So, ladies, you know I am all about positivity. But that is not to say that there won’t be hardship during this, our pregnancy experience. I know it won’t be all rainbows and roses… and pretending that’s the case is not what I mean when I say I want to keep the perspective positive.
I really like the framework of an adventure. An adventure is something that, I believe, has purely positive connotations—who doesn’t like the idea of embarking on a grand adventure! But, a true adventure cannot be so without a degree of struggle. There needs to be hardship to garner that great reward. Climbing a mountain takes extreme work and perseverance before you reach the peak and those breathtaking views! Indiana Jones had to battle Nazis and snakes and giant rolling boulders before he could get his treasure.
A real adventure requires strength—of both the body and the mind—and it requires perseverance. But, at the end, it will still have been a positive experience! One that you will look back on with such fondness.
That is how I am looking at pregnancy. This will be the greatest adventure I have ever embarked upon; the most intense challenge that I will ever have endured. So when I say I want to keep a positive perspective, it’s not to say that some days won’t be rough, because they will. It’s not say that some days I won’t curse the mountain I am climbing. But, that is what makes an adventure all the more rewarding! And, at the end, I will have my treasure and it will have all been worth it.
So, with that in mind, there has been one symptom that I have been experiencing with some relative intensity: cramping. It’s most likely my uterus expanding to make room for the baby. As I mentioned in a previous post, it has grown to the size of a grapefruit. It’s funny for me because “growing pains” are something that I have never experienced in my life (I’m pretty short) but I guess I have finally joined the club!
Most of the time, the cramps are similar to those of a really bad period. They come and they go, and sometimes I’m laid up on the couch all day with my heating pad. They’ve kept me up some nights and made me miss work others. Occasionally, they are extremely one-sided, and other days spread evenly across my midsection or lower back. And, of course, there are other days I don’t have any cramps at all!
My midwife told me that every woman is different. And, similarly with periods, some women have terrible cramps, others none at all, and of course there’s a whole spectrum in between. She said, “Some people just have very excitable (crabby) talkative and sensitive uteruses and some people never feel anything—no cramps with cycles and no growing pains in pregnancy.”
So I just have an incredibly crabby uterus! Which is why my husband and I have affectionately named it Sebastian, after the crab in Little Mermaid. Obviously a ridiculous little joke, one that pretty much no one but us finds funny…but making light of things helps.
Unfortunately, with this cold I’ve been fighting off, it’s been hard for me to differentiate between pregnancy symptoms and regular cold symptoms. For the past week, pretty much every day I wake up feeling like I have the flu. I am exhausted, my whole body aches, I’m nauseous, and I feel feverish… I’ve missed a lot of work. But, I’m hopeful that most of these symptoms are as a result of whatever virus I’m fighting off (it’s winter, after all, and there’s plenty of bugs going around.) If they are not, and this is just what the rest of my first trimester will be like, then I will cope. But I’m hoping it’s not!
I’d be curious to hear if anyone else has had similar experiences to mine? Did you have any cramping, if so, how severe? Did you feel like you had the flu?
To share hardship together and compare our experiences is not in defiance of the positive space I’d like to create here with my blog. As I mentioned above, I’m not trying to create some massive lie in which there will be no struggle—because pregnancy is an adventure and that takes hard work! But there’s a specific pessimism that I’m referencing when I say that I want to steer away from all the online negativity. And that’s the kind that actually creates anxiety, the kind that puts fear into the hearts of women who already have enough of that on their plate. I will talk about this in more detail in my next post (otherwise this one will be far too long!)
So for now, I’m signing off. I hope the analogy of an adventure is as fitting for you as it is for me. It fills me with a great sense of purpose and reward and it comforts me on the days that are a bit more of a struggle. Together, we adventurers soldier on! As always, please do share in the comments below or with the contact form above.
I'm Kelsey! Proud Iowan native, world traveler, writer, wife to the most incredible husband, and now soon to be mother