What does it feel like to be pregnant?

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Scared and excited!

What does it feel like to be pregnant? As a little girl I remember hearing my Great-Grandmother say that when a woman is with child, she is straddling the line between life and death. I didn’t really understand what she meant at the time but it stuck with me from then on.

Needless to say, on that day when two lines appeared on a stick, I was excited but also scared out of my mind. I couldn’t help but remember what my Great-Grandmother had said coupled with everything I’ve witnessed in my line of work. That’s what it feels like to be pregnant.

There was a part of me that was afraid to get attached to the life growing inside of me.

I was just convinced that something was going to go wrong and I would never get to meet my baby. I wasn’t experiencing any of the tell tale pregnancy symptoms. All I had was a positive home pregnancy test. I took several of them! Then I analyzed the darkness of the lines on the test. I know, I sound like a crazy person but I needed reassurance.  And I even had a blood test done to confirm the pregnancy.

I held my breath for weeks until it was finally time for the appointment to confirm my pregnancy. Hearing my baby’s heartbeat for the first time was so comforting and immediately put me at ease. It was in that moment that I realized I was not going to be able to wait another month to have that comfort again.

I was going to drive myself insane wondering if the heartbeat was still there!

Luckily for me, one of my friends gifted me with a fetal heartbeat monitor. I wasn’t actually able to utilize it until I was around 11-12 weeks but it felt great to be able to hear my baby’s heartbeat whenever I wanted. I used KY Jelly and aimed the probe toward my pelvic bone. Initially I was only able to hear my own heartbeat. Then one day I finally heard what sounded like a fast moving horse. Peace washed over me.

Many of my friends thought that I was crazy but the fetal monitor was very necessary to calm my paranoia. Sometimes, that’s what it feels like to be pregnant.

If you’re like me, you should try one too. I still used it even after I could feel my baby move. There would be times when she was sleeping and not moving. I would use the fetal monitor to reassure myself that she was still there.

(Of course any home fetal monitoring device should not replace regular prenatal care by a licensed practitioner and it is not an actual medical device.)

While I listened to my baby’s heartbeat, I would talk and sing as well.

As I got further along in my pregnancy I started reading books out loud too. Although the fetus is unable to hear until around 18 weeks, it helped me get comfortable communicating with her. Believe it or not, I had to practice. I was used to living alone and not having to talk at home. So I wanted to make sure my baby would recognize my voice at birth.

I didn’t love being pregnant.

I wasn’t one of those people who “loved” being pregnant but I was well aware of the gift I had been given. So I wanted to be able to document my pregnancy for me and my baby. My aunt was very good about documenting all of her pregnancies the first years of her children’s life. It was nice being able to look back and see the differences and similarities between her pregnancies.

I wanted to be able to look back at my pregnancy as well.

I purchased a pregnancy journal. It allowed me to record what was happening each month of my pregnancy, along with doctors appointments, and various pregnancy milestones. This too helped me bond with my unborn baby. I felt a sense of responsibility to let him/her know when I felt their first movements, or how fast their heartbeat was at my first appointment. I can’t wait to share those memories with my daughter one day.

I’m glad I documented my pregnancy!

My baby is now 10 months old and I’m so happy that I did write it all down. The good and the bad. Those moments that I thought I’d never forget have been replaced by the baby. It is nice being able to go back and reminisce. Pregnancy seems like it was so long ago and I have quickly forgotten.

In short, my Great-Grandmother was absolutely right.  Mommas literally put their lives on the line to bring their little ones into the world. I wouldn’t have it any other way and I hope to do it again some day!

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