Knocked Up (And Down): Thoughts on Pregnancy and Anxiety

A few weeks ago, I took a bath at 3:00 in the afternoon.

It was August and over 80 degrees outside. And no, I hadn’t just gotten my hair highlighted or broken my arm.

Nope, I was just on the verge of a good old-fashioned freak out.knocked up and down

You see, I had just found out that I was surprise pregnant again. Long crazy-amazing-God-is-so-good story, but literally DAYS after I had my miscarriage, God blessed us with a second pregnancy. I guess those warnings about me coming from a long line of very fertile women, my mother’s favorite tactic to scaring me into abstinence during high school, turned out to be true! And for the record, my husband is one of seven children and we have 17 nieces and nephews from his side of the family alone. So let’s just say, we should count our blessings in the fertility department!

I believe for people with well-adjusted levels of worry and concern, who also desire to bring life into this world as we most certainly do, this positive news would be met with much joy and a slight bit of apprehension given our recent experience of loss. Fair. However, for someone like me, prone to spiraling fear-fed anxiety, this news felt like something I wasn’t ready to handle.

Rather than taking in the joy of this miracle pregnancy, I was so stymied by my fears that another miscarriage could happen, that I freaked the f$%@k out. Excuse my French. So when I felt my anxiety reach a place that didn’t feel so great and in the absence of an alternative method of calming down (read: exercise until I almost puke and/or chug a glass of Kim Crawford…thanks a lot pregnancy), I ran a bath. And to top it all off, it pretty much sucked as a coping mechanism.

As you guys know, Dan and I  had a tougher summer. Losing our first pregnancy was not only emotionally draining, but it opened up some old anxiety issues that I had long since put to rest with the help of my best friend (er, counselor), Amanda. So while the hot bath on a hot day did offer a small reprieve from my crazy brain, when the water had cooled, I was forced to face my fears anew.

So what did I do? Took a nap. Seriously, I can’t get over how tired this pregnancy is making me!

But when I woke up, I decided I needed to make a game plan. After all, I am purebred Type A. So after some deliberation, I put a three-fold plan together.  Let me know your thoughts:

1. Admit how I am feeling in the moment to trustworthy people. As an external processor, sometimes you just need to get.it.out. Keeping it in lets a crazy thought get a mind of its own. And we definitely don’t want that. Candidates who qualify for me: Jesus, Dan, my family, my close friends, my counselor, etc. Apologies in advance guys…

2. Pray right away. This step simply cannot be left out. Jesus is the only One who provides that peace that transcends all understanding. And let’s be honest, I need lots of that these days.  Oh, and worship music couldn’t hurt.

3. And lastly, Work. It.Out. Long ago, I figured out that sweating is an essential part of my, and my brain’s, day. It probably has something to do with the amount of key ingredients that my brain lacks that exercise tends to amp up. But whenever I am done with a workout, I always leave with a clearer mind and less anxious heart. So even though I am with child, I need to keep moving; even if that means I have to take up prancercising just to get a baby-safe work out in.

So far, I will say that this plan is helping. Although not perfect, rather than turning to stupid coping mechanisms that never get me the results I am looking for, I’m going to stick to this plan to let go, let God, and let myself work out.

I’m going to stick to this plan to let go, let God, and let myself work out. Click To Tweet

Wish me luck! Oh, and we would covet your prayers that this pregnancy continues to progress well. We are about 16 weeks along; praise God! Let’s hope this plan works because 24 weeks seems like a LONG way to go…

If you’re anything like me, what have you found that works when your worry-all-the-time brain gets the best of you?

*Side note: Please forgive my callous, and borderline cynical, description of our fertility. My heart breaks for those of you on trying to conceive journeys that are taking longer than your heart desires. Please know that I use sarcasm as a way to deal with stress and I am literally incapable of passing up a joke. That said if this is your story, I would love to pray for you! Please send me a message 🙂

 

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