Ok, so this whole pregnant with a toddler thing ain't easy.
Since having good days and bad days mixed together, and my fate being decided each morning I wake up, I have been totally seizing the good ones the best I can. I admit, and Shane will vouch loud and clear for this, that I am a bit more irritable than my usual zen self. Sometimes, it's a lot more. The things that I could always breathe my way through, now have me going from 0-100 real quick. Faster than my deep breaths and personal space can save me from. Since I have a big toolbox of calm, and am pretty self-aware, I can easily spot when my mood is creeping "below the line" and I try to remove myself from the situation, take everyone's part out of the equation and address the things I can take ownership for. The things that I can control. Basic stuff right? I reflect, right my wrongs, sing my apologies if needed and work on being better, moment to moment.
Well, with paper thin patience, all those moves take a LOT of effort, and some days I just fail. Toss in a migraine that lasts over 50 hours and you have yourself a full blown crazy person. That's right, over 50 hours of constant, throbbing pain all over the left side of my head and face. Day one it was annoying. I felt sorry for myself but I powered through. Zinnia and I went to "school" (the Parenting & Literacy Centre we go to most mornings) and I stayed on top of my water consumption. By night of day one I needed relief. I try to steer clear of tylenol and all that jazz while pregnant because all mom forums make you feel like the devil if you take even over the counter drugs, but I had to try to get some sleep. Turns out useless anyways because it didn't work. In the middle of the night I took another one, 4ish hours later and hoped for the best. Still nothing. and I "woke up", headache still a throbbin.
Day two I cried, a lot. I was at a loss. We had reached and passed the 24 hour mark of constant pain and no position would ease it. And Zinnia, poor Zinnia. Mom was having another bad day, and to her that meant it was going to be long and boring. Instead of going to school or setting up fun activities at home, all I could focus on was the pain. I called my mom, as you do when you are suffering, and she asked her pharmacist friend if I could take more tylenol, because the online moms told me I should only have 3-500mg tablets A WEEK. (My hatred for nasty mom forums is real, and yet I find myself going back for a general consensus when I need it, really not sure why). She quickly got back to me that 2-500mg tablets every 6 hours was just fine. So I quickly popped 2 at once, just before bed time on day 2 and again, hoped for the best.
I tossed and turned all night long. Still no relief and there I was, awake and in pain as my family was waking up around me. Day three, this is when things got ugly. I literally started to go crazy. I was literally banging on my head, crying my eyes out and begging for relief. NOT my proudest moment. Then the mom guilt really flowed in. I so badly up until this point wanted a zen pregnancy, using all my many tools and new found knowledge to have as natural and healthy a pregnancy as I could. So far, things were not panning out that way.
All I could think about was all the things in the house that needed to be done, my poor daughter who had a useless caretaker and Shane who was now probably reconsidering his life choice to choose me as his partner. And that wasn't all. I had now taken way more tylenol than that random mom from Wisconsin who has 3 "LO's" and highly recommends you don't take more than 3 tylenol's in a week, and I felt terrible for my little unborn baby, worrying what damage I could be causing, on top of everything else.
So I called my midwife and asked for help. She was very sympathetic, understanding and things happened fast. She faxed my family doctor, who faxed my local pharmacy and within a couple hours I had a prescription for tylenol 3's. I took 2, as recommended and it didn't take the headache away, but it scratched the surface and that felt great. By this point, I was a shell of a person. Shane mentioned that night that I looked "glazed over and lost", I'm sure that was him sugar coating it haha.
After 4 hours, I took two more and went to sleep crying over all my mom guilt.
At some point after my second dose, I fell asleep. I did not wake up that night and I woke up pain-free in the morning! I danced like I never danced, and I sang like I never sang, and we went to school and carried on with life as usual. Zinnia was so happy to have fun-mom back and I was over the moon to be myself again.
This blog is a rant, yes. Out of my usual positive character, yes, but it is my effort to speak to all the moms out there who have experienced mom guilt, for one reason or another and suffered at the hand of their own ego.
To all my valuable readers, whom most of you are women, being hard on ourselves is toxic. I am well aware that my mom guilt and shame was only adding to my problem, but it got the best of me and I was lost in it all. Mom guilt is normal for sure, and I get that, and I thought that by sharing my story of losing myself with all of you here, that we might all feel a little closer to each other and more likely to ask for help. I was doing the best I could, and every good day I have, I make sure that Zinnia and I make the most of it!
I failed myself the moment I set expectations on this pregnancy. Any mom out there knows it is the least predictable thing out there. Shaming myself for nausea and migraines is fighting against myself, and that will never help. Next time I have a bad day, which I am well aware will come again, I will focus on giving myself grace and acceptance. On leaning on everyone I can, as much as I need to because that's what friends and family are for. On my good days I will practice my meditations, my pranayama and taking the best care of my body for my growing baby. And all of that, is more than enough. It's my best.
I will look back on my mantra: I am doing the best I can right at this very moment to remind myself to accept my days as they come, and to give myself a break of this mama guilt.