I have a big surprise to share with you! At 17 weeks I am well into my second trimester and can start to share the excitement of being pregnant! It has taken me longer than “normal” to acknowledge this pregnancy. And I have deliberately kept the news away from social media. Why? Because the journey hasn’t been easy, which is why I want to share my story with you.
I don’t want this to be a pregnancy journal as there are many great resources out there already. Instead this is my story of how I learned to be resilient and let go of things that don’t matter. After a heart-breaking miscarriage last year I am determined to share my story with as many women as possible, so you know there is support available to you in times of hardship.
When you start trying for a baby the first thing that comes to mind is the “accidental” pregnancies from one-night stands you hear about on television. No one tells you that falling pregnant is a miracle. No one prepares you for the fact that 25% of pregnancies end in early miscarriage. Some women don’t even know they have had one! However if you are diligent with tracking your menstrual cycle like me, you can detect pregnancy as early as 4 weeks (i.e. before your period is late).
My miscarriage didn’t happen quietly. I was travelling in the country for work and spent the night in a local hospital without the support of my husband and family. I had so much time to think during that sleepless night and the following week before it was official. My obstetrician performed an operation at 7 weeks, the day before my birthday. Not ideal timing!
For me, the operation was like a cleansing process. I could now reset and move forward. But it still felt like there was a death in the family. I wasn’t mourning the past, but a future I had started to create.
I had two choices –
1. Give up. Hate the world. Hate every woman who was pregnant or walking around with a pram. Feel sorry for myself.
2. Acknowledge the heartbreak and move on.
I chose the latter. Not because I didn’t feel sorry for myself (trust me I had my moments). It was because I had learned so much about self-development over the past few years that it felt hypocritical not to take the positive route forward.
So what did I learn about myself?
- I was doing way too much. This was not the cause of my miscarriage; however subconsciously I knew my mind and body were not ready to grow a baby. Have you ever suffered an injury or illness at a time when you were “too busy” to slow down? Your body is clever and will send you a strong message to stop going hard. It’s your job to listen!
- I was unclear on my true purpose. I was saying “yes” to things that were not strongly aligned to my values as I did not have specific goals. Have you felt obliged to volunteer for a project, or sign up to a course, because it was supposed to be good for your career / brand / self-development? Saying yes to everything is the fastest road to burnout.
- Mindset is everything. I discovered that I was strong. Too often we give up at the first sign of pain or setback. I know my situation is nothing compared to the suffering of others, however I truly appreciate the gift of a second pregnancy. I honour my body for recovering so quickly. If you desire something enough you will overcome any obstacle.
And what am I doing differently this time?
- Letting go. I was holding on to so much fear around my second pregnancy that I couldn’t help thinking it would fail. A wonderful friend offered me a distance healing session [link to Ros] and helped me farewell the past so I could make space for positive energy. I had been waiting for someone else to give me permission to enjoy the experience. But only I could give myself that right.
- Surrendering to my body. My body is working hard to grow a baby and I need to honour that. So my gym training has slowed down and sleep has become a priority. I was very glad we spent a week in Bali during my first trimester!
- Saying yes to only high impact / value opportunities. I now have clear goals for the year ahead and I am using them to assess the worthiness of any project or event. Saying “no” is becoming easier for me.
- Remaining calm and not sweating the small stuff. I use my travel time in the mornings to meditate. Throughout the day I remind myself to breathe and focus on one task at a time. Stress is a feeling I can control.
The hardest thing for me at the moment is learning to let go of the guilt that I am not doing “enough”. This is something many women feel, not just in pregnancy but life. And I want you to know that it is time to let go of the guilt and take responsibility for your life.
I am not sharing this story with you to receive sympathy. I am so grateful that I am healthy, strong and supported. My hope is that you learn from my experience and never find yourself in a position where your health and happiness suffers from doing too much.
Make yourself a priority before anything or anyone else. It really is that simple.