I would like to start off this post by saying that I consider myself a positive and mindful person who practices gratitude on a daily basis. On top of being a personal yoga instructor, I also aim to practice yoga and meditation daily to feel sane, grounded, present and able to roll with the punches that life throws my way.
Well surprise everyone…. I am officially pregnant with baby number two!
I first started to document this pregnancy because I was so excited and in awe of the fact that I was expecting again. When trying to get pregnant with my first (who’s now two), it took two years to finally see that positive sign on a stick, and although my body was physically fine, I now believe that (as much as I didn’t want to admit it) my mind was not in the right place and the overthinking actually prevented me from getting pregnant as easily as expected. This time was entirely different and we pretty much produced our up and coming nugget after our very first try.
Awesome, right?! Definitely. I was, and still am, so grateful. Nothing can really describe that feeling when you see that positive result and every emotion you can experience gushes through you in mere seconds.
But this post is less about elation and more about how lousy I felt in that first trimester – physically, emotionally and mentally. That being said, my intention here is not just to vent, but rather to let those women who are experiencing these same feelings know they are not alone. I want you to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I finally saw the light after the first trimester (around 13 weeks to be exact); it was then that I felt like myself again and gained some insight to my feelings…
I found out my baby news early, around the five-week mark. I felt a little tired but nothing too out of the ordinary. I chalked everything up to having another cold (thank you preschool) in addition to running around after a 2-year-old all day. Around the six or seven-week mark, I started to feel very tired… exhausted actually. I was so drained that just keeping my head up and eyes open used all of my energy. I was hungry all of the time but the thought of food actually made me nauseous and soon, broth, juice and toast became my go-to’s.
Then things started to get worse. My fatigue began to get into my head, and although I am not someone who is prone to depression or anxiety, I started to really live with this restless feeling and worried I would feel this way forever. Completely irrational thoughts became my norm and I was starting to become depressed.
Normally being a very social and physically active person, this was far from the norm for me. I would observe people doing regular, every day things and truly wonder if I would ever be able to do those things again. I started to doubt my ability to cope with a second child. I felt guilty, sad and (despite having an incredible support system at home) alone.
When I awoke in the morning and checked my calendar only to see that I had social plans that day, I instantly panicked. Not only was the thought of showering and getting dressed overwhelming, but the thought of having to be ‘on’ and talk to people was unnerving. It was just too much. I felt like with every physical movement I made, I immediately needed to take a nap or lie down afterwards.
A woman’s body and mind has a miraculous way of forgetting how we felt with previous pregnancies, so I could barely remember what it was like with the first. I mean, I had traveled to Central America and Europe during my first trimester so I couldn’t have felt this lousy, right?! Who knows.
I often wondered if I was making the right decision having a second child. What if I felt like this for the entire nine months of pregnancy?! What if I was still going through this hell while caring for a newborn? Would I ever feel good again?!
I had to put my teaching and practice on hold (thank you to my studio and privates for being so incredibly supportive!) and basically cancelled every plan I had for three months.
Women are “supposed” to keep the first trimester a secret but for what benefit? Maybe that’s another post for another time, but I felt like a complete asshole and a whiner for cancelling plans all the time and only offering a “sorry, I’m under the weather. I know… again”.
People take the time to look after women after they have a baby, and that is so awesome because new mamas need it so much – but that support is sometimes needed right at the beginning too, and for some, the entire pregnancy. It’s important for friends and family to never assume all is swell without asking, and just as crucial for you to identify not feeling right and open up to someone about it.
Like I said, this isn’t a rant post. This is a post to recognize that all of those physical and emotional feelings were so real, but somehow they shifted dramatically when I hit the 13-week mark. My energy suddenly returned to a more stable level and life was getting back to normal.
I got back to doing those regular things that most people do with so much ease, taking it one day at a time and giving myself the grace to heal. One thing I try to preach in yoga is to “go with the flow” but even for this yogi, that was difficult to practice at the time.
Hormones are THAT powerful!
Right now, I’m riding the energetic and happy wave by doing all of the things I love: yoga, going for walks, enjoying dinners, and getting back to my normal and social self.
Do whatever you need to do to nurture yourself and fuel up, because as we know, you can’t pour from an empty cup. I promise you that your family will not suffer by you taking time out to take care of yourself first. Remember that you are growing a human inside you and it’s one of the most incredible, and toughest ordeals the human body can go through. But let’s forgo the official award ceremony (because we know you all deserve a medal) and allow for a little more guilt free relaxation of the body and mind.
You are amazing and doing an awesome job. Repeat this to yourself.
Here are a few additional things you can try to help yourself feel better – inside and out:
– Avoid social media. If you have cancelled plans because you need rest, that last thing you should do is look at your friends’ pictures of the dinner you were invited to. Don’t do it. Turn your phone off and turn Netflix on.
– If you don’t have UberEats on your phone, download it this minute. Order whenever (and whatever) you want for yourself or for your family, and push that guilt away. No guilt allowed! And to get even more comfy, have a picnic on the family room floor. That way, you don’t even have to set the table and Mommy gets to eat on the sofa. Win!
– Remember that post about sleepovers? Yes, go read it again and send your little one to visit with the grandparents or aunties. Take your time.
– Do whatever nurtures you; mani/pedi, facial, day at the spa (do this guilt free!)
– Talk to your spouse, your friend, your Rebel Tribe and unload some of those heavy feelings to make room for light.
– Try meditation. In retrospect, I wish I did this on the daily because the few times that I did, I genuinely felt more at ease and had more perspective that these feelings were temporary. Just a few minutes of closing the eyes concentrating on breathing tells your body and brain that everything is okay.
(Swami Satchidananda & Verushka,
photographed by Richard Avedon for Vogue Magazine, 1972)
For more info on yoga or meditation, contact Kelly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
*****SHOP THE REBEL MAMA*****