Wow what a physical, chemical and emotional roller coaster journey pregnancy is and for me its only week 16. I was so very blessed to fall pregnant the first time we tried. I have spent 10 years trying to improve my health and make good choices to balance my hormones. I work with babies and pregnant women every day and as much as I factually and logically understood what was happening to a woman’s body after conception. I can honestly tell you there isn’t anything quite like the experience. If you are trying to conceive, currently pregnant, have been blessed with one, two or more children I really help you can learn something or even relate y reading this. If your children are older, maybe this will be a blast from the past. I plan to write this blog to give you a little insight into the 1st pregnancy of a sun, adventure loving chiropractor, previously wine drinker and social butterfly. This is my journey leaning to surrender to this new chapter in my life.
The comments of “oh, you’re glowing” well I am yet to honestly feel that way. Is it selfish of me to feel this way? My thoughts go on, but lets go back to week 5, well this literally hit me like a brick wall. From my normal everyday life to feeling wiped out, barely functioning. I can tell you one thing I have learnt from pregnancy and that is hormones are a force to be reckoned with. I loved the balance I had created in life, exercising, eating well, seeing friends and family, juggling quality time with my husband and the dogs, then also managing to keep the house-work in some order along with working as a full time chiropractor. It’s taken me years to create a nice harmony between these things. Then we made the decision to build our family. Well I didn’t expect absolute chaos to rock that balance all within 4 weeks of finding out I was pregnant. Of course I have heard the stories but I was sure as a health care professional I would have most things covered and I’d manage just fine. Moving along to weeks 6 through to 10, well I thought this cant possibly be right. “How can I be soooo tired, nauseous and how can my back be hurting when I haven’t even gained weight?” Honestly HOW, bub is only 2 grams or something? Surely it’s not all hormones! Now as a chiropractor I comprehensively understand musculoskeletal complaints and have great success day in day out with treating them. You’d think, well I sure did, I can get to the bottom of my back pain? As I said, its week 16 and I am yet to find a solution and I have thrown almost everything at it. I have asked colleagues and have seen other health care providers and nope, no solution as yet. For this being one of my strengths in life, it ‘s totally frustrating not being able to help myself. It’s like an electrician not being able to work out why there is no power to their house.
So to reiterate it’s been endless confusion along with firm daily lessons for me. Learning to surrender my energy to growing a beautiful baby boy, which in the early days is hard to even come to grips with. My body and conscious mind knew I was pregnant but I think it has taken me 10 weeks to actually wake up in the morning and not have to remind myself. Maybe this last few weeks it’s been easier to come to grips with since finding out the gender or now that I have a small bump, it’s starting to feel more real. Though when you feel terrible and you can’t quite understand why in only a few weeks your body can struggle so much, it’s very hard to surrender. I wake up feeling like I have the worst hangover ever and I didn’t even do anything wrong. I went to bed at 8:30pm and didn’t drink alcohol. From getting on top of my iron levels (thank the lord for Maltofer), this helped my nausea and energy a lot. I wanted to work and serve my patients for as long as I could and when week 5 hit me like it did, I didn’t think id even last out the month. Then there was the being out of breath, the struggling to eat, the battle to just shower myself was all I could manage some days. Week 8 presented me with was what I felt like my immune system had gone on vacation. I got 3 colds in 4 weeks, and for someone who works really hard to stay on top of my immune, its was infuriating because being pregnant, my hands were tied. I couldn’t take all my usual prevention methods like herbs and vitamins in high doses to kick it. I literally had to just suffer, and no cold and flu supplements to help you keep functioning either, not even a bloody throat lozenge. So what I have learnt is my body was very preoccupied with growing a baby and I felt the first reality hit that from here on in I was always going to give my all to keep this baby healthy. My body just knew how to do it before I even knew to consider it.
♥ Pregnancy is beautiful, but the feelings aren’t always pretty.
♥ Pregnancy is a gift of life, but not always a reflection of my personal strength and knowledge.
♥ Pregnancy is exciting, although bitterly exhausting.
♥ Pregnancy is sacrificing one’s self for another.
Pregnancy is one heck of a roller coaster and I am so grateful to have experienced these tough times because I can now be an even better chiropractor and support system for my patients who are embarking on this beautiful, life-rattling journey.
In just a short 16 weeks, I have learnt to respect and am in awe of the power of our female bodies innate knowledge. I am learning every day to surrender and that if I can’t do the dishwasher then its okay and my body is way more important than picking up the dog poo and cleaning the house. I have learnt that if I want to continue working then I need some help and if that means I get a cleaner, a dog walker and a cook then that will be what I need to do. It took me a while to be honest to stop beating myself up for being lazy when I needed to rest.
This in all its glory my friends, is the pregnancy glow. It’s the surrendering to the journey of creating another life and knowing what a beautiful privilege it is.
Yours in health
Dr Shinae Brownrigg