This is the third post by our own acupuncture practitioner, pregnant now at ACNJ
As most of you know from my previous blogs, I am 25 weeks pregnant with boy girl twins. All in all I've been having a great pregnancy, however as I've been going through this process, I've realized that there are a few things that I've had to discover on my own. NOBODY TELLS YOU WHAT I’M ABOUT TO TELL YOU! Pregnancy is a wild and crazy ride that I feel privileged to be on, and I am here today to share with all of you some of the unspoken things I have learned along the way.
Untold truth number one: That first trimester is probably THE HARDEST time you will go through in your entire life. Yes I knew about the morning sickness and the fatigue, but I honestly had no idea that every day I would be fighting back tears as I so graciously tried to make my way through my work day without vomiting. Everything smelled and tasted atrocious, I had to cook my husband dinner with a clothes pin on my nose (no I'm not joking and no you can't see the pictures), and every movement felt like it was going to be my last. Plus, I wasn't telling anyone at work I was pregnant, so I had to put on a fake smile to those around me. I couldn't be my genuine self, and there was no light at the end of the tunnel that I could see! My poor babies survived on Puffins, grapefruits and crackers. I couldn't handle much more than that. I did find that drinking lemon water helped tremendously with the nausea, as well as incorporating acupuncture into my routine. But all in all its a very dark and difficult time for us pregnant mamas to go through, so don't feel like you're in this alone.
Untold truth number two: Nobody told me how unbelievably terrifying it was to be pregnant. Throughout the first trimester all you worry about is miscarrying. "Why is my stomach cramping?" "Should I be feeling something happening in there yet? Maybe that means the baby isn't ok?!" It's just plain terrifying. Then there are all the blood tests, the HIV and other scary STD testing, the genetic tests you have to undergo, plus the dreaded 12 week Down's Syndrome test. Followed by the 20 week anatomy scan to make sure your baby has all its organs in tow. I'm almost jealous of our parents' generation who blissfully floated through their pregnancies with very little monitoring. I felt like I was living each week a ball of nerves and awaiting test results. Do yourself a favor and take a deep breath if you're about to go through this, and realize that the odds of any of these issues being present are slim. I eventually learned to channel my anxiety into exercise, yoga and pilates in particular. It did wonders for my mental and physical well being.
Untold truth number three: Your body... not only does everything get bigger, but you can develop aches and pains in the strangest of places. Where am I referring to you ask? Well, in my case I developed something called Symphisis Pubis Dysfunction. This means that the ligaments that normally keep your pelvic bone aligned begin to loosen earlier than they should, leaving you with a tearing/ripping pain in your pubic bone whenever you try to walk or lift anything too heavy. My doctor told me my body was producing so much relaxin (a natural pregnancy hormone) that everything was loosening way earlier than a typical pregnancy to prepare for childbirth! Since around week 12 I've been unable to walk without immense pain, and have had to forego mostly all of my cardio exercises that I love so dearly. However, in place of these I now do more stabilization and strengthening exercises such as pilates, The Bar Method, and yoga. Even with this belly I feel stronger than I ever have, and in a strange way I'm grateful this happened to me! Now it's opened my eyes to a completely different way of keeping myself healthy.
All in all being pregnant is one of the hardest and most amazing things I have done so far in my life. I am constantly in awe that there are two little munchkins growing inside of me, and no matter how badly I may feel, it is all worth it at the end of the day. I don't think there is a book in the world that can prepare you for all the changes that are about to take place. So my advice is to take some deep breaths, ask your doctor a lot of questions to avoid some of the anxieties and fears that I developed, and find some sort of an outlet to channel your nervous energy into. Good luck mamas and mamas to be out there. This is one wild and crazy ride.
Post by Rachel DeMattio Specht L.A.c, Diplomate O.M.
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