The Second TRY-mester
I’d made it safely, albeit loudly and dramatically into my second trimester. I was told by everyone (mostly those whom I hadn’t asked to begin with) that my symptoms would calm down and I would tone down the crazy and that the second trimester was the very best part of pregnancy. Apparently, there’d be some energy surge and I’d feel all strong and vibrant and awesome.
So, why in the fresh hell did I continue to puke and be miserable?
Because EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT, that’s why.
Ladies, every person and every pregnancy is completely different, like the most delicate, annoying little snowflake. And you’ve just got to roll with it.
I didn’t roll with it really, but you should definitely do as I say and not as I do.
I actually stayed sick and tired until about week 15 or so. And I grew even more ornery as those days came and went and I didn’t get that second trimester surge that everyone had gone out of their way to promise me. During this time, my spiral reached new heights. It was around that time that I went through my germophobe phase and started accusing everyone around me, including my best friend, of trying to kill my unborn baby by exposing me to their germs.
Folks, you shouldn’t do this. When someone has been sick, you should probably just tell them that you hope they’ll feel better soon. And you definitely shouldn’t accuse your friend of trying to harm your baby. And you definitely shouldn’t rant about it on social media like you’re a petty middle schooler. It won’t go over well.
That same week, I straight-up walked out of the gym in the middle of my workout. I had sharp pains in my naval—which I later learned were a totally normal thing that have to do with growing humans and stretching and ligaments and tendons and it’s all very technical and common—and because I was frustrated and feeling weak and limited and tired and half my friends weren’t talking to me, I’d had enough and stormed out.
I really can’t stress it enough: If you’re having a hard time, reach out to someone.
The thing about that kind of crazy behavior is that the rational part of me was completely intact somewhere, hovering over me and watching me act like a psycho. I knew that no one was trying to harm my baby. I knew regular exposure to germs was a normal part of life. I knew that things were going to cramp and hurt and that my body wouldn’t be what it was before I got pregnant. Yet, somehow, there I was, throwing tantrums and losing my crap left and right.
If you’re struggling, get some help. If you’re scared or confused about something, ask questions. I did all these things, but definitely not as quickly as I should have. In fact, I hired a doula purely for the reason that my friends were dropping like flies—some of that was my crazy hormonal fault and some of that was because nothing weeds out fair-weather friends like the erratic journey of pregnancy—and I was willing to pay someone other than my husband to be there for me during pregnancy.
Turns out, doulas are actually amazing. They are there to assist you during childbirth, not in a medical capacity, but to ensure your comfort and provide support. And when I met mine and told her I was mostly scared all the time and my squad had disappeared because I was a hormonal nut bag, she put me in touch with a counselor who specialized in working with pregnant and post-partum women.
We went over birth plans and talked about the care I was receiving. She gave me resources and books and talked to me about other providers since I was unhappy. She assured my husband that what was happening to me didn’t make me crazy, but that I needed to get some assistance in addressing not only my depression, but my unhappiness with my doctor.
Basically, my doula was the first person to get me really excited about my pregnancy. Before that, I hadn’t been excited about it since that trip to the ER. And that alone made her well worth the investment.
Ladies, there’s a reason that every book, every class, and every office you visit when you’re pregnant asks you about your support system. It’s important. And if you start to lose it a little, it’s only going to be magnified if you feel like you’re going through it alone. Get you a doula. Join a mommy group (if that’s your thing). Get you some resources. Talk to a counselor. Maybe don’t accuse your friends of trying to kill your baby with their cold germs. It may take a village to raise a baby, but as I’d started to see, it also took a village to grow one.
About the Author: Alicia Barksdale is the Managing Writer & Editor for Gold Anchor Publications, LLC, a freelance writing and consulting service. You can follow her on Instagram @hi_fitlicia and read her blog at AliciaBarksdale.com.