Motherhood & Madness: Things No One Tells You About Being Pregnant

Motherhood&Madness

When B and I were becoming pregnant and then when we found out that we were I was very nervous about how the hormonal changes would affect my mental wellbeing. I am happy to say that I have not experienced the mood swings that many pregnant women report which I was most fearful of. What has gotten to me the most are the physical symptoms that the hormones have caused. Throughout the past 23 weeks, I have tried to remember the end goal and that is to deliver a baby safely and love my son with everything I have.

There are a few things I wish I had known before becoming pregnant. I think it speaks to our overall lack of education about pregnancy. Much of what I am going to write about is unique to me. Some pregnant people have it “better” or “worse” but I do believe that every pregnant person has a few shocking moments in their pregnancy that scare or annoy them.

  1. Fatigue and nausea can mean you cannot function at all. My nausea was constant for almost 3 months. My exhaustion may have been for about a month. My first trimester was basically me laying around not being able to do anything. I found myself feeling useless as I could not show affection towards B, help with chores around the house, I couldn’t get to work and most times I could barely get up to feed myself, let alone eat enough in a day.
  2. Needing to pee becomes the most annoying thing your body does. I have sometimes found myself holding my pee too long or not drinking a lot of water because I am so tired of having to go pee. I find the need or at least the sensation, to pee has increased with the movement of the baby. He will wiggle around so much sometimes and the push on my bladder has me hoping I don’t wet myself.
  3. Bleeding will happen and it can mean nothing but it will scare the shit out of you every single time. In my second month of pregnancy, I had 3 instances of bleeding, with the first one being heavy enough (in my opinion) to go to the ER. A doctor determined that the bleeding was not the result of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. The cervix becomes more sensitive during pregnancy and can become agitated easily which sometimes results in bleeding. Bleeding should always be taken seriously when there is a pregnancy.
  4. Pregnancy is not always enjoyable. The media shows pregnancy as filled with glowing pregnant people, fun baby showers and of course, the happy end result of having your baby. I didn’t start enjoying my pregnancy until recently, probably the past few weeks. Many pregnant people spend so much time worrying about the condition of their baby, endure horrible symptoms and some face a strain on their relationships. Your clothes stop fitting, you can’t eat all the foods you normally do and you need to plan for something that is going to change your life forever! I can’t imagine being pregnant when I already have a child! Some pregnant people have such a tough pregnancy that they don’t want to have any more children where they need to be pregnant. Pregnancy is HARD!
  5. Pregnancy is dangerous. I did know this but it always feels different when it’s happening to you. I live in a country with a low maternal death rate but the risk is always there. The hormonal changes can really throw your body out of wack, creating new health problems that you possibly would not have gotten if you had not become pregnant (ie: high blood pressure, diabetes). People who do have existing conditions like diabetes or immune system deficiencies are at a higher risk for things to go wrong. Doctors need to closely monitor some pregnancies. Again, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies.

In the end, I trust my body and my midwife to get me through my pregnancy. I love feeling him move around and have recently been able to see my stomach move as he kicks me. It’s amazing to witness and I am honoured to be carrying this potential for life.

What do you wish you knew before you became pregnant?

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6 thoughts on “Motherhood & Madness: Things No One Tells You About Being Pregnant

  1. WOW!! CONGRATULATIONS! You are having a crap time. So sorry xxx After my wedding in 3 weeks time – my G wants to start extending our family. I’m terrified. For the past 3 years I have worked out like a Titan to keep my body in the best shape. I don’t smoke .I do vape and I have my own MH issues and I am on highly addictive medication that keeps me well. I’m always encouraged to get off some of them -lower the dosage and ultimately I do want that. What will happen to my mind if I do get off my meds ? I’m a recovering Anorexic and my body is going to change. I don’t know if I am ready but I’m already 35 years old this November!
    I wish I had all the answers. All certainties disclosed. I want to know the sex before we do the deed. I know I sound like a control freak. I probably am.
    Another part of me wants to flow with it.
    My first pregnancy was a breeze. labour wise and no nausea. 2 hour labour – 2 pushes , my uterus was torn all the way round and sewn back up like a hemline of a skirt. I was on my meds and gas and air. My B was hidden behind my placenta so the only worrying thing was I never once felt her kick , rumble or anything. So every week I would go to the clinic and they would let me monitor her heart beat for an hour.
    I would like to know what people think of second pregnancies…
    I’m scared now I know what it feels like to give birth my body will get all tense when it comes to going in labour and work against me.

    • Thanks!

      Have you heard of hypnobirthing? I’m starting my class this month and I think it may be helpful for people with mental health issues who are going to give birth. It uses mindful breathing, visualization, and empowerment to decrease pain and raise confidence in giving birth. I’m really excited for it. I’m also starting a program through a local women’s hospital that is for people with mental health issues who are at various stages in their reproductive lives. They will be a support for me through my pregnancy and I believe for up to a year after birth. Could there be a program like this near you to support you during your second pregnancy? I also am using a midwife which brings a more holistic and empowered approach to birth. I’m hoping to give birth at home which research says helps women give birth with less stress since you’re in your own home.

  2. Hang in there, while I cannot experience the being pregnant part, of those I know who have been and what they have told me, it seems the first part is the worst, but again this is just from what friends and family have said over the years.

    We are starting step 2 of trying, just waiting for specialists to have tests done, 20 months of trying with no results, but if we can’t naturally do it we will move on with life, fertility treatments or surrogacy is well beyond what we can afford, but never know what could happen.

      • Thanks. That is one down side to waiting until late 30’s, it can be much more difficult to have kid. If we can’t, that is just life, we are not in a position to adopt, or pay for fertility stuff but we are not sure what the issue is yet, waiting for referrals to the specialists which takes a long time it seems…

      • I wish it wasn’t so difficult to start a family. Infertility/issues with fertility are fairly common. I wonder when our healthcare systems will catch up and do more for those families.

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