Going With The Flow: The First Trimester of Pregnancy
Well I have to say, just as I was finishing this blog post, the whole draft deleted itself. That was fun. Haha. So this is my round 2 of this post! I am definitely having a tough time "trusting the universe" at the moment....but hey, the universe is under no obligation to make sense to me. I'll just take a moment to be grateful for all of the amazing things in my life. :)
Ok, so here's my second attempt! So it turns out, I'm pregnant, which is exciting! But of course, it hasn't come without challenges and new opportunities for growth! I am excited to share my experiences of adjusting through the first trimester!
This my first time being pregnant, and there were all sorts of changes and adjustments mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Perhaps even more changes than I had ever anticipated. This was very unexpected for us, and just adjusting to the news was the first hoop to jump through. I took a test assuming it was going to be negative, and when it wasn't I was shocked. It was the first time in my life I was so overwhelmed I needed to sit down. A huge wave of anxiety hit me. For me, I now know my biggest sources of anxiety come from anticipation, not having an option to get out of a situation if I want to, and the unknown. Well, fasten your seatbelt, a first pregnancy is filled with all three of those things. I all of a sudden felt trapped and scared of what was happening. Eric handled the news way better than I did, and while I did start to feel some excitement, I went to bed thinking, "Don't worry, you'll take the other test tomorrow, it will be negative and everything will go back to normal." The test the next morning was of course positive. Over the course of the next week the idea started to settle in and I just put full trust into the universe. If this was meant to be at this time, then ok...I will embrace it! And just for full disclosure, I am currently 18 weeks in, and I could not be more excited. :)
Mental/Emotional: Hands down the toughest challenge has been the mental/emotional side. I have worked so hard over the last year and a half to better control my emotions and really apply the concept of, "You can't control what people do, but you CAN control your reaction." It's a constant work in progress, but wow, have I felt side swept! I feel like I have back tracked majorly! My emotions feel less predictable, and sometimes I feel upset about things, and even know rationally in my mind that it's crazy. I know the hormone shifts are crazy and this is considered "normal," but I have to admit, I really didn't think these things would apply to me. I also got scared that I was digressing, and that this just how I would act the rest of my life. I really felt invincible, and to be more blunt, self-righteous. I was so sure that because I follow such a clean diet, exercise regularly, and have worked so extensively on my emotional and spiritual development that I wouldn't even be bothered by the slightest symptom of pregnancy. Like I wouldn't even notice I was pregnant except for a little bump in the front. All of the things that I read about that were "totally normal" just made me think..."Oh, that won't happen to me." While I do believe that my diet, exercise and emotional/spiritual growth HAVE benefitted me and reduced some of my pregnancy symptoms, a lot of the things HAVE happened to me. I have cried for no reason, been moody for no reason, and I have felt it hard to adjust to the idea of weight gain, even if it is supposed to happen. I quickly realized that I had very high expectations for myself, and what would really serve me best is to just let go and go with the flow.
Physical: The physical adjustment for me hasn't been too bad, fortunately! I didn't have extreme morning sickness and I never threw up, but I certainly didn't, and still don't feel 100% I found out I was pregnant at about 6 weeks, and started really having symptoms around 8 weeks. It kind of just felt like the remnants of a slight hang over all of the time...which while mild, still sucks...especially when it lasted about 5 weeks. Fortunately I felt my best in the morning and throughout the day, but in the evening is when I would generally feel gross, lack an appetite and just get tired and want to go to bed. One big change was that I started needing more sleep. I used to get up around 5-5:30a and read, meditate and get some chores done before starting my day. I now find myself starting to sleep into 6 or 6:30! The other major change was my whole approach to eating. I follow a ketogenic diet, which is higher fat, moderate protein and low carb. I very rarely ate bread or gluten, and hardly any grains. The only starches I ate were sweet potatoes and on occasion, rice. Before pregnancy, this diet was amazing for me. I felt great, lost weight, had more energy, and better mental clarity. You're also not constantly hungry with this style of eating so I would go large gaps of time without eating and feel good. Well, that all changed when I got pregnant around the 7-8 week mark! I started feeling symptoms of low blood sugar/hypoglycemia if I didn't eat right when I woke up, if I wasn't eating carbs with a meal, or if I would go long periods of time without eating. It was very strange for me. I am very familiar with craving carbs as an emotional want, but this felt totally different. It felt like a physical need...which I denied at first. My gut told me I needed them and I started slowly adding in sprouted grains and more starches to my diet. I also started eating small, more frequent meals and keeping snacks on hand to eat before I event felt myself getting hungry. That changed everything! Once I shifted my diet around, things got much easier. I also think that my body craved the grains in order to gain weight.* I was worried about weight gain during pregnancy and if I would be able to gain enough. Well, grains are an easy way to gain weight, and since adding them to my diet I've gained the fat reserves a pregnant body needs. And what is crazier, is once I gained what my body needed as fat storage, I have stopped craving the grains, and have started to cut back on them, and focus on my original diet, but now with increased protein. It's been such an amazing experience to see how the body will shift to do what it needs to do. I am so grateful that I have learned to become so in tune with my body over the last few years to be able to listen to what it has been telling me over the last few months!
Spiritual: The spiritual connection has been great! I've been practicing reiki on the baby constantly and I trust the universe that this was the time our baby needed to come. I feel as though my intuition is only getting stronger, and that this has been such a motivation to continue my spiritual growth to be able to teach these principles to our child.
Overall the first trimester was a great experience. It was not fun to feel like I'm operating at a less than optimal speed, but it taught me slow down. I had such high expectations, and the biggest lesson I learned was to let go and go with the flow. It was a concept I already knew and had been trying to implement for a while, but this experience was just the right piece of the puzzle. I've finally started to embrace the idea to control what I can, but let go of what I can't. It's hard work, and I hope that pregnancy and the birth of the baby continues to help push me further down this path!
Looking forward to sharing more growth and challenges that pregnancy brings!
*I'm not a doctor/dietician, so I don't know for sure this is why my body desperately craved additional carbs/grains. This just my personal interpretation!