Friday, 21 September 2012

Week 4 - Accepting anxiety

I’m trying to put my hospital hiccup behind me and focus on being a calm and centered incubator now I’ve got a baby on board. It’s hard as I’m still having the occasional cramp and I have a pang of fear everytime I see the bruise on my arm from where my drip was. But, I’m hoping that both the bruise, and my anxiety, will pass in time.
I’ve realised my anxiety is caused by the fear of having a miscarriage as it’s something I’ve never experienced. I know I’m over-exaggerating and catastrophising, which is made all the worse given I’ve got a Graduate Diploma in Psychology. I really should know better! But when it comes to matters of the heart, the mind is not always rational.
I’ve decided the best way for me to approach this is not to think of it as a miscarriage at all. Instead, if it does happen, I’m going to think of it as the baby breaking up with me. I’ve been through enough break-ups to know what to expect so that lessens the fear. I know I’ll be disappointed and upset. I know I’ll cry and will probably do so for a few days. I know I will feel a pang in my heart and go through a grieving process. I know that after time, another relationship will come along.
I told my husband that I constantly thought he was going to break up with me until he proposed. Even when he was proposing and started with “Sit down because I need to speak to you,” I thought he was breaking up with me. We got engaged after dating for 8 months and I think that’s the same time I’ll be worried about Peanut – basically until I have a screaming baby in my arms!
Clinically, I am prone to anxiety attacks. A counsellor once told me I worry about worrying. It doesn’t seem normal and I’ve spent a lot of time working on it. But this whole experience has sent me into unchartered territory so I guess when faced with a total lack of control, this is my go-to position. But don’t worry, I will go and see my counsellor for some extra help too.
On the bright side, the anxiety is making me appreciate every symptom I notice. I’m already experiencing mild nausea, sore breasts and feeling fat and am bloated. I’m constantly eating, and even though it’s only small amounts, it feels like a lot more food than usual. But eating more keeps the nausea manageable so I shove more rice crackers into my mouth. I try not to worry about how much I’m eating but it’s hard when you have to sit at work with the top of your pants undone because they’re cutting off your circulation! I’m trying not to go too crazy with buying things already but I have invested in a packet of those pregnancy extender belts!
My friends who have experienced a miscarriage tell me they knew it was happening because they didn’t “feel pregnant” anymore. So every time my boob aches, my stomach cramps or a wave of nausea hits, I’m trying to celebrate it as evidence that Peanut is growing and is still there!

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