Boy oh boy how I got fooled into getting pregnant again. I so so badly wanted to get pregnant the second time (first time was a total oopsie). My first pregnancy with twins at 20 years old was a freaking BREEEEEZE! Like what? Were there really even two in there? It sure as hell didn’t look like it. Actually every time I would go to the doctor and the medical assistant would check the heart beats they would just listen to one heart beat and chart it. I would have to remind them there was a second one in there and they were ALWAYS blown away. I really wasn’t that big. Anyways, I figured after having a good experience being pregnant with twins that growing just one human would be a walk in the park.
I sure was humbled very early on. The fatigue was fucking REAAAAL. Not just like “wow I’m tired could use a nap”.. no no no. Like full on couldn’t leave the couch or bed. I had a bit of morning sickness too but mainly just didn’t want to eat ANYTHING. Nothing, absolutely nothing, ever sounded good. Besides toast. Yes I was tired with the first pregnancy too, but they were just SO different. Both pregnancies I managed to workout about 4-5x a week because that was something that kept me mentally in a good place. Didn’t matter how tired I was, I knew I would be pissed at myself if I didn’t take care of my body once it was all over. I could take a nap when I was pregnant with the twins and then I would wake up ready to go. But not even naps worked for me the second time around. Just a constant state of feeling lethargic. So I applaud myself for making it to the gym most days.
Both pregnancies occurred basically at the same time of the year, but I was in COMPLETELY different places in life, physically and mentally. The first time around, I was 20 years old. Just lost my mom. Had just moved across the country to switch colleges. I had only been here a few months and only with Jake for a year and OPE. Pregnant. With twins. Hell yeah I was scared. It wasn’t how I pictured my life going but the moment I saw there were two babies in there I made a decision not to panic and be worried. But rather I chose to assume this was the role I was made for. This is what was supposed to happen for me. So I just carried on with school and work and never took a break. Took 22 credit hours. Worked two (sometimes three) jobs and just got myself ready to be a mom. Had no clue what I was doing, but I had a reallllly good experience being pregnant the first time.
Which is why it so crazy that second time around was literally miserable for me. I was no longer a broke college student trying to figure out WHO I was or HOW I was going to be a mom. I genuinely thought this pregnancy would be easier.. Jake and I owned a home, were financially stable, I didn’t have a job to worry about.. I was already a stay at home mom so I figured it would be easy to be pregnant and be at home. Again… WRONG.
Mentally I was a train wreck the second pregnancy. Like God Bless my husband for not 1) leaving me or 2) locking me in a dungeon. I was in a constant state of depression for almost my entire pregnancy, which I never had experienced during my other pregnancy (I will talk PPD in a sec). Like picture Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh… that was me. I was so sad for honestly no good reason! Just hormones. I had nothing to be depressed about but here I was on the brink of a breakdown every single day. And then the anxiety. OH GOD THE ANXIETY. Like as if I wasn’t naturally anxious enough… One minute I wanted to live in KC with my husband. Then suddenly I missed my home in AZ and moved back. Then I thought about moving back again.. I didn’t want to be around anyone. Didn’t want to hang out. Didn’t want to be a mom or wife at that point. It was horrible and it was so foreign to me. I had only ever felt this way after my last pregnancy. Not during.
I wish I could offer advice for how to get through that… but I have none. It was a really hard 9 months for me mentally. I wish I would have gotten help sooner. I truly think I would have had a different experience if I would have just spoken to my doctors about it. I do, however, have advice for postpartum depression. What I experienced after I had the twins was most definitely the darkest time of my life. I know I dramatically just described my second pregnancy, but trust me.. it was bad. I do not even remember the first two months of Nelly & Jones life. I was alone, in college, with two newborn babies while Jake was on the complete other side of the country finishing out the season. It was horrible and I deeply regret never asking for help from a doctor. Or even a friend. I felt alone, depressed, and inadequate to be a mom.
I hardly experienced any the second time. Maybe it’s because I was prepared for it or maybe because I had already exhausted every ounce of depression during my pregnancy lol. Either way I got help before I even had Jett. At around 34 weeks my doctor had a talk with me about PPD and told me how it is common for many women to go through. TRUST ME BUDDY… I KNOW. I expressed how I was anxious about experiencing it again because I severely struggled the first time around. We decided then that we would put me on anti-depressant medicine at 34 weeks so that my body could adjust to the medicine (takes up to 4 weeks to see changes in behavior/mood). This was probably the biggest tool for me as to how I avoided PPD the second time. The other thing that helped me was asking for help. Not just hired help either (that was a blessing as well tho).. but like help from friends and family. I had no shame in asking, “Can you make me a bottle?” “Can you watch the kids while I shower?” “Are you free to come over and hang out?” I GOT HELP. And it was a game changer. My third recommendation is to get out of the house. With the twins I sat inside a lot. We went on 3 walks a day but otherwise we were inside our tiny apartment while I did homework and listened to two screaming babies. This time I made coffee dates.. got lunch.. went for walks with friends. I surrounded myself with people so that I didn’t feel alone since it was baseball season and Jake was gone. I got out of the house. Got drinks. Socialized. It drastically helped me.
You HAVE to make yourself a priority. For me that’s hanging out with friends and acting like the 24 year old I am. That may look different for you, but regardless, take some time for yourself so that you can be a good mom. And don’t let anyone shame you for that. Ask for help. Talk to your doctor. And just remember you are not alone. You are not broken. And you’re not a bad mom.