Margaret* is expecting her first baby November 5, and is sharing her experience each week for the next nine months.
Being pregnant has made me stronger, more determined and more relaxed. I feel strong because I am hyper aware of how my actions and those around me affect my growing child. Having had the unfortunate experience of suffering through PTSD and a bout of depression last year, eating junk is not appealing to me. Rather I try to focus on eating nutritious food when I am able to eat.
Do I still eat fried potatoes? You bet. I eat a variety of food, both to keep satisfied and balanced. I notice that when I stray from eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains, I crave sugar and fatty foods.
Prior to pregnancy, I also let go of caffeine to help alleviate my trouble with sleeping. I though that I couldn't function in the morning without it. I find that peppermint oil, either dabbed on my wrist and temples, or a gentle face wash works good. So does citrus. It picks me up without the side effects.
My greatest hope is the ability to eat a wider variety of foods as I move closer to the end of the first trimester. Its not that I mind eating vegetarian. Food aversions in pregnancy make other people uncomfortable; my husband and I try to be as kind as possible, but eating out at any place isn't possible right now, and certainly, at home with family and friends, there are certain foods I cannot be around. If it s a choice between propriety and loosing my cookies, I chose to excuse myself and go lie down.
Staying fit, body and soul
I am determined to life a full, truth-centered life. One goal is to get outside for 30 minutes a day. I live in a hot climate, so I try to do it the evening, or in shade, reading, or even catching up on CafeMom. The more I connect with my growing child I realize that I don't want to be stuck inside. I also feel directed to commit more deeply to my core values. I want a firm foundation on which to grow a family.
Examining my life, the words of Socrates, IS important. How do we make time in a busy, modern world? The same way we do for TV or for any "extra" activity, we set aside time as often as we can. I do this through church, meditation, exercise, and reading. When I feel terrible because of nausea, or disheartened by a physical discomfort of pregnancy, my inner voice speaks up and reminds me to stay calm, be grateful and to relax.
Relaxing is a big part of my pregnancy thus far. I nap after the day is done, even if it is for a few minutes. I take time to wash my face in the morning. I make good food that turns into leftovers a few days a week. I make time to be still. I watch more funny television and movies. Laughing is a bit uncomfortable right now, either because I'll need to make a trip to the bathroom, or because of the restructuring of my abdomen. Those funny pains down low are a bummer when you are laughing out loud.
The concern of insomnia is ever present. I have had pretty wild dreams. I wake to relieve myself often, more so than before. I have pretty good sleep habits and lots of reasons to sleep well. It seems like the door to my unconscious is unlocked. All of the things scientists report about dreams -- namely that we dream what is unresolved and that which did not make sense in the order of our day, seems about right. Whatever awkward feeling, or craving I can't meet I dream about. I've dreamed about cinnamon raisin toast, hamburgers, and a host of yummy foods out of my reach. I've dreamed about former boyfriends, friendships lost and deceased relatives. I dream in color and smell. Whenever it gets too much, or I find myself feeling unbalanced, I come back to the dream of realizing a child. My gratitude is endless.
What challenges are you coming up against in your pregnancy?
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*Name has been changed to protect privacy
Image via theinvinciblemom/ Flickr