What is the “standard” pregnancy? 

Today, my heart feels heavy and overwhelmed. I feel the need to be vulnerable and share my thoughts with you. First of all, this entire pregnancy has been extremely difficult on me and my body and so has this past week. I spent all day yesterday at the hospital simply getting pumped with fluids, vitamins, and medicine (literally 2000 ml of fluids and 8 hours later…). I started swelling a lot this week in addition to losing more weight this week which was all concerning. I have been sick more times than I can count this week and the last meal I was able to keep down was Tuesday night. I have never felt more “not in control” of my body. I have felt so discouraged with the doubts and thoughts of not having the right body to care for two growing babies. 

I have cried many times and I have felt down about the entire process. Everyone talks about how beautiful pregnancy is and how beautiful it made them feel. But, society has set this standard that pregnant women are all the same. That each experience should match another. But in reality, my experience is only 2% of pregnancies. Hyperemesis happens in just 2% of women that are pregnant and it is the hardest ordeal I’ve ever faced physically. I have only felt “beautiful” once this entire time and it was the day of my SIL’s baby shower. I wore a yellow dress and actually took the time to put on make up and look presentable. But the pregnancy wasn’t what made me feel beautiful. It was the fact that I felt strong that day knowing I made myself look nice, rather than laying in bed with barf bags everywhere and constantly eating ice chips and having 4 fans blowing on me. 

I do think the ability for my body to grow two babies is beautiful, and that the way God created each specific moment of an unborn baby’s development to make a huge impact is beautiful. These two babies are beautiful. But, society has made me constantly doubt myself as a woman. I have doubted my ability to grow two babies. I have doubted my body to provide the nutrients it needs for two babies plus myself. I have doubted my will power and strength to break this sickness and overcome the challenges with joy. Doubt doesn’t come from God, it comes from a dark place that Satan buries within us. 

Some women have the easiest pregnancy; they never get sick (or if they do, it ends in the 1st trimester). They don’t lose weight or worry about getting enough nutrition for their baby. They don’t struggle with post-partum depression before the baby even arrives. They don’t become overwhelmed by emotions or stressful thinking. They don’t breakout (all over their body) like a middle school boy going through puberty. 

Women are told how much weight gain is “appropriate.” Women are told they should be able to feel kicks by a certain amount of weeks, and if they don’t, then they should be concerned. Women are constantly compared to this standard of pregnancy that I believe is false. Women need to support each other in their differences. Some women gain 15 pounds while others gain 60 pounds. Some women are sick for 6-8 weeks, while others are sick the entire time (like myself). Some women have a pain free and easy birth while some women have to have a c-section for one reason or another. Some women recover within a few days while others don’t recover for several weeks. 

Part of this “standard” has caused women, like myself, to doubt my body and my strength. It has caused me to long for a pregnancy like another’s. It has caused me to fill with jealousy and hurt. This is NOT how women should be made to feel when they are working overtime to grow a human being that God planted. I have been so overwhlemed with “what could happen” instead of focusing on the joy of “what is happening.” 

What IS happening is my body and heart are pumping for three people. My body is taking in nutrients (even if it’s not very much) and providing for two babies and giving the left overs to me. My body is still functioning and fighting each day to provide for the three of us despite my constant sickness. My body is growing two babies, when some women are not able to grow babies in their wombs at all. 

Today, I am chosing to focus on the fact that I will meet my babies soon. We will get to meet them anywhere from 6-8 weeks (to the goal). And I am going to rejoice because both babies are not only weighing well but they weigh more than what 1 average baby would weigh at 28 weeks!! Finley is 2 lbs 13 ounces and Meredith is 2 lbs 9 ounces as of today. When the “standard” is that a baby “should” be measuring 2 lbs 5 ounces by 28 weeks. Despite my body not being able to keep fluids or foods in my system, they are beating the odds! They are thriving and I know that even when I am down and overwhlemed, my God takes care of EVERYTHING. 

My hope is that women can encourage one another and support each other through this amazing part of life. Despite the challenges I have had this pregnancy, I know that I will appreciate the time when my baby girls do arrive so much more because they truly will be the prize and joy at the end of this road. They have already challenged my heart and my way of thinking. They are my highest priority and my deepest joy that I am so THANKFUL that God entrusted me to grow not just one but two babies. He knew my heart needed them and He knew I would give them a life of knowing Jesus from day one. God knew I would give him all the glory. Some days I may be sick all day, and some days I may have more energy than others. But I will make each day a priority to provide for these two babies and I won’t let the sadness or fears take away this God-given joy. This too shall pass. Soon, the girls will be here and I have never been more excited for anything. They have already changed my outlook on life and I am so overwhelmed with joy knowing they are mine. 

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