One day the fact that you are Pregnant will lurch forward and smack you hard between the eyes. However many weeks you are into your journey, in my case 29, there comes a day that it sinks in that you are going to have a baby.
I have watched from the sidelines as my friends have become Mothers. I have seen them change and sworn that I would never succumb to such a thing. How naive of me. The physical change that has morphed my body has forced me to stop and think. I suddenly understand new rules. There are things you cannot understand unless you have carried the weight of another human. There are physical things, emotional things, things I was utterly unprepared for.
I was adamant I wouldn't lose myself in the process of having a baby. I now see that the women I thought had been consumed by babies were never lost. I couldn't begin to understand the newer more complex versions that motherhood had made them. I was so caught up with me that I couldn't see, I didn't know how to try. Every day I need these women now and sadly I don't have many to fall on.
Pregnancy has been described as a roller coaster and for me that has been true. There will always be women that sail through it and there will be some that suffer at its hands so for the days or day that pregnancy hits, I hope you remember this.
The waves will not always crash.
Just like a day at the beach sometimes the waves will rage against the rocks so violently you feel small and inconsequential. Sometimes all is calm and you barely see a ripple. You will not always want to cry, but some days you will. Know that in the future you will understand this better than you can now. You will be able to see the humour that hides so far away from you at times.
The words will come.
The emotions pregnancy provides will sit in the spaces between everything in your life. I have struggled for 29 weeks to find the right words to help me explain. My words have become even more important. Sometimes words will lead you to argue, they can also help you to find a way out. The words may come in written form, like mine here or in the form of an email or letter that you never intend anyone to read. When you need the words they will be there, they will become a lifeline for those stormy seas.
Let the women flock.
It's ok to admit that you need other people. As a woman who never understood why Mums had to have 'Mum friends'. I now do. I hold my hands up. I was wrong. Embrace all women and let them gather around you. Take from them their wisdom, let them share in your experiences and hold a space of quiet understanding, no judgment. Form your sisterhood.
Lastly, don't fall foul of your own ideals for perfection or anyone else's.
Pregnant or not, no one needs this. In a world where everything is shared and scrutinised remember that you need to look at everything with your own filter. Your body is going to change and it may not be in the way you had imagined. You may feel like it's not your own & suddenly disconnected from it. People will comment on your pregnancy, they will question and probe. Sometimes you will see the well meaning intention & some days it will have you holding back burning tears. Not everything will be perfect but everything will be real.
Pregnancy is more than a roller coaster. It is a shift so huge in the physical and emotional sense that it's OK to hold your hands up and surrender. Pregnancy will hit you whether you planned to be here or not.
So for my pregnant self and other pregnant ladies I write this. You may feel like you lose a little bit more of you each day and that everything is so unexplainably hard but please stop a second.
It's all going to be fine.
If pregnancy hits four weeks in or 35, know this. You aren't going mad even if you are the only person driving yourself crazy. You aren't on your own even though your moods jump furiously from joy to utter despair. You are working very hard on something new and that is OK. I commend you and I'm here for you, with all the other mums who have birthed or raised. They know patience like no other and will always be willing to listen, to help you find the words and to love.