Let’s be honest here. Yes, pregnancy is an amazing miracle. But especially during the first trimester, it can be f-ing hard. Your boobs hurt so bad you want to carry them (even in a bra). You dry heave or puke at the most random things. I puked on my cat once, payback for cleaning up her puke for years, I decided. You’re worried as hell that something will happen. You fart without warning (so fun), you burp like Homer Simpson, and worse, you probably can’t tell people why!
Yet like so many pregnant women dealing with a first pregnancy, I felt like I couldn’t be honest about it. I felt like I needed to be that glowing bitch on the cover of Fit Pregnancy in the tight fitting mini skirt with high heels and cute baby bump. Who the hell wears that crap when they’re pregnant anyway?
When I got pregnant, I was ecstatic. But as the weeks went on, especially in the first trimester, the theoretical wheels started to come off emotionally. Morning sickness led me down a very dark road into a deep depression. And the anxiety I’d worked so hard to conquer in the past few years overwhelmed me. Not only was I a raving bitch to my husband, I was a depressed raving bitch who couldn’t stop obsessing about this new world I had entered. What could I eat, what did I need to buy, what was going to happen to my job, would I lose myself?
To make matters worse, I didn’t know who to talk to. Pregnancy is such a touchy topic among women. My single friends, bless their hearts, said things like “wow early pregnancy sounds terrible, I’m glad I’m not pregnant.” Thanks hoe. My friends with babies said things like “oh just wait, it gets so so much worse.” Seriously? Honestly they were wrong, but I will get to that later. And I felt guilty talking to my friends who were trying to have babies, for fear that I was somehow ungrateful. It’s no wonder that so many women turn to posting boards like Baby Center to discuss their problems with strangers rather than talk to their friends or family members.
Honestly, I felt like I couldn’t talk about how hard things were for me. I mean, I’d been given this gift of a baby. It was supposed to be a f-ing miracle, not the shit show I was experiencing. So many women take years to get pregnant, or can’t get pregnant at all, who am I to complain? How can I be honest about how much I’m struggling? Shouldn’t I be glowing and happy?
Everyone asks you how you’re feeling when you’re pregnant, but rarely did I give an honest answer. I felt like no one wanted to hear “I feel like crap,” “I can’t eat, I dry heave every morning, I can’t sleep well, and I’m worried sick that I’m going to lose this baby.” That was the God honest truth. But that wasn’t what I showed people.
In hindsight, I wish I had leaned on my friends more. I wish I had been honest about how much trouble I was having, how overwhelmed I felt with morning sickness, and how alone I felt. I’m not sure who I was trying to protect by keeping up this façade’, me or my friends and family.
Pregnancy is not easy, and sometimes it downright sucks. There, I said it. Lightening hasn’t stricken me or my baby yet, and the bitch on the cover of Fit Pregnancy hasn’t jumped out to attack me, so I guess it’s ok. Pregnancy is a trying time emotionally and physically. So why do we as women feel like we can’t admit that? Why do we feel like we need to have it all together and love the entire process?
Hiding or stuffing down our emotions doesn’t help us, and it certainly does not help our babies. Stress can affect our babies’ brains. They feel what we feel. Doesn’t THAT idea just make you feel warm and fuzzy inside? And once born, they will need us more than anything has ever needed us. We need to find the path to less stress, the path to happiness and satisfaction. That’s why I created Happy New Mamas.
When I was at my lowest, I searched the internet for advice on how to deal with things like morning sickness and depression, hormones that made me feel like I was going crazy, and my worries and anxiety. And all I found was general advice like “go for a walk,” “don’t stress out,” and “your emotions affect your baby.” Thanks, that helps.
I want to create a place where pregnant women and new mothers can be honest about what’s happening to them emotionally during their first pregnancy, or during their sixth, and more importantly find real tools that can help them feel confident, balanced, calm, and secure.
Through this blog, I will share the down and dirty about my journey through everything from early pregnancy, morning sickness, hormones, birth, stress, anxiety, and then new motherhood. And I will share the results of my research into pregnancy and emotional struggles, hormones and depression. I will also share the advice of experts who are willing to contribute to my search and offer advice and tools to help.
By banding together to find solutions to the stress and emotional challenges of pregnancy and new motherhood, we can all be happy new mamas!