For anyone that is pregnant for the first time, getting ready for a baby brings a whirlwind of new experiences. If you have Dissociative Identity Disorder, there are even more things going on. While we did not know that we were a DID system when we were pregnant, there are several things that we wish we would have known. If your system is pregnant or considering becoming pregnant, here are our five things to be aware of!
**Pro tip: Being pregnant is an incredible, rewarding, and beautiful life experience for anyone that wishes to have it. This article will be focusing on things that we wished we had known when we were pregnant but, overall, we deeply enjoyed our pregnancy. Even though the things we mention can be difficult to handle, we felt like they were completely worth it to have our baby.
WARNING AND DISCLAIMER
Because of the nature of D.I.D., it’s possible that something in this article could be triggering to your system. Please use caution and your best judgement when reading this article. Safety first!
Disclaimer: We are not doctors, therapists, or mental health professionals. We’re just a bunch of alters that are speaking from personal experience to help other systems live their best lives.
Just about everyone knows that having a baby means that you’re going to have next to no sleep but no one told us that you could have a hard time getting sleep while you’re pregnant!
For our system, being sleep deprived leads to unintentional switching, increased chance of getting triggered, and more dissociative walls. While sleep deprivation obviously isn’t true for every woman, there is a decent chance that you’ll have some sleepless nights while you’re pregnant.
If you’re pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, it can help to try out some pregnancy-friendly sleep remedies before it becomes an issue. The easiest solution for us was the mix of a sleep mask and some white noise. Whatever your system chooses to do, we highly recommend prioritizing your sleep!
While it may sound a bit obvious that you won’t really recognize your body when you’re pregnant, for a system with DID, it can be even more so. If you have any alters that don’t front often, seeing how much the body has changed while they were in the headspace can be a real jolt!
This can be minimized by sharing images of the current body with all of the alters during the system team meetings. That way, no one will be completely shocked when they come to the front.
Pro tip: Sharing images of the body can also help with things like weight changes, injuries, and surgeries. It will make one less surprise for your system to worry about!
In addition to labor, there will likely be a few times when your body will need a medical professional to examine it. Even if your system limits these exams to what is medically necessary, it can still be difficult for some alters to experience these.
Before going to a doctor appointment, have a team meeting to decide who will handle the appointment and any necessary exams. Ideally, your system will want an alter that is 1) a responsible adult and 2) someone with no sexual or medical trauma.
Pro tip: We understand that this ideal may not be possible for every system. Push come to shove, we suggest asking an adult alter to take the lead and making sure that lots of supportive adult alters are co-conscious with them during the appointment.
Littles And Pregnancy
As you can imagine, being pregnant as a little is a difficult and confusing situation to be in. As best as you can, encourage your system to shield your littles from the adult responsibilities of being pregnant. Things like doctor’s appointments, documenting physical symptoms, and birthing practice are best handled by an adult headmate. We don’t see any issues with a little fronting while the body is pregnant, but for the real “adult things”, try to have an adult alter front.
Another thing to be aware of is that littles, like any child, can experience a wide range of emotions when anticipating a new baby. Be prepared for your littles to feel things like jealousy for the attention going towards the baby, nervousness for how things will change, and sad that things will never be the same. Your littles may feel all of these and more or none of them at all. The important thing is to check in with them to see how they’re adjusting at each pregnancy milestone. This will keep the communication flowing and will help for your littles to feel seen.
Strangers Invading Your Bubble
Now, this may have just been our experience, but we felt like people came out of the wood works to try and touch our stomach. Like, complete strangers. While your experience may be completely different, it can help to know how your system would ideally respond in a situation like that.
Since you can’t really know when someone may approach you and attempt to touch your stomach, we suggest that your whole system be prepared to handle it. Things like practicing kind but firm responses, reviewing who to allow and when, and going over what to do in an emergency can all help your system to be ready.
Pro tip: Just in case you or your headmates don’t know this, your body belongs to YOUR system and ONLY your system. No one has any right to touch your body unless the fronting alter expressly gives them temporary permission. Just a friendly reminder!
Now that you know what we wished we would have known when we were pregnant, where do you go from here? Check out this article about how to handle being sick as a system. Being pregnant is definitely different than being sick but many of the tips in this article can still help with pregnancy symptoms.