The Highs and Lows of Being Pregnant
I am 23 weeks pregnant today. You know what this means? It means 1 more week and I will be 24 weeks, which equals 6 months which means in about 4 more months our little bundle of baby bliss will be here and I cannot wait to kiss the pink off of those sweet baby cheeks! However excited I am to meet the little angel who is resting her one-pound body ever so snuggly against my bladder, my excitement isn’t really the sole reason I am counting down the days to her arrival. Truth is, I do not adore being pregnant. I like it. I think it is pretty cool, in a science fiction type way, and I am very aware of how extremely blessed I am to be able to conceive easily and carry healthy babies but I am not one of those women who feel like being pregnant equates a constant state of bliss. There are moments in pregnancy that blow my mind
with joy and others that make me feel like I will never again feel like myself and I think it is okay to feel this way.
In my opinion, there is an absurd amount of pressure placed on not only mothers but on women in general to be superwomen so for me to put pressure on myself to feel amazing the entire pregnancy just feeds into this absurdity. The truth is, shit changes once you become pregnant, a lot of shit. You are not only changing physically but mentally, emotionally, spiritually and relationally.
With my son, Jake, I am convinced I had pre-partum depression. Although, I was never professionaly diagnosed as such, I felt severely depressed and had a difficult time bonding with the baby growing inside of me. It was my first pregnancy and I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the fact that I was growing an actual human inside of me. In fact, until I heard the words, “Baby is out!” and then his miraculous first cried breath, I could have given birth to a lobster and I wouldn’t have been surprised. You see, for as long as I can remember, I had dreamed of becoming a mother but dreams are funny that way. It can be so surreal to have a dream you have dreamed forever actually come into fruition that it is difficult to grasp it is actually happening; at least this has been my experience.
I consider myself very lucky because whatever depression I had been feeling during my pregnancy melted away and was replaced by this elusive bliss that I had heard about but not yet experienced until the moment my little boy was placed in my arms. I swear to you, in that second, I felt such a sense of elation and purpose. I knew the darkness was finally over and that I had been blessed with the loving radiance of being a mother.
What I am meaning to say is that pregnancy is one of the most astounding and important journeys anyone can experience however that journey looks for you. You don’t have to feel incredible every second of the day, you don’t even have to feel good or okay. In fact, you are allowed to feel downright shitty. It is perfectly normal, but then again who wants to feel shitty through their pregnancy or through those first few months of being a new mom? I didn’t. So, after a few months went by before I actually admitted to being depressed I took some steps to help myself, and everyone in my general vicinity, to feel better. I am not depressed this time around and I thank God for that but I have suffered with bouts of raging hormones. Here are a few things that work for me and for those of you who may be feeling less than par while creating another human being, hopefully they can help you, as well!
- Work it out!
This is a must and there is no way around it, really. Trust me, I tried. I wanted nothing more than to stay under my covers for a full nine months but this was helping no one. Get yourself moving even when it is the last thing in the world you feel like doing. Some days, a simple walk around the block a few times was enough to clear my head. I tend to practice meditation through movement so walking or hiking was really important in my process of feeling better.
- Reach Out!
I will be the first to admit that I struggle with this one the most. I would much rather be perceived as the woman who has it all put together with a nice big shiny bow on top than one who has everything falling apart into massive piles of horseshit on the ground. I understand now that this is all due to my ego and life should not be about perceptions but about authenticity. This is life and this is motherhood and to pretend it is always running perfectly smooth well that is the horseshit part of it. Life is messy and it can be difficult and we are not meant to walk through these difficult moments alone. I urge you to fight against the isolation and reach out!
- Write it out!
Journaling is an excellent way to organize the chaos that can clutter our pregnant minds. It is a way for us to get the nonsense out of our heads and onto the paper and then we can leave it there! That is the beauty of writing. And, you don’t have to be a great writer to journal. Just take five minutes to write whatever is weighing your mind down and I promise you will feel lighter and happier afterwards.
- Try not to freak out!
Let me just preface this with saying that these tips are really for those of you who are feeling overly hormonal which is how I have sometimes felt during this pregnancy. If you are experiencing symptoms of full-blown depression as I believe I had during my first pregnancy then you should definitely seek professional help. That being said, try your best not to freak out over any pregnancy symptom you may be having because chances are they are not permanent. You will lose the baby weight, you will feel like yourself again, your boobs will stop leaking, that weird line on your belly will disappear and your stretch marks will fade! Try your best to focus on the weird little miracle growing inside of you and understand how absolutely powerful you are! Soon enough your baby will be here and you will actually miss some of those crazy symptoms but by then you will be dealing with a whole slew of new ones! Yay!! Welcome to motherhood, my beautiful, bad-ass ladies!!