As I come to the end of my second trimester I have been reflecting on how pregnancy has changed me. And I don’t mean in the way that I am obsessed with all things baby and have lost my ability to have a conversation about anything else. Some of it is just the infamous baby brain… but some of it is a slight shift in priority and preferences. For example my obsession with healthy eating – back seat (to a certain extent – I’m still healthy but I’m a lot more relaxed). And on the flip side having the balls to speak out and say what I damn well mean – well, that’s taken a front seat. My ideal of looking on the positive side – well, mostly this is still intact. But some hours of the day my attitude becomes more like a me of my early/mid twenties – e.g. life can just kiss my arse with it’s crappy crappiness, I don’t even give crap… and can someone just pass me the chocolate and a large bottle of red. Argh. Better just make it a kilo of chocolate.
I’m sure that in part this is down to hormones – which, by the way, are sneaky, sneaky things! About 10 days ago I was on such a high, literally no one could have talked me down from my number 9 cloud. I was excited about being pregnant, excited about being mum to my kicking little girl, I had a buzz about everything going on in our lifeand felt like there was no stopping hubby and me.
Fast forward a week later – this Saturday following a week of terrible sleep I felt like a zombie. The thought of functioning enough to drive the car, to find an address for the car seat I was picking up, to even remember what else I had to do that day seemed far too much for me to cope with. And I felt oddly gloomy about it all. I decided to pack a second breakfast of Bircher muesli packed with fresh berries and stop at the beach on the drive back so that I could try and feel better. The next day wasn’t much better – not helped by the cat pooping in the bath and the other cat being sick, followed by the bloody bird having a hissy fit about nothing… while I broke the kettle and flooded the kitchen, shorting the electrics. Of course, Mr OC would’ve had to be away this weekend of all times! He may have saved the kettle going to appliance heaven.
(Btw I love(d) my kettle so much – it has (had) different settings based on what drink you intend on having. And it was pretty. It was also a wedding present – apologies to the lovely friends who bought this for us if you’re reading this. I am going to replace it and love with it as much vigour and hopefully less baby brain.)
But that there is a fine example of the havoc changing hormones can have on you.
Insomnia and crappy sleep doesn’t help either. Apparently this is something I’m being ‘prepared’ for impending motherhood. Well thanks but anyone who knows me knows how much I treasure my minimum 8 hours of good sleep. I don’t cope well with prolonged absence of this institution. I feel achey, moody, and lacking enthusiasm – and over the last couple of weeks I seem to have moved into crappy sleep as the new normal. It also affects my ability to think straight! These days, if I wake up at 2 or 3 or 4am well, I just kind of grin and bear it and hope I’ll eventually sleep. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. And on the days I don’t I have a nice bath and try and make up for it the following night. Who’d have thought I’d come to accept poor sleep!?
Certainly the better slept I am the better my coping mechanisms of course. I mentioned in a previous blog that during my first trimester one of the ‘symptoms’ I experienced was the inability to accept any BS. Where the old me might have trod diplomatically around something I didn’t agree with, the new me just called BS and said what I felt about it. This hasn’t disappeared in my second trimester, although in my better moods I am able to present my opinion much more rosily than I might if I’m having a shocker of a day hormone wise. I think some of this comes with age and self assuredness anyway, and also with feeling content and stable in your own circumstances. It comes from knowing what is important – and being pregnant really highlights those things to you. When you’re going through the miracle of growing a human life in you, it puts things in perspective. And when you know that you need to prepare your life for being responsible for that human, again it gives you a clear view of what is a big deal, what is worth the stress, and what isn’t.
And I know I’ll continue to keep learning these things as I become a parent and as I move through the different stages of my life.
But here’s an example of me refusing to be caught up in BS. I was waiting to get on the bus and this guy starts talking to me but I can’t hear him because I had my headphones in, so I smiled and took my headphones out and politely replied “I’m sorry what was that” – “Don’t push in infront of me” he says in a whiney voice. Just to clarify I wasn’t. Although I could have looked like I was as I’d move past another guy who had indicated he wasn’t getting on the bus and I was now waiting for people to get off the bus first. So I just replied “I wasn’t. There you go…” indicating for him to get on the bus now the people had finished disembarking. He walked onto the bus and whilst scanning his Opal card turned to me in his whiney voice and “Yes you were.” Like some child arguing with a sibling. “You were pushing in front of me.” I just sighed, chuckled and said “Oh for god’s sake man chill out, no I wasn’t.”
Besides which, even if I had pushed in front of him (albeit accidentally mistaking him for not getting on the bus, because he wasn’t moving forward) I was one person. The bus wasn’t full. On principle I don’t like queue jumpers either, but for goodness sake. Seriously? Silly whiney man. Chill your beans. And considering I laughed it off, I reckon I was doing well. It could’ve been different on a different day.
There is a side to this that does require some mastering – I seem to have lost a filter on what comes out of my mouth, which is both marvellous and with potential to be devastating. For the most part it’s been mildly funny and (at least for me) quite refreshing. For example, at my friend’s recent baby shower we were playing a game where you had to create a fake bump with a balloon and then put a golf ball between your knees and waddle to a small bucket to try and land said golf ball into the bucket. This, supposedly, is like being extremely pregnant. It was tres amusing I have to say. Cue a girl who had an outfit that didn’t really allow the balloon to be up high enough – as such her bump was very low lying… very. So what did yours truly say “Oh my god it looks like your baby is in your vagina!” really loudly across the garden in front of an array of people I mostly had met for the first time that day. Yep, sorry everyone. Filter has been removed.
Usually that part of me is reserved for after a couple of glasses of vino. But not these days. Apparently I now come pre-loosened up.
Strangely, in all this I feel more certain of who I am than I have in all my life. Check back in a few months when I can’t remember what my first name is due to sleep deprivation….
How did pregnancy change you?