Updated: Aug 23, 2020
Always remember you are braver than you believe. Stronger than you seem. Smarter than you think and twice as beautiful as you‘ve ever imagined. Dr. Seuss
It’s nothing new at this point that our lives have all been shaken up at least little bit in the past few months. The best description I’ve read is that we are in different boats in the same storm. My boat happens to contain my husband, myself, my toddler and baby #2 due in October. Being pregnant presents its own challenges with hormones, morning sickness and fatigue. Add a toddler to the mix and it gets a bit more complicated. Now, top it all off with a global pandemic and we’ve got the potential for a storm throwing waves at every side of the boat.
Just for a little background of my second pregnancy which began before the arrival of COVID-19 to the United States: I began experiencing morning (until night) sickness at about 6 weeks. I broke down and started medication to control some of it, which reduced my nausea and vomiting to ONLY 3 times a day. As time passed and the first trimester ended, I hoped that the sickness would pass, but it didn’t – 14, 16, 20 weeks passed and it didn’t. So acceptance set in that it’s just going to continue. Other complications occurred that made it so I couldn’t, or shouldn’t, pick up my daughter. If guilt for not functioning at full steam hadn’t set in by then; when your 18 month old wants mommy to “up, up,” and you can’t “up” it pretty much broke my heart.
And finally, all of this in the middle of a time in which self-isolation is the recommendation to keep yourself and your family safe. But I am an essential health care worker, and I have an obligation to my clients to risk my health and the health of my loved ones. So wave #3 hitting the boat comes in the form of anxiety. In the middle of a rocking boat, in the middle of what feels like a hurricane, how does one find balance? I wish I had the answer wrapped in a nice package and topped with a bow, but the truth is – it’s not simple. It’s messy. You cry; you lose your cool; you go through a gambit of emotions and you get knocked down, sometimes feeling like you’ll never get up. But you will. The storm will pass and you will be able to see the shore.
Whatever your story, whatever your conditions, something that might help keep your footing in the toughest of seas is to ask for what you need. You would be surprised by how much help you will get. Learn to accept help if that’s not something you’re used to. Say “no” to what you can’t commit to. Now is not the time to over extend. Give yourself a break. By a break, I mean, forgive yourself for not being perfect – this is not your normal environment. Your storm may not be over, mine isn’t, but don’t forget that beyond the clouds and rain there is dry land.