You expect things to change drastically once you get home from the hospital, but you may not have expected just how different your life is while pregnant. Not only is your body changing in ways you’ve never experienced, you’re dealing with nausea, mood swings, fatigue, and several different kinds of stress.
Weathering the storm of pregnancy is much easier with a support system. That could mean a copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting, your mother, your partner, or a group of pregnant strangers going through the same thing. Sometimes just knowing the things you’re going through are normal can go a long way towards restoring your sanity. Here’s a look at what life is like when you’re pregnant.
A Different State of Mind
The changes to the body during pregnancy are not strictly physical. Hormonal changes shortly after conception. You may feel like you no longer have control of your emotions or like normal emotions are magnified. Don’t be afraid to share those feelings with your support system.
It doesn’t help that fatigue accompanying pregnancy is overwhelming as well. It is frustrating to be unable to accomplish as much as you used to. Just remember being pregnant means learning to move a little slower and taking more time to rest. Making new life requires a lot of energy! “Pregnancy brain” is a term used to describe the mental fog and forgetfulness many pregnant women experience. This could be hormones, stress, fatigue and not enough sleep, or it could be that your baby is already consuming your every thought.
It is perfectly normal to be concerned about your unborn child and how your family is going to change. You might worry about the baby’s health, if you’re going to be a good mother, or how you will handle the financial constraints of raising a child. Thinking about your child first, instead of yourself, is a major change in perspective, and it starts happening well before you hold Baby in your arms.
Whose Body is This, Anyway?!
Perhaps the most frightening part of pregnancy is what happens to your body. Whether you’re staring at stretch marks, fat storage where you’ve never had fat before, or wondering how you’re going to get rid of those extra pounds after Baby arrives, that’s perfectly normal. It’s frustrating to not be able to control these changes, but those stretch marks are beautiful. consider them war wounds and wear them proudly.
Pregnancy hormones can wreak havoc on even the healthiest of sleep schedules, and your growing belly doesn’t make it easy to get comfortable. The last trimester tends to be especially difficult. Once you finally get comfortable, the extra pressure on your bladder will demand you get back out of bed. It can also be hard to sleep with the aches and pains that take over your back and hips.
Pregnant women also tend to start waking more frequently throughout the night. One theory is that the body is getting ready to wake with with a newborn. True or not, sleepless nights takes a toll on an already exhausted body, particularly combined with a frazzled mind. Take every chance you get for a nap, and don’t be afraid to delegate.
Do I Know You?
Pregnancy can also affect your relationship with friends and loved ones. With so many prohibited activities, nights out may not be the same. You may not even have the energy to go out on the town anymore. As well, pregnancy can shift other’s perceptions of you. While you were once the focus of attention, Baby may already be taking over. You may enjoy the extra attention pregnancy brings. You may find it a real pain in the behind as even strangers start offering unsolicited advice or trying to rub a pregnant belly without asking.
Every woman’s experience of pregnancy is different. Some women glow through all three trimesters, and some would rather hide in bed all day. Try to focus on the end product, and take time for yourself before it arrives. Women have been making it through pregnancy for thousands of years, and you can will too!