My first Trimester flew by. I mean it. It was a circus of emotions and fears, exhaustion and identity confusion. It is important to me to really hash these out and make peace with them in order to prepare myself mentally and spiritually for labor and this new phase of my life. Acceptance of all of the feelings I have during pregnancy is completely and utterly essential to me. Ignoring social pressures of what makes, or will make, a good mother need to dissipate in my mind to allow for personal acceptance and confidence in my own abilities.
There is this awkward stage during the first three months of having to say no to alcohol when in a social setting. You don’t want to be asked why you’re not drinking, because then you really have two choices:
Option One: To lie. Not ideal. While it may serve your immediate purpose, I will ask, to what end? Explaining it later will most likely grant forgiveness given the nature of the lie, but the lie can never be taken back. What repercussions will this have on your relationship?
Option Two: Tell the truth, which you may not be ready to do just yet. And that is very understandable. It is exhausting. Truly. Being pregnant initially was the only thing that was on my mind and I felt as if I had a slab of tape over my mouth on the topic. It was exhausting.
I think there are two options we have… dear reader, that will hopefully ease your mind if you are in such a position. One (1) is to not say anything until you are confident in your pregnancy. You may be bursting at the seams with excitement, or fear, and needing to tell people, but want to wait until the risk of miscarriage is quite a bit lower. To this I say, do what you feel is best. Take the time to really do some internal personal reflection. With this option, you won’t have to explain to every person that you are no longer pregnant, should that be the situation, heaven forbid. Which, I think, would take a toll on your already occupied mind and emotions. The second (2) option would be to only tell your closest family member(s) or friends. This way, you have someone to share your excitement and fears with, but also a support system in place should something not go as planned.
Personally we waited until about 10 weeks to tell only our immediate family and 12 weeks for anyone else. But I will be honest, it was so strange to walk around and not want to tell anyone and everyone… So weird for me, a rather private person. I had this feeling of being different. I felt as if I was on another level, not sure if that was up or down. Maybe parallel? I was walking around with a secret and for some reason I wanted someone to look at me and notice how different I was, even though there was nothing physically changed on the outside. If someone looked at me, I would think, Can you tell? It was as if I was drowning in my own thoughts that I couldn’t speak and I was hoping that someone would just relieve me of that burden. Look at me, look what my body can do! All the while I am harboring fears of whether or not I was ready for this. Will I be able to do it? Do you think I can do it? Does your opinion really matter?
It is interesting, as I sit sipping my coffee and thinking back on it, my inability to decide just how much I wanted anyone’s opinion on anything pregnancy related. Part of me wanted to discuss this with someone I didn’t know very well simply to have that word vomit of the billions of thoughts running through my mind. An ear to bend, without receiving too much advice or judgement in return. The other part of me didn’t want to tell anyone. Ever. Dramatic much? I realized it would eventually be logistically difficult and my mother might kill me. However to my mind, in this way, I could protect myself from others opinions of what is right and wrong and successfully live in my own little bubble of educating myself along the way, determined to do this my way or no way at all. Did I mention I am extremely stubborn? It doesn’t help my confidence when almost everyone I know had said something along the lines of: “I never thought YOU would have kids.” But then again, I pride myself on trying not to let what others think get to me too much.
I am discovering a lot about myself during this process. For example, just how open minded I am not on the subject of pregnancy and labor. I’m working on it. As much as I don’t want others opinions on my choices, I also need to accept that people may choose differently than I do, and that their offering of advice or experience comes from a place of love and interest, as well as ego. People love to have their life choices validated. Myself included. But, I have this expectation that women will realize that it is their responsibility to question everything when it comes to their pregnancy and make the best educated decision for themselves and their family. The difficulty here of course is outside influence and conflicting information. This is an entirely different blog post, moving on.
I find it interesting, that for someone who prides themselves on being a confident individual, how much thought I am putting into other peoples potential opinions of me and my choices. I am extremely sensitive lately, and trying to allow that, but also explain it to people. Namely my husband since he is the one on the receiving end of most of my emotions. I find myself apologizing to him a lot; “Sorry, I know I am being ridiculously sensitive.” It is personally very frustrating. People may not have even offered their advice or opinions, but I have already determined that they will be in direct opposition to my own! There are several reasons for this I realize, but I am, as I said, admittedly stubborn and want to do things my own way. Nothing new there, right Mom?
Lastly and perhaps my most persistent thought throughout my first Trimester and currently, is this selfish fear of losing my individual identity as well as my incredible relationship with my husband. I use the term selfish with love and appreciation. I don’t find anything inherently wrong in being selfish as long as it doesn’t negatively affect another individual. There in lies the rub… The difference of allowing/losing your identity/relationship or deciding to utilize this new challenge, allowing it to enhance your already awesome self. A no brainer of course. Obviously the latter is the only option as I can’t yet begin to predict or grasp just how much my mind and heart will change from this point on. The struggle truly is an inward looking one for me.
I enjoy being independent, more than you can imagine. I wonder if I will still find the time to fuel my creative side. I realize I can do this with a child very easily, but for me personally, I know that somethings will have to change. What about my body? SUUUPER selfish, right? Yes and no. The body is the one constant that I have in this world. I respect the hell out of it. I know what it is capable of and I know that my current habits along with my knowledge and discipline will allow me to get back to where I am comfortable in time. The issue is not that I can’t, but the impatience and self love that I will need to cultivate in order to endure said length of time is daunting. It IS scary! I can’t lie here. What my body is doing currently is extremely impressive and incredible. I won’t discount that. It is something to continue to work on, and make peace with, because it is all happening regardless. Hence why my workouts continue to be extremely important for me. Not only for vanity reasons, but also for sanity reasons. I can’t explain how important it is for me to be mentally and physically strong. Not to mention how much it has eased these first three months. I cannot stress enough how important it is to take care of yourself on every level.
All this being said, I am continuing to take the time to look introspectively and allow myself the freedom to feel how I feel, even when it conflicts with how I think I should be feeling. But more than that, it is interesting to ride the emotional wave that is pregnancy. While I focus mainly on the distractors in this post, I must say that there is also excitement and curiosity underneath it all. But those are the easy parts of the process. I am a few weeks into my second trimester now and things are changing quickly! I look forward to sharing these as they come along with you, and I hope that you can either find some kindred opinions or maybe broaden your perspective through my own experience dear reader. On to the good times!