What are the Pregnancy Blues and how can you Overcome them?

Over the past few weeks, I have been a bit ashamed to admit it out loud, when I know I shouldn’t be. the pregnancy blues are a perfectly normal thing to experience, but I just feel slight failure and disappointment.

You see, being pregnant is a marvellous experience for the most part, and there are so many wonderful women around the world who don’t even get the chance to experience it. So what right does a 28 week long pregnant woman have to complain about her situation of emotion? Well, to be honest, she gets every right.

I have experienced the odd  occasion of feeling a bit bluesy, maybe even a little depressed and down beaten.  It won’t be that I feel sad necessarily, but there is a sort of sad atmosphere going on inside of my head that I just cannot shake. I go through these periods of time frequently throughout my life, but the past 5 months have been nothing short of perfect and blissful. 

So why is it that nowadays, 6 months pregnant, I find myself standing in the shower in the morning with no song to sing and just staring blankly at the corner of the tiles on the wall opposite me without a thought, or shred of emotion on my face? Is it normal to feel slightly… numb inside? Is the feeling multiplied by my intense hormonal mood swings? Perhaps! That could explain why I have those days where every little thing makes me blubber like a baby when I don’t even feel a tickle of sadness or upset, or anything really. Is it normal to feel slightly… numb inside?

The answer is yes. I would put it down to antenatal depression, but the thing is, this feeling is not a stranger to me. I have experienced this exact sense of “ennui” before, many times. But its nothing to worry about because everytime I experience it, it goes away overtime and I realise that it is only temporary. 

Still, though, I feel slightly guilty over the fact that I feel this way when I am carrying a miracle within me. I am filled up with 2 hearts beating away contently and sharing these beautiful “bump and me” moments. I am truly so so happy but I am just going through a bit of a rut, and that’s perfectly normal! I think adding the pressure of remaining positive and happy for everyone can be a bit too much and I think this makes the situation worse.

Overcoming the Pregnancy Blues by…

Eating Healthier

It seems like one of those things that everyone tells people to do, and it can make us question if it really has any weight of truth, but it does. Eating healthier, cleaner and greener meals and snacks can actually help our mentality! I found that by cutting out some of the crappier foods I was consuming from cravings, I regained a sense of control and felt better with less guilt.  It also helps me to think that I am giving my baby the best start to life with much needed proteins and legumes!

Pregnancy Blues

Exercising Gently

I know, I know… Exercising while you are pregnant is a bit of a difficult one. In my opinion and in my experience, its not sensible to do anything too intense, ie jogging as it takes too long to recover for me. I decided recently that I am getting back into swimming. Apparently swimming is a great, gentle way of exercising aching muscles and your weightlessness in the water can actually help to alleviate some of the pains. We got to stay fit and healthy some way! Exercising releases those endorphins that swim around your body. I always refer to endorphins as little dolphins of hope as I can just imagine them swimming about, flipping and spinning happily within your body and it automatically makes me feel happier. By doing some gentle exercise for about 30 minutes 3 times a week, you will be doing yourself a kindness!

Stop putting pressure on yourself

Its all too easy for pregnant ladies to feel guilty for complaining about our qualms. Over the past few weeks I have really noticed this being the reality for me, but it hit me that I shouldn’t! Growing a baby is hard work, and I think its a miracle that we can get through it, especially when aches and pains can get a bit too overbearing sometimes. We have earned the right to have a little whine every now and then. Read my thoughts on this matter by clicking here. By adding additional pressure to yourself, you are making things worse mentally. You are bottling up the weird unexplainable emotions that you are experiencing and that really is no way to feel better. Accept the fact that you are feeling low, but don’t let it become you! 

Pregnancy Blues

Know that it will all be worth it- write down your worries about the baby coming

Some nights when I was growing up, I would remain awake in bed for hours upon hours worrying about things that were outwith my control… school… friends… family… just the usual things that everyone worries about. For some reason these worries would remain at the front of my mind for hours upon hours and I would get no relief whatsoever until I got them down on paper. I know that not all people work the same way, but for me, writing my woes down helps me to express them, which relieves some of the frustration pent up in my mind.

With pregnancy, comes worry, comes anxiety and panic sometimes. We just have to find a way to deal with it so it doesn’t ride its way throughout the 9 months. What are your fears or worries about having your baby? The room available? The fact that your life going to change drastically? Being able to afford life? Note down your worries. Sometimes just getting them out on paper can help you realise that these issues are fixable if you give it some logical thought. Writing them down turns the tidal waves of worry into small, manageable and hoppable waves that you can overcome.

Speak to someone

If your thoughts are overburdening your mind to the point you can notice yourself getting quieter and quieter with those you love, maybe you can’t smile as much as you did during the first trimester, or you might find yourself becoming less excited for the little bundle of joy to join you in your journey through life. These are all perfectly normal feelings that pregnant women experience and its extremely okay to talk about without feeling judged. Avoid those who may judge you about these things and talk it over with your midwife, your partner, your parents, your siblings, your friends, heck… talk to me about them if you need an ear! Sometimes you just need to hear someone saying out loud that you aren’t going crazy, that the thoughts you are having are perfectly normal. Without sounding ridiculously corny, a problem shared is a problem halved and once I speak about the issues I experience, with my wonderful partner or family, I always feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Other parents will know exactly how you feel usually and might even be able to offer a bit of hope for you with their advice- afterall, they have been through it all before. 

Pregnancy Blues

Take care of yourself

This tip is one of the most important in my book. How are you ever going to start feeling happier if you are abandoning yourself? When the baby comes, you are not going to get much time to yourself, so enjoy it while you can. Enjoy the last few months that you will have before your baby arrive and take yourself out for a hair cut, or get your nails done… even better, spring out some cash and get a foot massage! If you are on a budget, treat yourself to a facial, a hot bubble bath, or purchase a lush bath bomb or massage bar and luxuriate yourself. This time is wonderful and its yours. Do with it what you want and enjoy it. You will feel better, more positive and happier soon. I promise!

Pregnancy Blues

Pregnant Lady FOMO- a Taste of what’s to come…

FOMO

Ah, FOMO.

The dictionary defines FOMO as “anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media”, or its the “Fear of Missing Out”. You can read all about FOMO in Stella Hudgen’s recent blog post, which I encountered over Instagram and its what inspired me to write about the subject from a pregnant woman’s point of view. 
I have had FOMO, my friends have had FOMO, your Granny’s Granny probably had FOMO at some point in her life. Babies get it too! You tend to see that they won’t sleep when there is lots going on around them. My nephew was adorably guilty of this when he was just a few weeks old; we would head over to their house, hang out for the day and as soon as Riley was put to his crib, he would cry for fear of being left out. 
My point is that everybody experiences FOMO at some point in their life (unless you are a person who is involved in EVERYTHING you could possibly ever want to be involved in, and in that case then you might have FOMO of the concept of FOMO, so technically, you might still get FOMO) and its perfectly normal! 

Even though its normal, FOMO can suck!

FOMO only becomes a real problem when it is recurring for a person. Of course, people can combat it by making themselves more available for friends and social invitations, or by saving up enough money to buy those concert tickets that they know they would miss out on otherwise. But what if a person has less of a chance to combat it though?
I’m thinking about Mums, Dads and expecting Mums and Dads.

Pregnant Lady FOMO

FOMO

I was watching “The Let Down” on Netflix recently (a Netflix original show), which is pretty hilarious but it also induced a whole set of nerves, fear and realism to me as a pregnant woman of what to expect when my gorgeous wee Squish is born. The show follows Audrey, a Mother of 1 new-born baby, Stevie, who is going through the adjustment period of having just given birth to getting used to being responsible for a new human being, struggling with the support available from her friends, family and her work-obsessed boyfriend. She joins a group of new Mothers in an AA-like meeting each week and shares her battles with them all. Its a pretty good show and worth a shout!
I think I have been under a false illusion of what maternity leave will be like because this show has suggested to me the realities of a being a brand new Mum, even with a partner present. I can’t decide if I should recommend this show to the pregnant ladies that I know, for fear of freaking them out, but I also don’t want them to be blind sided with how strenuous and emotionally turbulent the experience seems to be with being a brand new parent.  I definitely feel like its a good suggestion to a new Mum to prove that the struggles she might be experiencing are not out of the norm and that no matter how bad it can get, she is truly never alone.
ANYWAYS, the show sort of highlighted my growing suspicions of FOMO being a bit of a problem when a baby is born.
I don’t enjoy the feeling of missing out on things, but being an introvert, I have come to terms with the fact that FOMO might be a common theme in my life throughout. What worries me is that it WILL become more prevalent when friends are celebrating their life accomplishments and don’t have as much time to spend with the new Mum of the group. Or not being able to go to as many concerts or seeing couples heading out for a last minute holiday that they booked. 
I find that it has always been a bit of a burden on expecting Mothers of not being able to complain about anything like this because outsiders tend to make them feel bad about it by saying things like “Well, you are the one that got pregnant”, or that “their needs come after the baby’s”. I feel that expecting Mothers are made to feel a gut wrenching guilt if they share their complaints out loud and I have to say that its complete nonsense. 
Its natural to feel like independence, freedom, self-identity is sailing away during pregnancy, because when the baby is here, that’s it. The baby comes first and foremost all the time, and for some Mothers I think this must be really difficult to deal with. I think that all Mothers (expecting included) should be given the chance to have a whine every now and then about how things are going without being made to feel the guilt that is imparted on them as soon as something negative exits their lips. Stifling these feelings up can not be healthy and could even lead to eventual resentment towards to the situation.

FOMO for pregnant ladies

FOMO might occur for pregnant ladies when her friends are going out to celebrate birthdays at clubs. They might not want to join in because they feel judged of being in a drinking atmosphere when heavily pregnant, even if no alcohol was consumed by the pregnant lady. 
FOMO might occur for pregnant ladies when her partner is taking part in an activity that she would love to do but can’t because she is keeping the foetus safe. 
FOMO might occur for pregnant ladies when she is prohibited to leaving the house because of round ligament pain or exhaustion.

The Flip-side of FOMO when pregnant

FOMO

BUT…. “missing out” doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
Staying in while pregnant can allow pregnant ladies to bond with their bump. It can allow them the chance to prepare by shopping online for the nursery d├ęcor. It could allow them to feel better for the weekend coming so that she can leave the house at some point. She can organise nights in with her friends with snacks and movies and have a right good old catch up! She can convince her partner to stay at home with her and create psychic predictions of what their baby will look like or what they will do when they are older, or come up with plans about how to make the incoming life the best thing possible. 
My point is that FOMO, while it can suck at the time, is not the end of the world. The great thing about FOMO is that it might not last long at all; just the length of the activity that the person is missing out on, and then,  life goes on. 
Remembering that everybody gets the fear of missing out and that soon enough you will be having FOMO relating to the baby about missing first smiles or first steps… not so much the importance of keeping up appearances at nights out etc, makes FOMO slightly more easy to deal with. Babies make everything worth it; not just the labour and the stretch marks, but even the emotional turbulence that you experience as a mother (expecting included).
Do you get FOMO as a pregnant woman or Mother? What are some ways that you combatted the feeling?