I have anxiety. Like, lay in my bed with my heart rolling into my gut while I replay everything I did and said that day type of anxiety. And when I’m pregnant, it’s no better. Actually, it’s one hundred times worse.
And I think for so many other expecting mothers living in this awkward and high-strung social bubble like me, their life is similar to mine.
Hormones are raging and our bodies are drastically changing. Both of which are huge, potential triggers for anxiety ruts. In fact, I wouldn’t even allow myself to get excited when I first found out I was pregnant. Each time I saw a second line on a white stick, I held back my own excitement. I put a cover over my own flame, because my anxiety told me that these pregnancies would probably not come to pass.
I actually told myself, do not get excited. You will probably miscarry. How awful and truly negative was I to do that to myself?
We are constantly reminded of all that can go wrong. We know how common miscarriage is. We are told not to announce our newest addition to the family until we are in our second trimester, and it’s no mystery as to why that is.
We hear from other mothers about dismay, heartache and coming to terms with unexpected news during the 20-week ultrasound, and we can’t imagine.
We see pictures of preemie babies who were supposed to be born healthy and at term, but are now covered in wires, and we can’t imagine.
On the news, we hear about the rising maternal mortality rate and the vibrant mother’s life lost while giving birth, and we can’t imagine.
And the hardest of them all, we see ‘fly high’ and ‘Rest In Peace, sweet girl’ throughout our news feeds, and it physically tugs on our own mama heart strings. But still, we can’t imagine.
All of this sadness leads us to wonder, what if that happens to me? To my baby? How would I cope? What would I do? I. Just. Can’t. Imagine.
And for those of us truly humbled by the valleys of wretched anxiety, we’ve already envisioned a horrible fate and worked ourself into a fit of tears. But in reality, our far-fetched fears have not come to pass.
We overthink, over-analyze and over-research ourselves into a state of sleeplessness and god-awful irritability. And why? Because we are sick to our protruding stomachs with worry that something bad might happen.
And sometimes, angst hits us in our excited times too. Nesting is supposed to be a time of organization and readiness. But for me, it was a time for sweaty palms and endless bouts of anger. Because, let’s face it, it’s not easy getting the house in top-order when you can’t even tie your own shoes.
When I started to really show in my pregnancies, anxiety hit me strong when I was in public. I felt like everyone was glaring at my ginormous belly…. and not me. I know it’s innocent and people are just excited, but I hate standing out when I just want to blend in.
If this sounds like you, remember this: it is your anxiety talking. I don’t care if you have to tell yourself to stop one hundred times, sling yourself with multiple hair ties, or get on some pregnancy-approved anxiety medication.
Please do what you need to do to stop drowning yourself in a sea of what if’s, because it doesn’t change your future. It only makes you feel sick on the inside, and that is no way to fulfill a pregnancy you will never get back.
These thoughts are your anxiety talking. And these feelings are also incredibly normal. You are not alone. It is more than okay (and healthy) to talk about this.
There is no karma-filled spirit which dooms the play out of your life with your own spoken fears, so please don’t let anxiety whisper that to you too.
If your own worries overpower you, relinquish them. Please, lighten your own load and tell someone. These feelings are too big to carry on your own. It is okay to strip your anxious thoughts of their power and thieve them of their darkness by bringing them into light.
It’s easy to make pregnancy less special for yourself. But resist that urge as best you can. You are creating new life. You, your body, are working overtime to create this baby. It is you who’s body is miraculously doing this. Don’t overthink this, bask in it.
I’m speaking from experience, and I know it’s easier said than done, but give it a go. To hell with your anxious thoughts that try to steal the spotlight from you and your new baby. Talk to your OBGYN about your anxiety, and get the help you deserve.
Because my dear, you deserve every millisecond of happiness that’s meant to come along with this pregnancy. You are worthy of joy while you create this life, no matter how many days that might be.