Pregnancy for me has been one big roller coaster. Being epileptic, I’m not allowed on roller coasters and this is my excuse for my inability to handle the sudden emotional turbulence!
First let me tell you this, I sit here currently with a cup of tea feeling calm, collected, at one with my growing bump, having just received a lovely text from my loving husband who is working away for a few days, after a lovely weekend spent together, and a fabulous brunch and afternoon tea with my brother, Mum and Mother-in-law for Mothers Day. I even went along to a rehearsal yesterday afternoon remembering all of my lines and in between scenes having a real giggle with my colleagues. Life is good, and on one level, things could not be going better.
Sounds all a bit like the films portray doesn’t it, how sickening…read on dear friend…
Last week, I had the following meltdowns;
1) As of yet, in week 25, I have no stretch marks. I know, poor me right? Thing is, I spent a lot of time talking about how stretch marks are like a map of your journey in becoming a Mother. Stretch marks are something to be proud of. Your baby created those whilst developing. So after reading in a pregnancy guide that from week 23 you might see stretch marks, I decided that somehow I was less of a Mother and a woman because my body didn’t have any. I wanted my map, I wanted my baby pattern! Yes this is ridiculous. And there’s still plenty of time, and believe me, once any arrive, I’m sure I’ll decide actually I was ok without any but for one morning last week, I was almost inconsolable over my lack of them.
2) I am also still getting quite regular sickness, the baby book says that this should subside around week 12 so at week 25, 13 weeks on, I’m currently looking for an email address to send my strongly worded complaint to. Sickness in the first trimester was twice/thrice daily so in some ways, yes it has definitely got better. But 2/3 times a week definitely still takes it out of me. Although I’m sure plenty of women have worse, I found it difficult to remember this on Wednesday when after throwing up a particularly tasty dinner, I burst into tears because (and I quote) “we’re on a budget, we can’t afford for me to be throwing up food!” Predictably, whilst stroking my back, my husband couldn’t help but laugh at me, which just increased the number of tears. Now I was affecting our finances AND my husband thought I was ridiculous. All in all, not my most impressive moment of sensible thinking.
3) I’ve been having a lot of nightmares, a LOT. I understand this is quite common. For me, I’ve always been quite scared of dogs but that fear has recently gone into overdrive as I’ve had many dreams where dogs attack my stomach, or birds attack my stomach (whilst pecking out of my eyes…obviously…) and I wake up in a cold sweat because of how vivid these dreams are. Now, also at this time, my husband and I are making our way through Game of Thrones, admittedly quite a bit later than the rest of the world. But to be honest, it may well be a bit delayed even more for me. I won’t post any spoilers in case there’s another one or two people as behind as I am. But I don’t think it’ll give away any plot when I say there’s a lot of vicious dog attacks, a lot of torture and killing and brutality, and a lot of crows flying about the place ominously. On Thursday, we were watching an episode and lets just say, a form of torture involved a rat on someones stomach. Even typing any more details makes me feel a bit ill again but I burst into tears and then had a go at my husband for letting it happen. Before you ask, no, he was not involved in the script, no, he was not involved in production and no, he had nothing to do with it happening. So why have a go at him like a crazed woman with no hold on her senses? That’s a good question and I will answer anyone asking why I was being so unreasonable with this, “I’m pregnant and unstable, leave me alone, unless you have a slice of lemon cake.”
I’d love to say those are the only three instances of ‘crazy’ this week, but it’s not. There have been tears over accidentally having a caffeinated latte when I’d ordered decaf and how much of a terrible Mother that inevitably makes me. There’s been tears over leaving Brighton after a quick trip to see my Dad with my brother because ‘it’s just so great to spend time with my family and I miss them so much.’ (always the case but I’m normally much better at holding it together!) And there’s been tears because I remembered my brother turns 21 this year and as he’s nearly a decade younger than me, he’s always been very much my baby brother and the fact that he has become an adult so quickly reminded me how quickly my baby will become an adult, which of course was then reason enough for a mini meltdown.
So yes, my Facebook profile shows a brilliant picture of my Mum, Mum-in-law and myself laughing together after a great brunch, and a photo from a date night with Tom where we really had a great day together. Funnily enough, I chose to not post a picture sat on the bathroom floor lamenting my obvious disregard to our food budget.
I have always been quite capable of handling my emotions and have been accused in the past of being somewhat unemotional outwardly. Well one of the biggest changes I have experienced over the past few months is definitely a complete and utter loss of that control. Things are wonderful, things are terrible, life’s a dream, life’s overwhelming. Having a good cast of people around you along for the ride, or at least to try and help you laugh at the inevitably awful ride photo at the end, is the only way I think I could ever get through it. It doesn’t matter who these people are, family, friends, strangers on a bus that make you feel better with a nice remark. Personally I have leant especially heavily on my husband, Dad and brother who are very reliable and always help guide me back to sanity when I’m in the middle of a meltdown. And then both Mothers have been an essential source of emotional support and feminine advice. The one thing all five of them have in common is that none of them have at any point made me feel like an alien (I do that plenty enough myself!) So cherish those people, they are your lifeline when you’re struggling and if I’ve learnt anything (the hard way after a few months of stubbornness…) it’s that we can’t do this alone all of the time!
Also to be cherished are those moments of serenity and the pure absolute joy that pregnancy can also bring. This weekend when my husband left to go to work for a few days, he kissed me and my stomach and said goodbye to baby and he got rewarded with a little kick goodbye and the look in his eyes when I can see just how clearly he loves both me and our unborn child are the moments I will look back on forever (and probably the moments we’ll think about when we start talking about having a second child..!) Whatever your situation, those moments of joy are so much more important than the hard parts. In the future those are the moments you’ll look back on so however tough things can sometimes feel. Hold onto those moments comrades!
Now, if you’ll excuse me, my serenity is being interrupted, I have washing out on the line and it looks like it’s starting to rain…it’s an upsetting situation, because I didn’t check the weather this morning…a really good Mother would’ve checked, in fact wouldn’t a really good Mother be more on top of the washing than I currently am at the moment? How am I going to manage when the baby arrives?…uh oh…crazy’s awakening…!