I am pregnant. We got pregnant the first month we really tried. I know I am super lucky, I have close friends who have gone through hell and back with IVF and the whole thing– it is truly unfair and I have so much respect and love for women who go through this process.
The overarching message I’ve heard about pregnancy is that I am supposed to feel a “glow” or a heightened sense of spirituality, a miraculous shift. Well, so far I have felt the opposite - I feel like I have a terrible condition, a curse of some kind - vomiting, nausea, headaches, extreme fatigue, aches, and the most surprising one: depression. I want to share that so that anyone reading this who feels similarly can breathe a sigh of relief - you are not alone! And I know I am not even 5 months along but I am going to share some of the things that have helped me the most - see below. I have tried a lot and was pretty adventurous and indulgent… Everyone is different so just take what speaks to you and leave the rest.
Truth be told, the thought of being pregnant and giving birth has been one of my greatest fears in life. My mom had a challenging birth with me and a still born baby in between my two sisters. So from an early age I assumed that the whole process was filled with tears, pain, and heartache. And to be honest this first trimester has been pretty much that. I cry every other day about things that don’t matter to me normally. I cried over not getting a hamburger at a restaurant, I cried about the unbelievable speed at which my boobs grow (I have always been really jealous of the flat chested gals who forget to put on a bra some days), I cried about feeling so confused about who the hell I am now, I cried about crying too much. I cry about how I am going to forge through this and be a business owner and a mom. Will I lose myself? I feel in some ways I already have.
But then, one of my friends who gave birth almost two years ago gave me a book to read that shifted my thinking. It’s a book called Like a Mother by Angela Garbes and in it she explains that when a woman becomes pregnant she changes on a cellular level. There is new science that shows during pregnancy women have something called microchimerism which is the mixing of blood between two individuals. Meaning when a woman becomes pregnant her blood mixes with her fetus’s blood and is FOREVER CHANGED. There was something about that knowledge that made everything I have been feeling make sense. I am no longer who I once was and I felt that from the moment I found out I was pregnant. There was something different about me, I felt and still feel undone - as if I am disassembled.
I have always been sensitive – sometimes I will be able to feel things before they happen or I will just know the way to proceed without much logic or data behind my decision - I guess you call that instinct, but since I have been pregnant I feel like all the answers escape me. The guidance system I once relied on so heavily is missing in action. Slowly it is coming back now, but it’s different. It’s a different type of instinct. I think it is why microchimerism makes so much sense because I know there are new cells from my baby in me right now - cells that will stay inside me for my lifetime that are affecting the way I move and the way I make decisions and so I must trust nature and I must surrender. There is no other option really. So here we go. Onwards!
So, I don’t push myself. I only do things that feel good (I do this with much guilt but I am learning to get over that). And with business, I am feeling the same - this year I want to make thoughtful products without the need to push or grow a significant amount like we usually aspire to do each year. Instead I want to focus on making things with my hands because that has been the only desire inside me that hasn’t changed or wavered. That is the pace that feels good to me right now, and so I am listening.
4. Acupuncture with Liz Alexandre / 5. Chiropractic massage and Mayan massage with Dr Gabrielle Francis / 6. Ricari studios lymphatic massage. This helps me immensely / 7. Facial at Onda in Tribeca something about a gentle touch on my face helped me feel nourished. (I always go to Cara J)
8. Long baths with Ancient bath salts (baths not too hot because that made me more nauseous) / 9. This ginger soup from 101 cookbook / 10. These sweat pants. comfort really does matter when you feel nauseous / 11. Talking with other mothers has been far and away the most helpful thing so far
14. I stopped taking all prenatal vitamins at 12 weeks and rely now on whole foods but when I did take vitamins I was taking just straight folic acid and omega three liquid drops