Downside of Hormones during Pregnancy
While becoming pregnant and the prospect of motherhood is an ecstatic feeling, the decision to do so, especially in today’s busy world should be a well thought process. People like us, who can browse the net and read an article or a blog like this one are educated enough to not be told about things like ‘take care of your health’ or ‘drink lots of water’. We all do. When I became pregnant for the first time I remember micro-planning everything – like maybe we need to shift to a bigger house, the financial planning, a lifetime insurance for the baby even before he is born etc. I also checked out kindergarten schools in the neighbourhood and compared prices. People around told me how smart I am and how well I represented the today’s generation gen-X mom.
However, no one breathed a single word about the emotional abyss that pregnancy throws you into, and that’s exactly what I am going to talk about.
1. The Hormonal Dance
The onset of pregnancy flushes into the system a few special hormones to support a pregnancy. While these are some important hormones, they can play havoc with your body as well as your emotions. Hence needs some getting used to.
They are mainly estrogen and progesterone.
They can take you through a real deep dark gorge of depression, mood swings and guilt. They can make you cry for no reason and you feel you have come to the last semester of your life. You feel hot all of a sudden and cold at other times. You forget things, sometimes important things that you are not supposed to forget and that makes you miserable. You are at your nerves end and feel neglected, especially by your partner. You want a lemonade at the middle of the night and black forest pastry the moment the sun sets. At other times you are hungry and nauseated at the same time that leaves you nowhere. Now the first thing to do is to start by acknowledging that all these are absolutely natural for a pregnant woman. The idea is to make yourself aware and learn about them. The knowledge gives you an upper hand and leaves you in a better position to deal with it.
2. The Trecherous Body
It turns in on you. All of a sudden you can’t relate to the body you have lived in for your entire life. The first three months you are mostly nauseated. Then comes the phase when one morning you find yourself puffy and then the next morning your body feels bloated.
Since we are used to living in one body, the constant changes that the pregnancy throws in can be quiet unnerving and intimidating. You need to know what all changes might occur and prepare for it mentally and emotionally.
I felt that each day my body felt different. Some days I would wake up with a buzz in the head and other days a lethargy that nothing could break. I felt drowsy and heavy the whole day and just wanted to sleep.
The breast starts to enlarge, the back bone curves to make space for the developing uterus and skin, hair and nails go through changes – for some it’s for the better, when the skin puts on a natural blush and hair shines. For some it’s for the worse, like dark circles under the eyes, dark patches in the skin or an excessive hair fall caused because of the hormones. Sometime during the last semester the naval pops out unceremoniously and a weird blue-black line, like a live vein, runs down the bulk of the abdomen that can be seen under the translucent skin if u are standing in front of the mirror.
While changes in the body is inevitable, most of them are reversible right after delivery. So what happens is that, even though all of us are aware of the thickening of the waist line during pregnancy, we are usually not aware of the other changes that happens to the body triggered during the same period. There may be heat boils, warts and neck pain. And then there is this special pregnancy itch that turns you crazy that usually creeps up on you during the last semester.
What we need to know here is that they are all related. Any change that your body faces during pregnancy needs to be consulted with your gynaecologist.
Will I ever get back to shape like before?
Will those skin patches vanish?
Will my hair grow back?
There may be a few more and the answer to each and every such “will” question is “Yes” to most of them. To the rest, they can be taken care of by experts.
3. The Happiness Quotient
The importance of being happy during this period can never be overrated. It is probably the central criterion for the birth of a happy healthy baby, and trust me, a mother of two, when I say that there is nothing as wonderful as giving birth to a baby bursting with health in reverse to an unhealthy one. BE HAPPY. Period. Do anything to make that happen, but never compromise on that. Train your mind to love the changing body. Know that a pregnant woman has an ethereal beauty of their own and if you are inclined to think otherwise, you are missing out on the most beautiful phase of your life. Meditate. Do Yoga. Take a walk. Eat that mango. Buy that dress. Wear that gloss. Help your system to ooze out those happy hormones as much as possible. Take it on a war footing. There can be no compromising on that.
What worried me most was that I was so sure of my pregnancy, but when it happened, I did not like it. I did not know much about hormones than and all the havoc that it plays. All of a sudden the changes that was happening to me and the others that would happen in the near future seemed so overwhelming that I wanted to reverse it. On top of it all, everyone around congratulated me and thought I was at the top of the world. But I wasn’t!
I could not tell anyone how much I hated the fix that I was in, because of the social jaw-dropping syndrome the society has with anything anti-maternal. I was miserable. And nobody told me that it is all very natural. All I needed at that point was to know about it.
4. Worries and Anxieties
It is very natural to be worried about the pregnancy. Uncountable series of ‘what ifs’ makes ugly rounds that gives you nightmares during the nights and cold feet during the day. Once the wheel of worries rolls in there is hardly any way of stopping it except through self-awareness. Say ‘STOP’ aloud as many times as required to stop that flow of anxiety and worrisome thoughts. Remind yourself that it is not necessary. The fall out of the extreme and easy access to information is that we know too much, and are victims of the curse of knowledge. We overlook the fact that each and every information cannot be related to us or converted on us. We panic. It is important to know that this panic, worry or anxiety is not real, but perceived and acknowledge that it needs to be broken. It is important to break the constant cycle of these trails of negative thoughts because it affects the baby directly. Each and every negative thoughts needs to be picked up and converted into positive ones.
It is said that a woman is at her most beautiful self during these nine months. Let that beauty flow. Feel it inside you and let it blush on your being, for nothing makes a woman more complete than motherhood. I know it, and you too will learn it the moment you hold that precious bundle of joy in your arms! So smile, laugh, cry, and celebrate! You are going to be a mother