What no one tells you about being pregnant in college

April 28, 2021, I got the amazing and nerve-racking news that I was pregnant. The first thing that came to my mind was, “Oh my gosh, this can’t be happening. I am so close to graduating college.” 

I planned to walk in graduation just a few days later, take summer classes and then finish out the semester in December. After working so hard the past few years, I knew I had to finish no matter how hard it might be. 

My first trimester, or the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, lasted over the entirety of summer, and taking classes was very difficult. Even though classes were online, I was sick constantly over the first three months.

My first realization during pregnancy was that no one ever tells you what pregnancy is like, and even if they did, it’s never the same. Pregnancy is different for everyone. I had the worst morning sickness that definitely lasted even past the morning time. 

 Meridith Daffron-Byrd and her husband Hank Byrd hold a pair of their son’s boots.
Photo by Kensley Mattison Photo & Design.

I, like most people, don’t know all the information that surrounds pregnancy. I always thought that morning sickness only happened in the morning and that being pregnant was this amazing journey you get to go through.

For me personally, it’s the exact opposite. Pregnancy for me has been rough, to say the least. Especially in the first four months or so, I wasn’t able to enjoy anything. Everything I ate I threw back up; I ended up losing 35 to 40 lbs. 

I was scared that I was hurting my baby and had a lot of issues with prenatal depression. Prenatal depression is not talked about enough. I felt so down about myself and like everything I did was wrong. 

I followed all the doctor’s recommendations about what not to eat or what not to do, but that wasn’t enough for me. I still felt like every single thing I did was wrong. 

These 27-week ultrasound photos are the most recent shots of “Baby Byrd.”
Photo by Kensley Mattison Photo & Design.

I felt so alone. I am so lucky to have an amazing husband and family that is always there for me, but at that time, I felt like I was doing everything by myself. 

When I went into my second trimester, I was hoping that everything would get better, but it didn’t. I started back the fall semester with a strong head on my shoulders, determined to finish. That good feeling slowly diminished after still constantly getting sick and feeling like my body was rejecting being pregnant.

I have been continuously monitored by my doctors, but again, I still felt like my body just didn’t want to be pregnant. 

Another struggle I didn’t expect was body image. I have always been very insecure about my body and being “too big” in society. I was hoping that being pregnant would make me want to get bigger and show off my belly more, but it didn’t.

 Daffron-Byrd and her husband announced that Baby Byrd would boy.
Photo by Meridith Daffron-Byrd.

However, I have learned that I am lucky to be in the position I’m in, and I have slowly started embracing my beautiful growing belly. It’s better some days than others, but it’s a work in progress. I don’t carry the same way that other pregnant people do. My sweet baby boy is lower in my stomach, which means my stomach is stretching down instead of out, and that’s normal.

Not every pregnant person gets to have the look of a perfectly round belly. Some carry high, and some carry low. All pregnant people have different bodies.

Meridith and her husband Hank admire their sweet baby yet to come.
Photo by Kensley Mattison Photo & Design.

There have been some good things to come from pregnancy, and I am not saying it’s all bad. I found out I was having a baby boy, which made me so happy, and that he was perfectly healthy, growing right on track.

I was lucky; not all pregnant people get good news during their pregnancy, and I realized that I should be grateful to even be able to get pregnant. Infertility is real, and there are so many people who would love to be going through what I have been, just to have a child. 

When I came to that conclusion I could start to see myself enjoying every twist and turn that came with being pregnant. When I felt him move for the first time, I broke down in tears. It made me realize that my body was going to do what it wanted to do, and I had to trust it would take care of me. 

I have finally hit my third trimester, and everything is starting to become more real. In just a couple of short months, in December, I will get to love on my sweet baby for the first time. 

 Daffron-Byrd was excited for the first day of school in fall 2021. 
Photo by Meridith Daffron-Byrd.

Being pregnant while in college comes with a lot more stress and accommodations than I ever expected. I am very thankful for all of my professors and classmates on campus who have made my transition into pregnancy and classes so much easier. 

I feel incredibly lucky. 

2 thoughts on “What no one tells you about being pregnant in college

  • October 19, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    Awe so sweet congratulations cousin

  • October 26, 2021 at 7:16 pm

    Great article!! I admire your will to push through and finish school while pregnant. That is a tough task!! Congrats on baby boy and finishing school soon!! 💙🥳🥰


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