You might have been trying to conceive for ages or perhaps it was a complete shock. The circumstances in which you fall pregnant can obviously effect how you feel about the pregnancy. However, sometimes the emotions you experience can completely take you by surprise. Hormones have such a massive impact on mood, and during early pregnancy you have these sudden hormonal surges. For some women it can leave them feeling a little down, anxious or just ‘strange’. I say ‘strange’ because that’s exactly how I felt. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I was so excited when I found out I was pregnant, but after that initial high passed, I felt a bit down and just not myself.
I didn’t like how my body was changing, I didn’t like feeling nauseous and I didn’t like this cloud of sadness hanging over me. I tried to dismiss these feelings as I felt awful that I didn’t have that typical overwhelming excitement about being pregnant. I kept thinking that there must be something wrong with me. It was planned after all, it wasn’t like it was a mistake or anything. I was so worried I wouldn’t feel attached to my baby, but actually after the first 12-14 weeks passed, I started to feel better and, in fact, I felt very protective and in love with my bump.
I’m not going to lie though, I wasn’t one of these mums that loved being pregnant, but I think that’s mainly because I often feel very anxious about the unknown. I feel like next time I’m pregnant I’ll be able to enjoy it more. I just want to reassure mums-to-be that it’s OK to feel down and that it doesn’t mean you’re not going to love your baby. It’s quite normal to feel unsure, anxious, down and emotional. Especially in the first trimester. I think we all have expectations of how we’re going to feel when we’re pregnant – probably because of how most images and films portray pregnancy… the glow, the smiles, the perfect bump, the luscious hair etc.
I’ve explained in previous blog posts how I was waiting for that wonderful glow I’d been promised, but all I got was a face full of acne. I wanted to hide away. I’ve suffered from acne before but it wasn’t helped by the raging emotions! Expectations really aren’t helpful. Especially unrealistic expectations. I think we need to allow ourselves to go with how we feel and accept the good and bad feelings. Don’t beat yourself up about not feeling happy or excited all the time. How you feel now will not effect how you’ll feel when you hold your precious baby in your arms. Pregnancy is tough and it’s harder for some than others.
I reached out to mums on Instagram asking them to share how they felt during early pregnancy and here are some of the messages I received.
“I started to feel sick very early on and this made me miserable. Every single morning I dreaded the day to come as I knew I’d spend most of it with my head down the loo. I honestly felt so unhappy and sometimes wished I wasn’t pregnant at all. I couldn’t have felt more different when my little boy arrived. I was so happy and grateful, nothing else mattered but him”.
“I think it was week 5 of being pregnant that I started to feel really down. For no reason either. Couldn’t figure out why I felt so down and not interested in anything. Some days I didn’t even go in to work. I did tell my midwife who actually referred me to speak to someone. I went to see a therapist once but as soon as it got to around week 16 I felt so much better. I realised it was just my hormones and there wasn’t anything wrong with me as such. I wish I knew it was normal as I felt at the time like I was strange because everyone kept saying to me oh you must be over the moon and I felt like saying no I’m really not”.
“I felt fine until I saw my belly change. I don’t know why, but it just totally freaked me out. I kept looking in the mirror and thinking it didn’t look like me. My face looked filler, my belly looked incredibly bloated and my legs started to get bigger. It wasn’t the weight that bothered me it was just that I couldn’t get my head around the changes. It didn’t feel or look like me. I felt so emotional every day. It all changed when I was about 20 weeks pregnant. I suddenly felt like I had more energy and I started to really love the feeling of having a bump. In fact I actually started to worry I’d miss the bump when I had my baby – which I did! Pregnancy is a funny thing, it’s such a rollacoaster of emotions”.
I hope this post has been of help to you if you’re pregnant and feeling a bit down or emotional. Just remember that your body is going through a massive change and it sometimes takes your mind a little longer to adjust to these changes! Always speak to your midwife if you have any concerns. However, rest assured that it’s very common to experience a range of emotions through pregnancy – it really is a rollacoaster of ups and downs! Don’t worry though, as soon as you see and hold your little one, it’ll all be worth it – so hang in there!
If you can relate to anything mentioned in the post then please feel free to share your own experiences below!
Big love x