Dec 20, 2011

So maybe I am not breaking the pregnancy mold here…

Last night I crawled into bed, laid my head on the pillow and completely lost my breath. Oh My Goodness it was terrifying! I started to panic and gasp for air. Thankfully before I completely lost the plot I remembered all of the warnings about “third trimester shortness of breath,” and how it will continue to get progressively worse as the baby smashes my organs into a matchbox size space. I also heard the only way to get through it was to relax, take slow deep breaths and possibly sleep sitting up.

While I managed to hold it together, I still had those scary thoughts of suffocating or at the very least not catching my breath until this boy vacates my womb. After about 20 minutes of taking small sips of air, but never really breathing normally when trying to lie back down, I ended up having to sleep sitting up in bed. It was in those moments of being so uncomfortable trying to sleep sitting up that I thought of my mom. I realized last night she did all of this too and three times no less! I guess it took me going through my own pregnancy to fully appreciate the 30 months of pregnancy she endured to make our family.

I called her this morning to say thank you for having me, her second child, and that I cannot believe she did it three times! She told me she felt the very same during her first pregnancy. She said it was VERY scary for her the first time around too because she really didn’t know what to expect either. Then she assured me the next pregnancy was much easier because she knew what to expect, and her body just kind of fell right back into the familiar job of growing a baby. Then her third pregnancy, my brother, was by far the easiest from conception to birth. Today I see my mother in a whole new light, I really appreciate her on a new level now.
I feel so much more at ease from my mother’s words of wisdom. First of all, I would have completely lost my shit last night if I had not heard the stories and warnings of the moms who went before me. In fact, I have no doubt I would have ended up in the ER at my hospital insisting that I was going to suffocate, and so was my baby, if they didn’t get me on some oxygen STAT! Instead, I was able to sit quietly, remind myself that this was normal, breathe deeply and stay calm. Eventually I fell asleep and woke up this morning breathing normally!

I realize now more than ever, pregnancy as a whole is very textbook. There are trimester specific side effects and knowing what to expect really does help tremendously. Granted, I also think that every pregnancy is a shade different from the next. I think mine is much darker than the mom that tells me how awesome hers was, and the mom who tells me she was sick and on bed rest the entire time of course had a darker pregnancy than me.

I have come to realize that pregnancy today is riddled with the same symptoms and pleasures that women have been experiencing since the beginning of time. The only thing we can do to make it easier as time goes on is to keep sharing our stories, and like my mom be kind and understanding so the expecting mother knows it is not only ok but completely normal to be freaking out. God knows, if I could not cry and complain about my pregnancy to an understanding ear I would be in the Emergency Room all right…trying to check into the mental ward not the labor ward.

Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit


  1. Weird fact, I used to get my breath back by getting on my hands and knees. It pulls my stomach (and baby) away from my lungs. Some days it was the only thing I could do after eating to stop from feeling like I was dying. Obviously you can't sleep like that, but if you can catch a few good breaths, it helps.

  2. Thanks Kitten! I have heard of getting in that position to help labor pains, but never for shortness of breath. I am totally going to try that. I will have a much better shot at falling asleep if I am not completely freaking out.