How to remain resilient through difficult pregnancy journey
“My Mama Stories” Part 1: From Pregnancy to Birth
While it is a joy to create new lives, not all of us go through a smooth sailing pregnancy – how do we then remain resilient even through difficult pregnancy journey? What do we do when everything else want us out?
As we celebrate Mothers’ Day this month, I will be sharing three personal stories “My Mama Stories”, about my motherhood journey, dedicating to all women, moms or not. In My Mama Stories Part 1, I will write about resiliency with my pregnancy to birth journey.
By sharing my stories, I hope they can serve as support to mothers, women, parents out there. We are not alone, and we don’t have to be. So, as you read this, I ask you will also share it with someone you know may need this.
From Joy to Loss
When I found out I was pregnant, I literally felt overjoyed to the moon. But this feeling lasted less than 24 hours. In my first doctor’s visit, the doctor told us the baby was not growing. I refused to believe and wanted to seek another opinion. In the next 72 hours, everything went by in a blur. I only remembered whirlpool of tears, bleeding and then, my baby was gone.
This spike in joy and sudden crash in hope was a cruel way of robbing me. Naturally, I felt it was my fault. Guilt. Ashamed. Incompetent. I was unable to share this loss, not even my parents or in laws. How did I cope? I buried myself in work. It helped to avoid the pain but definitely did not help me to heal from the pain.
When I became pregnant again several months later, my fear and guilt overtook the joy that I should be feeling. I did not know what to do but realized I needed to release my guilt and grief. And I needed to do so before I could accept this new life. Guess what I did? My husband and I performed a simple ritual and prayer under a tree. Don’t ask me why under a tree, I guess I was just desperate to find a place I was comfortable and calm with! In that ritual, we asked for forgiveness and permission to allow us to have a chance to accept this new gift. I finally accepted this ordeal and was ready to move on…
If you are coping with pregnancy loss…
Do you know that miscarriages are more common than we think, affecting 20 per cent of pregnancies in Singapore? Because it is seldom spoken of, many women had to go through this difficult time by themselves. After going through it myself, I know how traumatic the experience can be. I hope that if any of you are coping with similar loss, do know it is normal to grieve. In fact, the grief process will through different phases, including denial, bargaining, anger, sadness before you can finally accept the situation. After all, healing takes time. The key is how we can be resilient and bounce back from this difficult pregnancy journey.
And the morning sickness begins…
After I finally came to terms with my loss and receive this new gift, I thought things would be bright and rosy. I wished. A full four months morning sickness made the pregnancy seems extremely long. If you think of rushing out of meeting rooms to the bathrooms, or stopping your car in the middle of the expressway are part of morning sickness, that was me.
In the second trimester, the nausea and vomitting finally stopped..and then the piles begun! For someone like me with low pain threshold, I wasn’t sure if the morning sickness or piles was worse.
A breech baby!
As you can probably tell, I did not enjoy my pregnancy at all. At the end of my seventh month pregnancy, I found out that my baby was still in breech. My doctor has suggested I should go for scheduled caesarean surgery if he does not turn in another two weeks time. For the entire time, I had assumed I would be having a natural birth delivery. So many question marks flashed up in my mind….and feelings of shame and incompetence rushed in again.
After suffering a loss before, my only wish is to go for the safest option to deliver my baby. As much as I felt disappointed I could not experience a natural birth, I decided on the caesarean surgery. I could not imagine a potential possibility that I might make a decision that could cause a risk to my baby’s life.
Finally, I am a Mom.
Finally, I became a mom. I was extremely grateful to hold my baby in my arm. I wanted to be the best mom I can be. Except I was in huge pain after the surgery, and with the post-pregnancy hormones acting out, I found myself crying easily. So, this was just the beginning of my motherhood journey. It wasn’t the easiest, but I know it has made me an even more resilient woman.
How to remain resilient through difficult pregnancy journey
We all have different pregnancy to birth journey. I have personally known of many women who are going through similar or perhaps more difficult journey, yet they all strived through and thrive. Upon reflecting on these experiences of mine and others, these three qualities stood out and seemingly have helped many of us remain resilient through our difficult pregnancy journey.
From my pregnancy loss to the challenges throughout nine months of pregnancy, I attributed my mindset as key factor that kept me going. A mindset that there are no failures. A mindset that each challenging moment was there to serve a purpose. I constantly asked myself what I can learn and do differently.
Acceptance is an important aspect of healing. For healing to occur, we need to first be aware of how we feel about the experience. With awareness, we can process and accept our feelings. When we embrace our own feelings, we can then connect in a congruent way with our mind to brainstorm resourceful solutions.
Having someone you trust to speak to can help you to process your thoughts and feelings. In my experience, I had my husband who was there for me. However I felt like no one could help me accept and release my emotions. I wished I had seek professional help back then. If you are like me, you may also wish to seek professional help. If I can support you in this journey, please drop me a message.
In “My Mama Stories” Part 2, I will share my rocky start to life as a mother. If you like to read my story, please subscribe to my blog!