Friday, October 11, 2013

5 Weeks: Don't Panic

This week didn't start out on a great note. What I thought was allergies last week turned into full blown laryngitis/bronchitis this week and I just felt awful. The Neti Pot and Zyrtec only go so far, and my asthma was acting up which made me more anxious. I started googling things like "can Advair cause miscarriage" even though my allergy doc told me to keep taking it! I'd turned into every healthcare provider's worst nightmare with my late nigh queries to Dr. Google.

I was surprised at how quickly that turned into a dark downward spiral. I seemed to lose all common sense and all textbook knowledge of answers I knew to be true! I was embarrassed that I was looking for validation on some random message board instead of listening to my doctor or trusted friends who have been through normal pregnancies!

The whole week gave me pause, thinking about how skewed pregnancy has become in our society. It seems to have become a fragile state, fraught with peril** in which EVERYBODY has an opinion and EVERYBODY thinks they're the expert. The disappearance of multi-generational households and the spread of families leads to an absence of the experience of watching someone close to you go through pregnancy from day one. Additionally, society today really seems to focus on keeping things hush-hush until the end of the first trimester, because the odds of loss are lower then. This seems to put a newly pregnant mom in quite a conundrum, then! Limited discussion during the newest and most unknown weeks of pregnancy? Of course everyone turns to Dr. Google!

After realizing this, I started to tell more people in person, a little earlier than I had originally intended. I needed to be able to ask, "is this normal" and "did this happen to you" in a real life context, and not online.

In other news, I'm feeling pretty self-conscious in my clothes. My jeans are already fairly tight after a Eurpoean vacation filled with delicious food and while any pregnancy related symptoms I may have are certainly mild enough to remain active (and oh, how my mental and emotional state benefits from working out) I only got to workout twice in the first week I was home from Slovenia, thanks to this ridiculous virus. So sure, I'm feeling acutely aware of early bloating (yes, I realize I will look back at this post and laugh).

I'm trying to take this in stride and haven't fully grasped that there will come a point when my waistline will be rapidly expanding despite healthy eating habits. I guess that's going to take more adjusting than I anticipated. Right now, all I can do is front-load veggies and protein, in the event that I develop any food aversions or bad nausea later on.

Thankfully, this week ended on a good note. I finally caught up on sleep and was able to spend a lot of time journaling and praying through my anxiety. I had to remind myself that anxious fear is not from the Lord: "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7). And God, ever faithful, has been helping me ease my fears and relinquish control back to the One who really made this little life anyway, for as long as it's here to stay with us.

**Ok honestly, yeah, there are about a billion things that could go wrong every day with every cell division going on in there, but also. We're all here, right? We were all born. Pregnancy happens normally and uneventfully every day for so many people. Right?! But after 6 years of working in neonatology and perinatology, it seems like a straight-up miracle that any baby is born healthy and full-term. And even though statistics prove that's usually the case, it's no less of a miracle!

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