You’ve always worried but when you become a parent you enter the BUSH of different type of worry- it’s constant, it’s there and it won’t leave your side.
You juggle and tackle so many bits and pieces of your newly established existence as a parent. In the end of the day, when everyone is fed, happy and entertained you feel like you’ve just climbed the the top of the Mount Everest but then you think about yourself as a person and you realise you need to do something for yourself otherwise your baby brain will continue to deteriorate. You decide to exercise. After a full day of making sure your baby is well and sound, making the new house with your partner aka Papa John John a livable space and preventing your two mentally distorted cats from killing eachother you go to excercise. Your stamina has long gone and you are left with movements and strength of a 100 years old cool gal who is mobile for her age but lacks in coordination and balance skills. Once you’ve completed the set of torment you feel EPIC. You are a physical train wreck but mentally you are rejuvenated. You embrace the flow of happy chemicals in your brain and go to the kitchen to make yet another cup of coffee. Life is wonderful and you love the chaos.
We were both tired after a long day and a sleepless night with our daughter. My partner went upstairs with Miss Little Munchkin aka Jumping Bean first, I followed after. When I got upstairs I saw them both sleeping soundly. I stopped for a moment and let my heart fill with joy and happiness of seeing two people whom I love with my whole heart relaxing and resting.
What does make you happy?
I often find out that people feel happy when they surround themselves with materialistic items or money. They forget the importance of emotions and feelings which doesn’t cost a dime.
Stop for a moment, forget about the money and materialistic items and ask yourself what’s really important in your life.
If you are thinking to conceive but are flooded with fear and doubts my advice to you is: go for it, there is never a perfect time or an opportunity to have a child. Life is full of hurdles so if you really want fo bring a new life into this twisted but wonderful world just do it.
Life without a child as a couple is very convenient. You are solely responsible for yourselves, indulging in existence is joyful and planning expenses is much easier because you don’t bear the burden of making sure that a tiny human being who is not capable of sustaining their basic needs entirely relies on your physical, mental and financial support. I’m going to be brutally honest with you, as a mum to be, I’m terrified of that whole new sense of a responsibility. My partner feels the same. We are both excited about our new arrival, we can’t wait to meet our baby girl but at the same time we are both petrified. Hence we take everyday as it goes without assuming things or rushing into despair or fortune telling which is not an easy thing to do. For instance, I’m on maternity leave and have begun to sort my my baby’s room, I know people who thrill while doing it but I could compare the whole experience to walking barefoot on the shattered glass which has been maliciously scattered on the floor just for me haha. I know, I sound very dramatic but going into my daughter’s room is a reminder of the unknown and I associate this unknown with struggle, pain and fear. Let me explain why.
I have dealt with anxiety atleast 80% of my life and I’m already 30 years old woman. My mind is like a library. Every situation and every thought is carefully categorised and placed on the shelf. The biggest collection of ‘books’ reside on the shelf which is labelled ‘fear’. I could almost compare that shelf to Purgatory ( which is a place where Roman Catholics believe the spirits of dead people are sent to suffer for their sins) where new occurances in my life are initially placed before being adequately categorised. Sometimes I despise myself for it because if I’m being rational the fear doesn’t occur to me as much. I use the fear as a coping mechanism which suppose to protect me from unpleasant experiences. It’s obvious that this self- invented self- security system fails most of the time making my mind overwork itself. So after years of sending new experiences to Purgatory I decided to change it. Don’t take me wrong, I haven’t gotten rid of mighty selection of ‘Anna’s fears’ because it works like a filter for me. It’s a bit like OCD, I analyse my thoughts preparing for ‘the plan a and b’ but then I simply face my fears. If I didn’t face them I wouldn’t go in my baby’s room and I wouldn’t start sorting it out. I would stay the heck away from it hoping for the best ( solely relying on my partner’s help). I take one step at the time while dealing with it. For example, yesterday, I washed baby’s clothes and today I will take care of the nursery equipment and accessories. That’s my plan of action. Again, I would love to say that doing it is a pleasant experience but it’s not. The only positive idea which I’m able to think of is a sense of pride and achievement after I finish working on tasks which I have set myself to complete. I know that I will feel the same after finishing my baby girl’s room or her arrival. Afterwards, I will move the book of I’m terrified of becoming a mother’ to a shelf labelled ‘life’.
Before getting pregnant I thought I knew everything about the whole pregnancy thing. I thought I was prepared and had it all figured all. Surprise, surprise I’ve been unprepared not only for a load of physical symptoms but also for mental health overload.
It feels like I’ve been on a rollercoaster which never slows down, never stops but constantly accelerates. I barely have control over it but I still need to hold it together. Which I do but it’s heck of a challenge.
What do I do to help myself?
First of all, I’ve been talking about my feelings and emotions out loud. I find it very therapeutic to be able to share them with my partner Ian.
Secondly, I’ve been taking it easy when I need by using coping techniques from active meditation. The active meditation is all about being aware of the present moment and focusing on breathing.
I have mentioned two ways of dealing with mental health struggles during pregnancy but I also have one secret.
Let me reveal it to you… there is no cure for feeling low and down due to hormonal changes and underlying mental conditions. If you are not on any medication ( which by the way you should be taking religiously if advised and prescribed by your doctor) you need to take it easy and do everything which may make you feel better. Even if you feel like you’ve been hit by a track and ran over by a road roller (I’ve been there, I’ve done that).
It’s still all new to me, at times I’m confused, sad and weepy but there are also happy moments when I can feel our little baby drumming about in my belly.
Pregnancy is a wonderful miracle but it comes with its challenges. What it’s a unique experience which needs to be treated with sensitivity and respect.