Today I caught myself going through a list of pregnancy related topics I wanted to write about, but just haven’t found the time. Realizing that the era of whale Una is almost over I decided to focus a bit more on that. Some of you would say it doesn’t matter, I can just as easily post those topics later, after I give birth … but I don’t think people are aware of how much is lost with time, how memories fade and how we manage to put this pink fluffy “veil” over the whole period of pregnancy.
I’m not one of those blessed pregnant women. I definitely do not fit in that group that feels beautiful, light and full of energy. I’m more of the confused, panicky ones that somehow manage to experience every single pregnancy symptom in the book (some for real, some more placebo like). That’s why I’d feel even worse when speaking to my mom-friends how pregnancy was the most amazing experience of their lives (btw this is a sentence that I am absolutely allergic to). What I found funny though was that after talking to them in more detail, they all had a bunch of difficult symptoms, problems, situations, break-downs … but somehow at the end of the day, when everything is weighed out, their brains decided to remember that whole period as wonderful.
Later on I found out that there is a proven medical reason for that, that after giving birth the hormonal combo makes the pregnancy seem a lot easier and a much more emotionally pleasing experience. Even though I am truly looking forward to the idea of being able to reminisce my pregnancy moments with affection and love, I’m glad a kept a preggo diary from the start because I believe it’s important to remember all of the moments, good and bad, as well as how I’ve matured unbelievably in this short time
When it comes to my character traits, I’m prone to panic, very temperamental and a constantly wound up control freak. I know it seems like I’m putting myself down with these comments, but I don’t see these traits as negative, they’ve saved me from rough spots all my life. In terms of pregnancy though, I don’t think there’s a worse personality combo that has made this experience even harder than it needed to be.
People often ask us how we felt when we found out I was pregnant. Petar had the perfect reaction when I told him: shock, disbelief, happy tears, hugs, disbelief again … I think he probably kissed me from head to toe that moment.
Me? I didn’t react. At all. My brain just couldn’t compute. I went about my day as if nothing had happened. I think about 6 hours passed before I let myself think about it and what it meant for me. I remember the thoughts that went through my mind at the time.
-It must be a mistake
-It can’t be a mistake, I took two tests
-It’s surely a mistake, my hormones are out of whack, it’s a false positive
-My doctor says it’s almost impossible for two tests to have a false positive
Suddenly a wave of happiness
-Is it possible? After all my health problems, I’m gonna be a momma.
-I shouldn’t be hopeful, it’s surely a mistake
-Even if it isn’t, something is bound to go wrong
That’s how my thought process worked in those moments, fears, uncertainties, that little glimmer of hope and happiness that I would stomp out the second it would surface. In my mind there would be no greater pain than hoping for something and then losing it.
Other thoughts cropped up in that sea of craziness “but Petar and I have already come to terms with the fact that we weren’t meant to have kids, now our plans are changing”, “what if I’m a horrible mom”, “how will our family react”, “how will our friends”, “how are we gonna do this”, “what if we aren’t ready”, “this isn’t a good time for something like this”.
And then you had Petar, calm, happy, serene … I watched him and wondered, this is how a normal person feels and reacts, not the way I did…and here comes that famous sentence (that butts its ugly head every once in a while) “what the hell is wrong with me?”
Intense feelings of guilt I felt (and still sometimes feel) would show up every single time I would have one of these “bad thoughts”. In my head I kept replaying the narrative of how could I possibly have these thoughts, I’m pregnant, it’s a miracle…I need to be thankful, the happiest girl in the world, bouncing and ecstatic … but here I am at work, at my laptop, routinely writing up some emails and wondering, am I going to have to say goodbye to my career because of this child? What if I’m the worst mom ever? What if Petar has to do everything on his own because I don’t have what it takes?
And then again…”what the hell is wrong with me?”
I’m not writing this up to make it easier on myself, I’ve had 8 months to come to terms with my feelings and realize how there is absolutely nothing wrong with me at all (some would disagree but this isn’t their blog). I’m writing this post for 2 reasons:
- So I don’t forget, so I don’t veil up my memories with that fluffy pink mist, so in the future I don’t tell some scared pregnant girl how everything about pregnancy feel amazing and blessed.
- If someone is reading this who feels (or felt) this way, knows that their not alone, and that it is absolutely and completely normal.
Your life just turned 180 degrees and it will never be the same again. Your hormones are literally doubling every 48 hours, you probably have pregnancy symptoms that aren’t too fun to deal with, and the idea that you are carrying a little life inside of you seems so abstract, your thoughts and emotions can’t keep up. It’s OK to be happy, it’s OK to be sad, it’s OK to be scared, it’s OK to be confused and it’s absolutely OK to be all of the above at the same time.
Pregnancy is a difficult period from start to finish, emotionally and physically … the fact that we all have some previously concocted notion of how it’s supposed to be doesn’t mean that that is the case. Allow yourself to feel exactly how you feel and don’t for a second think it’s not normal or that there’s something wrong with you. Realistically nothing sticks to the norm in pregnancy, and if nothing is normal, everything is.
In my next posts I’ll be writing about how I personally experienced (and still am) each trimester, both from the physical and emotional perspective, as well as advice on how I coped with certain symptoms and situations. If there’s anything that interests you specifically, feel free to ask (you can always send me a private message), so I can focus more on those aspects while writing.