Pregnancy

How my year started with a total surprise, and why it’s so important to accept change

Sunset in Florida

I have a thousand blog posts swimming though my mind. Thoughts on books I’ve recently read, new habits I’m developing, and working through a pivot in my business.

But I had to write this post first.

And I’ve been stuck on what to say for quite a while.

You see, back in January, I started the year with BIG plans. Plans to develop a business in helping women find their healthiest self through core-focused yoga, Whole30, and memory keeping.

It was an awesome plan for a spectacular year.

But – and I feel like I say this all the time – life doesn’t care what plans you make. It takes its own course. And sometimes that means sharp, random turns at unexpected times… like right after you make a level-up business plan.

Our Intention Creates Reality

So just 10 days into 2016, I found out I was pregnant. It was a total surprise, and one that I wasn’t quite prepared for.

At the time I was just 6 weeks along, but already the symptoms of a difficult first trimester were presenting themselves. My appetite disappeared. I found myself feeling very weak, overwhelmed with nausea, exhausted, moody, hormonal, short of breath, lightheaded, and flat out sick.

It wasn’t long before I was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, prescribed diclegis, and fully incapacitated.

The first trimester of pregnancy is hard for most women. In a short period of time, you experience a major shift in hormones, appetite, taste, mood, demeanor. For me, I always feel cold, tired, worn.

But when any form of complication presents itself – in mother or baby’s health – it’s exponentially harder. Simple things feel impossible. And the path that follows can be overwhelming beyond belief.

If I had to choose the hardest part of the early days of pregnancy, for me, it would be not knowing. Not knowing what would come. Not knowing if the baby was healthy, if I was healthy. Not knowing what the next day would bring, or even the next hour. Not knowing what to feed myself, or whether my food would stay down. Not knowing what this unexpected surprise would mean for our family, or for me.

And that’s scary, at times. And isolating. Because no one understands what you’re going through, no matter how similar their experience has been. No one knows what to say, or how to help, or what you need.

And it’s exhausting. And frustrating. At a time when society tells us we are supposed to be THRILLED. We are supposed to be overjoyed. We are supposed to be grateful and happy and perfect.

And it just wasn’t that way for me.

Sunset in Florida

In retrospect, can see that my first trimester was clouded with health problems, and layered with depression. And I was aware that I was depressed, even though I couldn’t do anything about it. Society tells us that we should always be happy. And that babies bring only joy. And while I think it’s wonderful to believe that life can always be good, even when it’s not, and that joy is a state of being that we can all achieve, reality suggests that joy is something that comes after sorrow. That good times come with the bad. And that life is a roller coaster of emotions and experiences.

The best thing we can do is accept our experiences as temporary and know that tomorrow is a new day. A new opportunity. And it is filled with possibility. But the change comes from within. And you have to be willing to do the work, to get through good and bad, in order to find your joy again.

xoxo,

Julie

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Christine says

    Thank you for your post. I think we do a disservice to all women the way society portrays the glow of pregnancy the ease of breastfeeding and the thrill of raising children. It’s hard and there were/are/will be challenges I never expected and am unprepared for and it’s isolating and to top it all off my house is so not picture perfect. It’s all really, really hard but it’s also totally worth it. I find it hard to live up to what I perceive as “society’s expectations” and the more we are honest about our own experiences and difficulties the more we can change the greater expectations to better reflect real life. I’m sure there are many women out there for which it is all easy and blissful. But a non scientific survey of myself and my friends tells otherwise. Congratulations on your pregnancy! For me pregnancy sucked and I struggled greatly with breastfeeding a 30 week preemie, and child rearing is tough and when I inevitably compare myself and kids to pinterest from time to time I feel like a failure. But I I’ve learned to stop myself and evaluate my priorities and values and use that to judge and I realize we’re all doing ok even thriving.

    • Anonymous says

      Thank you, Christine! Yes, yes, yes. Trying to live up to the image of motherhood is impossible. It’s not real. And I’ve been fortunate to find a handful of moms that are honest, and open, and fun to openly share struggles with. We all need that. We need to be honest with ourselves – and with each other – about how hard parenting is. How impossible balance is. And how we’re all just doing the best we can.

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