How to deal with pregnancy-related fears?
December 28, 2011 2:48 PM   Subscribe

How to deal with pregnancy anxiety?

I've written this post several times over the past 8 months and always deleted it, but I really could use your collective wisdom, askme. So I will unleash the crazy. (Though the background may be largely irrelevant, and I do hope this question is helpful to others in the future.)

I'm expecting my first child in about a month. From almost the beginning I have had a lot of anxiety about the baby's health. I've tried really hard to "not worry about things until they happen" - i.e. tell myself I will deal with a problem if/when it presents itself. And that has helped me manage anxiety to some extent. But I'm still pretty consumed at times by anxiety. At first I was worried there wasn't going to be a heartbeat. Then I worried about a bad NT scan result. Then I worried a lot about Downs and other chromosomal abnormalities in the days/weeks leading up to the anatomy ultrasound. (Still worried about those problems, though the test results were excellent.) Then from about 20 weeks until now I've been very worried about the negative health effects of premature birth. Lots of other random worries thrown in at times (autism, birth defects, unknown problems because I had a big night of drinking with out of town friends at week 3 before I knew I was pregnant). I just found out what causes cerebral palsy and now I'm worried the baby has been having seizures in the womb (s/he felt like s/he was making strange movements once) and about harm to him/her during birth. The fact that I wasn't worried about cerebral palsy before also worries me, because I wonder what other horrible illnesses are out there that I don't even know enough to worry about.

In low moments I say to myself, "why us? Why should we get a healthy baby?"

Despite a superstition not to set up the nursery until the baby is born, I set up the nursery this weekend because I was getting stressed about dealing with all that after the birth. So now I'm stressing about how I set up this welcoming nursery and there may be no baby in it, or there may be a very sick baby in it.

I've expressed some of these concerns to my OB (i.e. alcohol at 3 weeks) and she has told me not to worry about them because there's nothing I can do about them now (not don't worry about them because there won't be a problem).

I've had a few friends/relatives who have had terrible results (baby born with severe chromosomal abnormalities not detected in any prenatal testing; baby with bad birth defect; still birth baby) and so when I try to reassure myself that our baby will be fine, I have trouble reconciling that with their experiences. My husband can be very comforting, but he is also nervous, and I don't want to overwhelm him with my worries.

Not that it really matters, but I've witnessed births before (in a developing country) and did not find it to be a beautiful experience (these were challenging births).

I'm also worried about my own health as we approach labor & delivery (tearing, hemorrage, pain).

I know that the internets are toxic when it comes to pregnancy and that I need to stop reading about Bad Things That Can Happen to Babies.

So my questions:

(1) Does this level of anxiety sound 'normal' based on your experience with pregnancy or am I - a worrier by nature - out in left field?

(2) If you had pregnancy-related anxiety, did you find any coping mechanisms helpful?

(3) I doubt there's an answer for this - but does anyone have any stats on "healthy babies" in this day and age in America?

I realize that I am in for a lifetime of worrying about this child. :) I will cross that bridge when I come to it.
posted by semacd to Health & Fitness (28 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
I know this may either be really helpful or really unhelpful, but I stopped worrying when I realized that the worry would not stop when my kid was born. There would always be something else to worry about, and did I want to keep being that worried? No. So I (mostly) stopped.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 2:54 PM on December 28, 2011 [5 favorites]

This is totally normal.....And once the baby is born, the anxiety will become about the health and welfare of the child, till they are 60 +.... That means you are already and will be a good Mom. Try and relax, I had several health scares with my two, they are fine, but relax and enjoy the ride. If something does happen, you'll know how to respond. I'm jealous....the feeling of that month before your first child will never come again. Congrats!!
posted by pearlybob at 2:56 PM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

I am so sorry that you are so consumed by worry over something that you should be looking forward to.

My only words of advice are this: No matter what happens, you'll be able to handle it. You may not be able to control all of these out-of-your-control scenarios, but if something terrible happens, you'll make it through. Take some sort of comfort in that.

As for coping with the worry: I am a natural worrier. I worry all the time. However, I've gotten better at just shutting it off. Don't let the thought run away with you. Stop them cold. Down's? Cerebral Palsy? Shut them off. Don't research them, don't think of them. Do something else to occupy your mind - watching a mindless tv show, singing a song, etc.
posted by Sassyfras at 2:58 PM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

I'm a therapist, and one of my past jobs involved working with someone who specialized in pregnancy/postpartum issues and I learned that this kind of anxiety is COMPLETELY NORMAL and part of why it's so difficult for women during the pregnancy and childbirth process is that most media images make it look like everything's supposed to be very happy and sunshiny and never a problem or care in the world. Well, the truth is that most women are just like you, scared and full of love for their little one. And being pregnant and having a baby is difficult and sometimes not 100% sunshine, and a lot of women don't know that that's ok, or that it's ok to talk about that. So I'm telling you all of this basically to communicate: you are absolutely not alone in feeling this high anxiety, and you absolutely can talk with someone about it if it feels overwhelming to you, and it won't mean that you're weird or not a good mom or doing something wrong at all.

If you are anywhere near Los Angeles, I'd love to pass you (or anyone else reading this who might be interested!) the contact info for my past supervisor, who I mentioned above--feel free to send a MeMail if you want.
posted by so_gracefully at 3:02 PM on December 28, 2011 [8 favorites]

I think a certain amount of pregnancy-related anxiety is fairly normal; it is a major life change, and highly unpredictable. I certainly was anxious about some of the things you have mentioned in your post, but what helped me was understanding that, as your OB mentioned, there isn't anything to be done by worrying about things that may or may not happen. Pregnancy hormones definitely did a number on my brain chemistry, so I'd remind myself from time to time that my worries might be unduly magnified by the "pregnancy brain", and that also helped calm me down.

being pregnant and having a baby is difficult and sometimes not 100% sunshine, and a lot of women don't know that that's ok, or that it's ok to talk about that. So I'm telling you all of this basically to communicate: you are absolutely not alone in feeling this high anxiety, and you absolutely can talk with someone about it if it feels overwhelming to you, and it won't mean that you're weird or not a good mom or doing something wrong at all.

This, a thousand times over.

If you have not already located one, let me encourage you to find a new mother's group that meets in your area. Many hospitals facilitate them or can point you to resources to find one- having a place to go with your newborn, to meet other women who are going through the same things you are going through is a sanity-saver, and if you can find one now that is one proactive good thing to do ahead of time. You are not alone.
posted by ambrosia at 3:18 PM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

I am a worrier and I think that your level of worry is beyond normal.

I suggest seeing someone to talk about this.

In the meantime, do a little self-CBT. The WORST possible outcome is still something that you're capable of handling. Thinking about it now does absolutely no good.

And statistically speaking, you're pretty unlikely to face any of this stuff.

Congrats. Parenting is awesome.
posted by k8t at 3:20 PM on December 28, 2011

My brother's wife was concerned about this. She gave birth to a healthy boy on Christmas Eve.

More importantly, a lot of stories were swapped at the time of the birth. One of the best involved my Dad lighting cigarettes continuously for my mom in the delivery room while she delivered me.

If I turned out normal you have less to worry about than you think.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:26 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

With my first I kept busy through the days and managed to not worry too much, but come night time I'd have weird dreams of the baby being eaten by alligators and other similar things. Now at 7 months with the 2nd I keep having dreams of the first one getting lost or stolen (or my dog getting stolen, etc), such that I wake up in a panic most nights. Anxiety is normal. What helped me is keeping busy, and NOT researching anything. Honestly I didn't read a single book except a couple little bits here and there while pregnant. The internets are full of scary things and the books aren't much better. And your doctor said not to worry because you can't do anything, and not because nothing is wrong because she can't 100% guarantee that nothing is wrong and isn't going to say it because of liability, NOT because something is wrong.

Talking with other moms is definitely a good outlet, remind you that you are sane and show you all the healthy babies out there (since you seemed to have a somewhat skewed sample of troublesome problems with your friends, for whatever reason). Healthy kids are the norm, keep repeating that to yourself it may help. There are always quirks and worries you have, but just try to find a release or a distraction as best you can! You guys are going to be ok, and even if there are challenges you can overcome them!
posted by katers890 at 3:27 PM on December 28, 2011

Oh yes - parenting group ASAP. Great to realize you and baby are normal and to make friends.
posted by k8t at 3:29 PM on December 28, 2011

Your level sounds about what I was dealing with not too long ago. It sounds like you are just a couple weeks further along than I am, and if you want to me-mail me please feel free, sometimes just having a one-on-one conversation with someone else in the same boat helps.

What has helped me (ymmv):

-ignoring all negative pregnancy sites/threads. I've pretty much stopped visiting the pregnancy forums I was a part of because they are so toxic with everyone talking about problems (from the pregnancy to their personal lives) and potential problems. I just had to put my foot down and stop reading.

-I switched to a birthcenter rather than a hospital. The attitude went from my OB treating me like a patient to "fix" to a group of midwives who want to assist in my baby being born. I switched at week 30. If there hadn't been a spot at the birthcenter, I would have found a doula to be at the hospital.

-Reading Hypnobirthing. I am not interested in actually trying it, but the first few chapters talk about the history of birthing and stuff and I found it useful in the "gajillions of women have done this before me, I can do it too" sense. Also, some of the meditative exercises have proven useful to my mental state, even though I'm not really doing it. I found a copy at my local library.

-Watching "Unconventional Births" and "Business of Being Born". I felt both were really good about showing just how natural our bodies are at birthing babies.

-every time I worry about things like tearing I do kegals (end up being at least once a day).

-when I feel scared I take a deep breath. I tell myself that being scared is okay. I don't think its natural for first time mothers to NOT be scared when thinking about a 8lb baby exiting your body. Then I think about all the women who have done it before, I think about all the women who did it once and then go on to do it again o.O and I think about how I AM A WOMAN AND I CAN TOTALLY FUCKING DO THIS. And then I repeat that mantra to myself until I find something else to occupy my mind.

-sometimes I just say to the middle of the room when no one or just my husband is around 'I'm so not ready for this!" and then I feel like I got that off my chest and can move on.
posted by HMSSM at 3:34 PM on December 28, 2011 [4 favorites]

Also, if you haven't already done so, take a tour of the hospital you will likely be delivering at.
posted by HMSSM at 3:42 PM on December 28, 2011

Here's what I didn't know about: Prepartum Depression. Yep, it's a thing. Pretty sure I had it, because I really felt down and scared before my kid got there. And yes, worried about defects and injuries and all of that. None of which ended up being a problem.

But you're 8 months along and the only possible route for you at this point is to go forward, right? You really don't have much in the way of choices to make, unless something happens, and if it does, you will deal with it then. It's ok to simply refuse to think about it unless/until you need to. If you can do that, it will help. But if you can't, it wouldn't hurt to talk to a counselor if you have the option.

Birth itself is a big enough deal that it will toss all your hormones into turmoil and you'll feel differently (hopefully for the better) once you come out the other side.

A doula might also help, even at this late stage, as a person who's an expert in all kinds of births and who can reassure you that they will help you through yours.
posted by emjaybee at 5:12 PM on December 28, 2011 [3 favorites]

I have had the same thoughts. I chalk a lot of it to being super-hormonal right now, so normal anxiety (which I have a lot of) is amplified x10. And if you have a history of miscarriage or a family history of birth defects, it's also understandable to have that underlying anxiety.

Have you been to a birthing class? That really helped me. Also, avoid the internet! I have had to make myself do that, and it has really helped. Finally, I have always found that it is best to call my doctor when I'm worried because she has the best advice, anyway.

Good luck!
posted by emilyv at 5:41 PM on December 28, 2011

I went to a La Leche League meeting while pregnant with my first and found it very reassuring. A room full of women and their babies who had all survived delivery and were there to support each other, could answer questions, knew what I was going through... and it also meant that I had a lactation consultant's number if I wanted to call her from the hospital.

Not only is postpartum depression a thing -- a thing I will happily go on about at length! -- but so is antepartum depression. The coping mechanism that helped me the best was Zoloft, while pregnant and for several months afterwards.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:56 PM on December 28, 2011 [3 favorites]

Ok, I am currently pregnant with my second. My first was a totally uneventful pregnancy, totally normal natural birth. If things go like they did last time (and I have no reason to suspect that they wouldn't), then things are peachy on the womb-front. I was a little anxious last time, but it pales in comparison to this time around. I had a panic attack a couple weeks ago because I had convinced myself that the baby hadn't grown the proper amount in some arbitrary amount of time determined by my anxiety filled brain. That wasn't the first panic attack I have had this go-round.

So, things that have helped me greatly:
- I have a super-fantastic midwife who sits with me for as long as it takes and listens to my concerns. She doesn't brush me off, she doesn't invalidate my feelings, and she is supportive. If you don't have a care provider just like this, I urge you to find one. It is not too late.

-Chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, reiki, BodyTalk. Some of this skews "woo." I know this and I don't care. The hour that I spend getting a massage or getting adjusted is an hour that I can spend connecting with my baby and my body and getting more in tune with what's going on. If you do just one of these, it should be chiropractic. Getting everything properly aligned prior to your baby's birth can make a huge difference in the outcome. Plus, when things hurt, it affects your mental health.

-My partner is fantastic. He urges me to intact one of the above when he sees that I am in a downward spiral. He is positive and upbeat, but doesn't blow me off when I am anxious, even if it is stupid.

-Exercise. This might go without saying, but exercise is a major mood booster for me. Plus, according to my midwife, walking just one mile daily can shorten your abor significantly.

Some other things to remember:
Babies/humans have a strong will to survive. We haven't survived all these centuries without it.
Babies are inherently positive. This is a positive event. It will change your life in so many amazing ways you never thought possible- this is a good thing. So step away from the Internet and revel in the amazing new being you are about to bring into ths world.

And a couple more things to consider:
-Getting a doula. Doulas have been shown to improve birth outcomes significantly. Having one can lower your c-section risk and the risk of some other interventions and their side effects. You need one- they really aren't optional.
- Your Pre-natal anxiety puts you at higher risk of having post-partum depression. please consider taking steps now to prevent this. A therapist, support network, moms group (check, etc can go a long way. You might also look into having your placenta encapsulated- in my area, this costs about $200 and is worth every penny. Taking your placenta in capsule form is proven to alleviate PPD and boost milk supply. I can personally attest to this.

Please me-mail if you want more information about anything I have posted here.
posted by LyndsayMW at 7:07 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

I worried a lot when I was pregnant. And then I worried a lot when my daughter was a tiny infant. Somewhere around three months, I found I was too tired to worry. And I was sort of freaked out that my worries were preventing me from enjoying my life with my new baby.

In retrospect, all that worry did get in the way of me enjoying being pregnant (not that being pregnant isn't ... challenging, but it's also exciting), probably hindered my labor and delivery, and definitely got in the way of me being fully present in the first weeks of my daughter's life. So I wish I had done something, seen a therapist, gone to La Leche League, something, connected with other mothers, just, something to help myself relax. A certain amount of anxiety is absolutely normal (and, of course, "normal" varies!), but if you feel like you can't also enjoy this journey you're on, it's probably time to do something.
posted by upatree at 7:08 PM on December 28, 2011

Also: read some positive birth stories, stat. Ina Mae Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth has some awesome Woman Power words of advice and birth stores. I can not reccomend it more highly.
posted by LyndsayMW at 7:11 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yes, being anxious is a normal part of motherhood, but if it's keeping you from enjoying parenting and you're afraid to do normal things with your child, then it may be time to find a professional to talk to. Anxiety is one thing - anxiety that takes over your life is another. It sounds like you think you're edging into the "takes over your life" territory, though if it were me that would be a reasonable outcome of working w/difficult births.

Pregnancy/birthing, despite all the hospitals and health care and machines, is still a big deal. You're right, bad things do happen. I dealt with that fact by educating myself on the things I had control over (birthing options, diet, baby care, etc.), asking my midwife about the rest, and then coming up with a plan for the completely-outside-the-realm-of-normal-but-still-possible things. For example - my 2nd pregnancy had a test result come back in the danger zone. We did some additional testing, and the experts said that if there was a problem it would be something they could fix with surgery shortly after birth. She ended up being 100% fine and beautiful, no problems at all -- but it still helped to know what my plan would've been had she not.

I would say that if the normal anxiety-induced self-educating and planning isn't working, then it's OK to tell your OB you think you're over anxious and ask for a counseling referral. In the meanwhile, if there are any meditation or relaxation exercises you've learned in the past, now's the time to break 'em out! Do 'em every day, a couple of times if you can manage it. It should help bring down your overall stress level.

If you really want stats, try the CDC or the American Pregnancy Association.

Your anxiety level might seem normal to many people, but if it's worrying you, there's nothing wrong with seeking help. Best wishes for a normal, uncomplicated last few weeks and delivery.
posted by hms71 at 7:14 PM on December 28, 2011

When I was pregnant, I had a mantra to help me deal with anxiety like yours: "Most pregnancies are healthy pregnancies. Most babies are healthy babies." Because even though it's hard to believe, it really is true.

That said: If anxiety and/or depression are things you struggle with, and you find either or both even a little paralyzing (for example: can you muster the enthusiasm to do the things you enjoy in these last months, sans baby, like go to the movies or out to eat or sleep in late?), I'd strongly recommend connecting with a good therapist and/or psychiatrist. Because even the normal hormone crash post-partum is brutal (I cried every day for two weeks), breastfeeding can be really hard, you're not sleeping, and you're probably dealing with family stress. A little professional help can go a long way, not to mention a little medication.

But good for you for setting up the nursery. We didn't (same superstition) and I'll tell you, setting up a nursery while trying to get used to having a baby was truly not fun.
posted by janet lynn at 7:17 PM on December 28, 2011

ps: I only let myself read the week I was actually IN in those week-by-week books - couldn't read ahead or I'd hyperventilate. And do not Google anything. At all. Forevermore.
posted by hms71 at 7:18 PM on December 28, 2011 [3 favorites]

Pregnancy, birth and the newborn stage are all about fear, trust and surrender. You are afraid of having a baby with problems, you are afraid of pain in childbirth, you are afraid of doing everything wrong once the baby is out. Get as informed as you need to, then trust that you are made for this and surrender. Trying to know every possible medical problem, resist every contraction and control your baby’s behaviour is natural. But it will make things a lot more difficult. Yes, there could be something wrong with the baby (though odds are against it), there will certainly be “something wrong” when you are in labour, and many choices will be both right and wrong with your baby. Trust that your baby is perfect (you will be surprised just how perfect s/he is, regardless of his/her health), and surrender to the unknown.
posted by rabbitfufu at 7:47 PM on December 28, 2011

One of my best friends wisely defined parenting as the brave battle against fear. You know you want to raise a happy, confident, fearless child, and that you're going to be the one who teaches that child how to be happy, confident and fearless. For me, I find it much easier to battle the anxiety when I'm framing it as something I am doing to learn to become a better parent. I wish you luck and strength with this last month, and much bravery as you work through this anxiety. Get some help.
posted by judith at 8:51 PM on December 28, 2011

Answering from the opposite side as I head off to see my baby in the NICU after her heart surgery yesterday.

Bad things can happen. I delivered in an emergency c-section ten weeks early after two months on bedrest and for a 30-weeker, she has done okay which means ventilators, blood transfusions and finally heart surgery.

Being scared isn't irrational if you have good reason for it, and you do from seeing people with difficult pregnancies and births. My two older daughters, who are adopted and saw their mum and many other women in their lives have relatively easy and healthy pregnancies, have been rattled by how bad my pregnancy was and are currently swearing they will never have children in case this happens to them.

Pregnancy means you're physically overwhelmed and emotionally on edge. Having bad memories/stories of people close to you adds to that pressure.

Most pregnancies have something happen - gestational diabetes, a breech position that needs to be turned etc - but very very few end up with a seriously ill or dead baby. I am a total aberration, and I bet if you start asking people for good stories, you'll hear far more of them than serious problems. Ask your friends and family for good stories about pregnancies, look at the online birthing communities for other positive stories to drown out the sad stories too.

OTOH, I found reading ob-gyn textbooks much more helpful in stress reduction. Knowing actual hard numbers and what would happen if this went wrong, etc. made me feel like I had control and awareness of what was happening. It was very very helpful to know statistically what our daughter's viability was.

Two days ago, she had seizures from a sedative when she was intubated. If I hadn't just read up on the medication and known 8% of neonates have that reaction and that it was temporary, I would have collapsed in terror when the doctors told us after the intubation. I need data - and yet other parents in similar situations do *not* want the data, and need emotional reassurance much more. I research like crazy while my husband focuses on distractions to cope.

Think of a past stressful situation and what helped you cope with it - was it getting physical care, being distracted by something, having clear goals etc. Then apply that to the pregnancy stress.

I just finished Half Baked (link), a memoir of a mum and her NICU child. She was terrified, a great worrier by nature, and writes about making it through with great clarity and humor. It might help in that you'll see - and I promise you it is true - that even if things go badly, you will find a way to cope because you'll need to be there for your child.

And statistically, most pregnancies do go well. Overall infant mortality is very low in the U.S. and developed nations. March of Dimes has lots of statistics, although they focus on the negatives, so you have to flip it around from 12% preemies to 88% term babies for example. One in eight babies in the US are born preemie, and that includes the healthy 35-weekers who spend a couple of days in the NICU and go home. If you google for your state, you should get specific statistics.

You're not crazy to be worried. But you have to find a way to deal with it. And I promise, that if bad things do happen, there are lots of people who will help. You won't be alone. You can survive.
posted by viggorlijah at 8:57 PM on December 28, 2011 [3 favorites]

Also - unpack the statistics.

Premature births include healthy babies that spend a couple of days under the lights for jaundice and your risk factors for premature birth are being a teenage mom, African-American and cocaine. If you don't have those three, your risks are much much lower. Most people who have a child with serious issues have the problems found in earlier scans and very often have a family or personal history. I had nine early miscarriages before my pregnancy, so we knew this would be a difficult pregnancy for instance.

Without risk factors, your chances of a problem plummet dramatically - the difference between standing on a golf course waving a metal pole or being snug in bed at home during a thunderstorm.
posted by viggorlijah at 9:10 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

I worried like you throughout my pregnancy, and then I had a healthy, cheerful baby boy. When my worries only worsened after he was born (like, I often didn't sleep because I had to make sure he kept breathing), I finally got my act together to see a therapist. She, my partner, and my incredible, beloved midwives pulled me through that.

So, my recommendation: make sure you have good social support (partner, family, friends), a caregiver you trust, and, if that doesn't do the trick, a gold-star therapist.
posted by linettasky at 11:50 PM on December 28, 2011

Also from the other side of the fence, and am currently conquering The Worry myself: I'm one of those worst case scenarios of recurrent pregnancy loss and problem pregnancies, and am currently trying to get pregnant again -- despite my own proven worrisome history. I've got a good team of people around me, including an obstetrical internist and a psychologist who specializes in infertility and loss, and it's helped me tremendously.

After loss number one, with my second pregnancy, I tried the whole peace-and-love / midwife / birthing center / zen-centered breathing approach, with the rationale: damn it all to hell, I'm NOT going to be conquered by this extreme anxiety. But bad things happened anyway, and partly because I was seeing a midwife rather than a specialist (no offense to midwives out there, but when you've got a history of problem pregnancies, it's a good idea to call in the big guns). That's when I started seeing a therapist to cope with The Worry -- and The Heartbreak.

Here's what my amazing therapist tells me all the time: your thoughts / worry cannot affect the outcome of this pregnancy. Also, she has encouraged me to see specialists, to ask good questions, and to be satisfied with their answers. Now you've investigated that worry, she'll tell me, and Dr. So-and-So has said that it's fine, so let that worry be absolved. There's enormous peace of mind with just confronting that worry head-on. My amazing high-risk ob has suggested that in my next pregnancy I ask for an extra ultrasound when The Worry gets to be too much. It's worth it for the peace of mind.

Lastly, here are the two most important things. 1) the worst happened to me, more than once, and I'm okay now. It was hard and sad, but I got through it, and you would too if it happened to you. It's reassuring to me to think that I'm strong enough to take what life dishes out, no matter what.

And finally, 2) despite what it feels like, you have already made it through the most difficult hurdles of your pregnancy. There are benchmarks all along that once you've passed through, you should breathe a little easier: seeing the heartbeat, passing through the first trimester, and getting past 24 weeks -- which is the age of viability for a preemie. If you are at 36 weeks, you're golden. The odds that you'll run into problems now, with delivery, or with a problem somehow slipping past the testing -- in a first world country -- are very, very slim.

The Worry shouldn't take away The Joy. Find someone to talk to, explore your fears with your doctor, do what it takes to find peace (even if you have to pay out of pocket for another ultrasound), trust the answers you get, and keep reassuring yourself that you can handle *any* outcome -- because you can. You will. I promise.
posted by mmmcmmm at 7:13 AM on December 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

I'm in the 'somewhat worrier' boat. I have a few bad hours a week where I worry about things. Two or three times I've had an entire day of worrying. I'm a little way over half through to give you some perspective of how much another pregnant lady worries.

I think 'is there anything that worrying can do that can change this?'. I read some more (I have two pregnancy books, two childcare books, one birth book; I tend to avoid the internets and then I try to stick to the medical sites, webmd, or so on.)

In case it's helpful, the alcohol bit is not uncommon. I had about three gin & tonics around the same point (wk3/wk4).

Also altdotlife pregnanc threads are the few that are at the right level of anxiety for me (people discuss what's happening to them and others give support). I've only lurked on some other threads to do some quick overview of specific issues.

If you're not up for sharing specific worries with your s.o., then sharing the mundane uncomforts sometimes makes me feel better (wow, this round ligament pain sucks today, etc.), even if as my 'normal self' I wouldn't complain about similar levels of discomfort.

There's something about pregnancy that requires you to lean on other people more so than normal and that's OK.
posted by ejaned8 at 11:29 AM on December 29, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks so much, everyone. I will probably come back and read this question a few times over the next few weeks/months. Lots of great answers so I won't mark any as best, but I found so_gracefully's and viggorlijah's and mmmcmmm's posts especially helpful. And if others's have answers, I will still be reading and appreciating your insights.
posted by semacd at 4:12 PM on December 29, 2011

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