Anxiety has been a part of my life for the past 4 years. At it's worst, it left me feeling utterly paralyzed. At it's worst, I was at a job that I loathed. The boss was constantly looking for anything & everything to criticize. I suffered from 5-6 full-blown anxiety attacks every day while working. Every. single. day. At it's worst, I lost hours and hours of sleep. Insomnia became the norm for me. My relationships suffered greatly. I lost more than one friend during that time. At the urging of my sister & a close friend (and the realization that I felt completely out of control with my life), I finally got help. Professional help. And it was the best thing I ever did for myself.
3 years later I decided to wean myself from the anti-anxiety meds my therapist had prescribed for me. I had became an avid yogi, and felt more grounded. Cooking became a form of therapy for me as well. Anxiety attacks were pretty much nonexistent for me at the time. And I knew I would want to try to conceive again soon. I didn't want to be on anti-anxiety meds when they time came. I was on them when my first miscarriage happened. Why I cannot say that the meds caused my loss, I also cannot rule out that they didn't.
Anxiety has taken on a new life during this pregnancy. Anxiety most exhibits itself when you feel you have no control over the outcomes in your life. And during what time more than any in a woman's life does she feel more out of control of the outcome that when she is carrying another life? While most of the time I can keep it in check, there are times when it gets the best of me & the worry overtakes me. During these times, many of you have witnessed my frantic ramblings. My tweets of worry and what-if's. I thank all of you who have been there, reassuring me, and just supporting me. While just about every expectant mother worries at some point, an expectant mother who suffers from anxiety and has suffered from 2 miscarriages faces a different challenge. I want to stay calm and positive for my baby. I feel guilty when I am not able to do that.
This past week we have received absolutely joyful and relieving news about our baby Bean. We saw Bean active and flipping on the ultrasound screen. Everything looks great. Our first trimester screening results came back normal. We have no need to worry about CVS or amniocentesis. For four days in a row, I felt some kind of flutter or bubbles from the Bean. Maybe for only a few seconds, but at least once a day. We told everyone that we are pregnant. We were finally at a milestone in this pregnancy where we felt comfortable doing that.
And maybe for all of these reasons, this is why I am now anxious. I am not used to receiving good news about a pregnancy. A part of me thinks that maybe some of this is just too good to be true. All of our friends and family now know that we are pregnant. And while I was comfortable with this, I now feel so exposed. Everyone knows now. And now I am scared that something bad will happen.
I hadn't felt any Bean bubbles all day yesterday. I had felt sharp twinges in my left side (where Bean has been hanging out lately) first thing yesterday morning. But not much after that... Last night my anxiety got the best of me. It took my thoughts and my emotions and ran with them. I have less resistance when anxiety attacks me in the middle of the night or the wee early hours of the morning. If I can't get myself back to sleep immediately, the worry takes over my mind and sleep eludes me.
I whispered to myself that all was fine, to just breathe, and order a Doppler to rent first thing in the morning... And I told Bean how much she was is loved. Please keep growing for mama.