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.
The 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!
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.
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.
- 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?