Sample Psychology Essay Paper on My First Pregnancy

             My first pregnancy was a terrifying experience even though I tried to act as excited as possible. I had many conflicting thoughts in my mind wondering whether I would pull through and about the gender of the child. I wondered whether the child would be healthy or otherwise. I worried whether the child I would bear would get all the fingers and toes or it would have extra digits. I was curious to know whether the kid would take after the father or me. Getting congratulated by friends and family did very little to settle my concerns, with the biggest of them being the labor pains. I had read about the different pains that a human can withstand and was made aware that labor pains are the worst (Fedorowicz et al. 138). I had no idea how it would be like to have my body subjected to the task of bringing another life into the world.

            Even though I considered myself an adult at the time and had been taught about what happens in reproduction, none of that was enough to prepare me for the experience. I was very curious and wanted to ensure that the child I was carrying and I were safe. I made a point of seeking advice from older female relatives on what to expect and was also very inquisitive during the clinic visits. I researched all the material I came across regarding pregnancy, especially first-time pregnancy. Despite having all this knowledge, I was still apprehensive regarding my condition. Going through it, however, was a learning moment that was informed by the challenges I went through.

            This was a learning experience that can be likened to Vygotsky’s concept of learning. Vygotsky claimed that we learn faster when confronted by challenges that are beyond our present abilities (Hopwood 10). The fact that I had not yet experienced a pregnancy made me lack the abilities to handle this one. I came to realize that my taste in food and people was also changing. My emotions were no longer in my control, and I would find myself experiencing extreme happiness at one time and extreme sadness the next minute. Having the baby start kicking in my belly was an awesome occurrence, and I could not wait to share it with anyone who cared to listen.

            My body was changing in ways that I had not anticipated. The most worrying of all was gaining and having my body shape disfigured, as I considered it. I felt a bit offended whenever strangers looked at me, as I thought they were judging me for being expectant. However, I came to learn later on that there are privileges that one is given when she is pregnant. For example, I was always given the right of way in public places, and even strangers gave my comfort priority. Any confrontation I had, I won. This was especially the case with my family. I felt a bit powerful during those moments. 

             Craving tormented me during my first pregnancy such that I thought I was losing my mind. I would wake up in the middle of the night looking for something to eat, something specific and would not stop until I had it. Citrus fruits were my favorite, and I can remember my family members having to go to the grocery stores in the middle of the night to get them for me. The thing with cravings is that you can never know what you are looking for until you find it, and I was lucky to have discovered my specific craving. The first three months of the pregnancy were troublesome, as were the last ones. The first ones had me suffer nausea just from smelling coffee, certain types of foods, and perfumes. In the final month, I had swollen feet and would run out of breath after doing simple and small activities. I was not so worried, as I had read online that swollen feet and exhaustion are some of the things that one should expect as the pregnancy comes to an end (Davis et al. 558).

 My earlier routines such as shopping, cooking, and laundry now became difficult tasks. Sleeping was also a problem, as I was supposed to sleep on my side or experience sharp pain in my belly. The baby also kicked with higher frequency and often woke me up in the middle of the night. There was also this disturbing thought of how things would be once I was due to deliver. I found myself researching on all the complications that could take place during labor. I was considering the worst-case scenario, and my doctor was quick to remind me every time that things would be alright and that my progress was excellent.

My family and friends who had gone through this experience were very encouraging and would share what they went through to encourage me. They also accompanied and helped me remain active, as I was told that delivery would be smoother if I remained active during the pregnancy. The labor pains came, and they were not as deadly as I expected. After it was over and I was handed the baby in my arms, I forgot all the difficulty that I encountered and the pain that I caused others in the process. It was all worth it and would be easier the second and subsequent times.

After giving birth, I had no idea how to take care of the baby. This was a learning moment for me, and Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development theory applied in learning how to hold and breastfeed the baby (Hopwood 10). I lived with my mother in order to get the help I needed hold and breastfeed the baby. Instead of holding the baby for me, my mother would hand him to me and direct my arms the right way. After some time, she would check on me and direct me in improving the posture of the baby and how I held him. In addition to holding the baby, I was also taught through trial and error by my mother how to change the diaper and bathe him. She never offered to do it for me, but let me do it myself correcting me in the process. She also invited a doula every few days to come and instruct me in the safest and best way to feed the baby. She would sit with me for many hours and show me how to force the baby into a latch and prepare a feeding schedule for the baby.   

Works Cited

Davis, Esa M., et al. “Short Inter-Pregnancy Intervals, Parity, Excessive Pregnancy Weight Gain and Risk of Maternal Obesity.” Maternal and child health journal18.3 (2014): 554-62. ProQuest. Web. 28 Mar. 2018.https://search.proquest.com/docview/1506714015/DA7FF5969EF34169PQ/24?accountid=1611

Fedorowicz, Anna R., et al. “Associations of Adolescent Hopelessness and Self-Worth with Pregnancy Attempts and Pregnancy Desire.” American Journal of Public Health 104.8 (2014): e133-40. ProQuest. Web. 28 Mar. 2018.https://search.proquest.com/docview/1549549163/DA7FF5969EF34169PQ/71?accountid=1611

Hopwood, Nick. “Understanding Partnership Practice in Primary Health as Pedagogic Work: What can Vygotsky’s Theory of Learning Offer?” Australian Journal of Primary Health 21.1 (2015): 9-13. ProQuest. Web. 28 Mar. 2018.https://search.proquest.com/docview/1759338241/6D8D1FA83D314005PQ/13?accountid=1611