Welcome to Pregnancy! This is the start of an Incredible journey, the beginning of Motherhood!
This extraordinary and special journey can also be a time that we experience the hardest and most challenging moments of our lives. So much change emotional, mental and physical.
Pregnancy, or should I say GROWING a human, is tiring enough, without additional daily commitments such as work, being a wife, making time for exercise, keeping our homes clean and tidy as well as thinking about all the necessities our new baby will require. It can be a rollercoaster of daily struggles, and along with hormone changes it proves to be a very difficult time.
My pregnancy was a complete shock to me and my husband, and to everyone really! She came a few years earlier than we planned to have children, its the story behind our little girls name ‘Seren’, taken from the word Serendipity!
I will always remember my husband’s response to our Pregnancy news….
” Oh that’s a spanner in the works isn’t it! We are going to have to buy a bigger house”
Goodness grief, my thoughts were in a whirlwind, I felt so overwhelmed with the news and the changes that it would bring to my life that truthfully it took me about 5-6 weeks to get my head level and be able to think clearly and favorably into the future.
The most difficult time during my Pregnancy was between weeks 5 and 10, my hormones were on the rise and I was very emotional. No-one knew I was pregnant at this stage except my husband and brother, as understanding as they are, they are still the opposite sex! At this stage I should have told my mum and sister but I was afraid of how excited they would be and I could just imagine all the questions my Mum would be firing across about the new baby and I didn’t think I could handle it. Truth was that when I did tell them they were so supportive and reassuring and they kept saying that nothing mattered, it would all fall into place and that this was the most perfect time of my life to have a baby. They were right.
Life will never be the same again BUT It WILL all fall into place WHATEVER your life circumstances are.
The rest of my Pregnancy Journey went as well as I could have hoped, some pregnancy symptoms I experienced mildly, others I was lucky enough not to experience. (See my previous blog ‘Through the Trimesters: Symptoms; how you will feel; what is happening in your body) The biggest challenge for me was staying Mentally healthy. At times during my Pregnancy I was a lot more stressed and anxious than usual and other times I was very emotional. As a Health and Wellbeing Coach that planned to continue to work throughout my Pregnancy it was very important that I continued being my best-self for my clients.
Along with a bucket of Self Compassion here are 4 of the most important changes that I made to experience a Happier and Healthier Pregnancy.
During Pregnancy you may feel that you could sleep anywhere, at any time! Your body will require you to rest a lot more so nap when you can and go to bed earlier. Just 30 minutes earlier than usual can make a world of difference, and it adds up fast.
I was in bed by 8pm most nights, I would hit the pillow and be out like a light! Of course, my bladder would wake me up a few hours later, and then I would struggle getting back to sleep…!
When your struggling to sleep, suffering with morning sickness or heart burn, or unable to get comfortable in your new sleeping position, know that there are other Mum-to-be’s right there with you having a hard time sleeping, going through similar struggles, experiencing the same worries and in need of a good hug.
Make Pregnant Friends!
I met many of my Mum friends in Pre-natal exercise classes, on a birth preparation course, my hospital birth tour and through a Facebook ‘New Mums’ group. Having other Pregnant friends will help A LOT! The bond that you will share on the journey to birthing your beautiful babies is wonderful. It is amazing how the same things affect us all; we all have the same worries, questions, and, although, we were all entering motherhood from different places with different challenges, we can all support and encourage each other, and we can celebrate each other without any judgement.
Recognize your Beauty!
This is so important. How you see yourself will always be more important than how others see/think of you so put your efforts into recognizing your beauty and your special qualities. A time of quiet reflection every morning in a place of gratitude and with positive affirming thoughts can equip you to be the best YOU each day.
Do not compare yourself with other women, including other pregnant women. Some, are able to go to the gym and go to work, then do the shopping and the cleaning, walk the dog, and at the end of the day maybe feel like having sex with hubby, and some, are not able to do all this stuff. Some, will look like a model in the second trimester, and then some start to gain already in the second month of Pregnancy!
Also do not compete with the pre-pregnancy-you. You are not the same woman at this time. You can work on getting back to that person later, after giving birth.
Prioritize time for activities that make you feel good.
For me, this is taking a daily walk with my Collie Chica and watching her happily run diagonals across the field. Fresh air really helps to lift your mood, and surrounding yourself with nature will bring peacefulness and gratitude. As you journey through the trimesters you may not be able to do the activities that you used to feel comfortable doing. Try and think of other fun alternatives. I spent a lot of my weekend evenings in the cinema (with my hubby and a bag of pillows!) and on the weekend days we would go to WildWadi water park, I’d stay in the floating river while my hubby went on all the rides! These two activities would always cheer me up.
I also made sure to work out every day, even if it was as little as 20-30 minutes, I found it gave me a lot more energy and uplifted my mood. (See my previous blog ‘Training Through the Trimesters’)
Although our struggles are individual it’s a comfort to know that Women ALL over the globe are on the same journey as us, experiencing the same symptoms, worries, and anticipations. Be kind to yourself during this time, its normal to overly worry about things and feel a little out of control of your emotions and life in general.
You are not alone, it WILL all be ok and you WILL start to feel like yourself again.
Personally my biggest struggle was Post-Partum, coming to terms with how different life was and would continue to be. I had so many questions that I couldn’t answer; Who did I want to be? Which direction do I take my work in? What do I want out of life now I’m a Mum? Life was so different and so so busy, I hardly had time to brush my hair never mind clear up some of the questions I kept asking myself.
Identity loss or confusion is something we all go through when we become parents, new dads too, my husband also went through it.
The truth is, and thankfully I’ve now realized, is that we have even MORE of an identity now as parents, and we have a GREATER PURPOSE to fulfill now.
I realized that I wanted to become was a FIT and STRONG MUM and to inspire as many other women as possible to start a life transformation of also becoming a fit and healthy Mum. I realized that I wanted to be the best ROLE model that I could be for our beautiful Seren, for her to share the love of physical activity with me and that she could see and share my passion in helping other people’s lives transform.
To learn more about my personal Post-Partum Journey and how to balance Self-Sacrifice with Self-love in Motherhood check out my blog https://www.rhianadamsfitforlife.co.uk/post-partum-self-love-self-esteem-self-care/,
Keep calm, and enjoy your pregnancy.