As you’ve seen in a few of my previous posts like this one and this one, I have been through quite a few things in my 20 something years of life. More things than some adultier adults. The most important thing is: I have survived!
I want to talk about pregnancy and everything in between: pregnancy, miscarriage, termination & childbirth. No matter what anybody tells you, nobody can really tell you how you will feel about it all. What they can do is give you some general advice that lets you know it is going to be okay and you will get through it all, one way or another.
- Every pregnancy is different. Don’t worry about how someone elses pregnancy is going because even your next pregnancy could be different. Your body is doing something pretty amazing so I guess it’s allowed to change it up sometimes for it’s own fun. Go with it.
- Some people find their pregnancy easy and some find it hard. That’s okay too. It’s a lot of change in a short space of time and we are allowed to feel however we want. What we shouldn’t do is tell someone how to feel. Just be there for them.
- Don’t weigh yourself constantly. You may or may not gain a lot of weight. As long as you know you are eating sensibly and staying active, there’s nothing to worry about. You are also allowed a treat every now and then – be kind to yourself. Your mind & body is doing a lot right now!
- Childbirth is what you make it (or what your body makes it). Either way, it has to happen. The end result is worth it (but you will never forget what you went through, no matter how hazy it is!).
- Try to enjoy it while it lasts. I always enjoyed the knowledge that my body was probably the safest place the Mini Me’s were ever going to be and I always miss feeling those kicks.
Termination (Medical & Surgical)
- Don’t feel judged by society. Avoid social media for opinions and do what is best for you. Only you know if the time is right to be pregnant.
- You will have to have at least one scan before a termination, you will also have papers to sign – don’t feel guilty about this. If you have a good sonographer, you won’t see the scan or the pictures.
- A medical termination takes place over 2 days (to my knowledge). On the first day, you take a tablet orally to “stop” the pregnancy. On the following day, you have some tablets inserted vaginally and one anally. This begins the process of the termination, which in essence acts as a miscarriage. You will be offered painkillers when needed and you can get help if any of the tablets make you vomit also. This process usually takes 4-9 hours.
- A surgical termination (D&C) more often consists of having a general anaesthetic (although occasionally a local anaesthetic will be used) . Whilst you are asleep, your cervix will be Dilated and then the sac and everything along with it will be removed (Cutterage). I went to sleep at 12.15pm and woke up at 12.45pm for an idea of how long the procedure can take without any complications.
- You can only have a medical termination up to roughly 12 weeks of pregnancy.
- You might feel relieved, guilty, a sense of loss,regret and may even need to grieve. Any and all of those feelings are natural and personal to you.
- If you are not offered counselling but feel you would benefit from it, feel free to ask for it either before your termination or after.
- A miscarriage sucks. Whether your pregnancy is planned or unplanned, whether you’re uncertain of what to do or whether you know exactly what you want to do. You just can’t prepare emotionally or physically for a miscarriage.
- Don’t blame yourself. Sometimes, our bodies just don’t do what they’re supposed to when they’re pregnant – this can be for many reasons and for no reason at all.
- A missed miscarriage is different to a miscarriage. A missed miscarriage happens when the pregnancy stops but the body doesn’t react instantly – for example, I had a missed miscarriage at 13 weeks although the size of the embryo was only 8 weeks so it took my body 5 weeks to react accordingly to the end of the pregnancy.
- Most women want to know Why? This in turn can lead to guilt and blame (see point 2). Don’t do it. Occasionally, there is a medical reason but sometimes the answer to the why is simply because the body didn’t do what it was supposed to. That’s as good a reason as any.
- Sometimes, you might need a D&C after a miscarriage to clear any remains from the uterus.
- You might feel physically fine within hours or days, or you might feel mentally tired and tearful for weeks or months. It could be both. Everybody reacts differently.
- You won’t ever forget a miscarriage but the sense of loss will become less overwhelming and unbearable over time (if you feel like that).
- As unbelieavable as it sounds, some people feel very little pain during childbirth. You could be that lucky son of a gun.
- As believable as it sounds, I didn’t find childbirth pain free although I do find focusing on the fact it will come to an end helps a little.
- The end result is worth it. Every time. No matter how hard the pregnancy or how traumatic the birth. Even if the feeling isn’t instant. It will be worth it in the end.
- A traumatic birth can be scary, but it can also be a one off. Don’t let it put you off number 2.
- If you need pain relief, ask for it. If you need an epidural, make sure you get it when you can. In the same breath, don’t be bullied into anything either. Being in control as much as you can be, will ensure you get as close to the birth you want as possible (when possible).
- Don’t be too upset if everything doesn’t go to “plan”. I learnt a long time ago that there’s no real thing as planning when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth – sometimes you just have to go with your body rather than with your mind (and the books and advice of 100 different people!).
- Listen to the midwife when it comes to pushing. It will save a lot of pain after the birth (and you might even avoid stitches too!).
That’s my insight and guidance for anybody going through any of the above. It might seem like a lot but I wish I knew most of this when going through it all myself because it can all be so overwhelming and confusing at times, and it’s often the most simple & basic things we need to know to get us through.
What do you wish someone had told you about any of these situations? What would you tell someone else? Drop a comment & let us know!