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!
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