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Staying Happy and Positive Through a Difficult Pregnancy

There’s a difference between being positive and being uh… how can I say in English? In denial. And while I love being pregnant because it is a miracle, the truth needs to be told: there is nothing glamorous about it and, pregnancy bliss, it is a blatant lie.

5 ways to stay happy and positive through a difficult pregnancy.

With Elisha, I spent all 10 months sick and swollen (they tell us it’s 9 months… but math was one of my subjects in school and I’m not buying it). It was gross: I threw up every day, -which led to being admitted due to dehydration- I had nose bleeds, headaches, back pain, toothache, you name it.  With Elyssa, I was sick for “only” about 6 months, but Elisha was an infant and I was on my own til I was about ready to pop, so I was tired all the time.

This time around, it’s been crazy! The first two months seemed like decades. I only got out of bed to be sick. Ginger, crackers, wrist bands, peppermint, medication, and IV due to dehydration… they work for others, but they didn’t work for me.

People will tell you to go for a walk, workout, take a hot bath, get a healing massage, take deep breaths, relax by the pool, do yoga, listen to inspirational music… Well, for some of us those activities are just not a possibility when being sick caused us anemia and your blood pressure is low all the time.

I started showing before I even knew I was expecting and my silky Caribbean skin is nowhere to be found. And even though my husband says I’m sexy, and people tell say “you’re glowing”, I haven’t felt like any urges to be in the cover of a magazine or a red carpet, if you know what I mean.

I have gained more than a third of my regular weight – they weren’t kidding when they came up with the phrase “heavy with child.” I have to put more effort into everything, and it is hard to drive with a big belly and short legs (with no high heels on … yikes!). I am blessed to have the flexibility to work from home and to homeschool, as well.

What about those raging hormones? Crying after laughing, hot and cold sweats… all considered “normal” during pregnancy. And don’t get me started on bladder issues! LOL

But the nauseous days and crazy hormonal temperatures and feelings are nothing compared to the questions and the fears. Staying happy and positive through a difficult pregnancy is solely a mental deal. The intense emotions of an expectant mother are consuming, to say the least, but positivity can be a matter of perspective, really.  Having a healthy baby is all that counts, right?

Well…what if they tell you your baby is NOT healthy? That’s the tricky part. Positive has become a way of life so I found the bright side on everything. Except for that.  There was nothing I could do to help the situation, yet I couldn’t just relax. I felt worse by stressing, then felt stressed about stressing.

I found great relief in seeing her in the womb… so divine, so perfect. It helped that during those troubling times, we got to see her a lot more often and got many pictures than we would have otherwise. There were those appointments in which I left in tears and disheartened, and there were those in which I felt hope and reassurance.

Staying happy and positive through a difficult pregnancy

These are 5 ways that have helped me be a positive pregnant mom so far:

PRAYER –  My first passion is to “connect to God, inner self, and others” and  prayer has proven to be the most effective way to get there.  I believe that “every perfect gift comes from above” and that our prayers are answered. My family and I have been praying so much for our little miracle baby and it has given me profound peace and joy.

INTERACTION – Even though my family lives in the Dominican Republic, we are very close, and technology allows us to talk quite often. Because I have been through really tough times and realized I went it alone when I didn’t have to, so I now know that sometimes half the battle is expressing how you feel.  Receiving sound advice is a bonus, but just sharing your emotions with someone or a group you trust, will make you feel better.

TIME ALONE – I am a social butterfly and I love people… and I love my husband and my daughters. I am not talking about isolation, which could lead to depression, but to additional time to connect with yourself, or nature. Sleep is a great tool, even though napping has been tough for me. Reading scripture and positive literature (especially self-development for me) is also something I highly recommend to disconnect from the outer and reconnect with the inner.

AFFIRMATIONS – If talking to yourself in the mirror has worked for you in the past, by all means, please do it again. However, what I am referring to is mainly a shift of attitude.  It is what Elyssa referred to as “talking to your brain” when she was about 3 and a half years old: whenever you hear your inner bully talking, tell her to stop, and ignore her.  When I learned of the threats we were under, I went online to do research, only to feel more disempowered, scared, and just plain sad… and I had to have a serious conversation with my brain, stop reading, and just trust.

ACTIVITY – I have found that this third time around I have had very little to no energy, but keeping active and engaged has nothing to do with being out and about. If you have energy, nesting in preparation for the arrival of the baby is going to help you enjoy this time, but if you’re weak, you can engage virtually to keep your mind occupied.

That’s all folks!  I take each day as it comes… one day at a time.  I don’t want to leave you hanging! Baby girl is fine and healthy now. We had our scares but kept the faith and are still praying for the best.  We have 45 days to go and I’ll sure do my best to be positive during pregnancy, knowing that being positive after she’s in our home is where I’ll really make an impact on her.  Thank God for this miracle!

[ela]

Elisha and Elyssa after reading Mama's Purse by AJ Irving
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