Wife, mother, sister, daughter. I’m Lacey Scheidel, married to Noah Scheidel. We reside in Vancouver, Washington, both born and raised in the PNW. We are the parents of one with one on the way. Both 30 somethings, raising our children to be the best they can be.
Pregnancy and My Own Journey
I want to be completely raw, get down to the core of a few things. Please bear with me as I am not a writer by any means.
Pregnancy and my own journey.
My first pregnancy I felt joy, excitement and never felt more beautiful in my whole life. I was creating a human and the female body is an incredible thing. Our bodies morph into bearing children and everything, I mean everything changes. From your mental state, your body, your relationships, everything. Bodies shift, breasts grow tremendously, your uterus stretches (with or without stretch marks). Mine was blessed with those “pesky” marks, a friendly reminder that I grew life which I happened to get my first ones on Mothers Day, which seems fitting. Your stomach protrudes the rest of your body as you can no longer see nor reach your toes.
Your mindset changes, you’re growing life, something not everyone is able to do. You might be considered “blessed” by those that cannot. It makes me extremely sad when I hear that some people cannot bear children, I think that everyone should be able to have such an opportunity. I also cannot say it’s all rainbows and butterflies. Your body hurts, breasts and nipples feel like shattered glass at the touch of water from the shower, your muscles ache from the stretching that happens within, back is sore, feet and legs take a toll from the extra weight we put on, in my case I had sciatica for 9 months my first go around. Tell me how enjoyable you think that was. But you have to grin and bare it because you’re creating a human and you’re the blessed one, right? It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t suck at times.
For me the words “you’re going to be a mother” never really hit until the day I actually give birth. A day I’ll never forget. Either you have an awful delivery or are blessed with an easy one. We all have those stories to tell. The moment my daughter was placed on my chest my thought was “what the hell am I supposed to do with her now?” I didn’t feel joy, excitement or any happy thoughts. I thought this means MY social life is gone, MY life has changed forever. I will never be the same person again. I lost a part of me and it was like watching that person die. It was sad and overwhelming. I’m not saying this for any sort of sympathy, I lived with this for months, feeling bad that I ever had these thoughts. But they were real, raw, and something I tried to hide. I felt guilty. It was all about ME before and now it’s about someone else. However, you don’t lose yourself completely. You are still YOU. You just happen to be in charge of a tiny human that relies solely on you. It’s life changing. The first few weeks were pure hell, I have never cried so much in my life (if y’all know me I’m not very emotional). Noah shut down completely. I want to say that’s because of all the medical things we went through with her. I asked myself way too many times “maybe I’m not cut out to be a mother”, “maybe we made a mistake”. And sadly, the conversation that took place months later between Noah and I was real, raw and downright awful. Had we lost her we would not have had anymore children based on everything we went through.
Let’s flash forward, pregnancy the second time. I was so excited to get pregnant, to build another life. Then, I got pregnant. This time around I have felt nothing but guilt and have questioned myself the whole time. “Will I be able to love two kids?” “Will Scarlett think less of me for taking time away from her?” The guilt is real, raw and down right sucks. I’m way less excited and more nervous than I was before. I haven’t felt beautiful, that pregnancy glow I had before had turned into dull, dry skin and feeling like I look huge. I’m more weathered from chasing a toddler and growing a human at the same time. I’m tired, I’m tested daily, I haven’t felt myself. I cry less but have a worse mindset. Not every pregnancy is butterflies and rainbows. I loved being pregnant before even with the aches and pains. This time, this time it feels like a job. One that you start and realize a week in that you’re not meant for. This isn’t to say that I’m not happy to have another life growing inside me. I just don’t feel myself. Feeling a little lost thinking about how I will have to take care of two tiny humans while keeping my marriage alive and still living as me.
Parenthood has changed me, it’s changed us, it would change anyone. I do feel now that I was always meant to be a mother, that wasn’t always the case. Parenthood is hard, it takes patience (I have none), hard work and dedication. Along with money (lets be real, they are expensive). It also takes love, that I can give. The rewards outweigh the shitty days. The days you question your sanity. The moment they tell you “I love you”, you will melt and that makes it all worth it.
Parenthood means a lifestyle change, it’s no longer just about you (which is a hard concept to grasp). I was a socialite, went out 3/4x a week, enjoyed alcohol and staying up way too late. Now I like to pretend I’m a homebody (I still need to get out or I’ll crawl the walls).
I want the stigma to stop, that we all have to be “perfect”, the perfect person doesn’t exist. Social media has corrupted all of us into thinking we have to look or be a certain way. And that is BULLSHIT. I am thankful to be a mother, thankful to bear children, thankful my body can create such beautiful children. However, it doesn’t mean I can’t hate how I look right now, or how uncomfortable I am at nearly 27 weeks, it doesn’t mean I can’t feel guilty.
Everyone at some point has felt less than, I’m here to tell you if you haven’t you are lying to everyone especially yourself. YOU are worthy, YOU are beautiful, I see it and the world around you sees it. Do me a favor and walk to the mirror, out loud say “I am beautiful!” That one positive thought today could change your outlook if you’re feeling down. This is something I need to do more of.
Now don’t let these photos fool you, this is ME, fully put together, hair curled, makeup on. Most days you’ll find me tired, braless, in sweats, dirty hair in a bun, unsure of the last time I shampooed it. I’m not posting these for you to tell me I’m beautiful, these photos show it all, the beauty inside and out. These photos are for ME. A reminder that I am beautiful, even when I don’t feel it. The beauty of growing a human, the stretch marks that I have gained. The protruding belly button, separated stomach muscles that may it may not ever return to normal. Regardless of being in sweat pants or wrapped in beautiful gowns and clothing (or lack there of), I AM BEAUTIFUL, I AM proud of who I am and how I have gotten here. I may not be the best mother in the world, but I’m trying the best I can and that’s all I can do. That’s all anyone can do. Just remember WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL!
“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” and so in you the child your mother lives on and through your family continues to live… so at this time look after yourself and your family as you would your mother for through you all she will truly never die.” - Osho