My first pregnancy, excited, but feeling scared and overwhelmed. Help please. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 04-12-2013, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is my first pregnancy and I keep finding myself overwhelmed.  I have mitral valve prolapse with a small amount of regurgitation and tachycardia which cause me to be tired,dizzy and out of breath a lot. This makes exercise, which I know is important to help with labor, pretty much impossible. I really want a natural and drug free birth, but I'm terrified of the pain and of things going wrong. I'm worried about literally everything, but mostly finances, labor and just taking care of a baby.

I'm tired all day, then at night I can't sleep.  When I do, I normally have bad nightmares that wear me out. I hate feeling like everything is out of my control.

I already feel overwhelming love and care for my baby, but I'm worried because I have no experience with newborns.

 

So here are a few random questions I have:

Any advice or tips for first time pregnancies/moms with no experience?

I'm 11 weeks. Is it too early to talk to a midwife?

Any tips for staying calm and sleeping well?

I'm drinking one cup a day of Woman's Mother To Be Tea by Yogi. Is that enough raspberry leaf or do I need more?

Do any of you have bothersome mitral valve prolapse or tachycardia, but still had a good natural birth?

 

Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you!

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#2 of 10 Old 04-12-2013, 05:15 PM
 
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hug.gif I dont have experience with the tea or those conditions but I want to send you lots of calm thoughts and support.

I was a first time mom with zero experience and totally felt overwhelmed. My best advice is to try to let go some of that anxiety and trust your body and instincts. I didn't have a natural birth (overdue induction with epidural) but it was still a powerful and incredible experience. I had nursing issues too but with good support and doing what felt right, things turned out well. Baby was healthy and honestly we learned something new every day. You can read lots and prepare that way but your instincts will be a big help and you simply have to get to know your baby. No nurse, midwife, doctor, relative or friend will know your baby better than you will so take people's advice with a grain of salt. Some things won't feel right for you or simply won't work for your baby. There are a million things you can't control with pregnancy and babies. If you feel like anxiety is overwhelming, please do talk to someone about it. Some anxiety is unavoidable but if you feel it taking over then it can really interfere with your life. The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can cause depression/anxiety just as much as post partum changes can do please keep an eye on your mood.
About the MW, find one ASAP. Depending on where you live they may be at a premium. I was on three waiting lists for weeks before a practice picked me up. My family dr provided prenatal care until then but apparently in my region almost half of all moms who want MW care miss out.

Anyway, congratulations and I wish you a healthy and happy pregnancy followed by a wonderful birth experience and a healthy baby smile.gif
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#3 of 10 Old 04-13-2013, 05:00 AM
 
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Congratulations! I don't have a lot of time, but I wanted to answer a few of your question.
Yes I have tachycardia, but not a mitral valve prolapse. The tachycardia did not affect my labor at all. Labor is a funny thing. It isn't necessarily true that women who exercise have easier labors. A lot of it has to do with your ligaments and muscles and how they stretch. A great resource for pregnancy stretches is Katy Bowman's blog www.katysays.com. Check out her article called "You don't know squat". I'd start now, early in your pregancy. Another thing that can affect labor is your baby's position. Check out a website called spinning babies. Of course fear can also have a negative impact as well, so you want to make sure you have a great support team at your labor. Also, keep in mind that if you are suffering you can always ask for an epidural. Epidurals are quite safe, and no one should ever feel guilty if they have one. I always had less fear going in to labor because I knew I could ease the pain. I never felt like I needed it in the end, but it's nice to have an outlet!
As far as baby care, seriously don't worry about it. You will do the same things hundreds of times in the first week and will be an expert in newborn care! I would, however, join la leche league and have a lactation consultant on call. Nursing can be tough at first, and a good lactation consultant is invaluable.
As far as money is concerned, keep on mind that babies aren't that expensive. You can find everything used, (except carseats) heck, most parents are giving baby stuff alway once kids get older. Daycare is legitimately expensive, and it's a crying shame that there aren't better subsidies for working moms. People do manage to juggle their finances though. Keep in mind that your personal spending goes waaaay down when you have kids. You won't eat out much, or go to the movies etc.
You will be fine! Remember that all parents make mistakes! There is no perfect pregnancy, birth or babyhood, but somehow those little sweeties seem unfased. Good luck!

Wife to amazing dh, mama to dd 12/08
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#4 of 10 Old 04-13-2013, 05:05 AM
 
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Sorry! A few more things.
There's is a red raspberry leaf tea thread here on this forum. You will eventually want to buy it in bulk so you can drink a lot! Also for sleep, have you tried hylands calm's forte? It helps with anxiety and is safe during pregnancy. Also Unisom (not the gel caps) and Benadryl are also safe, although they can make you drowsy and cranky. I would try a nice warm bath with Epsom salts which incidentally may help your tachycardia.

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#5 of 10 Old 04-13-2013, 03:01 PM
 
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Congratulations! I totally understand what you mean about being tired during the day and not sleeping well at night. A friend of mine recommended a homeopathic/natural sleep aid that's safe to use during pregnancy. I'd check with your midwife or pharmacist to see what they recommend. As for being stressed about what's to come, I hear that, too. I have OCD, and I feel incredibly anxious when I feel unprepared or don't have plans, back-up plans, etc.

What helps me is making lists and budgets. Budgets of how much the baby gear will cost (and I spend time researching the best deals online) and how much I anticipate the baby will cost once it's born (not much for the first 6 months or so, really, unless you use formula or child care). And the lists are what things I need to do to get ready for baby and an approximate timeline (install car seat, wash clothes, make food ahead for the freezer; buy baby nosal saline spray, baby pain medicine, child thermometer, etc.), and what things I need to pack for the hospital.

As for getting ready for labor, which looms large, as soon as I feel ready, I start reading positive birth stories. "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" is a classic in natural birth circles. The first half of the book is birth stories from different women, and the second half is Ina May's more technical information about the various aspects of birth, and how "The Farm" handles them and achieves such great outcomes (happy mums, healthy babies, and very low c-section/transfer rates). Keep in mind this book is extremely "crunchy", so you may or may not have a hard time relating to individual stories, but when you put them all together, you'll see a wide range of birth experiences and get great confidence about what our bodies can do. Then you can move on to more practical birth guides, like Penny Simkin's "The Birth Partner" (my hands-down favorite birth book), which details how to prepare for birth, how to get through natural birth, and how to make choices about the kind of birth you want (with even-handed charts of pros and cons and non-judgmental presentation of options).

And watch some natural birth videos on YouTube. Watch some gentle/family-centered c-section videos, too (they can be harder to find, as cameras aren't often allowed in surgical theater). And definitely like the Facebook page "Birth Without Fear" and follow their blog. Every day, they present honest, empowering, non-judgmental images and stories of birth. They support all women and all types of birth. It's the most supportive online community I've found for birth.

As for how you'll take care of this baby once it's born, you really just inure that out as you to along. Hopefully you have a friend or two or family member with kids that you can be honest with about what's going on and how you're coping. You need a friend who asks about you first and baby second. A friend who doesn't expect that everything out of your mouth will be about how beautiful your baby is and how amazing motherhood is. You need to be able to talk about sore nipples, and achy crotch, and lack of sleep, and spit-up all over your clothes, and having a baby who wants to be held all the time, even when you need to go to the bathroom. A friend who understands that the best 10 minutes of your day in those first few weeks are your time in the shower by yourself massaging your engorged boobs to release the pressure of so much milk and not having to e responsible for anyone but yourself. In fact, I suggest you take one of those showers in the morning and one again at night.

And if that last bit about newborns sounds overwhelming, don't be scared. For the first few weeks, they sleep 20 hours a day. Feeding them every two hours and sometimes not being able to figure out why they're crying is exhausting, for sure, but nature gives you and baby time to figure things out together. You don't wake up instantly with a 6-month-old that you need to transition to solids and who is teething. It all happens gradually, and you work it out as you go. Be prepared to roll with it, as newborns change every couple of weeks and you need to be able to pay attention and adjust accordingly. A great encyclopedia of baby development that will help you understand what your baby is going through and troubleshoot any problems from birth to age two is Dr. Sears's "The Baby Book".

And if you start preparing yourself and you find yourself more anxious or overwhelmed than feels "right", please do talk to your carer. Hormones heighten emotions and sometimes you need a bit of extra help from a professional. Please be sure to take care of yourself! All the best. smile.gif
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#6 of 10 Old 04-22-2013, 01:53 PM
 
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I am right there with you, and slowly working my way out of a dark cycle of anxiety. I hate that midwives say you have to be 12-14 wks for an appointment!! I could never have survived those first 3 months without talking to someone, especially since most of us are keeping it secret from family and friends until then too. I made an appt. with an OB who set me at ease by doing the early prenatal bloodwork and just giving me an outlet for my worries. It was very helpful to hear someone who's seen lots of babies born say "ITS OK" early on. 

 

My advice is: 

 

1. there is no normal

2. there is not such thing as perfect

3. there is no single best anything. 

 

Wondering "Is it normal to be so gassy?" is not a problem... but thinking that because you are not in the majority of how any one thing goes, it means you're "not normal" can be damaging. 

 

On perfection, people get way too hung up on what it means to "get the birth you want." For example, complications are common enough that expecting a perfectly healthy pregnancy is setting yourself up to be disappointed as soon as anything goes wrong. Trust me. I've done this, and you'll see women doing it left and right in all the forums. You can control and affect  A LOT about your body-- but not everything. 

 

Finally, "The Best ____" doesn't exist. There's no best crib set-up or diaper brand or whatever. So many people go crazy over optimizing absolutely everything they buy or plan for. Chances are no matter what you get SOMETHING will be wrong with it. You'll either put up with it, or replace it. But there's no way to predict that now. So just relax. 


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#7 of 10 Old 04-22-2013, 08:18 PM
 
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I was overwhelmed also. Couldn't rest, etc. found. That knowledge is power. The more I got informed about how things go the better and more in control I felt. At the beginning of the pregnancy I was tryin to convince the doc to induce me at 38 weeks. I didn't want pain etc. then the more I read about drugs, side effects, watched a circumcision video, learned about vaccines and other routine newborn care.... Then I changed. I wanted everything natural, no hep B, no circumcision, rooming in, no epidural, etc. knowledge have me power to make choices. I put those decisions in a birth plan so I wouldn't have to stress at labor time. I started seeing a chiropractor ( that did wonders for my restlessness and sciatic pain. I ended up going into labor at 37 1/2 weeks. Delivered completely naturally ( adrenaline takes over and you feel empowered) baby perfectly healthy! smile.gif all good! I don't have heart issues but I'm looking forward to seeing what other day here about that. My daughter has pulmonary stenosis and mitral regurg ( and tricuspid regur)
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#8 of 10 Old 04-23-2013, 03:36 AM
 
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The first time around it was a very much wanted pregnancy but I was so overwhelmed I freaked out when I went into baby-shops or anything baby-related. I suddenly started seeing only crying babies It was a very much wanted pregnancy on the street.  The first 14 weeks I was so exhausted I was sleeping 10-12 hours a night and spent my awake hours yawning!

 

You know what? My father told me when I was pregnant the first time around: "oh some things will go wrong, and you will do some mistakes but in the end, you and your baby will be fine." And he's right, I've made tons of mistakes with DD and she's such a healthy happy toddler in spite of all my mishaps and misjudgments. Reading a lot of books helped me feel that I have a grip on something.  Right now I'd give the book "Bringing Up Bebe" to a new mom because I like the underlying message of "you will not mess up you child for life if you do this and that."

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#9 of 10 Old 04-23-2013, 10:14 AM
 
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I kind of agree about Bringing up Bebe, but find it ironic that she criticizes the American moms and all our books... And then writes one herself. It was an easy read though and a nice perspective. It inspired me to have a more regular schedule and it is a good contrast to some of the more granola advice out there.

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#10 of 10 Old 04-23-2013, 12:13 PM
 
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Other than all the advice previous posters have given I just wanted to let you know that being a part of this community has been tremendously helpful to me. Just being able to talk to other women about anything and everything gives me a lot of support.

 

There is a "zen pregnancy" thread with some great resources for meditation etc. listed on the first page: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1355121/a-peaceful-pregnancy

 

There is also a "Bajingo" thread: having #1 in your 30's, I didn't see your age listed though I imagine it's not exclusive: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1381477/spring-summer-2013-pregnant-bajingos-having-1-in-our-30s


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