better. It must get better.
It did. My “morning sickness” subsided and only reared its head once or twice a day. But I never felt any better. My body ached, I couldn’t concentrate, and I was exhausted. I realized, I felt like I did before I got my diagnosis. I do not mean to be a martyr. A lot of women out there have terribly rough pregnancies. A lot of women experience high risk pregnancies that are scary. But we don’t talk about it. I didn’t talk to people about how petrified I was before every one of my doctors appointments, I was ALWAYS afraid that that would be the day they couldn’t find a heartbeat. I was afraid that my body would fail my little person. I was terrified that I wouldn’t get to meet this person that I already loved so much.
I felt like my body was failing me. My metabolism stopped working. When people asked me how much weight I had gained, I lied. I was afraid they would think I wasn’t taking care of myself or my growing fetus. My doctors never said a word about my weight gain. I gathered that it was expected with Hashimoto’s. But I dreaded seeing the new number on the scale. I prepared myself for my doctor to scold me every time I saw her. She never did. None of them did. I just kept telling myself that as long as he was continuing to grow, everything else didn’t matter.
Thank God my little man made it. Hell, thank god I made it. On April 15, 2016 my Moose arrived into the world via cesarean section. Yet another side effect of Hashimoto’s, my body didn’t want to go into labor. At all. It didn’t hurt that my kiddo was pretty giant too. I was devastated to have a c-section. And terrified, yet again. I also found out the day of his birth that my platelets were too low and I couldn’t have an epidural, so I had to go under general anesthesia. I do not remember my son’s birth. His father was not allowed in the room. I cried for months over that loss. The loss of the dream I had for meeting my son for the first time. Of experiencing skin to skin as soon as I saw his little face. I still get sad about it sometimes. But when I have those moments, I look at his little face and thank God that I get to be his mom. I would be lying if I said that seeing him makes that sadness disappear. But it doesn’t have the same power it used to have. And one day, when I am watching him ride a bike or win a swim meet or graduate highschool, it won’t have any power at all. Because all I will think about is how he changed me forever.