Lexie, Dumfries VA (1/4)
"Being pregnant was so much harder than I thought it would be. I've always struggled with body image and I've always worked really hard to try to keep a body that I'm semi-happy with, but when I got pregnant, I had no control. I know there's a lot of women that have a lot harder stories than I do about pregnancy, but it was so hard for me. I never want to do it again. Never. I was sick and nauseous the whole time. I survived on frozen pizza and Hot Tamales. I don't know how she came out healthy. People say, ‘Oh, you forget about it when she's born.’ But nope, I don't. I felt so miserable I was also afraid I wouldn’t bond with her. This fear stayed with me until I gave birth. I got lucky because I had the perfect labor. After my water broke, we got up to the hospital and I'm at the desk bracing through a contraction. The nurse is like, ‘Well, it might be Braxton-Hicks,’ and the whole time, I'm thinking, ‘If this is Braxton-Hicks, you're going to have to give me all the drugs in the world, because when the real thing comes, I'm in big trouble.’ But it was the real thing. They checked me in and I got in the shower with one of those big, huge blue bouncy balls. As soon as they turned the water on and I was like, ‘That's it, I've got to push. I've got to push.’ They were like, ‘No, no... You were only six centimeters at 5:30 in the morning, it's only 8:30.’ I was like, ‘This baby's coming now!’ They didn't believe me but I was right... By 8:40 she was born. As soon as they handed her to me, I was like, ‘this is the coolest thing I've ever done. The coolest, coolest thing’. My whole outlook on life changed. The nausea before or the fear of not bonding with the baby disappeared. It didn't matter anymore. It was just about surviving to keep this little human alive."