My Truth About Pregnancy By Nicole Lewis

People always say that pregnant women have a glow.
And I say it’s because you’re sweating to death.
- Jessica Simpson

I'm just a 24-year-old who happens to be a new mother, and I have the pleasure of writing about my experiences and thoughts about it. 

A lot of black people are not taught to get check-ups at the doctor. We watch as our parents only visit the doctor when they are sick. As a graduate student I tried a lot of new things including getting an annual check-up. My appointment went smoothly until I put my clothes back on. I was just about to leave to go pick up my prescriptions for birth control and anxiety meds when my doctor said, "Wait! You can't leave! You're pregnant!" Of course I think she's kidding so I ask her if she's serious and she says, "Yes." And what do I say? "I'm never gonna get those abs." She then looks at me with tears in her eyes and tells me that everything is going to be okay and asks if she can pray with me. I cried as she prayed. At that moment I was pregnant with 3 roommates, in my last semester of graduate school, I had no job and I owed Sallie Mae 63k. God knew I needed her to pray for me at that moment. 

I waited until after the first trimester to announce my pregnancy and just as I expected I got a lot of attention. I'm a pretty shy person so having random people ask if they could rub my belly was really weird for me. Why do people get so excited over little babies that they don't even know? I dreaded going in public because everywhere I went women wanted to hold conversations with me about when they were pregnant, which doctor I should go to and so on. It really irked my nerves. It only got worse in the last trimester. I would have the same conversation over and over about my belly. People would stop me just to tell me I looked like I was gonna pop and ask when my due date was. After I would tell them they'd say, "You're not gonna make it." And that is when I would just look at them stupid. What gives people the right to say this? If you didn't know it's pretty offensive to tell someone they look like they're having triplets. People should really think before they speak. Although I agreed with them when they said I probably wouldn't make it to my due date, I really didn't feel like discussing it with complete strangers. I had things to do.. like eat!

My friends and family were supportive, thank God. But they lied. "You're gonna look great with a baby bump!" That lasted all of 2 days. I had a cute baby bump, my skin was glowing, nails long and hair extra thick. Then along came the extra baby fat and pregnancy acne. I do not wear a relaxer and my hair is naturally thick. Prenatal's made it hard for me to even comb my hair. My roots were intertwined and it was horrible. Fatigue didn't help either. I dreaded washing my hair because it would take hours to finish and I had to turn to the side if I washed my hair at the sink because my stomach was in the way. Let's not talk about how hard it was to get out of the bed 20x a night so I could TINKLE!

I never once thought about not keeping my baby. This was my responsibility so I was going to take care of her. As a Social Work major I knew what I had to do to ensure that she would get everything she needed. So I applied for WIC and Medicaid. Applying for WIC was easy. Everyone was nice. Applying for Medicaid was okay besides the interviewer being in my business. He asked if my boyfriend was helping me out after I told him that we did not live together. I said that has nothing to do with why I'm here. Some people feel like since they are in a position of power that they can do what they want. I let him know that I would be graduating with my Master's of Social Work in a few months and I knew people above him so don't get beside yourself. I got my Medicaid card in the mail the next week! Lol. Medicaid is the best insurance ever! They pay for everything and if they don't want to cover something your doctor just has to put in a request for it and Medicaid will handle it. I'm truly grateful!

Every pregnancy is different. However, nobody told me that there was a possibility of having so many medical issues. During my pregnancy I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. I was told to test my glucose level 4 times a day. That crap sucked. I rarely did it. I could feel when my blood sugar was high because it was hard to breathe. My diet was poor and I gained a lot of weight. I also went to an optometrist and optemologist because I had blurred vision in one eye. I thought I was going blind but I was informed that my optic nerves were swollen, which was common in pregnancy and I basically just had to wait it out. My vision went back to normal after a month and a half. I also paid 3 visits to the ER due to a stiff neck and migraines. Of course no one wanted to treat me because I was pregnant and I just had to deal with that as well. That lasted a month. I was miserable! Did I mention I went through my last trimester in the summer? Ugh. I was a sweaty mess.

I'm done complaining about being pregnant.. for now. There were some positives. People looooove to feed you when you're pregnant! They hold your stuff if they think it's too heavy for you. They basically treat you like a queen. It's a little annoying but I used it to my advantage. Immediately after graduate school I became a host at a restaurant. My coworkers would bring me all kinds of food to the host stand. Needless to say I gained a lot of weight working there.

I believe the best part of pregnancy is feeling your baby kick inside you. It makes it real. You have the power to create life. That's awesome! As the time goes by you watch the belly grow. You worry about stretch marks and being fat but that's outweighed by the joy you feel each time your baby re-positions to become more comfortable. Being pregnant is one of the hardest things I've had to do but I don't regret one moment out of the 9 months I carried my baby girl, Lily. 

Contributor: Nicole Lewis

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