It’s been harder, and it’s been easier.
But this time around, there are a few different variables. First and foremost, I have a toddler! And B-O-Y, that first trimester nausea and exhaustion was just as brutal as I remembered! There were lots of moments my photographer had to pull over the news unit so I could throw up out the side (or in one case, a fanny pack he found in the back seat. Working mom life is no joke!)
And in addition to being nauseous 24/7 and unearthly tired, I had a toddler to take care of this time around. No sleeping in, no naps. It was go-go-go per usual from the moment she got up in the morning until the moment I had to get ready for work every afternoon (I work 2-11 p.m.)
Needless to say, we both ate lots of fast food and smoothies, and there was a LOT of screen time. Hey, you’re in survival mode. Let the kid watch 5 more Paw Patrol episodes if it means you get to lay on the floor a little longer!
Once the nausea eased up around week 14 the anxiety and mood swings kicked in. This has honestly been one of the hardest parts of this third pregnancy. With my first daughter, I was so busy with a home remodel and excited to become a mom that I didn’t really deal with a lot of anxiety. There were moments I worried something would go wrong, especially since I had the miscarriage at 14 weeks the first time around, but overall I was so physically uncomfortable that I didn’t have mental energy to deal with much else!
Now, I’m working out more regularly to maintain my sciatica. I had back surgery 2 months before I got pregnant again so I have to be super careful about stretching and staying active to build my back strength back up. Yoga has been a LIFESAVER! Anytime I start feeling the sciatica pain start to ramp up, I get myself into a yoga class and it helps almost immediately!
But the anxiety this time around has been one of the toughest mental struggles yet. I’ve always been a pretty calm, chill person who thrived under stress. It’s one of the reasons I’m good at what I do! (Nothing says stress like breaking news coverage!) But the past few months, there are times when it feels like my emotions are COMPLETELY out of my control, and it’s terrifying.
You hear a lot about postpartum depression, but you don’t hear as much about pregnancy anxiety and depression. I’ve never suffered from either of those things before, but I think I’m struggling with them now. There are times when it feels like a huge wave of anxiety and stress is coming at me out of nowhere, and there’s nothing I can do but ride it out.
It’s hard for your spouse when you’re pregnant. They see you growing bigger each day, but they don’t feel the pain and discomfort or nausea you do, and they can’t always understand the out-of-control emotional roller coaster you’re suddenly on. I realized, after a few weeks of lashing out, that I needed to tell my husband exactly what was going on. And I try to warn him when I feel the wave of anxiety coming on, because I know I’ll get stressed and cranky FAST and it’s so hard to pull myself out of it.
But I’m trying. I focus on the fact my daughter(s!) are both healthy. I am healthy. My husband is a great help around the house and with our toddler when I just need a minute to myself. And when I really, really need a mental reset, I get myself to a yoga class STAT. That has helped me survive this pregnancy more than anything else and I’m so grateful for the classes at my gym and the fabulous instructors.
So yea, this time around, it’s a bit harder and a bit easier, I suppose.
The best part, though? I now know the feeling that comes when you give birth and meet your baby for the first time. Before, it was an abstract idea. Like sure, I know I’ll love this baby. But man, the real thing is SO MUCH BETTER.
That’s what I keep focusing on when the anxiety gets overwhelming or I start to criticize my body and pregnancy weight gain. I look at my daughter and think man, I get to have another one of you. That’s pretty freaking awesome.
Because this time around, I know how much it’s all worth it.