There is a lot of pressure on women to have the “perfect pregnancy” - you know, the one where you gain exactly 25 lbs, have meaningful conversations with the little one in your womb while listening to classical music, and have great sex up until your orgasmic birth. You take deep breaths and pretend to meditate and try to be chill as fuck because you’ve read on the internet that high cortisol levels are bad for the baby. You can have one cup of coffee a day, and it is precious, and you hear rumors that half a glass of wine here and there is really quite fine in the third trimester (wow, something to look forward to…)
Meanwhile, you are working 50 hours a week, trying to smoosh a nursery into the open space (hallway) outside your bedroom, and since your coworker told you doulas are “a must” if you want to have a “natural birth” you’ve added “Google wtf is a doula” to your long to-do list.
Honestly though, you are lucky. Because you got pregnant and you can afford(ish) this baby and you think your partner will be a great co-parent. A little stress is absolutely normal and what right do you have to complain about 3 straight weeks of constipation? You are totally FINE.
How you are really doing: the anxiety over not having anxiety has reached peak levels. You can eat an entire casserole in one sitting and you choose to do it because you literally have a person growing elbows and toenails inside your body (Jesus, you can’t make this shit up). And you’ve decided your doctor has “totally antiquated, patriarchal beliefs about the ideal appearance of the female body during pregnancy” (your feminism grows pound for pound). You are also starting to doubt the sanity of the entire medical profession because why the hell are they letting you, who leaves spoiled milk in the fridge for weeks, bring a tiny, helpless human being home without supervision.
The Fourth Trimester
Congratulations! Your baby is in the world, and probably in your arms 23 hours a day. They did, in fact, insist you take the baby home from the hospital, and now you are a mix of emotion, feeling awe and wonder and fear and love and dread. What else?
You’re barely sleeping.
Your baby poops and pees about a million times a day. Remember when you wanted to be a good person, back during that cute, easy pregnancy phase, so you bought all the cloth diapers on the market? Hahaha.
Ergo, Tula, Moby: you’ve watched so many YouTube videos on babywearing, you know you’ll never get those hours of your life back. And for what? Your precious little angel absolutely refuses to be the joey to your kangaroo. Really, an origami class would’ve been more helpful.
Challenges to Reproduction
Sometimes no matter how much you plan and prepare, the difficult reality is that pregnancy doesn’t always happen when we want it to. This can bring up feelings of sadness, inadequacy, hopelessness, and anxiety. It can also impact the most important relationships in our lives and leave us wondering what the next step should be. I work with individuals struggling with the following experiences: