I have always had a strong desire to be a mother and absolutely adored pregnant women. I was that person who just wanted to touch bellies that were growing life and could not wait until I had one of my own.
We were super blessed in being able to conceive quickly when the time came that we were ready to have a family. I was strong, healthy, stable and so in love with my mountain man, that really, it couldn’t have been more perfect.
Seven weeks into the excitement of growing life within my body started to evidence some pretty tough symptoms. So many changes rapidly took over my body. My 110% go getter lifestyle took a serious shock to the system. I have been writing out a list of symptoms I have had during the different seasons of pregnancy. Mostly of which as uncomfortable and all of which are foreign. 56 in total to date ~ I added three just today alone.
Though my common response when asked about how my pregnancy was going was “exhausted” or “looking forward to it being over”; I still felt I wasn’t able to be real with myself about how hard it really has been. I felt for several reasons I just had to ‘suck it up’ as I am “tough” or “my mother had a good experience” or “so many women have had it way worse then I am now”. After all, I did complete an Olympic distance triathlon at 17 weeks in 3 hours and was constantly told I got the glow going on.
I had a fairy-tale, idealistic view on what pregnancy would be like. At one stage I felt bitter towards all women for not sharing the reality of pregnancy with me. I remember clearly at 12 weeks, purchasing maternity clothing from a store and the women serving me stated while looking so beautiful and rubbing her belly as if she had a baby within “I remember the joy of growing life and just feeling so fulfilled and wanting to nourish my child with the best possible start. Oh how I loved being pregnant”. To which I replied with silence and smiled however was visualising not so nice thoughts towards her as I was captivated by jealousy of her experience.
If I am real to myself, I think that most of my pregnancy I have felt like a host. I love my little bear but I felt overwhelmed by having little control. This has left me feeling powerless, helpless and at times even hopeless. I researched antenatal depression at one stage and saw myself ticking off every box. I realised that I was allowing myself, which includes at this stage my little bear, to be overcome with emotions that need not be within. This is when I realised something needed to change and started declaring hope, joy and health over my body. I was often told, “embrace the changes”, which at the time, I felt resistant towards. However, since 33 weeks of pregnancy, since I moved 2,500kms across the country to Tasmania ~ away from work, distractions and many of the commitments I had, I have finally allowed myself to not only reflect, but embrace the changes and the feelings I have been going through.
I realised I had never had to learn to be humble, because I was so ridiculously capable at just about anything. I had a ton of energy and my mountain man was my partner, but I didn’t rely on or need his support in a physical sense. So the first time I couldn’t do up my own laces, I sobbed at the realisation that I actually needed help. Those days where I couldn’t get dinner on due to exhaustion, peed myself in public, pushed myself too hard and sprained a rib or pulled a tendon because I forgot my emerging limitations and then required weeks of physical support really challenged me. I have been extremely blessed with support and love all around. And finally, I have learned that relaxing into this wildly unexpected adventure, though my symptoms aren’t improving, has been in fact, the best thing for my mental health, pregnancy and baby so far.
Now, as I am full term and expecting my little bear to come into my life at any moment, knowing full well this next season may present again new challenges, I am moved to tears knowing I will soon be holding my little child on earth side, whom will be showered in deep love and by my mountain mans side, we will be a family.