Thursday, October 31, 2013

Anxiety and Pregnancy

That has been my thought since multiple tests confirmed I was pregnant. To be honest, no amount of confirmation made me really believe it. Not even a trip to the doctor's office, not even getting an official due date. Hell, I'm staring at my 12 week ultrasound picture and seeing a REAL HUMAN and I still think...

Is this even real?

This can't happen to me. I can't get pregnant. All those times trying and never have I ever been pregnant. Why this time? It must not be real. I didn't want to believe it was real just in case it was taken away from me. Then I could convince myself it was all a dream, a good dream, but a dream. The same dream I had been having for over 4 years.

For the most part, after my 12 week ultrasound, the anxiety I had been feeling since the moment that test turned positive melted away. I felt happy and relieved. I still have my moments of fear and worry but I think that is normal. I've noticed that in the days leading up to my prenatal appointments, I get a rush of anxiety washing over me. I worry I'll get bad news. My worry-wart personality is a bit catastrophic and I think just because I'm not showing yet and it is too soon to really start feeling movement that something must be wrong. And trying to use that stupid at home fetal doppler just isn't good either because I can't get it to find the baby's heartbeat. No amount of throwing up in the shower or feeling tired at 1:00 p.m. or extreme hunger can convince me that things are 100% okay.

I am trying my best to work through these moments of fear. I think about what I've learned in therapy over the past year and send those worries down the hypothetical stream that carries my fears away to a distant place since worrying does nothing to change any outcome and does everything to take me out of living for the moment.

But this anxiety is real and I know that I am allowed to experience it and feel it and decide what to do with it as long as it doesn't become overpowering. And 24 weeks from now when I deliver my baby, a new set of fears and worries will come along and I'll have to learn how to cope with those and send them down the stream as well.

My main method to keeping these fears under control is to take things moment by moment and day by day. I'm not thinking too far ahead. I'm enjoying today for what it is providing me. I can still fit into my clothes. I can still sleep on my stomach. I don't have anything stopping me from painting my toe nails. I know in time, those things will change but all I can do now is appreciate today.

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