Pregnancy: Ups and Downs

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“A baby is God’s opinion that life should go on.”

-Carl Sandburg

I’m 24 weeks into this pregnancy journey, and boy…has it been a journey! Sometimes it feels like I’m in the back of a speeding car, other times, it’s as though I’m stuck in an empty void of “waiting.” I want to meet our child and yet, once he’s here, everything will change forever. That’s a good thing! But also, a scary thing indeed.

“Am I good enough?”

I am grateful that this question hasn’t crossed my mind, but that is only because of my faith in God. Do you know that He created you to be the best mother for your child? All of His created families are a perfect match, no matter how imperfect some of our moments are, that doesn’t change His belief in you. If God believes in you, then you are more than qualified for the job.Β  πŸ˜‰πŸ‘

At 24 weeks labor and the thought of “motherhood” still seems so far away, but getting closer every day. My focus has been solely “one day at a time” since the symptoms alone can be overwhelming!

Heart palpitations, pelvic pressure (makes it easy to overeat), Braxton Hicks contractions, fatigue, muscle cramps, headaches, skin problems, stretch marks, and random mood swings!

Yes, those are enough to be getting along with, though the pesky nausea that so plagued the beginning of this journey is basically over, besides the oversensitive “gag-reflex” which makes brushing teeth a tricky business.

My only joy has been in planning the baby shower and feeling our baby move, kick, and punch on a more regular daily schedule. (Generally, he is awake in the morning and late evening though eating/drinking and bending can stir him to action also)

I’ve discovered that pregnancy doesn’t always come with that “glow” everyone talks about. I’m torn between loving the baby bump look and hating the skin problems such as stretch marks and random blotchiness that comes from the rapid expansion of your body. Sometimes I have that energy and joy that many said I would experience in my 2nd Trimester, and other times, I feel overwhelmed, anxious, depressed and flat out tired!

It is a rollercoaster of new experiences for first-time mothers and because every pregnancy is different it’s hard to not feel “alone” on this journey. Even with your trusted spouse at your side or other more seasoned mothers reaching out to you.

I fail quite often in pulling myself out of these moments but here is what I have learned so far, I hope these tips will be helpful to you as well. A pregnant mother’s mental health is just as important as her physical one!

  1. If you are feeling down, don’t withdraw or allow yourself to become angry. And don’t lay around!! You want to pick up your spirits real quick? Get out of the house and move around, whether that’s a brisk morning walk or just doing some chores around the house/yard. Moving seems to really work at erasing the depression and in fact, sitting around can be what’s causing you to feel down. It’s hard to get started, believe me, I know! But once you do I guarantee you will feel better.
  2. Feeling overwhelmed and anxious? Talk to people! Even if they can’t completely know what you are going through, talk to them anyway. Venting is a great stress reliever and being more vocal about what you are going through to your spouse or best friend will help them to understand you at least a little bit more. If you don’t have other pregnant women to talk to, go join a forum online or find a pregnancy group in your town/city. Maybe try pregnancy yoga, or take a class.
  3. Braxton Hick’s contractions a constant? First, be sure they are false contractions and not labor (an easy way to tell is labor is painful/regular/and gets worse with time). To help ease Braxton Hick’s, change positions, drink a lot of water, don’t overeat (that really sets them off for me), try to relax by doing something that takes your mind off of them like watching a movie or reading. If your baby is being particularly active or if you have to pee this can also cause a false contraction, just remain calm and reassured that these false contractions aren’t dangerous and are quite normal. What do these feel like? A tightening and releasing of the uterine muscles (you can actually feel them tighten with your hand).
  4. Heart palpitations! I have always had these off and on before pregnancy, now It seems they can be worsened due to my increased blood volume and the extra heart strain in general. Keep an eye on them, if they get worse or are followed by other symptoms call your doctor. Otherwise, try to eat right (don’t lay down right after eating), avoid caffeine at all costs! move around/change position. Drink a glass of cold water, and do some relaxing meditations to calm yourself (stress can trigger these). What do they feel like? heart flutters and an overall faster heartbeat.

Eating right, having a good sleep/exercise schedule, and a good support group will help you through this difficult time. But I can’t stress enough the importance of drawing close to God, the one who understands you fully and what you are going through. I find peace in leaning on Him, reading His word when I’m afraid, and listening to worship music to ease my worries and emotions. Pray and surrender it all to Him, the only one who holds you and your child in His arms. With Him, you can do anything!! (Philippians 4:13)

 

 

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