On the outside, hardly anyone knew what was going on inside my head whilst I was pregnant. I'd been with my OH for 10 years at this point, the baby was wanted and planned for and my pregnancy announcement came as no surprise to anyone. But I wasn't happy in myself. Yes, I was happy to be pregnant, but I was so unhappy with the task ahead of me and all I could see was ways to fail.
There seemed to be so much pressure to be so happy about being pregnant but that made it worse. I put on a lot of weight, I struggled to adapt to this. I felt very unattractive. I was in pain a lot of the time, nauseous or retching for most of the 9 months. And I felt so ungrateful because I was lucky to be pregnant I kept reminding myself.
|At 17 weeks|
I am so grateful to that friend for keeping an eye on me for those two weeks and to my OH for encouraging me to rest and relax on my time off work. I was so exhausted but the more I stressed about "failing" and not dealing with pregnancy like "other mums" the worse I felt. I cried lots over my two weeks off sick, blaming myself, feeling like a useless mum, worrying about the future. But the time to rest did help and i did begin to feel better.
There wasn't a magic trick to this, it just took a bit of time and clearing hurdles like my 20 week scan, being signed off from needing epilepsy medication and not needing anti-depressants. Summer also started to arrive, I learned that I had to look after myself more and that it was okay to be scared and worried and to also let other people look after me.
That was one part of pregnancy I also found tricky - accepting help. I am very very bad at asking for and accepting help. As per every toddler's mantra I like to do things "BY. MY. SELF.!" but when you're paralysed by retching every sodding morning and evening, you need someone else to make you palatable food and generally look after you. I found this inexplicably hard to deal with and it made me very panicky as I absolutely hate relying on people because of my paranoia that they will just up and leave me.
Despite all the constant inner battles, I carried on carrying on and things calmed down a little. I still felt very nervous and panicky at the slightest thing, but I also began to feel more positive about baby arriving, even if I couldn't bring myself to buy anything....
Want to know what happens next? Read part three....