my toxic pregnancy
I spent most of my first pregnancy disconnected and out of my body. The positive sign on the pregnancy test was completely unexpected and unplanned and did not fit in with my plans of graduating college, travelling to Thailand and moving back to Kauai the next year.
I spent the first three months in shock, low in energy, nauseous and unhappy with the turn of events. In full transparency, I considered abortion multiple times in the beginning. I never liked babysitting...in fact I couldn’t really think of a time I’d enjoyed being around kids for longer than a few hours. I’d never changed a diaper in my life and had no clue about being a mom. I knew down the road I would probably want kids, but now was not the time.
My boyfriend, Cj (now husband), was much more accepting and excited about the idea (although he wasn’t the one throwing up and having to stay stone cold sober). He would have been utterly devastated had I terminated the pregnancy, and I don’t know if we could have stayed together. All of his childhood pictures show him holding or playing with his many younger nieces and nephews, the idea of changing diapers didn’t phase him and he was magnetized towards kids.
I was not ready to be a mom or to change my lifestyle. I felt completely disconnected with the idea of growing a human inside my body. On the bright side, my best friend and my sister were both nearing the end of their pregnancies so I found comfort in the camaraderie.
I finally had gotten to a point of acceptance at around 3 months (the morning sickness dissipating definitely helped with that as well) when our family got hit with life-shattering news. My sister, who had been trying for a baby for years and had already had a rough road with reaching a full term pregnancy, gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Ruben, who was not ready to fully come into this world. He came out of the womb and to everyone’s shock, had an APGAR of 0 and little to no brain activity. He was rushed to the NICU and only lived 3 days.
I can still vividly remember Cj crying out in anguish and pounding on the shower wall the day we heard the news.
The amount of guilt that weighed on me in those times is unexplainable.
Guilt for not wanting the beautiful life that was growing inside of me.
Guilt for accidentally getting pregnant while my sister had been so mindful and intentional about bringing a baby into this world.
Guilt for not being there for my sister and her husband during those times...but at the same time knowing that me being around would be painful for them.
I straight up wanted to gift my sister my child. Cj said, no, Coral it doesn’t work like that. I wanted her to have a healthy thriving baby more than anything in the world.
I felt careless, I felt selfish, I felt ungrounded, I felt like melting into a puddle.
Emotionally, it was a very toxic time for me. Physically, I was not feeding myself well or exercising.
Late night trips to the gas station for sour gummy worms were a regular. I indulged in whatever sweets or junk food that called my name. Organic food wasn’t on my budget or radar (I had grown up eating organic but didn’t truly understand the value of it).
Yes, I know many people say to give into your cravings while you’re pregnant...but knowing what I know now, I wish I was more educated and aware of how my eating habits and gut health affects her in the long run. Maybe it’s not just that, but my daughter has a sweet tooth beyond control as of now that I have to be very regimented on. I didn’t realize that pesticides and gmo foods pass through the placenta and can be harmful to embryo’s as well. I’m sure my toxic thoughts and emotions weren’t great for her either. I gained a ton of weight and just thought it would come off easily by breastfeeding (yeah right!).
I had a lot of fear surrounding my upcoming birth. I stressed about not being a good mom and losing my “freedom”.
I did as much research on motherhood as I could get my hands on. I listened to podcasts, read books and watched documentaries. I did get to the point where I felt very connected to my baby and enjoyed the end of my pregnancy.
My sister and I talked through the elephant in the room and addressed my feelings of guilt and her feelings of jealousy. It was a very transformative time.
Luckily, my daughter is vital, vibrant and an angel. Besides having some gut health issues (from antibiotics as a newborn than from my eating habits), she does not seem to have any lasting affects from my toxic thoughts, emotions and eating habits during pregancy.
Even better, my sister got pregnant with her second son, Rowan, right around the time I gave birth to Adelyn. They are 8.5 months apart and closer than ever.
Once I actually became a mom, everything fell into place naturally. It felt like instinct and I actually enjoyed being responsible for a tiny, adorable human. Cj and I grew closer than ever and could not imagine our life without our 7am human alarm clock.
I am pregnant again and it is a whole new experience. I am so aware of what I’m nourishing my body with, have been exercising and doing yoga regularly and it has been refreshing to be excited from the get go (big difference when it’s planned).
Sometimes I think, what if I had had someone to support me through my toxic thoughts and emotions during that pregnancy? What if I had surrounded myself with people who could understand what I was going through, but could help steer me out of my downward spiral of negative thoughts? Yes, I got through it with the tools that I had, but I would have greatly benefitted from a network of women to support me in those toxic feeling times. What if my sister had had the same kind of support network?
Is there something toxic in your life that you just can’t seem to shake? How would things change if you were able to clear those noxious thoughts, emotions, habits or relationships?