Gastroparesis & Pregnancy: An UnexpectedTransformation


As of yesterday, I’m officially halfway through my pregnancy! A milestone that was marked by an ultrasound and a prenatal massage.

By the way, “pregnancy brain” is real! I just had to ask my husband what it’s called when you reach an important point in your life. “Not a landmark, but a ….?!”

The massage was fantastic, but the ultrasound was of course the highlight of the day. To see my little baby on the screen — heart beating, hands waving, feet kicking — was unreal. We didn’t find out the sex, but the technician did use the term “he” a couple of times. Hmm…

The last 20 weeks have presented some challenges, both general to pregnancy and specific to pregnancy with gastroparesis. Like figuring out how to deal with a raging appetite but a full stomach and how to manage the reflux that keeps getting worse as I get bigger (things I’ll address in my upcoming GP & Pregnancy eBook!). But the further along I get, the more I realize that this process is transforming my life in very positive and unexpected ways.

One thing that’s changed is my relationship with my body. I spent many years being dissatisfied or angry with my body for not looking or working the way I wanted it to. I also spent many years not treating it very well, either in protest, punishment, or retaliation. Even after I started to take better care of my body, I felt very little — if any — gratitude towards it.

This pregnancy has changed that. Maybe my body doesn’t work perfectly. Maybe it hasn’t functioned the way that I’ve wished it would for the past decade. But over the past 20 weeks, it has been doing the most important and amazing work of all…and it’s been doing it well! My body has conceived and nurtured a healthy baby, while still keeping me healthy. Perfect? No. Iron is too low, asthma is worse, constipation…let’s not even go there. But even still, despite what’s it been through over the past eight years, here my body is doing something normal. And doing it better than some “perfect” bodies!

For the first time ever, I feel profoundly grateful for the work my body is doing. That itself is a transformative thought. And you don’t have to be pregnant to make this shift.

When I think about it — even aside from the pregnancy — for the past eight years while I’ve struggled with and focused on gastroparesis, my heart has been beating day in and day out, my lungs have been taking in oxygen, my blood has been carrying that oxygen to every cell in my body. That’s definitely worth a thank you.

What if instead of your body working against you, it’s actually doing it’s very best to work for you given the circumstances? What if when your blood work or test results come back normal, you take a minute and feel thankful for that? To realize that your body is actually doing a lot of things well. How different does that feel? How much more do you want to nourish your body and work with it instead of against it?

Just some food for thought from this mama-to-be. I can’t wait for the day I meet my little one in person, but I’m trying to learn from and appreciate every step of the process along the way. I imagine the next 20 weeks will be full of more unexpected challenges and opportunities. Thanks for being a part of the journey!


Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts


  1. 1

    Mechieal Cain says

    Crystal it is such a blessing to hear about your journey through pregnancy. I truly enjoyed my first two pregnancies. My third was a little surprise and my husband was going off to war in Iraq very stressful, however, my third child has been the biggest blessing. Being pregnant is one of the biggest miracles !!! Take your time and do what Mary did all those years ago ponder the whole process in your heart so many things that happen you are the only one who can experience it. Share as much as you can with your happy hubby they tend to get left on the sidelines sometimes. Can’t wait to see a picture of your happy new family in a few weeks. God bless this special time for you.

  2. 2

    Caitlin says

    I’m not a mommy, but I hope to be one day. But thank you for remind us that even though our bodies aren’t working perfectly, we are still here, being able to live this life and while it may not always be pleasant, at least it isn’t killing us! A bit morbid to think about really, but on those days when our bodies truly want to fight against us, it’s something to remember and be thankful for.
    You cannot imagine how excited I was to find your website! A year after my diagnosis, a year of rebellion, and I am finally starting to find some relief, though I do still treat my body badly at times. It is nice to know that I am not the only one. You are truly an inspiration! Thank you.

  3. 3

    Tessa Campbell says

    Loved seeing your pictures and reading your thoughts. Wonderful perspective and so true! What a great reality check. Your due date must be close to my grandson’s, Sept 24?

  4. 4

    Melissa says

    How Wonderful! Like we have talked about kids make your entire prospective change, even when they are growing! You have someone to be healthy for! Your focus is taken off of YOU so much and what part of you doesn’t work. I know my daughter has helped my gastroparesis in so many ways! I am looking forward to bring another baby into this world. I couldn’t be happier for you, and so so thankful you are seeing the beauty that children can bring! They are amazing :)

  5. 6

    tammy says

    i was wondering if anyone has the stimulator and became preganat my 19 year daughter was just told that she needed the stimulator and im concerened if she ever wants to have children how this will effect her and the baby.

  6. 8

    carrie says

    it is a blessing to survive GP let alone being pregnant with GP, you have shown me that you can beat all odds with GP
    my daughter has been living the past 11 years *since the day she was born* with GP and has had a lot of struggles with her body, and how to eat, and what not to eat, and if you eat this you will regret it type thing.
    congrats on the pregnancy!

  7. 9


    Hi! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?
    There’s a lot of people that I think would really
    enjoy your content. Please let me know. Many thanks