A Day in The Life of Pregnancy
A woman's pregnant life will differ vastly from the life she knew before. While most people expect great changes after bringing baby home, they are often blindsided by the changes that happen during pregnancy. The entire focus becomes the child, even if the pregnancy does not yet seem real. From varying degrees of nausea, weight gain, stress, hormonal and appetite changes, and fatigue, a woman's body begins to change in ways she has never known.
Weathering the storm of being pregnant requires the help of a support system of friends and family. In addition, it is very helpful to consult books and informational websites. There is no shortage of women who are willing to share their experiences with pregnant life.
The changes to the body during pregnancy are not strictly physical. Hormonal changes often begin the moment of conception. It can begin to feel as if a woman no longer has control of her emotions. Sometimes it simply takes sharing the experience with someone else to put the mind at ease. Fatigue can be overwhelming as well. Being pregnant means learning to move a little more slowly, and giving the body more time to rest. Making another person requires a great deal of energy.
Pregnant life may also begin to consume a woman's every thought. It is normal to be concerned about every aspect of your unborn child. There may be the worry that the baby is healthy, that parenting will be difficult or even unmanageable, that there will be inability to handle the financial constraints of raising a child, or about continuing to work after the child is born. It is a shift in perspective to realize that no longer can a woman think of herself without thinking also of the child.
Sleeping may become difficult as well. The hormones involved with being pregnant can wreak havoc on even the healthiest of sleep schedules. In addition, while the emotions may already be slightly imbalanced, a lack of sleep will compound the problem. In the last trimester especially, a woman wakes frequently throughout the night. Many times a mother-to-be may hear the advice that this is the body's way of preparing her for lots of sleepless nights with a newborn. While that may or may not be true, it takes a toll on an already exhausted body to become accustomed to a completely different routine of sleep.
Pregnancy may also affect a woman's relationship with friends and loved ones. Women may either adore the extra attention pregnancy brings, or they may find it bothersome. It can be an adjustment when those around you begin shifting their focus to the baby. This is a change that a pregnant woman may have thought would come only after the baby was born. Even strangers find it permissible to speak to a woman about her pregnancy, give unsolicited advice, and possibly even touch a pregnant belly without asking.
Finding that she is not the only one to have experienced these significant changes can be a welcome relief. Consulting a group of women with common interests and even simultaneous pregnancies can offer a sounding board of reassurance. Pregnancy is not just a state of being, but a community. Women who are currently navigating the same path, or who have traveled it before, are always waiting with open arms to help another new mom find her way. Each day brings a new opportunity for a pregnancy question, concern, or story to share.