For some reason, now that the week count in my pregnancy has a 3 in front of it, everything feels more real. And I think my body is feeling that 3 too. All of the sudden, everything seems so much harder. Bending over to put on socks, walking up the stairs, and getting out of bed all make my heart start to race. I struggle to get comfortable and I wake up with a dull backache every morning. It’s certainly nothing terrible and it’s completely understandable with all of the changes going on in my body. I am constantly trying to remind myself how grateful I am for my body to be carrying this baby. This is true. However, I am also not afraid to admit that I am still angry at my body and have lost a lot of confidence during both of my pregnancies.

Shannyn's 30-week bump - Trusting My Body

Author’s Personal Collection/Shannyn Hanson

When we got pregnant with Sophie I was doing everything I could to stay healthy and stay active so she could reap any benefits that may come from that.

I mean, I wasn’t perfect by any means, but I’m a pretty active person and I had a health routine that made me feel like I was doing my part for her. At the end of each day, I was so proud of my body and I believed I was built to bring her into the world.

After we lost her, I questioned everything. Should I have not gone on that run in the morning? What did I eat for breakfast? Maybe I pushed myself too hard. I went from having pride in my body to looking at it with disappointment. This body failed me…I failed Sophie. I put on some extra weight and I had no baby to show for it. My milk came in a few days after she was born, but I had no baby to feed. My body “knew” what to do but somehow we walked out of the hospital empty-handed.

When I got pregnant again, I knew how hard it would be to trust the body that has already let me down once before.

In the beginning, one of the only ways I could push through it was to keep working out. Strong body, strong mind right? I knew I couldn’t control what was going on internally, so externally I was doing what I could. As soon as I got the cerclage put in I had some physical constraints to abide by. I went from not knowing if we “fixed” the issue internally to also putting external limitations on my body. I’m mentally and now physically exhausted. I feel weaker every day and there is no way to guarantee that we’ll have a healthy baby at the end of this.

So yes, I am grateful for this opportunity to bring our boy into the world and I am grateful to my body for making it to this point, but I am also angry and frustrated and lacking confidence. I can be grateful and angry at the same time just as I can experience joy and grief at the same time. All of my focus is on getting through this one day at a time.

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