I think because I feel so out of control when I have anxiety, it’s made me want to control other aspects of my life like my work, my health, the type of food I eat etc.
I have always been a planner and always organised things well ahead of time. I’m definitely not a last minute kind of girl as unexpected things that pop up really throw me out.
So pregnancy would always be a really hard process for me. However, I spoke to girlfriends who are mothers and they all told me how hard it was because they all had a birth plan, or an idea of how they thought their pregnancy would go, and of course, very rarely it works out exactly how they wanted it too. Some had also been really let down by their Antenatal classes, as they were only swayed towards breast is best, and all natural everything. So when something goes wrong, that’s completely out of their control they felt like they had failed. I knew if I had a birth plan, or expectations of how my pregnancy would go it would cause me a lot of stress and anxiety when it didn’t go the way I wanted it to.
(A side note to any Mothers who feel like they failed, it doesn’t matter if you breast fed, bottle fed, had a vaginal birth or a cesarean. You still birthed your baby, and whatever happened, happened because it needed too. You are an absolute goddess and you grew your beautiful baby inside of you so I hope you can feel strong and powerful).
I made a promise to myself, to let it all go. To not have a birth plan, to be open to everything and to have no expectations. Including my birth, my body and my mental well-being.
My second trimester has been a breeze compared to my first. So when we had our 20-week anatomy scan, Jordan and I decided to not find out the sex of our wee peanut. I mean why not right? Everyone does baby reveals now, and as amazing as they are we thought it would be more special for us to find out on the day. (And to be honest I think it may help me get through the birth because I’ll be so excited to find out). So peanut to us, is such a mystery and it overwhelms me with excitement.
The hard moments however, have been the changes in my body. I have a love hate feeling towards my midwife visits. My midwife is incredible, and I love that every month I get to hear my baby’s heartbeat. However, I really dread getting on those scales every month. I feel good, and look at my belly and understand why it’s growing, however those numbers keep creeping up and it’s so unsettling. It’s such a strange thing how our whole lives we look at these numbers, and they fluctuate up and down throughout our lives, but to see such a steady increase is kind of terrifying. But my baby is growing, and I have time afterwards to deal with the extra kilos so whatever right?! (that’s what I keep telling myself anyway).
After much debate with my midwife I also finally signed up to antenatal classes. I fought it for a long time, because as mentioned above I hadn’t heard amazing things, plus I didn’t want to be pressured into anything. However, I’ve also been told about how helpful they can be with learning the basics, and a lot of ladies I have met talk about the strong friendships they made with the women they met through their antenatal classes. So I gave in, and decided to go in with an open mind.
Regarding my mental well-being, yoga has become a weekly ritual, as well as reading up on postnatal depression. It might seem a bit crazy, but Jordan actually asked me to. He said he wants me to be aware of what it actually is, so if it happens to me I know what it is and have the tools to cope with it. Which I actually thought was a beautiful idea. It really has helped, as I feel like I am really aware of what may be a head of me, and that it's ok.
Lastly, my boobs and tummy are so itchy it’s unbelievable. My ankles and fingers are already swelling, and oh my gosh my back has not stopped hurting for the last few weeks. However, every day I get to hold my belly and feel my baby squirming around and watch it grow every day. The boobs and the belly itching means I’m growing because my baby is, which means I am just that little bit closer to meeting him/her.
I also wanted to add this part, and I may have a completely different point of view after the birth, but I remember when I was younger I didn’t want to have kids at one point because the thought of the birth and the pain was too scary. I even have friends who say the same thing now. When I first found out I was pregnant the birth really overwhelmed me, but at some point after my first trimester, I just became so excited to actually meet my baby, that the birth didn’t matter to me anymore. The only way you get to meet your child is through a birth of some kind. I also think about all the women who give birth in third world countries, who don’t even have access to basic healthcare so I think we are pretty lucky.
There is no right or wrong way on this journey. I do think as women, we do need to judge less and be more understanding of other women. Especially Mothers. No two women are the same, so of course our journeys will all be completely different, whether it’s our journey to motherhood or something else. I share this because this is how I am choosing to navigate through my pregnancy, however I don’t expect anyone to understand or agree with me. I just wanted to show other women that whatever you decide to do, is perfectly ok.
Motherhood is such a scary journey, so it would be so amazing to see women help, accept and support one another without judgement.
I also can’t believe how fast it’s going. It’s crazy to think I only have one more trimester to go. So I am really going to enjoy it while it lasts. As always, I really love getting your replies or hearing your own stories, so please feel free to reach out and share them with me.
Thanks for reading.
Be kind to one another.