And the last few days I’ve been a mess, emotionally and physically. Not for the first time of course, in fact I’ve been all over the place for the last 6 months, but just suddenly, it’s felt like the shit has seriously hit the fan…
Yesterday I cried 4 times. It came the day after several comments about the size of my tummy (which as always is pretty large). I had also woken in the morning with some severe pelvic pain and later that evening I managed to wee all over myself (and the floor) despite being sat on the toilet?! I initially wondered if my waters had broken 3 months too soon as never before have I made such a mess after having actually making it to the loo. Still baffled. But either way the joys of pregnancy really got lost on me these last couple of days.
Pregnancy isn’t easy, I know there are some people out there who love being pregnant. Friends of mine have absolutely glowed. But I do not enjoy it, what’s more I have come to realise that I make it harder on myself by making several mistakes. Perhaps you are preggers and making similar ones, perhaps you might read this and find some comfort, I am certainly hoping to get some by writing it.
Mistake number 1: Listening to people’s comments and taking them on as truth
During my first pregnancy I can’t tell you how many times I was asked if I was having twins, each time I would smile politely while shaking my head and blushing. And once again, the comments have started. One well-meaning lady told me she wasn’t as big as me when she went into labour, an interesting fact but one which I ignored as information and heard as “you’re fat… and getting this wrong”. She didn’t mean this at all, lots of women get big bellies and lots of women love the fact that they get so big. So keep the comments coming, don’t stop for fear of offending me. I have a choice to love my body and the miracle it’s going through or see it as something hideous. From today I choose beauty; truth.
Mistake number 2: Asking for help way too late
I’ve been suffering with pelvic pain from pretty early on and I waited weeks before booking to see my midwife. By which point, it felt like my insides were going to fall out. She advised me to get physio, sit on a carrier bag in the car and to rest. I still didn’t do any of those things. I waited again until I was in tears from the pain before I made a phone call for physio (going today, woohoo!) I waited until I could barely walk after doing the housework before asking (telling) my hubby that he would now have to take over. Being in pain is another normal consequence of being pregnant and it does not make me/us weak. Asking for help before things get too difficult means that I can conserve the energy for the things that really matter: baking with my 5 year old, playing trains with my 2 year old, walking with my hubby. From today, I will take offers of help – damn it I’ll even ask – and then my family get the best of what I have, not the last.
Mistake number 3: Trying not to cry
I wouldn’t describe myself as an ice queen exactly but I do struggle to show my vulnerability, my emotions, and yet from the first few weeks of pregnancy I couldn’t stop crying. The mistake I’ve made is trying not to. I’ve been seeing emotion as weakness and something that people would feel uncomfortable with. But keeping it all in, only makes me more irritated, more shut down and more distant from people: my friends. Crying 4 times yesterday felt great! So good that I’ve already cried again today. Emotions during pregnancy are once again normal! And not to be ashamed of, so no more holding back for me. I would rather show emotion, than keep myself distant and alone. Hello tears… So many tears…
Mistake number 4: Trying to be perfect
I’ve written a few posts about not trying to be perfect and here I’ve been, falling into the trap of trying to have it all together and have a perfect pregnancy – pah! Who does that?! Is there even such as thing as ‘getting pregnancy right’? No. We have very little control of what’s happening inside our bodies so why would I try and control any aspect of it all. Here’s the truth: Whilst pregnant, I am not gonna be a loving wife and mum; I’m shattered and a mess. AND THAT’S OK. I’m going through something huge that us mum’s do not seem to admit to. But it really is a big responsibility, a huge strain on our body and a heavy burden on our emotions. We cannot do what we are used to doing, we cannot be the person people have grown used to us being. We are pregnant, we are at times bat-shit crazy, and we are a miracle. Let’s not forget it, let’s stop placing any expectations on ourselves, and please let’s not feel bad about it. Ever.
Making mistakes is so normal for me, talking about them helps me like nothing else. It helps me to see the truth and it helps me to connect with other people. And these things are not just related to pregnancy. As soon as we are parents we often listen to other people’s judgments, ask for help too late, bottle up emotions and try to be perfect. Let’s get real mama’s, let’s be real.
I’m off for a biscuit… Here’s a picture of me and ‘beautiful’ bump