It happens to every pregnant woman. The timing usually varies. You may be one of the lucky ones who maintains a successfully serene pregnancy, glowing beautifully all the way through while pinning natural birthing techniques all day. Or you may be like me. Crying because they don’t sell whale crackers at Kroger and literally cursing my boyfriend for choosing to continue his legacy through my uterus. If you are a lucky member of the latter, you have been blessed with the pregnancy crazies! Mine settled in somewhere in middle of my first trimester, a combination of raging hormones and the wonderful onset of the flu (get your shots, ladies!). Here’s some self care strategies that were very effective for me in calming down the crazy hormone version of myself:
Adopting an Exercise Schedule
In my first trimester, I had some complications where I couldn’t continue my crazy dedicated running workouts and cardio regime. Instead of finding a workout I could do, I settled into a I’m-pregnant-and-can-now-be-lazy mindset! This mostly involved spending any time I could lying down watching New Girl or Food Network and taking long hard naps in the middle of the day. While this routine was quite fun to be honest, it only felt good for the first week, tops. As someone who thrives on physical exertion, my body and mind needed a physical outlet to keep from feeling stir-crazy. Learning to adapt to a pregnancy workout can be super fun! Consistency is the most important part of this, your brain thrives on patterns and introducing a consistent workout will do wonders for your mental health. For me, I look up prenatal yoga on YouTube in the morning and go do a light swimming workout at least four nights a week. Yoga helps especially to stretch out my poor pregnant back but also is a great meditative start to the day. Swimming is the perfect low-impact exercise for pregnant women and even prepares your pelvic muscles for labor!
Find your pregnancy buddy
Your partner, no matter how supportive he is, will NOT be able to relate to you. He will not understand why you are crying so much and no matter how kind and wonderful the man is, will make suggestions to you that make you want to pull your hair out (“just calm down” is my personal favorite).
Although my best girl friends were much more helpful, I live in a college town and with that comes lots and lots of partying. Don’t get me wrong there’s lots of fun in staying sober, but at some point you get tired of watching your friends make stupid mistakes (especially once those mom instincts kick in and everything drunk = death in your eyes).
This is where it is valuable to find your pregnancy friend! I had my cousin who was only a month ahead of me and I cannot explain how relieving it was to have her!!! We could text each other through all the rough patches and vent when our men were trying our pregnant nerves. The best part about your pregnancy buddy is having someone who will also get excited over the small details that will gross everyone else out (I pooped for the first time in a week!!). Whoever she is, I strongly suggest finding that girl you can share this special time in your life with. It’s a bond you will truly hold forever. Plus you can dream of your babies being best friends and growing old together!
This is the single most effective strategy I used to keep away my crazies. You want to google. You want to know the source of every ache and tinge of pain. You assume every feeling is the worst scenario possible and you must take action now! Google will only confirm your worst fears.
Take it from the most anxious newly pregnant girl I believe my OBGYN had ever seen. To put things in perspective, I made the entirely false assumption that I had developed preeclampsia at 9 weeks purely based on my eyesight seeming to get worse. Nevermind that preeclampsia occurs after 20 weeks and I had just started a new brand of contacts, no, google told me that preeclampsia was upon me and I was destined to die in the next few hours due to my brain expanding!
This is only one of countless examples I could give you…google was my go to for any sort of medical advice. You want to stay away from google. Your OBGYN or midwife would much rather you ask them, the MEDICAL EXPERTS -cough cough-, for any sort of symptoms or discomfort you have questions about. It is not good for you or your baby to be stressing constantly about what could go wrong. Truth is, pregnancy is weird and uncomfortable sometimes, and 9 times out of 10 your discomfort will simply be part of your unique pregnancy experience. So free yourself of that worry by simply making the choice to not research! If something is genuinely and urgently wrong, you can always call your doctor and be seen usually immediately or talk to the doctor on call.
All in all,
your hormones are going to do some wild things to you. A lot of feelings you simply can’t control and that is entirely okay because these moments are precious whether good or bad! Think about telling these stories to your future child thirteen years from now! Take care of yourself, drink lots of water (cannot stress that enough) and know that these times will pass and the joy of having your baby is on the horizon!