I am currently in the last few weeks of pregnancy and I have learned so much! Now that I have experienced pregnancy myself, it is completely different than what the textbooks said. There are times that my “doctor self” knows what to do, whereas other times my “first-time pregnant self” is asking “WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING ON?!”
By sharing my experience, I hope to provide some comfort to those who are struggling with feeling their best. I also want to let pregnant women know they are not alone!
Pregnancy & the BODY
There are many changes in the body! It is true that hormonal ups and downs are no joke!
For the first half of pregnancy, I really struggled with nausea and fatigue. I would wake up dry heaving or throwing up. After getting ready for work and pushing through the work day, I would often dry heave again on my one-hour commute back home. In the evenings and on weekends, I was either on the couch, in the bathroom, or in bed. Running errands or doing anything else was nearly impossible. Experiencing this day after day and week after week got depressing. I would often wake up thinking how I just wanted the day to be over and to fall back asleep. This was a completely new feeling for me because I’m used to being able to do the things I want to do. I now have a new appreciation for feeling healthy, and a deeper compassion for my patients that come in telling me they just want to feel like themselves again.
Therapies that have helped me address these physical issues included naturopathic care (of course), acupuncture, prenatal massage, craniosacral therapy, and pregnancy-focused chiropractic care. I have to admit that certain therapies would help at some times and not others. I am a huge proponent of taking good quality supplements, but there were times that as soon as I put them in my mouth, they would just come back up. I felt guilty at times because my “doctor self” knows how important they are, and yet my “pregnant self” would just say “yeah-right”. This solidifies for me why pre-conceptive and preventative care is so important. Building up the body by providing it with great nutrients and eliminating toxins provides the foundation for our body to flourish. Then, when we have life stressors, obstacles, or illness, our bodies can overcome them or have resilience to get back on track more readily.
Pregnancy & the MIND
The first symptom I had of pregnancy was “pregnancy brain”. I forgot my appointment for a massage and knew something must be off. It wasn’t like me, and I sure needed that massage! Throughout pregnancy, I learned that I just needed to write things down and make sure I kept a calendar. There would be times when someone would tell me something and 30 minutes later I would forget what we were talking about. If this happens to you (whether you are pregnant or not), don’t beat yourself up. When I could just let it be without judging myself or stressing about it, I would later remember.
The other mental and hormonal change that I should mention is crying for no particular reason or very easily. I have told my patients that if they start crying, I am likely to join them. There are also times that my husband comes home and finds me “ugly crying” and we both start laughing because I don’t even know the reason. So, if this ever happens to you, try to not take yourself too seriously and have a good laugh about it.
Pregnancy & the SPIRIT
Even though I am very much ready for my baby to be in my arms and for this pregnancy to be at the end, I have to say that this experience has been the best time of my life. I’ve never felt so special. In times of vulnerability, I asked for help and let go of my perceived control. Plus, I have a new purpose and responsibility in life. In the end, the power of a woman’s body, my bond with my husband, and the strong love I feel for my baby that I haven’t even met yet have all deepened my awareness of how beautiful life truly is!
P.S. I will be on maternity leave (starting VERY soon) until early May, but don’t worry, Dr. Khoshaba and Dr. Rezaie will take great care of all of my patients until I’m back with my baby on board!