Excuse the long title, this is basically going to be a me ranting about how hard my life has been since first falling pregnant over two years ago, fueled by a lack of sleep and raging hormones.
I’ve taken myself out into the garden this afternoon whilst Adam is napping for some Vitamin D and rather than wallowing in my pit of misery I though I’d do something productive and write a post about things that I certainly wish I’d known before getting pregnant.
Now don’t get me wrong none of these things would have made me think twice about having a baby and he is, hands down, the best thing in my life but if I’d known a few of these things I feel I could have prepared for them a lot better. Instead I was in this happy, finally got those two blue lines on my pregnancy test, bubble and so when shit hit the fan I just didn’t know what to do with myself at times.
Let’s start with the first and probably the biggest effect of pregnancy – Hyperemesis! To most this is known as severe nausea and vomiting throughout pregnancy but it is actually a lot more than that. There’s the fact you can’t go anywhere or do anything without having sick bags, countless packs of tissues and a bottle of water for those unexpected bouts of vomiting. Team that with the dehydration and weekly trips to see the midwife, the fact I probably tested my own urine more times than I can count and the many sleepless nights I had worrying about how my baby was growing when I couldn’t keep anything in. I lost so much weight in pregnancy that I actually weighed less at full term than I did at my first midwife check in and I spent countless nights in a hospital bed hooked up to IV lines and a baby monitor because I had dangerous levels of ketones in my urine.
All that throwing up wreaks havoc on your teeth! So just when I thought everything had mostly settled back to normal after having the baby a year and a half ago, I’m learning that there could be lasting damage to my teeth. Vomiting introduce stomach acid and bile into the mouth which over time can really wear down the enamel of your teeth. What I thought was the best thing to do was to brush my teeth everytime I was sick but I’ve actually just learnt today that it was the worst thing i could have done. I was just rubbing the acid over my teeth even more and helping it to wear down my teeth to the extent where they are now just cracking and breaking all over the place. What I should have been doing is rinsing my mouth with plain water and waiting atleast an hour before brushing. I’ve also been advised to use a high fluoride toothpaste which I get on prescription and to occasionally rinse with a fluoride mouthwash. So if you’re suffering with Hyperemesis and brushing your teeth straight after being sick, DON’T. Just rinse with water and wait an hour or so. Chewing gum can also help regulate the PH of your mouth if you really want to get rid of that funky vomit breath!
I’ve always had issues with my body image and self esteem but little did I know I’d literally end up hating myself and my body after Adam was born. I think this was also because after I’d had him I was able to eat again, and eating normally after being sick for 9 months meant that I instantly put on weight. I’m learning to love the body that gave me my baby but I think this will take a lot longer to overcome. All I can suggest it taking small steps into caring for yourself whether it’s popping out for a quick ten minute walk in the sun while somebody watches the baby, or getting your hair done or your nails painted. I’ve left the sunshine to come upstairs and sit in a quiet space to finish this post whilst daddy looks after the whingey toddler because it’s a testing time for my patience and I’ve got a whole week ahead of me to tackle the tantrums while daddy is at work.
Raging hormones that never seem to end! When I got pregnant I realised I was hormonal at times but what I didn’t expect, was that those hormones would be so much worse once I’d had the baby. I remember spending days and nights just weeping at the stupidest things in those early weeks after bringing Adam home but along with the lows came the extreme highs and this hasn’t really settled down now that hes a year and a half older. My husband said to me the other ‘I wish your moods would just stay level sometimes, you’re either really high or really low and there’s no inbetween’. I do think he’s exaggerating a little but it’s definitely true around that time of the month! I get crazy hormonal, tear at up the silliest things and become near impossible to be around because I just want to lock myself up and catch a break from the world and I can’t. There’s a tiny dictator toddling around demanding food and naps and entertainment and all the things that I just don’t have the energy for around that time. I’ve been looking into holistic remedies for helping to regulate hormonal imbalances and there will be a post on that coming soon but I’m a bit limited to what I can take at the moment as I’m still breastfeeding Adam.
I hope this will be of some use to some of you out there and if anybody has anything to add or any tips on coping with any of the issues I’ve mentioned I’d love to hear them in the comments.