So as I find myself fully immersed in the throws of my third trimester of pregnancy, all the classic middle-of-the-night fears have joined in the fun too. I also couldn't help but notice Hayden Panettiere's recent admission of dealing with Postpartum depression. Thankfully this is a subject getting a lot more press these days and showing people just how real it is.
With such an overwhelming amount of information out there on what to expect when you're expecting your head does start to feel VERY overloaded. The hormones and general awareness that nothing will ever be the same again have kept me up on many nights. While I am beyond excited by the little one's arrival I am also finding myself becoming a cliche of thoughts. Thoughts I honestly hadn't realised would cause me such anxiety. Questions such as "How will I really cope?, How do you get those miniature shoes on without them screaming at you?, Will I ever wash my hair again?, Will my nipples fall off?, (No I'm seriously worried that they might - apparently I'll need cabbage leaves, yes really).
A few days ago I had a nasty fall, where I tackled the concrete floor like a pro Rugby player, dislocating my finger in the process. I was so high on adrenaline and mama instincts that I avoided the concrete to tummy contact with some otherworldly magic and while lying there looking at my finger at a right angle to my hand, knew I had to get the bump checked as fast as possible and my finger was just going to have to play along. I popped it out and re-set it while still lying on my back in the road... I'm not sure I would have done that a few months ago. After a trip to the maternity ward all was fine, but I was in shock at how I had responded to it all.
There has been a realisation that not only does my body no longer really belong to me, but neither it seems, does my mind. I have finally fallen in love with my body - something I NEVER thought I'd say, because here it is, despite all the crap I've fed it over the years, and verbal abuse it's had to withstand, building a human, one cell at a time, and I had nothing whatsoever to do with it... well you know what I mean. Despite all my worries and tears and angst, one bone after another has been built and now little hands and feet are currently using my internal organs as a punching bag.
So as I witness this changing vessel of a body do things I never thought I could I am also so aware of how the mind too is thinking things I never thought I would. Really strange, often totally irrelevant things. I am so aware of the potential and reality of Postpartum depression and have taken some rather drastic steps recently to get myself into a physical place where I am as supported and as safe as I can be. Because it's all very very real. And while I never thought I'd be popping back dislocated digits like it was a loose strand of hair - I also have no idea what's around this very large corner. All I can say is that with the support I have now surrounded myself with in the last few weeks, and making sure that I keep that communication open I hope that this next chapter will be the joy it's meant to be.
But as my final note, you don't need a bump and hormones to relate to this. Because all of us are struggling with something. By bringing an awareness to it, whether it be financial concerns, or a difficult working environment, and trying to be as open as we can be with those we trust and love can and does ease so much of the crazy. And we all need a lot less of the crazy in our lives, and so much more of the ahhhh.
So next time someone asks how you are, you don't have to use them as a therapist, but get a little more real. Be a little more honest.
And ask for help if you need it. (And yes, I'm still learning that new lesson)
Some Images provided by Back To Beyond - original, made to order, beautiful, Organic baby clothes.