I’ve always said pregnancy is the most unnatural thing. Once I got pregnant I was like ehhh maybe this isn’t so bad. At least the first 6 months weren’t that bad physically. But unnatural is definitely a word I would continue to describe pregnancy with.
Pregnancy for me was an experience. I wouldn’t said it was a nightmare because feeling life inside you is an experience you will never forget but after 6 months of pregnancy I couldn’t physically handle it. Not to mention emotionally pregnancy wasn’t easy for me either. I had fights with my family at least once a day but that’s putting it nicely. Jack was a jack ass and so were most of the people surrounding me. It’s funny how once Jax was here everyone changed their minds telling me how great of a mom I am, brought me presents/meals and suddenly thought I made wonderful choice.. well thanks for putting me through nine months of hell guys as if it wasn’t hard enough being ditched to do this on my own. Anyways forgiveness.. one day 20 years down the road I’ll figure it out.
I figured to understand more why I have such bad pregnancy PTSD it would help to explain why it was so hard for me. In the last 11 months I have distances myself from a lot of theses memories and only remember them from an out-of-body type experience. I’m pretty sure that’s a coping mechanism for trauma. So bare with me here as I try to explain it.
Sometime freshman year of college I developed what I call “life anxiety”. Which is literally just anxiety any other person would have but mine was about weird stuff that didn’t even make sense. For example I smoked for 5 or 6 years but I am terrified of fire.. I still wont turn on the kitchen stove. I get anxiety every time I need someone to turn on the stove for me. The point is all of the sudden I was supposed to be protecting this little baby’s life, whom I was already obsessed with, and I was well aware I couldn’t protect him for life. Not being able to control life or protect Jax from it gave me multiple anxiety attacks. I still have at least one real anxiety attack a week now that he is here – mainly because he is crazy and curious.
If my anxiety being heightened wasn’t enough I didn’t have a normal pregnancy. I didn’t have a high risk pregnancy but I had my fair share of medical conditions from pregnancy. These conditions caused three hospital visits and a month off of work before having the baby.
If you’ve ever met me you also know I’m 5 foot.. even. 5 feet that’s it. I have never weighted over 115 lbs my whole life and let me tell you when I was 115 lbs it was considered a really low time in my life that I immediately changed. When I changed my diet (I say that like I wasn’t drinking and eating McDonald’s every day still) and worked out 2-3 times a day I quickly got my weight under 100 lbs. If you didn’t know most people gain an average of 35 lbs when they are pregnant. I didn’t I gain that and more.. by the end I had gain around 60 some pounds. Needless to say I was puffy.. I was huge.. and I was in a significant amount of pain. No matter what I was doing I was not comfortable lying down, standing, sitting, awake or a sleep I just wanted to die. The last month I was pregnant every morning I said to my dad “please just take me out back and shoot me but please save my baby.” I meant it I really did.
It didn’t help that Jax was always measuring about 2 weeks ahead size wise. Of course there are mixed emotions on about how accurate that all is. All I know is I felt like I could breathe for the first time in months when Jax was born. Also my organs felt like they were all being ripped to shreds and smushed as small as they possibly could to fit this baby into my body. Have I convinced you to get pregnant yet? Just keep reading I’m sure I will.
Everyone’s favorite topic comes from me being so small and housing such a big baby as well… stretch marks. They are every where now. My boobs and stomach both look like deflated balloons. Pregnancy trashing my body is enough to give me PTSD for the rest of my life all on its own.
It wasn’t until this past weekend, when I was talking to a relative, that it hit me what one of the worst parts of pregnancy was my parents reaction. I’ve always been a daddy’s girl, probably because me and my mom tend to not stay on the same page (still love you mom). We won’t get into all the details of it but needless to say their reactions to my pregnancy still take a toll on our relationship today.
So here I was going through 9 months of severe anxiety, a short now fat girl who had no room for her baby in her body, covered in stretch marks and all relationships being strained from doing the “right” thing. There is probably more deeply rooted issued to it than just those. But anyways I vowed I would never let or make myself feel this way again..
Now don’t even get me started on sex. After having Jax literally maybe 3 weeks after he was born I was terrified I was pregnant. I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE SEX but I was 100 percent positive I was pregnant. Every single “symptom” I automatically tossed up to pregnancy. I had to go to the doctor’s office a few months ago I had no reason to believe I was pregnant but I was still 100 percent convinced she was going to come back and tell me I was pregnant. A negative pregnancy test is still not enough to prove to me I am not pregnant. Only a daily ultra sound would cure me of this fear at this point.
One of the things that scars me the most about pregnancy was having an emergency c-section. I will never have the body I had before because there are muscles in my stomach that were cut in half which basically means they are dead muscles. I wasn’t allowed to even walk up the stairs or carry my son’s car seat for weeks. It was awful. But the worst part was people’s reactions.
“Oh you are so lucky you didn’t have to push a baby out.”
“Be happy you had an easy birth.”
“Your recovery took longer but it’s easier than if you had done a normal birth.”
“Are you sad that you didn’t get to give birth to your baby.”
“Do you feel like less of a mom because you missed on childbirth.”
“You had it easy all you had to do was lay there and the doctor’s did the work for you. All your left with a tiny scar.”
I could go on like this for a long time but I’m sure y’all would get bored even though these comments were so shocking to me apparently its common for people to be assholes. A c-section is nothing close to a cop out. I still wake up feeling the tug of each layer of me being torn in to in the middle of the night. I still have to remind myself that I gave birth like this so I could save the life of my son and my own. In my mind having a “normal” birth is way easier because it’s what y’all bodies were meant to do. I am jealous of how natural those mothers had it to deliver. It may have been hard and painful but its how birth is supposed to be. I’m not saying by any means that either situation is easy. It is just hurtful how people that haven’t had a c-section view the woman had no choice but to have one. We’re all pretty bomb for getting a human being out of our uterus.
So maybe I’m self diagnosing myself here but I would say my pregnancy PTSD is very real. It’s been almost a year, even though I don’t remember it all like I used to I still feel the exact same way. Let’s just say Jax may have a sisterless/brotherless life ahead of him..