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Mothering › Groups ›  April 2012 DDC › Discussions › can I get a pep talk? (please talk me down from my health anxiety!)

can I get a pep talk? (please talk me down from my health anxiety!)

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I've been having a really hard time lately with keeping my health anxiety in check.  I remember being about 8 years old and watching a pbs show about strokes and being absolutely convinced that I was having one---- I haven't changed a bit!  When I was pg with my dd, we had enough worries about her (shortening cervix/bedrest/preterm labor) that I didn't worry about myself much at all.  This time around, little guy has seemed perfectly healthy and in no danger all along, and I've found myself obsessing over all sorts of low-probability disasters that could happen to me- entirely too easy with all the aches and pains and odd feelings that come with being pregnant.  I've been completely fixated on blood clots and keep thinking that I have one in one leg or the other and that, at any moment, it could break off and travel to me lungs and kill me.  So that occasional pain in my thigh-- doom.  I've also had a diagnosed problem with costchondritis for many years now (inflammation and pain in the cartilidge between the ribs), that gets exacerbated with strenuous exercise, or sleeping wrong, etc.-- and it's totally flared up (helped, I'm sure, by this enormous uterus pushing up into my ribs whenever I'm sitting)-- but, even though I can logic out what's likely going on, it's all too easy for me to wonder if the pain could be from something more serious.  I've discussed these issues with my dr., who is not concerned about any of them, and I think I should probably consider seeing a psych person since it's really keeping me from being as happy as I would like to be- from really enjoying this time and being excited.  Instead I feel like I'm holding my breath, trying to get through each day.  I'm too embarrassed to ask for tests to rule any of these things out, but really am almost consumed with worry (I wish I could just have a test and check that concern off my list- it would be such a relief!!)  It took us a long time to decide to have another child, and now I keep worrying that this pregnancy is literally going to kill me and leave my dd without me, etc.   I had a blissful two weeks when I was obsessed, instead, with choosing the perfect carseat, and that little project totally distracted me from my fears-- need to find something else to throw myself into, but have been sick with a flu or bad cold for some time now and just have too much space in my head.

 

So-- I could really use a bit of a pep talk.  Please remind me of how many women get pregnant and have babies all the time without any of these rare disasters befalling them.  Pregnant women do get aches and pains in their legs that are not blood clots.  And chests and backs can get sore from giant uterus/passing viruses/strenuous work/etc. 

 

And please be kind-- don't tell me how ridiculous I am- I already feel loony enough.  And I am seeking out professional help.  But I could just use some reassurance.  It seems like so many ladies are able to have relatively worry-free pregnancies, and I'm just so jealous of that.  I just want to be able to take some of these physical "symptoms" more in stride, and really trust that things will be okay so that I could just enjoy looking forward to my little boy.  Just send me some calm vibes and confidence and optimism.  And tell me that you have felt all sorts of strange things and had everything turn out just fine. 

post #2 of 6

I am sorry you are feeling this way! Hugs mama.  Many man people have babies and are just fine. Would it help to read healthy and natural birth stories online? There are a lot on mothering and a lot just out on the web. I don't really obsess about being sick or things going wrong but I do get this edgy feeling every now and then that is a lot like the edgy feeling I have for a bit postpartum.  It seems like a part of you that might be normally a little skewed toward anxiety is getting more hyped up by pg hormones.  Not a just you thing and doesn't make it less overwhelming either, just saying that yeah it seems like some stuff that I normally can push aside I can't as easily right now you know? I don't know if any of this helps but I am sorry and maybe pick something else that you have to make a decision over like the car seat to get some relief?  Hope you can get some mental rest too.

post #3 of 6

Remember, pregnancy is a normal part of a woman's life. It is not a medical prognosis but natural and things will be fine. Do you do breathing exercises? Start breathing from your belly and try listening to some good music, mama. Relax. And when you start feeling worried and dwelling on your fears, try laughing out loud. I'm serious. Laugh out loud and say, "Why am I being silly?" Or something else that will make you smile. Watch a comedy or something entertaining to lighten your mood. With this being my first I have had my share of OMG moments in the past couple of months. But what has helped me most is talking to these ladies here and reading Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth she literally is a comfort to me. I try to read a little each night. Sending you good calming and happy vibes, mama.

post #4 of 6

I tend toward anxiety too, but especially so during pregnancy/post-partum (was actually relieved to learn after DD's birth that it was renamed Post Partum Depression AND Anxiety--it was the anxiety I had!)  Honestly, what's helped me most I think is Krill Oil.  I'm sorry to throw a 'take a supplement' thing in there, it's just what has worked for me the past year or so, so very well.  Anxiety hits me hardest at night and I've used some guided meditations (basically just mentally talking myself through logical outcomes) to be helpful.  I've found trying to 'live in the moment' to be helpful--hey, we never know when we're gonna go, pregnant or not--and do something proactive to help me.  If I'm paranoid about leaving DD without a mother, I'll write a journal entry to her.  I'll give her an extra hug while she's sleeping.  I make the effort to just BE with her.  I second the stuff mentioned above as well, including laughing at ourselves, listening to some lovely music, breathing exercises, having a project to focus on.  No reason why pregnancy/childbirth is inherently a medical thing, sure, things can go wrong, but usually they don't (or we wouldn't all be here, right?!)  I do what I can to get through that moment and move beyond it and I find the anxious moments are fewer and fewer!

post #5 of 6

First: I totally know where you are. A like-minded pal suggested a “Speculation Jar” for pregnancy: throw a dollar in each time you start to obsess over health concerns for yourself or the baby. I go through crushing phases of worrying that I have toxemia or worrying that the baby will have some rare genetic disorder that I just read about on the internet.

 

The best advice is to get off the internet. No more googling symptoms. It just makes things worse. One time, I took a pepto bismol at my mother’s house and then went home to google if it was safe for pregnancy. Someone wrote that pepto bismol caused their child to be born blind and I got myself so worked up that I immediately went and threw up the measly teaspoon I had taken. Replace the internet with your midwife. Keep a list running between appointments of questions that you have. This list can be two pages long if it has to be, but don't try to find the answers yourself.

 

I also totally support reading the Ina May Guide to Childbirth. She has such a soothing way of talking about birth, much moreso than any other childbirth book I’ve read. I found it to be a great comfort and made me feel incredibly confident and positive about my body and my pregnancy.

post #6 of 6



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by arbybee View Post

First: I totally know where you are. A like-minded pal suggested a “Speculation Jar” for pregnancy: throw a dollar in each time you start to obsess over health concerns for yourself or the baby. I go through crushing phases of worrying that I have toxemia or worrying that the baby will have some rare genetic disorder that I just read about on the internet.

 

The best advice is to get off the internet. No more googling symptoms. It just makes things worse. One time, I took a pepto bismol at my mother’s house and then went home to google if it was safe for pregnancy. Someone wrote that pepto bismol caused their child to be born blind and I got myself so worked up that I immediately went and threw up the measly teaspoon I had taken. Replace the internet with your midwife. Keep a list running between appointments of questions that you have. This list can be two pages long if it has to be, but don't try to find the answers yourself.

 

I also totally support reading the Ina May Guide to Childbirth. She has such a soothing way of talking about birth, much moreso than any other childbirth book I’ve read. I found it to be a great comfort and made me feel incredibly confident and positive about my body and my pregnancy.


I totally agree with above poster. No more reading about stuff! Do whatever you need to do to get through this pregnancy/birth without extra anxiety/worry. Do some guided meditation or deep breathing. Pregnancy and birth is a normal, natural thing. Not a medical problem to be cured. Millions of women give birth every year with no issues and so will you! It does seem that this preoccupation with health is an issue that you struggle with even when not pregnant. I am a therapist and fully support your seeking out some help with this because you do not have to live with this kind of anxiety. I just want to give some advice - when you are seeking out a professional to help you - make sure you find someone who does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. CBT can truly set you free of this! Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy. You and baby will be just fine!
 

 

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