Have you lost yourself?
What pregnancy can do to you
As I near the end of my pregnancy (which feels like the longest pregnancy on earth), I keep looking back at the posts I wrote throughout. (Click here to read how it all started). I didn’t share them at the time I wrote them because I was wavering about adding a pregnancy section to my blog. After all, what did I have to contribute? It has been extremely tough and I haven’t found any magic solutions to anything. I’ve found some things that improved my quality of life a bit, but nothing more than that. Then I thought, “there are other mamas like me struggling through tough pregnancies. And knowing that you are not alone can be help enough”. And so I’m sharing more about how my second pregnancy has progressed.
Out of the woods or the start of the second trimester
I’ll be honest: I’ve been struggling. Struggling to get through the day, struggling to get out of bed in the morning, struggling to stay asleep at night. This pregnancy has been kicking my ass. Even though I’m officially in the second trimester (16 weeks today), the relief has not come. I’m perhaps a bit less nauseous than I was in the first trimester but I’m not nausea free. My mouth tastes awful all the time. I’m struggling with the worst allergy season I’ve had to date. And I have absolutely ZERO energy on daily basis. Oh and may I add, I have even more migraine attacks this time around than during my first pregnancy. And by more, I mean I have at least 2 every week. They are so horrible that my last one made me think about the many methods I could open my head up to release some pressure from it, all while contorted in my lovesack (i.e. expensive giant bean bag) trying but failing to fall asleep. So you can safely say, I have definitely lost myself.
How it was before this pregnancy
I felt lost when I first entered motherhood. The first few months of my son’s life felt like torture. I felt ill physically, lacking any sort of energy or desire to do anything. I wasn’t me because I had no energy to be anybody. But as he grew, I regained myself. I found time for some interests like social dancing, reading and writing. I found energy to start working out and enjoying the benefits of yoga. And more importantly, I started to feel like me!
It’s rough when you finally regain something you’ve been searching for, only to have it yanked away from you yet again. I no longer feel like myself. Or maybe I feel like a very sick and incapable version of myself. I still have desires for pleasurable activities, I just don’t have the physical capabilities to carry them out. That’s why on the days I do, I try to enjoy myself to the fullest and throw myself into the activities without abandon. I don’t think of the consequences because if I do, I won’t be able to do anything fun at all.
My latest fun filled memory is of my spin class yesterday. I don’t always feel up for going to this class but when I do, I come out so happy and full of life. It makes my week. One of the reasons I enjoy this class so much is the music the instructor plays. It’s all the stuff I would listen to myself, wrapped in an hour of a heart pumping sweat session. She is my musical soulmate and I thank her for being able to bring this joy into my life once a week. I dance while on the bike and I dance once I’m off it. I feel like my old self again. The girl who dances to latin music and to hip-hop. The girl who absolutely loves dancing and gets so wrapped up in it, forgets that someone may be watching. For the moments that I can physically do it, I am myself. And for now it may be enough to enjoy this once a week in this class because my husband and I have not been able to find the time or the energy to come out to our social dance class.
But here is something I do know now that I didn’t before. All of this will end. Third trimester will be much more difficult than the second. Then, I will give birth. I will go through my postpartum period and will be exhausted and not myself again. But the most important difference will be that I know that this will pass too. My child will grow and will need me less. My child will sleep and I will have the energy to return to my favorite activities. I will get a chance to be myself again. And that will be a beautiful thing.
So to all the new mamas out there: It really is true that the difficult periods pass. You recover physically and emotionally. It just may take longer than you imagine. So just hang in there and utilize as much support as you can, so you can recover as quickly as you can.
Quote of the Day
“You have to look at yourself objectively. Analyze yourself like an instrument. You have to be absolutely frank with yourself. Face your handicaps, don’t try to hide them. Instead, develop something else.” ―
Mental Health Tip of the Day
Pregnancy can be a challenging time for a woman. And it’s often hard to maintain the same lifestyle as you did before you got pregnant. It’s very easy to start feeling depressed or anxious when you no longer recognize yourself and your life. But in order to pull through, you need to take care of yourself. If you have to scale back on social or work activities due to your health, do it. Don’t question it. If you want to spend more time at home because it feels cozy and safe, do it. Do whatever you need to feel your best, even if it’s not what you would have done before.