I had expected that managing my ADHD and pregnancy would be hard without meds. What I didn’t expect was for my ADHD to actually get worse due to the influx of hormones. Add to that some mind-numbing fatigue and it’s been an interesting past few weeks. Here are some things I’ve learned along the way and how I’m learning to survive.
You Forget Even More Stuff
An old journalism friend reached out to me this month to get my thoughts on a new restaurant. Her bribe of pie and company got me so excited that in the midst of making plans to see her I completely forgot to send her my quotes. A week after deadline I made the mortifying connection. As a new mother, she completely understood.
The truth still stood, however, that this was a problem! After some asking around, I determined that my first line of defense is to make sure I’m keeping up with to-do lists, calendar reminders and other ADHD productivity tools. All the ADHD prep I’ve been doing these past couple of years is going to be more critical than ever. This includes things like being on top of junk mail in my inbox – the fewer distractions I have, the better.
You Get Comfortable With Doing Less
In the past few weeks, I have had exactly enough energy to muddle through work and drive home. On a good day I am able to cook dinner and sit through an entire movie with my husband. This energy drain means that I have had to scale back dramatically on some of my most cherished projects, including this blog!
The idea that this isn’t forever is what’s kept me going. I know that my life will never be the same and perhaps my side projects never will take up the same space in my life that they once had. But what I also know is that there’s this magical thing that is supposed to happen in the second trimester in which some of my energy is expected to return. That alone has been enough to keep me going (no matter that it goes away again in the third … )
Self Care Becomes Survival
All that stuff you read about self care is so spot-on. And I really do hate it when you’re too tired to move that somebody recommends exercise, but here’s the thing: it works. It absolutely 100% works. As part of my work for my morning routine merit badge, I made it a goal of mine to work in an easy 15 minutes of walking before I head out to work. It has worked wonders in setting the right tone for the day and getting my blood pumping. I’m also able to knock out a sizeable chunk of my steps goal, which I’m tracking on my FitBit.
Hydration and proper nutrition have also come into play lately, even more so than before I became pregnant. Water and essential nutrients (especially protein) have become critical in ensuring that not just my body but the little person I’m creating become a well-oiled machine. I find that I’m more alert and think more clearly when I’ve taken care to eat better and stay hydrated. And when I feel better I am more productive.