Well, yet again the mean old serpent, also known as high blood pressure, reared its UGLY head while at a Maternal Fetal Medicine appointment yesterday. As a result, we landed in the OB Triage for a series of tests before adjusting my blood pressure medicine for what we hope to be a final time. I am pleased to share that lab work came back well, the necessary adjustments were made, and we were sent home!
As I am now in the third trimester, the finish line is within sight and that in itself is a reason to break out of the blood pressure blues. You see, this has been the biggest and most frequent hurdle on this journey and sometimes it has truly gotten the “best” of me.
Most of us are aware that high blood pressure disproportionately affects the African American community, and for various reasons, i.e. heredity, dietary, etc.
Having had high blood pressure prior to my pregnancy, automatically I was identified as “chronic hypertensive” during my pregnancy. A key difference though is that prior to my pregnancy, my pressure was at least fairly easily manageable.
The difficulty with the proper regulation of my pressure not only made me frustrated and at times sad, it heavily impacted my new “motherly instinct,” the reality that the life I am carrying is first and foremost, and I could not let this affect my baby.
Now we have been fortunate and our little one is thriving and well, but innately I always had concerns. I have since started to release those concerns with the support of my loving partner, family and friends. I am indeed fortunate.
I would be remiss to neglect the fact that I have great healthcare providers as well… Combining them all, I have been fortunate to have a strong “village!”
Prenatal care is a priority for me and I encourage the same for all women. Whether you are pregnant or not, self-preservation should always come first. You are no good for others if you are no good to YOURSELF! Take heed, never ignore symptoms and seek medical assistance when needed.
There are plenty of people counting on you…
Until next time... Be courageous, be encouraged, MELANIN AND MOTHERHOOD is BLACK GIRL MAGIC PERSONIFIED!
Yours On This Journey,
So, it’s week 27 and we are now entering the THIRD TRIMESTER!! While the game of NBA is played in four quarters, this championship game is won in just three!! Trust and believe I am ready for my championship ring!
The last few weeks have been filled with its share of physical changes, such as my growing “bump”, the increased need to properly manage my work-life balance, as well as some health challenges. But know that as we tend to do in Melanin and Motherhood, I made sure I rose to the occasion.
As the reality set in that I am truly getting closer and closer to “Showtime," some other reality set in as well… For some, the all familiar anxiety. There’s no shame or reason to sugar coat the true feelings I started to experience. Point blank, period, anxiety is real!
While it was less difficult to combat the other changes and challenges, this anxiety proved to be a little more difficult.
I began to read various maternity blogs and publications and realized that not only was I not alone, but this can be common in pregnancy. From my difficulty with falling asleep (not just due to physical discomfort), to my EXTREMELY vivid dreams and last but certainly not least my fears of labor and delivery this all comes with the territory.
Knowing the commonality alone, was very helpful in my coping and strategic in the management of my anxiety. As a means of restoration, I pushed myself to hit my stride professionally by effectively managing my work life balance. Persevered as an activist, by attending the organization in which I hold a leadership position, national conference, allowing me to become reinvigorated to continue to serve my community. As a therapeutic measure, I made sure I took time to incorporate my love of Salsa by attending my dance school’s Saturday night social. Wow, did I have a ball that night! And began to distinguish my fears from reality.
Becoming a first - time mother, certainly comes with plenty of unknowns, but it is those unknows that at times may bond us and other times are what make our paths very different. This journey includes some “bumps,” (pun intended), scrapes and bruises but for me they are honorable sacrifices and the rewards are plentiful!
Until the next time... Be courageous, be encouraged, MELANIN AND MOTHERHOOD is BLACK GIRL MAGIC PERSONIFIED!
For more tips on managing anxiety during pregnancy, please click the link below!
Yours on this Journey,
Crystal D. Charley-Sibley, MBA
Founder of Melanin and Motherhood, Co-Founder of Queen Village LLC, is a community activist, women's empowerment speaker, a first-time mother, and wife, chronicling her journey of motherhood!