So…I guess from the title the cat’s out of the bag.
I am expecting a wee one and wooo doggy it’s been a ride.
A good ride!
A hard ride!
A strange ride!
A fun ride!
And there is still a while to go.
I wanted to write a post about some of the emotional and mental surprises that have happened in this pregnancy that specifically relate to my sobriety.
First, I want to say the following: this was a planned pregnancy and I am so very grateful for this.
I know many times women may have this life change unplanned, and I also know there are women who would like to have a little one and haven’t been able to. I want to just preface this post (as I had some complicated feelings in the beginning, and I don’t want to seem ungrateful) with this acknowledgement.
I also want to say I know that pregnancy is different for every woman, so if you’ve had different experiences, that’s okay! And also, if you’re planning to have a family but haven’t yet, your experiences may be vastly different than mine.
Okay…here we go.
I’d read up a good deal on how my body would change, but I figured, “I’m healthy, I take care of myself, I’ll feel fine and probably won’t have any symptoms.”
About 5 or 6 weeks in it started.
All these terrible physical feelings.
Nausea. Fatigue. Dizzyness. Headaches. Irritability. Stomach issues. Food issues. Sleep issues. More nausea. Like so much nausea.
And then the depression hit me hard.
And I realized…that this feels like a hangover. Every single day feels like the worst hangover I’ve ever had.
When I got sober I thought I would NEVER, EVER have to feel this way again.
Not that I would never get sick or have a bad day–it wasn’t that.
It was that once I got sober I said goodbye to days, weeks, and months on end of feeling physically and emotionally terrible every morning when I met a new day.
All of the sudden feeling this way again for something I should be happy about was..how to put this delicately…a mindfuck.
I felt so guilty.
I knew that I was supposed to be feeling happy.
In my head and in my heart I was actually really excited about this life change, and we’d waited a long time to make this life change.
But I wasn’t able to celebrate because every morning felt like I’d drank six whiskeys, a couple IPA’s, and zero water.
I was so angry at my body.
How could it betray me like this? I’d taken care of it!
I went to yoga 3-4 times a week, walked every day, drank tons of water, went to therapy, ate fruits and veggies, worked hard to get enough fiber and protein–and on top of it, I’d given up DRINKING. A thing I’d loved for years.
“THIS WAS ALL FOR YOU BODY! AND YOU REPAY ME WITH THIS?!”
Almost every day of my first trimester was a cycle of anger, which transitioned to self-hate for being angry about something I should be grateful and happy about.
I decided to read Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames by Thich Nhat Hanh and reach out to some friends who are sober, and some friends who are mothers.
Through emails with generous friends, tears, and working towards self acceptance of my current state I realized that my sobriety and my body weren’t just mine anymore.
They now also belonged to this little one that I’ll get to meet soon.
A few years ago when I made the choice to get sober, I think deep down I knew that it would be the groundwork for starting a family.
And the changes in my body were just part of the reality of the next phase–a phase of uncertainty.
One of the reasons I loved getting sober is the amount of control I felt.
And now, one of the reasons I am going to need to stay sober is the amount of uncertainty that lays ahead.
I am working towards being grateful for my current discomfort and being accepting of each stage that will come with this new life.
Thank you all for reading, this is a hard one for me to be honest about. <3