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I need to hear that I'm normal

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm a little hesitant to post this, but I'm going to, under the wonderful veil of some internet anonymity.

 

I am 29 weeks pregnant with our first.  Don't get me wrong.  This baby was certainly planned and wanted - I was an infertility patient who had success after just a few rounds of Clomid, so I feel like we got off easy there. 

 

However, in the past week, I've been having a mini-freak out.  Now I'm terrified of having this baby.  I'm terrified of paying for everything it needs, being a successful working mother, terrified of how it will change my relationship with DH, terrified of what it will do to my career (you be a SAHM for a few years and you're out of date and getting back in is hard).  Last night, I even said to DH "I don't want this baby anymore." 

 

It scared and shocked him, since he is so darn happy about this baby.  He reminded me that I wanted this baby, too.  He's right.  The fact that I had that thought and verbalized it to someone else scared me and I feel super guilty about it - deep down, I think I'm still excited about this baby.  But the worry about handling it all has, I think, gotten in the way of enjoying this. 

 

I've struggled with some major anxiety over the years and have previously done well on Lexapro.  If I weren't pregnant and currently in this thought/behavior pattern, I would be heading straight back to my script for Lexapro, but I don't want to because I'm pregnant. 

 

The most romantic thing DH has ever said to me was last night.  In the middle of a major meltdown and verbalizing all of my fears to him, he looked me square in the eye and said "Delta... do you really think I would let anything happen to us?"

 

Rationally, I know we can handle this.  I am a physician and DH is an engineer.  We've been married for 6 years and have a strong relationship.   We have a house.  I've just about nailed down a daycare provider.   I work in a breastfeeding supportive hospital.  I know, like and have tremendous respect for our pediatrician. I know how to work a household budget. 

 

I'm just so wracked with worry (mostly financial worries) about this that I started to think that maybe the worry wouldn't exist and everything would be okay if we just didn't have this darn baby on the way. 

 

I just need to hear that others have maybe had these thoughts, though you'd never admit them in public, and that everything turned out to be fine and that you loved and bonded with your baby and met their needs. 

 

Everyone around me is so darn happy for us.  I'm just terrified.   It seems like I should be able to rationalize myself out of this, but I'm worried that I'm not, if that makes any sense. 

 

Thanks for listening.

 

DW

post #2 of 6

First off, congratulations on this baby. It sounds like you and DH are both very organized and orderly people.

 

Babies make everything challenging. The financial stuff is a drag...but somehow you will readjust. It's hard to figure out in advance. I wish there were magic words to say but there aren't.

 

In our situation, we are having our 3rd baby and we have gotten so close to where our child care expenses will come down significantly and now we are adding this new baby and will have another 5 years before he/she will be in school for a full day. Sometimes I wonder what we were thinking! I have spent so much time planning for our child care arrangements for when I return from maternity leave that sometimes I forget that I will be having this baby before all of my new arrangements start.

 

As a work outside of the home mom, I want to encourage you that it can be done. You seem especially thoughtful about your circumstances and have a lot figured out. Child care providers can be absolutely fabulous. You can feel fulfilled with your career at the same time and your child will be proud of you.

 

A friend of mine went back to work full time as a hospitalist after her first child was born. After a few years and some major changes in her life, she cut back to working one weekend shift a month to keep her "foot in the door" and keep up with her training and everything. Initially that wasn't a financially viable option for her, but things changed and her options changed.

 

Good luck with everything and keep talking about it. Everyone here is very supportive.

post #3 of 6

Any huge life change brings anxiety and uncertainty. This is definitely a life changer. I had all the same worries before I had my daughter, before I got married, etc. I think sometimes as humans we over analyze things and want to control the uncontrollable. I stressed so much when I was pregnant the first time, trying to think of everything and anything that could happen. I even saw a therapist because my anxiety was out of control. Everything turned out just fine!! You manage, and you find a new normal.

post #4 of 6
I think that last suggestion is excellent.. if you have struggled with anxiety in the past to the point of benefiting from medication, but don't want to take anything while pregnant, at the minimum it would be a great idea to find a therapist to talk to. Having a child & the hormones that go with it can be even MORE anxiety-inducing after the baby is born. You're not a freak, it's our innate desire to protect our offspring.. but it can be over the top sometimes.
post #5 of 6

I think you are normal!  It is hard to face the enormous changes that are coming up. The changes of pregnancy and birth and baby are not necessarily relaxing.  I agree with the PP, have faith in the OKness of it all and if you feel it would be helpful, try to tap into some resources to help you manage the discomfort of all the change you are facing.  I think many of us just bury our heads in the sand because when we look at the big picture, it is momentously overwhelming.  It sounds like your DH is a supportive dude and he is right, you guys will be fine and all will be great.

 

Deep Breaths.  I don't know about your co-workers, but I have worked much of my career with people who don't have kids, who are either pre-kid, or chosen not to go that route.  It is isolating.  If you have friends or colleagues with kids, try to cultivate your relationships with them, as they will be a great source of mental support as you work out the career/family balance.

 

One thing I have found with the work/family balance is that I have a bit of a feeling of doing everything slightly less good than I wish I could or would if I was doing it alone.  I don't know how much of a perfectionist personality you have.  If you do tend in that direction, you may want to put a bit of work into learning to relax your expectations, and learn to be happy with functional solutions to problems instead of optimal ones!  At work I needed to create pretty strict boundaries, at home, I needed to be more flexible in the parenting strategies I was willing to try.  The perfect parenting scenarios I planned didn't always work out and I had to compromise/be creative/be flexible to make things work. 

 

Anyway, imagining all of this stuff can be very overwhelming, but I want to reassure you that your emotions are not crazy, and that I think it is great to verbalize what you are feeling.  Many mothers are not comfortable doing so, and that is too bad.

 

ND

post #6 of 6

First, congrats on your pregnancy!

 

If you have a history of anxiety, it is really important to seek help as anxiety disorders can rather quickly spiral out of control during pregnancy. I'm sure everyone has concerns about their future when pregnant, but if you find yourself getting back into the cognitive patterns and behaviors you exhibited during your previous struggles with anxiety, then that isn't necessarily normal. I'm not saying this to be gloomy or worry you. I have a history of anxiety, and am currently struggling with prenatal anxiety as well. This was a planned pregnancy, we were incredibly excited, and then out of nowhere I became anxious to the point that it began to affect my ability to function. I really recommend seeing a therapist and maybe trying some anxiety reducing practices, such as meditation, yoga, changes in diet, etc. Also, there is a really good blog about mental health and pregnancy called Do Not Faint. I am currently reading a book called Pregnant on Prozac that really does a great job of stripping the fear-mongering out of weighing the risks and benefits of a variety of options for managing anxiety/depression/other mental illness. So far, I highly recommend it. This is my first time dealing with prenatal anxiety (this is my second child) and it's been extremely difficult but there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel.

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