Over the years I’ve connected with many moms. I’ve made many friends and I’ve learned a great deal. Before I became a mother, I felt I understood how much a woman goes through post-pregnancy. I will say you won’t fully experience it until you have kids yourself or at least have helped raise them. There’s a lot women have to go through physically, mentally, and emotionally when they’re preparing for a birth. I created my blog as a source of information and to some degree, educating fellow moms-to-be if they’re dealing with this condition. I have to admit I feel men also definitely go through their phases of fatherhood, but that topic is for a different day. Since I’ve had my daughters and even during my pregnancies, I’ve witnessed many situations where women struggle to conceive or to even have a happy pregnancy. My first pregnancy was the best. My second was the complete opposite and I mean the complete opposite.
I’ve come across cases with happy endings as well as sad endings. Recently I had the pleasure of connecting with a mom from Missouri. Her name is Tina. She has a son named Parker, and he is 4 months old. Many of us go through similar paths, but many moms go through a lot more, and some less. Tina had to go through IVF to conceive. I had the privilege to ask her a few questions about her pregnancy journey and I’m glad to share it with you all. Parker was in the NICU for 3 weeks when he was born. Mom and baby are now doing incredibly well. Here are the things that we talked about.
Hi, Tina! Thank you for taking time out of your busy life to answer a few questions about your pregnancy journey.
Gloria: Who was your biggest supporter or your support system during your pregnancy?
Tina: “My husband for sure. I have no idea what I would have done without him. He was my rock the whole time.”
Gloria: That’s how I felt too, minus the body issues of course, that men just don’t understand ha-ha. Now, what would you say was a positive from this experience?
Tina: “The positive is that the whole infertility, high-risk pregnancy, and NICU stay brought my husband and I closer together. It also ended with us having our perfect, beautiful boy! I know we can make it through anything after surviving all of that. The negative was just the depression that comes along with all those things as well. The rollercoaster of the ups, downs, and unknowns.”
Gloria: Aww, that’s beautiful. I’m glad. Thank you for sharing that. So what did you do to destress during your pregnancy?
Tina: “Originally, it was exercise but then when I couldn’t exercise anymore, due to the placenta previa, I turned to meditation and counseling. I’m a firm believer in mental health!”
Gloria: I completely understand! I’m right there with you. Now, what would you say was the one thing you wish you knew about pregnancy that you didn’t know before?
Tina: “I wish I would have known more about breastfeeding honestly. The difficulty of it, the correct way to pump when your baby is in the NICU, and difficulties with latch/swallow.”
Gloria: I one hundred percent completely agree. Before I had my first daughter, I read a couple of books on pregnancy and breastfeeding, but nothing prepared me for that. Olivia was born with tongue-tie and that was a whole other situation I had to learn about the hard way. Anyhow, how did you come to peace with the parts you couldn’t control?
Tina: “The coming to peace part was hard. It was really hard because I felt like I was being punished in some weird way, having trouble conceiving, having placenta Previa, and then a NICU baby. I honestly think the peace came at the very end when we were home, and I was holding my son in my arms and realized what warriors women are and things were going to be okay.”
Gloria: It’s difficult. Our bodies and mind take a toll. Not only that, but we have hormones to deal with, which we have no control of. Okay, so as you were preparing for your pregnancy, did you have a birth plan?
Tina: “Haha, I did have a birth plan of doing a natural birth, in the natural birthing center, at the hospital but due to Placenta Previa, I had to have a c-section at 37 weeks.”
Gloria: I cried over my situation. I knew right away, I couldn’t have “my birth plan” with Elena due to the placenta previa as well. But in the end, I just wanted us both to be okay. Next question, after having gone through all of this, what would you say was the most difficult part of your pregnancy journey?
Tina: “The most difficult part was the light-duty/bed rest part of Placenta Previa and honestly the pelvic rest! My hormones made my libido crazy high and I had no idea Pelvic rest also meant no orgasms….for 20 weeks plus the 6 weeks post-baby. I’m also such a busy body, that resting made me stir crazy! Tough stuff!”
Gloria: Ugh! Yes, I remember all that myself too. Having experienced it all, is there anything you’d like to tell or would like to share with an expectant mother?
Tina: “I would say, it’s okay to be sad and frustrated because things are difficult and you’re tired. I felt like such a failure ever complaining about how difficult things were but come to find out all mothers feel that way. Other women and moms are the best support system! “
Gloria: Yea for sure. I agree. I remember still breaking down on the first day just visiting Elena in the NICU, but I looked around and I wasn’t alone. I felt the love from the nurses and the other moms’ support. Thank you for that Tina. Okay, was there a question you got asked often that really annoyed you during your pregnancy or action even?
Tina: “Not a question per se but just people who would touch my stomach without asking. That happened all the time.”
Gloria: It’s so funny that you say that. For me, it was almost like a tradition, culturally growing up to do that. It’s well-intentioned & yes, we even did it to strangers (oops)! It’s just a way of saying, “Hey, soon to be mom. I see you. Good-Luck & now I’m going to touch your baby bump without asking & without your permission so that everything turns out fine.” Eh, Hispanic myth I guess. Is that weird? Ha-ha, don’t answer that. Alright, what did you like most about your journey? Or is there something you (or don’t) miss the most about pregnancy?
Tina: “The things I miss most about being pregnant is feeling the kicks and movements, I’ll miss that forever. Oh, and all the naps/sleep. I would kill for a nap now. Other than that I don’t miss much about it. Being pregnant was tough!”
Gloria: Yea. It was tough. We need to bring awareness of previa, IVF, maternal mental health, postpartum, etc, into the world. I want to thank you, Tina, for this opportunity. I hope many moms or soon to be moms have taken something from this and cherish it.
There you have it, ladies & gentlemen. A mother’s journey into motherhood. All the difficult phases we have to surpass to get our little bundles of joy just to be with us. It is all completely worth it. I hope you enjoyed reading and understand that we all go through a completely different experience. If you’re pregnant, it’s easier said than done, but enjoy every minute of it and stay positive. Remember to reach out if you ever need support. Thank you.
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