A couple of days ago, I read a post on the SMC site that has helped me shift into a more positive and less fearful experience of early pregnancy. Someone posted the question: how do you deal with the anxiety at this stage? There were many helpful responses, and here’s the one that stated exactly what I needed to hear:
“I had two losses before conceiving my daughter. The first was a very early chemical pregnancy, and mostly reassured me that I could get pregnant. The second was very difficult for me. When I started trying again I was afraid to get a BFP because I was afraid it would all end again, a feeling heightened by a well meaning, but poorly stated comment by a friend who said it was like my body was just working it’s way up to a full-term pregnancy, and each one would get further along. Any who, when I finally got that BFP, I had several people who were worried for me, and at that point I decided to let them keep worrying, and I was going to enjoy being pregnant for as long as it lasted, hoping of course it would be 40 weeks. That really freed me up to just dream about my baby, and now my standard advice is just assume that all is going to be fine, and enjoy your pregnancy & baby dreams, you will never get this time back and you don’t want to worry it away. If the worst should come, you can deal with it then, but there is no sense worrying about what most likely won’t happen, just dream the dreams you have for your sweet little baby.”
Assume that all is going to be fine! What a beautiful sentiment! I experienced this as a breath of fresh air! This woman is now a mom of 2 and considering a third. Inspiring.
While my anxiety has (thankfully) been minimal in the past few weeks, it does have the capacity to take me down the path of worst-case scenarios that begin with a right ovary twinge. Now I suddenly feel free to simply note how I’m feeling, keep myself adequately informed on what actually entails an emergency, and otherwise keep calm and carry on. And ENJOY it. Smile when I take my prenatal vitamin and fish oil pill, and again later when I get the fish burp. Marvel at my first-ever mid-afternoon nap in the “Comfort Room” at the office. Revel in the now-handful of friends who are pregnant right along with me (or are on the verge!!). Laugh about the hilariousness of inspecting your boob size/soreness more than once a day. Imagine the tiny little love in there, growing, thriving… It’s the road less traveled: assume the best-case scenario.
So, that is kind of blowing my mind as it extends to life in general and helps me have a happier outlook on pretty much everything. Also blowing my mind is a book called Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin, loaned to me by dear friend MM. Ina May is a world-renowned expert midwife who got her start on a commune in Tennessee. The book includes 200 pages of home birth stories. I am taking a break from reading to write this post–it’s totally engrossing, if a little dated in its 70s terminology, describing many experiences as “heavy,” “psychedelic,” and “far out.” Has anyone else read it? Powerful, beautiful, moving stories. Our bodies know how to do this.
After this book, EJ and I will trade and I’ll read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. Believe it or not, before long I’ll need to line up a midwife and figure out at least theoretically what type of context (home, birthing center, hospital) I would want to give birth in. PS there isn’t even one birthing center in San Francisco, which had initially seemed like the perfect middle-ground solution. I’m hearing good things about hospitals here (set up like birthing centers), but Ina May is luring me home.
Yes, you’re right, just because I’m assuming the best doesn’t mean I have to figure it all out tonight, or anytime soon. Especially as my eyes feel like bowling balls in my head. I’m gearing up for my birthday weekend–I’ll be entering the last year of my 30s this Saturday! Then, on Monday, I will go to the ultrasound with my dear sister B to see a bunch of lights on a screen that will hopefully signify my next generation.