Anxiety is a natural consequence of pregnancy; at least that’s my theory. If you aren’t experiencing some form of anxiety leading up to the birth of your little nugget, then you’re either delusional or drugged… Maybe even both.
According to thebump.com, these are ten of the most common pregnancy fears:
1. Laying on my belly (and squashing the baby)
2. My face changing.
3. Eating something that would harm baby.
4. Losing the baby.
5. Baby will be deformed.
6. That the baby weight will never. Go. Away.
7. My water breaking in public.
8. Going into preterm labor.
9. Peeing my pants in public.
10. Being able to care for a newborn.
Without a doubt, my biggest fear throughout pregnancy was losing the baby. At my second prenatal checkup, it took the nurse f.o.r.e.v.e.r. to find little J’s heartbeat. After what felt like an eternity, the hollow swishing sound emitted from the doppler transformed into proof of life… We had a heartbeat.
Of course the paranoia didn’t stop there. As I approached the end of my first trimester, the nausea subsided sending me into complete panic mode, and once I could finally feel the baby moving, I would freak when there were any prolonged periods of stillness.
These are all rather common fears that pregnant mamas experience, and rightfully so. In addition to the normal, everyday worries associated with pregnancy, I dealt with the following, as well.
1. baths– I love a good, long soak in a bathtub- Especially when I am tired and/or not feeling well (hello 1st trimester!). While pregnant, I held off on baths for as long as I possibly could in fear of boiling my baby. That’s right. I was certain that the hot bath water would cook Jack’s brain and lead to permanent brain damage. My aching body trumped my fear during the third trimester however, and as it turns out Jack is pretty dang smart… At least in my completely *biased* opinion.
2. green tea damage– Did you know that green tea can inhibit the absorption of folic acid in your body leading to possible neural tube defects in a developing embryo? I learned this after I spent months on end guzzling green tea in hopes of neutralizing free radicals (whatever that means) in a quest to achieve optimal health. I wasn’t planning on getting pregnant and consequently didn’t know that I was pregnant until five weeks in… After realizing, “Holy crap I’m pregnant,” I turned to the internet and concluded that my five week old fetus was indeed screwed. Green tea, booze, baths, more booze, no prenatal vitamin. If only I had would’ve known! Luckily I was on a vegan kick at the time, and my normally subpar diet was replaced with a smorgasbord of super foods, like avocado, lentils, and sweet potato. Miraculously, Baby J made it out unscathed.
3. living near a highway– About halfway through my pregnancy, I came across a study claiming that children who lived near highways at birth had twice the risk of autism as those who live farther away. And guess who lives near one of Austin’s busiest highways? This girl.
4. maternal trauma– I can’t remember the exact study, but I am fairly certain that it linked maternal trauma during the third trimester of pregnancy to fetal brain damage. Coincidentally, I experienced some serious mental distress during my third trimester from a rather unusual source: squirrels. It all began when a hole was sealed near my neighbor’s roof (we live in a townhouse and share a wall) leaving a happy little squirrel family trapped inside.
Two of the baby squirrels made their way over to our house, and my heart sank a little deeper each time I heard them scratching and thumping against the wall in a desperate attempt to escape. After days of listening to the squirrels suffer, I convinced my husband to cut into the wall and rescue the helpless little creatures. Up until that point, I could barely eat or sleep because I was so upset about the whole situation. Then I read the trauma study, which only amplified my anguish. Luckily the squirrels made it out alive (barely), and I was able to find my zen once more.
What did you worry about during your pregnancy? Did you have any irrational fears?
It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged… Between teaching, LWO, and a 9 month old baby boy who is in to EVERYTHING, my hands have been quite full! Here are a few pictures from the past month.
For all of you non-Texans, it is somewhat of a tradition to take family pictures in the bluebonnets each year.
Sans baby at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Man and Woman of the Year party.