This incredible Mother of one generously shares her pregnancy journal entries for week 15 of her pregnancy, and I know her openness and honesty is going to be really valuable for others who aren’t loving their pregnancy journeys so far and/or are struggling with body issues. She says:
I always feel so guilty because both pregnancies have been symptom free, I’ve been able to continue to work and exercise normally but I also really struggle mentally. As I HATE my body, I HATE the thought of having to ‘recover’ and ‘get my body back’ whatever that means. But it also doesn’t mean I don’t love the babies I’ve carried. It’s all very conflicting and something I never thought I’d experience!
You can also read her 16 Week Pregnancy Journal where we talk more about gender anxiety and disappointment.
15 Weeks Pregnant – Baby is the Size of an Apple
How have you been feeling?
I have been feeling apprehensive about baby’s gender! We are going to have another surprise but I REALLY want to know this time.
I have my heart set on another wee girl, I have no idea why, as first time around I had no preference at all. I am trying to focus on the fact baby is healthy and the connection I do already feel.
I feel happiest when…
I feel flutters! I was told it was too early but I know that it’s definitely you I can feel.
I can’t wait to…
Be able to set up your room! We had basically done it already at this stage first time around so I feel very unprepared – despite having so long left!
When I see my body I feel…
I try not to look.. despite finding other woman beautiful while pregnant. I do not enjoy being pregnant or looking pregnant myself. I already feel worried about how quickly my body will recover after birth and how quickly it will be before I can exercise again (last time it was a long recovery from a traumatic birth).
You say you hate your body, what is it you don’t like seeing?
I’ve always been quite a fit strong person, in just an average everyday sense lol nothing crazy extreme! But I did always take care of myself in that regards. Again more guilt because I don’t have stretch marks, my body did bounce back fast, I didn’t get ‘saggy skin’. But things got bigger, things then jiggled more than normal. And it just wasn’t what I was used to. This second pregnancy has been hard because I prioritise rest over exercise so it’s an internal battle as I know that exercise makes me feel better but also some days I’m up at 4am with my toddler.
My partner and I disagree on…
Finding out the gender! He wants a surprise but I do not this time – though I have agreed to the surprise purely because there is so much beyond his control during pregnancy/birth and its nice for him to have say/make a choice.
Something that’s surprised me so far has been…
Our views on certain things have changed this time around e.g. we will get a co-sleeper bassinet this time as we ended up co sleeping anyway (still do ?)and introducing a bottle of pumped breast milk early! So we can share the load more with each other but also with family.
How is this pregnancy different from your first?
My pregnancies have actually been really really similar, the only thing that hasn’t happened this time (so far!) is my skin hasn’t broken out. I obviously popped a bit sooner this time but I actually think looking back size wise I’m really similar as last time. I’m also more tired but as I said in the first email, my toddler isn’t a very good sleeper – I don’t think it’s actually pregnancy tired at all!
Though I’m not finding out, I will be really interested to see if we have a girl or boy this time as I hadn’t even thought about how pregnancy similarities could be a hint!
What advice would you give other Mums on pregnancy or the newborn stage?
I loved taking as much leave as I did (also very privileged to do so) it was so important to me to prioritise myself and I did heaps of nice things! To not be so hard on yourself, saying no to things or leaving house chores to another day is okay, growing a baby is hard! Advice is often given with good intention, but it doesn’t mean it’s correct – doing what’s right or what works for your family is what is most important. Setting time aside for yourself each day, for me in the early days I had 2 showers a day! It was 10/15 mins a day but it was SO important to me. That’s obviously evolved over the 2 years.
For babies… you do not need ‘all the stuff!’ I feel for every gadget, piece of clothing, blanket etc etc and we used a fraction of it. Babies don’t need much and so much better buying as you realise you need something – for example we had heaps of arms down swaddles, she hated her arms down so then got love to dream swaddles once we figured that out. Sun/fresh air, even in a work break, to check the mail box – soooo important.
Now read onto her 16 Week Pregnancy Journal which covers gender anxiety and what she will do differently as a second time Mum.
If after reading this you’d be happy to share your own experience of pregnancy, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to send you one of these pages (or you can send a photo of your own pregnancy journal).