03/31/2015

Fears with Getting and Staying Pregnant

I debated back and forth on whether to share this post or not as it’s pretty personal, but I decided it is a subject that so many women can relate to and I don’t want anyone to feel alone. Sometimes it looks like everyone around you is getting pregnant so easily, but that isn’t always the case! I did not have the easiest time getting pregnant, which made dealing with anxiety after a positive pregnancy test very difficult in its own right. I wrote this post when I was only 7 weeks 2 days pregnant, and it is filled with honest, raw emotion and fear. I believe though that this is part of my platform and is a huge reason why I blog – to be a source of friendship, encouragement and support for anyone who takes the time to read my thoughts.

In less than a week, I will be attending my very first pre-natal doctor’s appointment. Although I have only known about my pregnancy for 11 days and have only had the appointment for 9, it feels as if the wait has been an eternity. Today I am roughly 7 weeks and 2 days pregnant and I am learning that if I thought the fear of getting pregnant was brutal, it doesn’t even come close to the fear of actually being pregnant. All I want to do in this world is protect my sweet little baby, the size of a mere blueberry. I don’t want him or her to feel pain, hurt, rejection, sadness or loss. The only thing I want this baby to know is safety, love and comfort. I may not be able to protect my sweet babe as easily when he or she is out in the world, but I want to do everything in my power to while in my womb.

Pregnancy - Ultrasound PictureThe scary thing about pregnancy is that everywhere you turn, there seems to be heartache and loss. Infertility, ectopic pregnancies, miscarriages, and preterm labor are not terms to be taken lightly. So many women have experienced these types of pain – so what makes me any different? What makes me any more deserving to carry a full-term, healthy baby than any other woman who wants to be a mother? Sometimes being the one pregnant can actually cause guilt and hurt in its own right.

However, I am not a stranger to the fears of trying to conceive. My struggle was shorter than many, a good 3 years of “trying-but-not-trying” followed by roughly nine more months of “trying” to get pregnant, with never a positive ovulation indicator or positive pregnancy test in sight. My hormones were out of whack, my cycles were long, and the thought of me conceiving naturally was starting to look like a long-shot. I decided to meet with a PA who specializes in a natural vitamin/herbal remedy first before taking the more traditional beginning route of infertility by trying Clomid. Wouldn’t you know that within less than three months of starting my new regimen I finally saw a positive pregnancy test…. or four tests since I didn’t believe the prior three; but, who’s counting!

Pregnancy - First DayThis picture was taken just a few hours after I found out I was pregnant!

Now that the fear of getting pregnant has passed, the new trend seems to be the fear of staying pregnant. Every little twitch, cramp, belly ache or lack of symptom automatically has me panicking. I know these fears are common for women, especially in their first pregnancy or those who have suffered miscarriage before. However, I also know that ironically the best thing for both you and your baby is to relax and relinquish anxiety. I know… much easier said than done.

You see, yesterday I thought I was doing a great thing for my mind and my body. I went and had a pedicure, only to find out after the fact that a foot/calf/ankle massage in the first trimester is a big no-no. I had absolutely no idea. I am trying to gather as much information as I can about having a safe pregnancy, but it is impossible to know it all. I waited until I was even 6 weeks pregnant to take a pregnancy tests as long cycles were common for me, and in that time I also ate feta and boursin cheese and deli meat, drank plenty of coffee and caffeine, and even dyed my hair all the way to my root. I think anyone pregnant would experience the same fears: I felt as if I put my baby in jeopardy, and nothing makes me more upset than thinking I put my unborn child at risk.

We as women, especially those of us pregnant, need to cut ourselves a little bit of slack at times. I know we all want to be 100% perfect for our babies and ourselves, but there may come a time where we slip up and we need to learn to forgive ourselves and move on. Let these be lessons we learn from and not burdens that our hearts hold onto and that keep us from advancing forward. I am bound to make mistakes after the baby is born the same way I am bound to make mistakes while pregnant. As much as I would like to be perfect for my child, I think learning to give yourself a little grace is the perfect place to begin as a soon-to-be mother.

SunriseThis sunrise picture was taken the morning after my positive pregnancy test. I remember how seeing it brought me such a peace in my heart.

If you ever want to chat, share your story, hear more of mine, or ask a question, feel free to reach out to me through email! I am happy to either talk or just listen anytime.

newlywifehealthylife@gmail.com

Conversation Time.

  • If you have been pregnant in the past, what types of fears did you experience, especially in the early stages of pregnancy? Do you have any tips for newly pregnant women and how to handle anxiety?
  • Did you ever deal with a situation in pregnancy where you found out something you did was considered ‘wrong’? How did you handle the feeling of fear and guilt after finding out the news?
  • Pregnant or not: What are your best tips for handling anxiety?

Comments

  1. I think every one of your fears are fears every woman has who is pregnant. Losing a baby or not doing something correctly while pregnant is one of my biggest fears. I’m so sorry it took so long to get pregnant, but now you have this baby growing inside of you!

    • HappyWifeHealthyLife says:

      Heather, I completely agree! I think my fears are probably the same ones thought by the majority of pregnant women everyday. There are so many rules to follow and things that can go wrong when pregnant, many of which are completely out of the mother’s control! I think that is why it’s so important to talk about these fears, so that we can encourage each other to just trust and simply keep moving forward. 🙂

  2. Fiona says:

    Oh man I hear yah, once I passed the first trimester I thought it would be smooth snailing, but then people start asking you ‘have you felt the baby’ and if your answer is NO you’re like PANIC ASAP . Everyone’s pregnancy is different and my biggest advice is ignore it all ..lol

    Also, I know some women go all out on avoiding the ‘don’t’s of pregnancy, and I did everything in moderation. Yah I ate lunch meat a few times because HECK in the first trimester I actually forgot I was pregnant and didn’t think about it. Do I eat it all the time, no but I’m not gonna stress myself out if I’m out and don’t want to make a big deal about avoiding things. I also ate sushi….my doctor wasn’t against it she just said to make sure it was ultra fresh ( read PRICEY) and again it wasn’t all you can eat, a few pieces and I moved on…my baby is healthy and happy and I’m staying sane…mama’s sanity is the key to babies sanity 😉

    • HappyWifeHealthyLife says:

      Although I most likely would have shared on the blog if I had miscarried, I know that is a big part of why I waited so long to share my news. It is almost as if I am afraid to receive congratulations from so many people, and then have to deal with something devastating. Even now in the 2nd trimester I know there are risks, but the pregnancy is starting to feel more ‘real’ now if that mistakes. (I think my growing belly is a nice reminder!)

      Also, thank you thank you for the encouragement that I don’t have to be ‘perfect’! I know that is a big fear I am going to have to overcome, but all of you mamas who have been there and are now sharing your stories helps to remind me that we can all only do the best we can. And you are right, my sanity is important too lol!

  3. Let me first just say how brave and inspiring you are! It must have taken a huge amount of courage to let the world in, tell us about your struggles and fears. You are amazing!

    I am not pregnant, but I know that your fears and struggles are both something that need to be talked about. You are doing something wonderful by bringing awareness to this issue. I’m sure that there are hundreds of pregnant mamas out there who now know they’re not the only ones feeling this way.

    I am familiar with anxiety. The everyday hustle and bustle, bills, appointments, work deadlines could nearly drive you crazy sometimes. I deal with anxiety a couple ways; First is by getting enough sleep. Second, is being active and doing something I love that is solely for myself. For me, that’s yoga. And third, is keeping my home a calm place. That means eliminating clutter and having a place for everything. This eliminates the crazed rush in the morning looking for things.

    So excited for you and you growing family! Keep up your wonderful posts. Can’t wait to read more 🙂

    • HappyWifeHealthyLife says:

      Sleep is absolutely my favorite way to combat anxiety, followed by a nice long walk with my pup! I am like you that a clean house means a clean and organized life too. Not much makes my life feel more tidy than if my home is tidy and well-kept too!

  4. My 4th and last baby will be 1 next week, even with her pregnancy, I worried and stressed myself needlessly!! Congratulations-here’s to a happy and healthy rest of your pregnancy 🙂
    jen@jpabstfitness recently posted…Weekend Wrap UpMy Profile

    • HappyWifeHealthyLife says:

      Thank you Jen! So happy to hear that your sweet baby is going to be one years old! Isn’t that so funny how even though we know we shouldn’t worry, we still do? Must be that mother’s instinct. 😉

  5. I am over-the-moon excited for you and your pregnancy. I cannot imagine the journey to get to where you are, but, you have a miracle growing in you! How incredible! Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your story. As someone who will likely struggle to get pregnant in the near future, due to irregular cycles, etc, I love reading stories such as yours!
    Sarah @ Sarah Sincerely recently posted…Weekend Rewind: Wedding GetawayMy Profile

    • HappyWifeHealthyLife says:

      Thank you so much Sarah! If you ever want to chat or need someone to talk to, I am here for you. Feel free to email me anytime! xo

  6. Beautiful post, Jana! I’m glad you shared this with us. I don’t know if it gets any easier with each pregnancy…those fears and worries. And, it’s only the beginning as a mom. There’s always something to worry about it seems! But this is why I’m so glad we have our faith and our God to entrust our sweet kiddos to, because ultimately, they’re not OUR kids…they’re HIS kids. All we are to do is do our best to love them and protect them, and the rest is up to God.

    Please, please, please don’t beat yourself about what you called “mistakes” that you made in early pregnancy. I think a lot of that stuff is a little extreme to be honest and even myths. I didn’t even know you weren’t supposed to have a foot/ankle massage? And I promise caffeine in moderation, occasional lunch meat, and getting your hair dyed every once in awhile won’t harm your baby. 😉 I’d encourage you to read the book, Expecting Better. It gives a whole new perspective on pregnancy and what you can and can’t do. I don’t go maybe quite as far as she does on some stuff, but I’m probably somewhere in the middle. I eat lunch meat, I drink coffee, I got a pedicure, I dye my hair. Our baby is VERY protected in there, so don’t worry too much.
    Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries recently posted…Hunter’s 2nd Birthday PartyMy Profile

    • HappyWifeHealthyLife says:

      Ahh that is exactly what I keep telling myself! If I have worries when my baby is safely tucked inside my womb, how am I going to feel when they are 16 and driving?! (Answer – I can’t even begin to imagine that fear!)

      Thank you for the encouragement! I had never heard of the massage issue either, but the ladies in the spa panicked after I told them I was pregnant and it scared me so badly. I broke down in tears right in the middle of the ‘quiet room.’ I understand their fears and don’t want to get sued (since anything can go wrong at any time) but man did it scare me! I have been craving pop this pregnancy and although I am limiting myself, I am also treating myself when I want it too. I know pop can be seen as a big no-no, but everything in moderation is definitely the way to go. Now I am not suggesting pregnant women (or anyone for that matter) downs a 2-liter every day, but there are a lot worse vices than a can of coke.

  7. Jessica says:

    My husband and I are trying to get pregnant, and you are right – everywhere I look someone else is announcing their pregnancy. Thanks for sharing your hardship in getting pregnant. The realness is much appreciated!

  8. Becca says:

    Loved this post. My hormones are also “out of whack” and I had long cycles without positive ovulation. Three months on Clomid changed that for me too! My perfect angel “Clomid Baby” is now one year old. Congratulations on your bundle – I wish you and your family joy and happiness!

    • HappyWifeHealthyLife says:

      That is so amazing Becca! I wanted to include the Clomid piece because I don’t want anyone women to ever feel alone for having a little help. Although I didn’t end up taking Clomid, I do have the filled prescription still sitting in my medicine cabinet and wouldn’t have thought twice about using it if I needed to! 🙂

  9. Carol Fisher says:

    Jana you will be a wonderful mother no doubt. Just look at you family tree… Mother Nature, as Kaitlyn called your grandmother, and your beautiful Mother…. God Bless

    • HappyWifeHealthyLife says:

      Carol, you are one of the best mothers I know. If I can love my baby even half as much as my mom loves me and you love Kel, Tony and Kaitlyn, then I think I will be doing pretty well 🙂

  10. It’s so brave of you to open up and share your story, Jana. I’m sorry to hear that you had trouble getting pregnant but I think it’s great that you chose to treat your body naturally first. I’m so happy everything worked out for you!!

    As an ultrasound tech, I have seen so many issues with infertility and miscarriages that I almost expect to have problems when we finally get around to trying. And the fact that we’re waiting so long also scares the crap out of me.

    But on the other hand, I see many of those women who have problems go on to have perfectly normal pregnancies so there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The best thing we can do is just try to be happy and focus on the positive because the stress and anxiety will only work the opposite of how we want to.
    Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health recently posted…White Bean Avocado & Lime SoupMy Profile

    • HappyWifeHealthyLife says:

      Sarah, I absolutely loved your comment! I think you hit the nail on the head – so many of us hear/see sad stories and it is so difficult not to have fears and worries that the same thing can happen to us. One of my very best friend’s is a high-risk ultrasound tech (who absolutely loves what she does!) and I know she has seen a lot of bad, but also so much good. I agree with you – focusing on the positive truly can make a world of difference for both our mind and physical health. So much of this is out of our hands, so all we can really do is the best that we can. 🙂

  11. Thanks for sharing your story. I can relate. I have had two chemical pregnancies, and I have felt fear with both. Not sure what’s going to happen when I finally stay pregnant. Thanks again for sharing. Praying for a healthy pregnancy for you!
    Megan recently posted…7th Anniversary StaycationMy Profile

    • HappyWifeHealthyLife says:

      Megan, thank you so much for reading. I am very sorry for your loss, I can’t even imagine what that must feel like to go through. I know so many women have gone through much more traumatic experiences at getting pregnant than I have, and that is why I really hope to portray sensitivity to the topic. I think infertility and pregnancy complications are getting more attention as they should, but I think it is still a bit of a hush-hush conversation. If you ever want to talk or just need a little encouragement and support, feel free to email me and reach out anytime!

      • You definitely approached it with great sensitivity. It’s something that isn’t talked about, but I think it should be. I’m very open about my infertility and loss, and hope it encourages others to share too. I have a lot of friends who have struggled with the “why did I get pregnant,” even though the desperately wanted it, because so many others can’t. It made me sad to find my friends joy a little depleted because of their desire to protect me. I love their hearts for others, but won’t be able to understand their fears and thoughts until I’m on the other side of this road. I hope this made sense. I feel like my thoughts are completely jumbled!
        Megan recently posted…7th Anniversary StaycationMy Profile

        • HappyWifeHealthyLife says:

          Megan, Your thoughts make so much sense! 🙂 I think your friends have a sense of wanting to protect you and your feelings, and you have a sense of wanting to protect theirs and want to see them happy. My girlfriends and I always talk about how we may each be in different periods of our lives, but we can still love and encourage each other through the ups and downs. Some are married, some pregnant, some already have babies, some are engaged, some are soon to be engaged, and some are single. That’s just the way life works, we all have our own perfect timing for each stage, but I am so thankful we have each other for support in each one!

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