As a married couple, we are just starting to settle into the mundane parts of our life. We have a daughter and have been married for three years. We have our careers and we've just moved into a new home.
Then I found out I was pregnant again. I don't know what happened but I started to feel really sick and my husband seemed distant.
THE HARD TIMES:
Little did I know my husband was having an affair with someone else. He ended up telling me that he was leaving me for her because he thought this would be best for us all.
I got so mad that all I could think about was how wrong this was. The babies and I were the ones who would suffer from it. There is no possible way that this would be good for us all!
I found out that he went to a lawyer's office and filed for divorce during the pregnancy. I went through the divorce process and this was the most terrible phase of my life up til now. I can't imagine anything more stressful than this...getting a divorce during pregnancy.
GOING THROUGH THE UNCERTAINTIES:
When you are expecting, and suddenly you get unsupported by your partner, you are trying to figure out how life will go on, and what to do next...all this is enough to make you exhausted, stressed, and emotional.
Not to mention that your hormones are already all over the place because of your pregnancy, and then this added stress, yes it was tough, extremely tough for me and my baby. I needed help, I needed support.
SOME SIMPLE TIPS TO GET THROUGH THIS DIFFICULT PHASE:
I struggled and followed some simple tips that helped me get through this difficult phase.
Let yourself feel your feelings:
The good and maybe strange thing for you to hear is that I allowed myself to feel upset, sad, disappointed, and hurt while I was going through this devastating phase of my life. I allowed myself to feel my feelings and grew from them. I restrained from bottling my emotions and holding them up, instead, I let myself experience my emotions. I didn't want to hold the pain and bitterness of divorce in me as it could make me unhappy and unpeaceful for my whole life. I experienced it, made it a part of my past and now I am ready to see the beauty of new chapters in my life.
Get support from friends and family:
Being single during pregnancy was scary as constant support is needed during this time. It was hard on its own but friends, family, and support groups assisted in lifting me.
Give yourself time before starting new relationship:
Luckily I got great advice from one of my aunts and refrained from getting into a new relationship. Without giving myself some time to grieve my marriage, and mentally processing the divorce I went through, I can badly affect my new relationship and my baby too, and bring more turmoil. I gave myself the much-needed time for relaxing and refreshing my mind. I focused on my health and my baby and now I am strong enough to confidently raise my little ones and feel whole again to start a new journey in my life.
Go for a therapy:
Getting a divorce during pregnancy and going through this whole experience is not a piece of cake. It is painful...you have to go through a lot. I even thought of hurting myself and my baby. I used to be a quite jolly person but seeing my worsening condition during this period that even made it challenging for me to take care of myself and find things that bring me joy, my friend got so worried that she took me to a therapist. It was a good decision, the therapy and counseling helped me move through this phase by working on my emotions. It inculcated in me that divorce was not the end of life. Life has to go on and not only go on but go on with positivity and a clear aim and motivation in life. I have to stand up, live for my children and think of my baby's health at this time.
You are important no matter what-take good care of yourself:
At the start of this tough life-changing event, it was difficult for me to be kind to myself. I was not interested in eating enough, getting enough sleep, exercising, and finding ways to heal. I was thinking it was the end of life. But counseling helped me to get back to the point that there is a life growing inside me. My attention to self-care was needed not only for me but also for my daughter and my upcoming child to start and lead a healthy and happy life. I made the effort to take care of myself and did everything that brought me joy. My postpartum period also got handled best because I had a good dose of positivity and enthusiasm from my surroundings. As much as I was falling and feeling low, the more I raised and got back to life.
Understand the legal matters and settle the things on time:
I found an attorney to become familiar with and better understand the laws regarding getting a divorce during pregnancy and ex-parental rights and responsibilities and involvement in your children's life. The psychological therapy polished my communication skills to the point that I was able to talk about matters about my children with my ex-husband with dignity. I faced the reality wholeheartedly, figured out the whole scenario, and got the matters settled about my children at the right time which helped me both emotionally and financially. Although facing my ex seems hard to me sometimes, co-parenting is in the best interest of our children and we decided to go for it. I took some co-parenting classes, read some good books on this topic, and also consulted a family therapist to better handle the situation.
Getting a divorce during pregnancy is heart-throbbing, but always know that life does not stop with one person. This time is hard but comes to make you more strong. You can get through this situation, it just needs a little time and support from loved ones. Give yourself time to relax, gain strength and rebuild. Focus on what lies ahead and think of the life you will soon be bringing into this world.