The age old saying of “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb,” is a cliché yet accurate statement for a reason. The beginning of March hit us with a cold front that made me want to completely give up on commuting to work and retire to my bed until the baby was born. The end of March was a little nicer, thank god.
For me, the statement didn't just tie in to the weather - it seemed to explain my whole school of thought on my pregnancy. I started March stressed out, overwhelmed and panicking - but I'm happy to say that by the end of the month I've definitely calmed down.
Right around the end of my first trimester, my nausea stepped it’s game up – I was now puking most evenings, which wasn’t great. I found comfort in a big bag of Jolly Rancher hard candies (reds only) and unflavored rice cakes.
I was still managing around nine hours of sleep a night – but I wasn’t as exhausted as I had been in February. I wasn’t sure if this was due to my body adjusting to being pregnant, or the few hours of warm weather that we got, but I was happy to focus that extra energy on taking care of chores around my house. My anxiety had definitely been building over the past two months because I felt like I couldn’t get anything done.
Speaking of anxiety – with my hormones going crazy, my panic attacks seriously increased. A lot of these freak-outs seemed to correlate directly with how I was processing people's reactions to me being pregnant. Some of the people I considered closest to me had surprising reactions about me being pregnant that hit me hard. When you’re so excited about something, it can be crushing when your friends aren’t at all into it. It sucks, and you can't force someone to be excited for you - so I was having a pretty big pity party of one.
In talking to some moms, I’ve come to realize that this is normal. Sure, I spent the majority of my first trimester stressing out about it, but then something changed.
We had an emergency appointment, due to some personal issues. My husband and I both left work to head to our doctors office, where we waited – anxiousness radiating between the two of us while our nurses tried to get me to relax and not worry. It seemed impossible, all the worst case scenarios were running through my head. Without going into too many details – everything was fine and we got to hear Baby K’s heartbeat for the first time.
After that, everything shifted. Sure, it’s probably cliché but, to tell you the truth, I don’t really care.
I’d been wasting so much time stressing out and being upset over other people instead of focusing on what was so much more important than the emotional bullshit I’d been putting myself through. My body was changing, working to provide a safe environment for my child – and I needed to start treating myself with a little more kindness. It totally snapped me out of my wallowing. That day I realized – if people didn’t want to be a part of my pregnancy, it was totally fine. I wasn’t missing out on anything. It wasn't about them - everyone's entitled to their own opinion - and I needed to stop putting myself through the emotional ringer. I had something way more important to focus on!
It’s weird, before I got pregnant – I just figured I’d balance it all: friends and a baby, social obligations and parenthood. But somehow, this month, my mindset shifted. The most important person in my life right now is only the size of a lemon and I can’t imagine sacrificing any single bit of this time, of their health or safety, for anything or anyone.
When I got pregnant, a friend told me that “once you’re a mom, you just don’t have time for the bullshit anymore” – and it’s the truest thing anyone has ever said. It’s crazy that after years of growing up, figuring out who I am – of identifying what my limitations are, of reinventing myself and truly thinking I understood myself - being pregnant has been the thing that has finally made me realize just how important it is to treat myself with the kindness and self respect that I deserve. This month finally made me realize that the most important relationship I had was between me, my baby and my body. It didn't matter how other people were going to react to me - for the first time I really truly recognized that their opinions couldn't harm me if I didn't let them.
I’m an over thinker. I’m a worrier, but this month, I finally reached the point of washing my hands of those things that – even though I may love them – cause me to stress out. It’s time for me to take another path with my life and, honestly, I’ve never been so sure of any decision.