THOUGHTS ON HAVING A DIFFICULT PREGNANCY

ago

First things first: thank you SO much for the overwhelming amount of sweet wishes after announcing that we're expecting our first baby. It made me beyond happy to read every single one of them! :) I wanted to take a moment today to talk to you about my experiences during these past 4 months of my pregnancy, now that I finally can. It's been really difficult to keep this from you all, not just because, eh, I can't keep secrets, but also because it basically became pretty difficult after a while to come up with a believable explanation for feeling super sick all.the.time. Yes, the first trimester of my pregnancy was no joke. In fact, it was probably one of the hardest things I ever went through, not in a well-this-is-mildly-uncomfortable kind of way, but in a trying-to-get-through-the-day kind of way. I suffered from severe sickness from day 1 - not morning sickness, but feeling nauseous and truly awful all day all night, for 3.5 months in a row. We're talking days of throwing up 15 times, followed by nights of no sleep at all and more of the same the next day. After a month or so, my doctor advised me to start taking medicine to diminish the sickness, because I had lost so much weight that it became dangerous for the baby. It helped a little bit, but not enough to allow me to function in a normal way. It's kind of hard to recollect the entire experience (and I'm sure nobody's waiting to hear about that :)), but if I have to describe it: I just felt totally and utterly ... lost. I've tried to pinpoint the essence of it, and it basically comes down to the fact that I didn't feel like myself anymore. The thought of having a baby is on itself big enough to take some time to get used to, but if you don't feel like yourself throughout the process... Not fun.  

As you know, I've always had a pretty hectic lifestyle, involving lots of running around and traveling - which I adore so much! I mean, I worked for this my entire life and it makes me really happy. So it's safe to say I want to keep all of these things in my life, regardless of the circumstances. And just like that, almost overnight, everything I loved in life - moving around, organising a gazillion projects, creating inspiring content, and (o help me) food - became super challenging to do. It came so unexpected to me that it completely threw me off: wasn't pregnancy supposed to feel like the most natural thing? Where was this pink cloud everyone was always talking about? Why was my body failing me like this?

During this whole time I kept thinking about this piece that Jennifer Anniston wrote last year, about being SO fed up with people assuming that she wanted to have children, and that her life would be incomplete without them. It just made me realize in a more general way, how having a baby is often portrayed as a 'logical' part of a woman's life, simultaneously assuming that it's the best thing that can happen to her. Yes, her body will change, and yes, her hormones will go crazy, but she MUST be thankful and appreciative of this miracle, which MUST supersede all these inconveniences. That's just not the way it has been for me: the impact on me as a person has been pretty scary, and definitely not something I anticipated - no matter how excited I am for this little baby. So I guess this is 1 of the most important reasons why I'm sharing this story, no matter how scary it is: to let anyone out there who's having difficulty with being pregnant or conceiving or figuring out whether or not they even want a child know that they're not alone, that it's actually perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed and scared with the entire process. It's not whiny, it's not complaining, it's not petty: it's just hard.

You might wonder how we managed to keep up with our regular posting schedule during this time. I have my amazing (supportive and hard working) team to thank for that! Luckily, we had assembled lots of content during the September Fashion Weeks, which helped a lot. The hardest thing about it was actually not being able to stick to this promise, and just tell you upfront what was going on. I'm honestly so relieved we're past that, and grateful to have the opportunity to share everything with you now. :) I've been feeling a lot better these past couple of weeks, slowly regaining my strength and finally eating other things than my papa's whole grain waffles (the only thing I could sort of hold in during those first months; I wouldn't be surprised if the baby comes out as a little waffle-shaped human :)). I still get very nautious in the mornings and feel exhausted after the smallest efforts, but at least I have some breathing space now and then, to be genuinely excited for what's coming (and to eat buckets of pineapple, my first craving!). My doctor says that it's very well possible I might be getting back some of the symptoms during my final trimester, but at least I'm super relieved that I'm feeling better now, because 9 months of that ... - let's just say it would have been a really cute kid to have gotten me through that. :)

So, this turned out to be a longer story than I expected, but I guess we had a lot to catch up on. :) I really hope this unedited version of my experiences may at least prevent someone from feeling alone throughout their journey, whichever that is. You will get through this, you will feel like yourself again - just a more experienced and stronger version. Now go on and buy that extra pair of heels - you deserved it.

 

Have you been through a similar experience, whether with pregnancy or something else that had your world turned upside down? How did you get through? I'd love to hear!

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Herkenbaar! Alleen was ik niet misselijk, maar kreeg ik zwangerschapsdiabetes. Mijn derde trimester was een hel... Doordat ik geen suikers meer mocht eten, bleef ik maar afvallen. Mijn zoontje werd dysmatuur geboren, omdat hij niet genoeg voedingsstoffen meer kreeg tijdens de laatste weken. Ook al nam ik voedingssupplementen, at ik noten en kaas tegen de sterren op, zijn gewicht bleef te laag. Dat gevoel, dat je lichaam je in de steek laat tijdens zo'n cruciaal moment, is inderdaad vreselijk. Lucas heeft ook verschillende voedselallergieën. Ook bij dat 'probleem' vraag je je af wat jij/je lich
Hi Elien! O dat klinkt ook allemaal heel eng! Ik hoop dat je zoontje snel van z'n allergie verlost is, en kijk al uit naar die alles-beter-makende lachjes :) x
Zo herkenbaar. Ikzelf ben nu bijna 16 weken en heb goede dagen waarin het al bij al redelijk gaat en ik enkel s'ochtends een afspraak met de toilet heb. Maar die dagen kunnen zo weer omslagen in dagen dag ik niks maar dan ook niks kan binnenhouden. Ik ben nog steeds niet terug op het gewicht dat ik had voor ik zwanger was maar elke 100 gram die erbij komt daar zijn we zeer dankbaar voor. Momenteel is het wat bang afwachten dokters willen namelijk testen of ik het begin van een zwangerschapsvergifting heb aangezien mijn bloedwaarden en bloeddruk niet zo goed waren. Maar we blijven doorgaan en t
Glad that you're starting to feel like yourself again! I really appreciate your honesty about your experience. I feel like so many women really sugar-coat the whole pregnancy chapter. Even if they are sick they say things like, "I would be sick all day every day if knew the baby was ok", and of course it's your child and even if they're still in the womb you've already developed that maternal bond with your baby but I've just never understood why women downplay the pain and change involved in the process when there's a whole community that would love to be able to "be real" with one another, i
Na twee miskramen besloten om een behandeling te starten in het UZ Jette. Onze eerste poging IVF heeft meteen resultaat geleverd. Ik ben nu 20 weken zwanger. Van misselijkheid heb ik niet veel last gehad. Op 8 weken zwangerschap waren er wel tekenen dat het vruchtzakje aan het loskomen was. Na een rustpauze van 2 weken was dat euvel gelukkig van de baan. Ik heb enorm veel aan mijn partner gehad gedurende heel deze beproeving en dat bewijst het nog maar eens: liefde overwint alles!!
Eerlijk , zo jouw gevoelens uiten aan iedereen , getuigd dat je een sterke bent ! Het leven en alles wat daarrond draait heeft mooie maar ook minder mooie kantjes. Maar geloof me als vrouw, moeder en grootmoeder , kan ik zeggen, alles is wonderlijk . Veel sterkte verder ! alles komt altijd goed.
I'm 26 weeks along right now and thankfully the nausea has subsided but I felt utterly miserable for the first 17 weeks of my pregnancy. There were weeks (not just days) where I ate half a sandwich a day and I was at the point where I just couldn't face any of my friends anymore because they all seemed to have had preganancies which went without a hitch. I completely understand the feeling where everyone just sort of assumes everything is going great and you feel great. I didn't. I lost 5 kilos during those first 17 weeks and when I talked to my mum about it saying that I was worried and wonde
Hey babe, oooh als ik je verhaal lees hoor ik precies mezelf praten. Lieve schat, ik heb EXACT maar dan ook EXACT hetzelfde meegemaakt dan jij nu meemaakt!! De eerste 5 maanden van mijn zwangerschap waren een échte HEL! Tot op het punt dat ik dus niet meer zwanger wou zijn. Ik wist niet hoe ik die zwangerschap ooit zou overleven. Ik kon ook niks meer eten, ik hield zelfs geen glas water binnen. 15 à 20 keer op een dag overgeven, bloed overgeven omdat mijn lichaam gewoon leeg was. Op de spoed gelegen in het ziekenhuis... je verhaal klinkt bekend in de oren. Ik leef met je mee!! Voor mij was enk
O Delphine, zo lief!! Blijkbaar hebben toch meer mensen een lastige zwangerschap dan je zou denken. :) Ik kijk al uit naar de eerste stampjes dan... Bedankt voor de bemoediging! dikke kus x
Hi Sofie. Welcome to motherhood! I feel your pain. I myself experienced a similar pregnancy, it was totally depressing. However, the nausia never returned the 3th trimester. Luckily, cause I was feeling so depressed. I am usually full of life but during those very sick months my little 'bundle of joy' changed how I felt about becoming a mom. I can assure you everything is going to be ok. Let this be a comforting fact: sickness is actually a very good sign! It means the baby is happy and fine. I am so in love with my babies, they are my everything. As soon as you go into the final stages of lab
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Hoe herkenbaar... vanaf dag 1 wist ik het 'ik was zwanger en de wc was mijn beste vriend geworden' (voor de eerste 16weken dan toch) niet meer kunnen werken, te slap zijn voor eender wat,... na die 16weken begin het te beteren en voor ik het wist lag ik thuis op de zetel, bekkeninstabiliteit en voorweeën...weer een 'nieuwe beste vriend'. Uiteindelijk is onze kleine man (47cm) toch maar 2weken te vroeg gekomen (halleluja!) Weet...alles is maar een fase! Tijdens zwangerschap...maar ook eens de baby er is. Het wordt zelfs een mantra tijdens de slapenloze nachten! Nu 2de zwangerschap en ik zit wed
Thank you Sofie for sharing your experience! It is extremely difficult to get on with daily life when feeling sick the whole time during pregnancy. At 11 weeks pregnant, I was only able to stare at one point in my bedroom and I told my husband that if this was being pregnant, I did not want it anymore!! Of course there was some irony in my voice but then again being sick all the time adds in no way any value to your pregnancy. At the other hand, it is something some pregnant women have to go through, to a more or lesser extent. I have three kids and I love each of them to pieces, but being pre