M to M. I first heard the term ‘maiden to mother’ from my friend Angela while we were hiking in LA last year, discussing me turning 30 and everything that comes with (it was all positive, don’t worry!). More recently, I read about mourning your ‘maiden self’ while changing over to your ‘mother self’. I can relate to this transition when I think about my routines that really took a shift during the first three months. Yoga and Pilates were part of my schedule; I was accustomed to working out 4-5 days a week no problem. Guess how many times I went from January to March?! Zero. I know it’s not alike for everyone, but I just couldn’t do it. I was so lethargic and exhausted, I didn’t have it in me physically to get up and go. As much as I wanted to mentally, my body wasn’t matching the same desire. In regards to food, I couldn’t stomach eating my beloved greens and veggies. I noticed my nutrition was completely off. I’d only want to eat garlic rice, potatoes, and anything bready: toast, pan de sal, bagels, etc. Stuff like this, my usual everyday habits, were changing fast and I missed the ‘normal days.’ (Remember: never feel guilty for the way you feel) I realized that part of this changeover is understanding how gentle you must be with yourself; pregnancy isn’t solely about this growing human inside, it’s also important to recognize the journey is from who you were to who you’ll be as a momma. Beautiful if you really think about it.
Hormones are real, yo. Getting hangry was pretty much the extent of my PMS diaries; I would classify my monthly symptoms as very, very mild. If I’ve ever dismissed other ladies’ Psychotic Mood Shifts or Pissy Mood Syndrome, I’m so sorry. I’ve never experienced hormones like I did during my first trimester… I blame all the indicators like nausea, vomiting, frequent urination, increased fatigue, mood swings, vivid dreams, tender boobies, heightened smell, food aversions, food cravings, etc. because of it. Luckily, science backs us up, mamas! Our bodies are adjusting to this new chemistry; a surge of hormone production is off the charts – hCG, estrogen, progesterone and relaxin thoroughly making their presence felt. Not to mention, I was on supplementary pills adding even more into my system. The flood of all this change triggers physiological alterations and imbalances. I believe we are to experience a full range of emotions during pregnancy, so it’s important we make space for the not so pleasant ones equally as much as the more enjoyable ones. In any case, I learned you can’t really control it. (So don’t bother trying!) However, being aware of how you are feeling can help let it go -especially when it’s negative- and that’s the takeaway I’m passing on here.
It’s OKAY to tell people as early as you want. No matter what you are going through in this life, you should never ride it out by yourself – and pregnancy is no exception. Some say the first trimester is the toughest part (so far, I agree!) and the ‘rule’ of waiting to tell until that stretch is over doesn’t sit well with me. I get not making a big, sometimes public, announcement to everyone – but you really will get through it with the support of a trusted, core group of your choosing. Our families knew and so did a handful of my girlfriends and it really made all the difference on those ‘blah’ days, which I had one too many of. It was also uplifting to receive and open random texts from those checking in on me to see how I was doing. I couldn’t imagine not being able to speak up or talk about what I was undergoing at the time. Keeping it in isn’t advisable; share both the struggles and successes of this miraculous period.