'I'm Pregnant': Fears & Worries of the First Trimester
When those blue lines appeared, I was sat on the bathroom floor with Bon Iver humming in the background, the door locked, laughter and chaos downstairs blares from my two daughters. Shit. I'm pregnant and I didn't expect this to happen so soon, so quick, wait, we were going to try later this year, but okay. It's happening. How will he react? Is this a good thing? Thank god we are moving house. Will it be a smooth pregnancy? No wonder I've felt sick. I knew it. I knew I was pregnant. Oh my god, he is going to freak. What if we aren't ready? F*** - What about work? What about my degree? What if the girls don't take to it? Will baby be healthy? SHIT - I got hammered at Christmas. Oh hell fire. Sound familiar? I speak to women every day, I work alongside them, I work for them, I am empower and support them. No matter how grounded and stable you may feel in life, pregnancy is a beautifully chaotic time that brings the biggest transition in an adult life. Or at least one of. My third baby, in lockdown, smack bang in the middle of me starting my career and finishing my degree, and honestly as much as all of the above raced through my head, I was ecstatic. I was truly and deeply overjoyed. My third baby, my husband's first - in totally different places as parents, but equally a damn fine blended family team who had parenting down. We are proud of what we do and how we do it. It's not always easy, but we do our best with what we have and we do a wonderful job raising our three children. This time round, it immediately felt different. I was totally in a different place mentally, emotionally and physically from when I had my daughters. I had been still battling with my struggles of grief and mental health at the time when my now middle child made her way into the world and this had a profound affect on me managing my wellbeing during and after my pregnancies. With this outlook, with all the self-care, therapy and support I had indulged in since then, I knew myself on such a deeper level, I knew this would be a completely different experience. We know the drill in early pregnancy if we have experienced it before, every twinge, every notion, we can't help but sometimes overanalyze or doctor Google it. It's natural, it's our mind's way of telling us our bodies are changing, there is something happening that isn't usual in our normal physical daily selves, but it can also teach us to identify within our gut instinct when something doesn't feel right, and also rightly, that pregnancy is supposed to feel different, it's okay, this could be a good thing. We are taken from one end of the spectrum to the other and that navigation of good, bad, or the overthinking is pretty damn exhausting. For a Mama who hasn't experienced this, it can be pretty overwhelming. Worries & fears in the first trimester are insanely common, and I bet you ask other Mama's, they shared most of them too. We discussed a few in our Mummy group and how we relieved these worries and here are some helpful suggestions of coping they were able to share with me and now I leave them here with you. Will I lose the baby? We know that miscarriage happens more often than it is spoken about, and truly, its heartbreaking to go through or watch anyone you love and adore experience this loss. We know that more often than not, most women go onto have another pregnancy that is healthy and those first 12 weeks are when the risk decreases. If you are a first time Mum, your body is experiencing all new sensations, many you may not have experienced before and so worrying about what should be normal is understandable. Importantly, know that what one person has been through doesn't mean you will go through it too. Pregnancy touches us in a complete unique of ways. No pregnancy is the same and although millions of women experience it, its important not to compare notes. You can't control the journey of your pregnancy. I had horrific sickness with my third baby and it honestly terrified me that there was something wrong. Speak to your GP if you have these concerns. Make yourself aware of the symptoms that need medical attention, but also read up on what you may or may not experience - www.tommys.org has some great information to share with you. A pregnancy relaxation can really benefit you this early on as you relax and focus and direct your love and connection down to your baby, it can really help you feel like you are helping your baby grow healthily and strongly whilst setting your mind at ease and creating calm. You can take this through your pregnancy also. Take a look at our pregnancy relaxation sessions on our booking page.
I have struggled with Postnatal Depression before. Will this happen again? We never want to go back to that dark place. We never want to be sucked in to the deep hole of depression because we remember just how hard it was to creep back out. We are in a time where the struggle of parenthood is being more and more recognised, its being more appreicated and so are we. So we should. Postnatal depression effects every 1 in 10 women within 12 months of giving birth and it can affect partners too. We often talk about the baby blues but it is important to know, that's not the same. Yes, emotions absolutely run high in the first 10-14 days. I remember just crying because the way my husband looked at me one day. And it's OKAY. To feel emotional, overwhelmed, uncertain of all the things flying at you in those firts few postpartum weeks. It's when it progresses that having awareness and knowing where to access support is important. Talk to you partner - don't be afraid to communicate your feelings during this time, let them support you. Speak to your midwife or health visitor - there are different support opportunities in different areas so speaking to them may help you access support out there that you might not know about. Listen to yourself - identify what you need right now, where you can ask for support from others, how you need to fill up your cup. The Mindful Mummy has some amazing resources coming soon - sign up to our website to receive all these helpful tips and tricks. PANDAS - A wonderful charity supporting parents who are experiencing perinatal mental health struggles. https://pandasfoundation.org.uk/ - their Free helpline number is 0808 1961 776 I didn't know I was pregnant and I'm worried I have harmed the baby. When I was pregnant with my second, I had been on a huge girls night out. I remember feeling instantly guilt ridden when I realised I would have been pregnant whilst I was happily ploughing through bottles of prosecco for my best friend's 40th. A doctor told me, your body is in a process that is extremely robust, its long term exposure to alcohol through pregnancy that can cause problems for an unborn baby. One night out, is unlikely to harm baby. It was nice to hear and settled but I still worried, what could I do to make sure that baby had the best start this early on? As we've mentioned before, we can't control what may or may not happen in pregnancy, but that isn't to say looking after ourselves won't have an affect. If you have just found out your pregnant, here's a few things that can help calm your worry and help you along the way.
Look after You - Get on the folic acid, drink plenty water, make time to relax and be kind to yourself. All the things we know are basic and helpful, nothing wildly overwhelming. Bring your awareness to your beautifully changing body and embrace the beginning of your pregnancy journey by indulging in some self-care. One Day at a Time - We know pregnancy has days where it can present overbearing symptoms so it's important to take it one day at a time. Listen to what your body needs, make arrangements with work if it's becoming to much, ask friends or family to step in to support you. Remember everything is temporary and this will pass.
This baby wasn't planned. It's such a huge surprise. What will my partner think? A baby is a beautiful but huge transition for both parents. Whether you are having your first or your third, it is a generously difficult process at times which requires support, communication and appreciation between you both. Now is a great time to talk about your expectations going forward. Your partner may have worries, concerns, expectations, just as much as you will but by opening up with them together, you will build an understanding of where each other is at emotionally on this journey. It can also bring up heated debates, we don't always see from the same side of the coin and that's okay too. Say how you feel - be open about how you are feeling, chances are your partner has felt or is feeling the same at some point or another, and knowing you've both experienced it can be a huge comfort to one another. Don't pre-empt - It's easy to think we may know what is coming, but truthfully we don't know how the other person will react or feel about your pregnancy news. Don't put it off, have that conversation when you are ready, when you are both relaxed, that way you are more likely to come from a place of calm and hear each other's feelings without prejudice. All these worries and emotions are hugely valid. These are true worries that I can also hold my hand up and say I have experienced every single one of these in a way or another. It's normal to worry but there are some ways in which you can be supported throughout your pregnancy. We also know that not every pregnancy is straight forward and there are many things to be worried about, this is a very gentle but a very real insight into just a few things, some personally, some from other Mummies I have spoken too. All above said, pregnancy is magical, and even though we have these anxieties around this incredible process, our bodies know just what to do, more often than not, everything falls in line, and even if you are struggling or having a dificult pregnancy, know that it is only temporary until you meet your little bundle of joy. I also know it isn't like this for everyone, my heart goes to you too and we have lots of information below on our support page coming up to help you through your pregnancy and parenting journey.
I hope just some of this helps settle some of your worries and know you can reach out to me here through the Mindful Mummy or on our Facebook group below.