I’ve been going back and forth with myself about if I should write a post about this or not, but when I am feeling particularly low or feel deeply detached from myself – it makes me want to share what I am feeling and have been feeling for months now. There is so much polished & preened pregnancy chat out there in the world, making some of us feel inferior or ashamed if we are doing anything other than ‘enjoying the pregnancy’. It makes me want to put my two cents out there, because it just might help another woman going through the same thing, feel like she’s not alone.
E X C I T E M E N T
As of yesterday I am now 22 weeks pregnant, It has flown by but at the same time I feel like I have such a long way to go too. Before I get more into depth about everything, I want to preface by saying that I am SO excited to have my little girl – Since feeling her moving around and kicking I have felt so much better about the experience as it instantly reminds you why you are going through all of this and it helps you feel connected to your future baby.
Even though I’ve experienced many negative thoughts during pregnancy, it in no way means i’m not happy to be pregnant and to be having a baby, which I feel gets confused by people when you (god forbid) share anything negative. It almost feels like taboo not to be loving every second.
P R E – N A T A L D E P R E S S I O N
Before I was pregnant, I had never even heard of pre-natal depression, only post. Pre-natal depression affects one in 10 women which is a hell of a lot, and When I first started experiencing it I thought I was actually going mad, I didn’t understand why I felt so extremely low – ‘Don’t all pregnant women glow inside and out, feel AMAZING and are bubbly and happy little goddesses for 9 months?’ I
was tricked thought.
Why isn’t this talked about?
I have been raking my brain for months – It started for me during my first trimester and still affects me now, it creeps up on me when I least expect it and usually lasts for a few days. I haven’t suffered from any type of depression until now and I have a newfound understanding and respect for anyone struggling with it. Don’t confuse this with ‘typical pregnancy hormones’ I get to stages of not wanting to be here anymore, having no motivation to do anything, not even stand up. I feel like life is completely pointless and that there is no point in anything. I don’t want to eat, I don’t want to talk, I don’t want to exist.
After researching these feelings I realised that this was indeed Pre-natal depression and not just normal pregnancy hormones. I would explain it as a heaviness of the self and as if a part of my soul is just…dead. I wouldn’t be putting it this bluntly but this is honestly how it feels for me.
What helps me is in a large part my Fiancé Jason, who has suffered and fought depression himself and so knows the best ways to conquer it. The first thing I try to do is to get out of the house. Get out of the solitude and the same thought processes.
I write a to-do list, even if I won’t do anything on it straight away it gives me somewhere to start for something to do and to distract myself with. Otherwise, I am still looking for ways to help with it and I just try to go easy on myself while I am feeling that way.
I M A G E
What feels like such a superficial and selfish thing to be worried about during pregnancy in my eyes, isn’t. Self-image is a huge part of identity, comfort and confidence in women and even though i’ve received countless comments brushing off my anxiety over my changing image and style since being pregnant, I don’t believe women should be silenced on the topic or be made to feel like they’re ‘not allowed’ to mourn everything they’ve ever known about their appearance and in a large part, who they are.
In a perfect world I wouldn’t give a damn about my physical appearance changing as the inner me is all that matters but unfortunately thats not the case for me! Not in an egotistical way, but more that confidently getting dressed in the morning, knowing what works for me in my skincare routine and being able to workout and sculpt my body were all things that made me really happy on a daily basis.
You KNOW that your body is going to change within these 9 months but I think for many women, you’re still not 100% prepared for the immense difference and in so many different ways.
For me the discomfort isn’t in my belly getting bigger but it’s the rest of my body I have grown uncomfortable with, so ‘wearing tighter clothes to highlight the bump’ doesn’t really help me as it also highlights the rest of my body too.
I’m hoping that over time I will just find the right clothes to dress the bump and myself but these are some confessions about how i’ve been feeling about my ever-changing image and it’s something i’m sure many other women struggle with too.
I D E N T I T Y
Without making this post way too long-winded, I wanted to mention identity as it’s something that can feel like a distant/unreachable concept as soon as you announce pregnancy. On one hand it is so heartwarming and comforting for people to be so happy about your pregnancy and then on the other, it seems that some people (unknowingly) start to disregard you as your own person as more and more your bump is referred to before yourself.
I’m still Sam, not just a ‘mum’ now! I have never in my life wanted to just be identified as a mum – It is an amazing title to have & share with my existing self, but just because I am popping out a human doesn’t mean that everything I live and breathe will be about that human.
I still have the exact same interests as before. The only thing that has already changed and will probably change even more are some of my morals, my sense of what really is important in life and also financial goals and aims.
T H E L I G H T
After all of this more negative chat, I wanted to share a few things that make me feel happy and that lift me out of a bad mind-frame to feel hopeful and jolly about being pregnant – that feeling thats a bit closer to the distorted media idea of a ‘pregnant woman’.
- Buying small bits and bobs ready for the baby’s arrival and looking around baby shops
- Chatting to other mums about motherhood and what their birth was like
- Sitting and feeling baby kick and move. One of the best feelings i’ve ever experienced in the world
- Scans and hearing baby’s heartbeat
- Planning baby’s nursery/room
- Finding clothing that makes me feel like myself and that makes me feel confident
- Chatting, predicting and laughing about what we are about to experience as new parents
- Pampering – Painting my nails, getting my eyelashes done or having a massage
- Using pregnancy apps to find out what is happening every day with your pregnancy – I find it fascinating and again, it makes it feels much more real & grounding
I hope this post can help any mums-to-be out there who might be finding pregnancy a little harder than they anticipated.
Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of parts of the pregnancy I find amazing, but I feel like those parts are talked about enough.
I’ll be back soon with a bit more of a fashion-focused post 😉