Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Personal Side of Pregnancy

I have realized that my experience here might be meaningless for others in the same position because every clinic, doctor and city in Japan treats these things differently. Also, since this is my third child, most doctors leave me to my own devices when it comes to what I eat, how I exercise, and how much weight I should gain. I think they have the impression that I will just do whatever I did last time, regardless of what they say and they would be right in assuming that. I am pretty sure I would have a different experience altogether if this had been my first baby. That being said, this post has nothing at all to do with those Eastern/Western differences in prenatal care.

This pregnancy has by far been the hardest for me. Actually, my pregnancies have followed a sort of pattern with each getting exponentially worse.  With Theo I had a super easy pregnancy, virtually no morning sickness, and I felt really comfortable and normal the whole time. With William I was moderately sick and exhausted for about 6 weeks and had a few other unpleasant symptoms but for the most part, once the first trimester was over it was smooth sailing.

For some reason, Dustin felt the need to snap a picture of me
looking as crappy as I was  feeling at that moment.
This time I was basically floored with intense nausea from 4 weeks, actually before I even knew for sure I was pregnant, until 18 weeks. Those weeks were a discovery for me in how horrible and debilitating nausea can be. I could only do what was absolutely necessary to feed and clothe the children and make sure that the bare necessities of house work were done. For the most part, everything was left up to Dustin while I felt extremely guilty, sick, and useless. My skin was completely broken out and I was having multiple headaches every week. If we weren't already sure that we didn't want any more children, this pregnancy would have cleared the matter up!

Those weeks sucked away almost all of my joie de vivre. The weirdest part was, either due to hormones or a survival mechanism of the brain, as soon as the nausea and fatigue subsided I forgot how horrible it really was, almost over night. I was just left with this eerie feeling that three months of my life disappeared into thin air.

Here is a photo of me at 18 weeks (the first week of January) marking my turning point from puddle of self-pity and misery into a normal(ish) human again. I think I look less pregnant and more like I have eaten a very large meal at this point.

This photo was taken about a week and a half ago when I hit 27 weeks. Things should be smooth sailing from here on in. Unlike most women, I actually enjoy the third trimester. I guess being tall has the benefit of preventing you from feeling like a walking house!

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