Dissonance

My body is battling with my mind…

I tell myself that I’ll take control and get things done and stretch, and train lightly, and eat good food (not just tater tots and cereal)… but then I wake up- groggy, slept but not rested, nauseous-again-still-always… and forcing toast down my throat then requires an hour or 2 rest to digest without regurgitation. By which point I need to eat again, because the nausea is worse on an empty stomach.

I’m trapped on the couch. I’m tired beyond comprehension- I’ve only been awake for 2 hours!

None of my clothes fit. I feel gross in just about everything, but I’m not pregnant enough to need maternitywear- and I have no desire to purchase any anyway. On that- having my priorities shift for the sake of a new life and becoming a mother- I can handle. But I don’t buy myself new clothes anyway. Never mind for a couple of short months never to be used again (probably). I can’t justify that expense. That consumption of resources. That effort in trying on goddamn clothes.

These 40°+ days have added up to migraines- of course- and still, no way to treat them. Motion sickness bands are my best friend. I have permanent indents in my wrist over the pressure point.

“Is it getting better at least?” Look, yes. It is better than the first 2 months. But listen, they weren’t much to compare to. That was the sickest I’ve been in my life. My feet are itchy, I want sushi, the baby is barely bigger than an avocado and the sensation of crushed stomach and fullness after not having eaten for 2 hours… is… well… stupid. Gaviscon can only do so much.

Finding the positive in situations usually reserved for negativity has become my super power, after years of only seeing the darkness. To have this challenge that so brutally has been disheartening, exhausting and confusing. I don’t feel like myself.

A glimmer

A good day! My kingdom for a good day!

Today I felt relaxed, and alive, and healthy. I definitely also still felt nauseous on occasion. I slept in, I sat with my horses, I even lunged Slurpee a little.

I watched paul play his ridiculous, but actually amazing online Tank game, and made a brilliant lunch. 

I played in the studio, it rained a little, I cuddled my horses again, and saw Rizzo. My cup is full, I have a few extra spoons, I’m ready for whatever happens tomorrow.

Unpopular opinion

So, so far I really hate being pregnant. There’s no joy in hyperemesis gravidarum. There’s no joy in all day every day exhaustion. There’s no joy in needing other people to get you a drink, or a cold pack, or a bucket, or drive you to work because you physically cannot. And shouldn’t be at work to begin with.

There’s no excitement in waking up to vomit all fluids consumed during the night and then a bunch of bile. There’s no joy in apathetically half-chewing dry toast because the next vom session will be better if you have something to bring up. Why bother even buttering it.

For me, there’s no joy in slowing down, in asking for help, in being on this journey. I’m so excited to be a mum. And even more excited to parent with my incredible other half. But shit. We’re gonna need another way to build a kid. I don’t wanna do this ever again. China’s old one child policy looks GOOD to me!

Migraines without medication are NEXT level. I’ll never put off medicating by choice again. I just watch it coming at me. Like the bushfires. I’m just waiting for the wind to change and it to hit me and only have damage control as an option to combat it. For 3 days…

Fabulously, my run with positive comments and support from mum has ceased. Now I’m being irresponsible if I don’t eat healthy things because I “need to consider the baby’s health too”. Yes mum, I’m choosing empty carbs and fruit only, because I hate my unborn child. Not because I can’t keep much else down. In stark contrast, my mother-in-law is laughing with me saying things like “not fucking glowing? Not ’embracing the fucking joy of pregnancy’?” As I teeter on the pool table suppressing heaving motions. We laugh and she gives me a hug and tells me how happy she is, proud of me she is, and excited she is to be a grandmother for the first time. What a difference.

If I had more time, I’d dive into how mum has made me feel. I didn’t even mention the comments to paul for days. Trying not to let them in. Trying not to break the positive flow between her and I, which had come as a surprise when I initially told her. But they’re in. And now I need to work through them. But who has the energy for that when I don’t even have the energy to get out of bed some days. Still. At 15 weeks…

The migraine limiter

So I feel great. I’ve had a week of no vomit, almost normal energy levels and have really made the most of it. I’ve worked extra days with clients, I’ve covered other carers time off, I’ve been super involved in my teaching classes… then comes the shit bit. I haven’t slept enough, I’m pretty tired after doing all that extra stuff, and still have 5 days of this week to go, since it’s my on weekend with my client.

What a humbling experience pregnancy has been for me. I physically cannot push through. My limit is lower.

It’s making me re-evaluate how much I pushed for other people’s benefit, when I probably should have been looking after myself. How I learned that. And what I could have learned differently.

There’s an event I’m trying to pinpoint in my youth. A time where I decided to turn inwards and ignore the lessons of the world, and follow instructions from generations. I’m trying to work out how early that happened, because there’s a lot of gunk coming up as I work through who I am as a pregnant woman. And who I want to be as a mother. Of course, I’m going to be precisely and unapologetically me as a mother, but what are my priorities? How do I break cycles without starting new ones. And how do I stay grounded and present.

I’ve felt neither of these things lately. The physical changes have been so overpowering and all consuming, that when I’ve tried to tap in to my higher self, she’s been too far away.

Using my body in classes the last few nights has helped me be back in touch with it. Reclaiming it from the first trimester. And being in touch with my body has helped me connect with my spirit again. With my heart. With myself.

So as I sit with my decision to cancel my client today and go to bed with a migraine instead, I welcome the migraine limiter as a lesson. A lesson to be more honest with myself about my limits. So I can impose them on myself, rather than need the brutal stopper that is a migraine without medication.

Down with the sickness

Well then… the sickness.

Lordy, the sickness. I said to Paul last night that this is the hardest thing I’ve done. Reading that “your body feels alien to you” doesn’t make it feel less alien. I’ve always had so much control over my body. Whether starving it, gorging it, or pushing it to its physical limits while training… this is all completely out of my control.

I’ve lost weight, but gained fat around my middle, I can have the best intentions of having an even remotely productive day- and wake up vomiting violently and uncontrollably instead- throwing every plan but staying sane, out the window.

What an absurd thing to go through. And it be normal. I look forward to meeting this sass ball. Who will apparently be worth it.

I’ve never been this out of control with my health, my body, my well-being. I’ve never been forced to rest so much. And not be ABLE to push through.

None of this is necessarily negative. Just difficult. I’m a passenger on this journey, the baby is already taking over my life. I’m tired.

The initial

People do weird things when you announce a pregnancy. It’s usually a scream. Or a squeal.

“They’re screams of joy” mum assures me… of course they are. But why so much joy? As someone who’s never been clucky, never attached to babies, had fleeting moments of wanting to be a mum but never enough to make any efforts towards it; I don’t understand the joy?

Why don’t people squeal when you start a new hobby? Or a new eating lifestyle?

None of this makes sense. What I’m writing. None of it. My brain is already fucked from hormones. I don’t know what day it is, I don’t know what words are, I’ve probably consumed 2400 calories (my usual daily intake) over the past week and thrown half of it up.

But people’s reactions are really blowing my mind. Why do other people find so much joy in pregnancy? Why is it so exciting? It’s just the thing you do in order to have kids (generally speaking. I’m never intending to offend of trigger anyone who is having or has had trouble conceiving)… also, it’s just one of the most natural things that we can do as a species. One of the most primal things we do. Have sex: make babies. I wish I could be bothered researching different cultures and the way they receive news of pregnancy, because while mum defiantly says “women in remote African tribes DEFINITELY scream with joy at pregnancy announcements” when asked, I’m not so sure. I think it’s a super westernised response, and conditioned through generations. Which is fine. But why. What happened historically to make people scream in 2019 when I say “I’ve just found out I’m pregnant, so I’ve been struggling with nausea a lot”.

I’ve told more people than many women probably would. Because this has changed my demeanour so much that people are noticing and asking if I’m ok and saying they’re worried. My energy level is usually through the roof. Especially at work, at the studio, with friends. So for me to be sleeping ALL day, and throw up constantly- having to excuse myself from my students to vomit mid class- something’s different. So I’m just telling people. And I don’t know what future chez will think about that. But I’d rather have everyone on board and know where I’m at so I don’t bail on something without an explanation when my mental health is doing so well.

Anyway. Here’s that. There’s that. Why do people scream?

Signposts

So as all the fog clears and my feet touch the ground again, messages from the universe start to trickle back through in a language I understand.

Having to physically stop due to illness gave all parts of me time to catch up with each other. And the unison it creates is safe, and still, and resoundingly powerful. Mind, body, spirit are a team again, and I’m trying to bottle this feeling so I might recognise when it starts to slip away again. Of course, I won’t; that’s the nature of this cyclic existence, but the more aware of this state I am, the less time I might spend away from it in each cycle.

I want to write more about this. But the words aren’t here yet. I might edit this post. I might just write another one later. Stay here. Stay present. Stay in touch. This moment. Not future. Not past. This is the only one that exists.

Cry. Cleanse. Flow.

Releasing that which no longer serves you is exhausting work. You head into it thinking “oh, I’m gonna be so much lighter and my heart less cluttered, and life is going to be so sunny” until you realise, if you were perhaps holding on a little too tightly, that release means burning with anger, waking up in tears and feeling like a tornado- completely out of control and unstoppable. Scary. Lonely. Tiring. We held on for too long because it was comfortable, and we maybe thought we could be immune to all this release yuck, if we just didn’t release.

We all do this. Hold on too tightly to things we think we need, think we deserve no better than, or think we’ll be worth less without. Finding that magical balance where we’re woke enough and still enough to let go early enough that it’s a gentle flow but not so early that we don’t learn from it seems a very distant and impossible dream when you’re neck deep in self-actualising sludge.

The cool thing though, about having a big, dramatic, angry, tearful release, is that it usually brings up a whole lot of other things that we need to let go of… or RE let go of because we grabbed back onto them as we flailed about in the uncertainty of release. So we get to work on these things again, and grow a little more.

The tangible stuff is easy to identify; you break up with the friend, or the partner, you quit the job, you move suburbs or states or just houses. The big, practical things are easy (if not complex), but it’s the intangibles that slip in and poke at you quietly while all the other noise is demanding your attention… it’s those bastards that need the soul work.

Fear, self doubt, an overactive inner critic; tearing apart an already fragile version of yourself and weaving their way through the chaos of that big release we’re working on in the physical realm. Filling gaps where light and positivity might have shone through and making the whole situation look daunting and messy and overwhelming.

For the moment, I’ve just shaken off the fog and gathered this whole mess into a slightly more manageable pile. I can see the edges of it, and, therefore I can see past it, and around it, and realise that it’s just that, a manageable pile of mess to sort through. Kinda like my house, all the time (ha). I’ll pick up a piece at a time and work through where it fits and let go of everything I no longer need, that no longer serves me. I’m basically Marie Kondo-ing my inner world. This might take a few days, a few weeks or a few months. But it certainly won’t take long before that big pile becomes a few smaller ones, and I’ll feel like I can face the world a bit easier than the last couple of weeks have been.

Soul work is hard work. But it’s so worth the effort.

Full moons over the range

This place completely quiets my soul.

From the moment I drop over the mountain, a calm consumes me. Sleepy, haunted towns and vast rolling hills welcome me home. The air is clearer, the sky is brighter and the people are happier.

Lots to ponder on this sneaky overnighter. How fortunate that the moon is full, so sleep is a stranger, and I can let my mind slow and my heart dream. My world is so changing at the moment. I’ve dived head first into a big turbulent shift that I’d been watching roll over the horizon for months now. I’ve taken some punches with this one so far, as expected, but I’ve righted myself quickly, and not spent too long in the fog, the darkness, or the fire.

For sure, I’m not done. This journey is just beginning, but I’m so proud of myself for how I’ve managed this wave thus far. I’ve had awakenings about the truth of me; my worth, my power. My ability to heal myself and others… And where I need to be focusing my energy moving forward.

A dream has come true, a perception has been shattered, and a goddess is emerging. I’m ready for what the universe is bringing me.

A full moon. In an enormous country sky. Eyes are back on the prize. The prize has evolved a little, and it looks pretty exciting.