The anxiety that comes with pregnancy is intense.
You can’t even use the bathroom without someone freaking out. Starting at around 32-weeks, your husband comes running in, panicking, “Is that a lot of pee or did your water break?” You look at him like, are you joking? And he’s not, because he’s completely crazed over this whole baby business. You assure him that you’re pregnant and you peed like you do a million other times a day because the baby, with the amniotic sac, umbilical cord, and placenta (“the whole enchilada”) has diminished your bladder.
The anxiety of where it’s going to happen. Are you going to make it to the hospital? Will you make it but not have time for an epidural? If you are like me, WE BETTER MAKE IT IN TIME OR ELSE! I mean, I saw Handmaid's Tale, and I know it can be done, but I’m no Offred.
And there are so many things that could go wrong, and you’re always thinking about them or testing for them. Will I be a part of the percentage of women that have gestational diabetes or preeclampsia? Will my baby turn her head down or be breached? And so many scans along the way to make sure your baby is healthy, which is wonderful, but the night before all you can think about is everything that could be wrong.
Then there’s the: I don’t feel my baby moving, is she okay? Or the opposite with my husband, she’s moving too much, tell her to calm down. It’s like he believes that her excitement can force us into “go time.” And no, my husband isn’t ready yet! Because as much as you’re ready, you are never sure you are REALLY “ready” for a new addition until it happens.
As a third-time mom, I feel more anxiety for the womb baby, because this child is entirely out of my control and harder to check on. And with each pregnancy, though your time to worry lessens because you’re occupied with your kids on earth, it seems your anxiety increases because you know the risks. Maybe you have been in the NICU with a prior baby. Maybe you have had a previous delivery that was scary and resulted in health complications. Maybe you have experienced perinatal loss. Maybe it’s a friend, a family member, an acquaintance—but by now, you’ve heard it all. And these experiences all dictate your level of anxiety.
Don't get me wrong though; pregnancy is absolutely beautiful and life-changing. You realize how amazing your body is: from the first kick, to seeing hand imprints on your tummy---all of it shifts your perspective and changes you for the better.
That moment, when you get a positive result, you become a mother, and mother’s worry. We can't control anything in life. We just have to ride the waves. Nothing worth it is easy. But when we meet that new apple of our eye--- her presence becomes that much sweeter.
This post originally appeared on the author's Facebook. Her book Living FULL: Winning My Battle with Eating Disorder is available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2O4mJId
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