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Pregnancy under stress

February 18, 2012

While I’m certain there is a level of stress in most pregnancies, I’m going to go ahead and say that the anxiety ante is upped when you’ve had a difficult time getting pregnant.  There is the normal worry about wanting everything to be healthy, along with a whole mess of emotions that come along with having your body not work for years.  My therapist I was seeing at the beginning of the pregnancy said she felt like infertility patients often have PTSD-like symptoms, and I’m not really surprised.  Add that to my baseline hypochondria, a little bit too much information, and absolutely no sense of logic about my own pregnancy and I occasionally spiral into paranoia that something is going wrong with the whole baby-growing business.

While in actuality things are going fine with school and the pregnancy, I’ve had a rough few weeks–feeling particularly exhausted, increasing pregnancy aches and pains, a rough test in one of my classes, and a few crazy days at clinicals (including working with a patient for an entire day who it turns out had a raging case of MRSA in the wound I was cleaning every few hours).  I’d like to say that I see things settling down soon, but I honestly think it’s just going to get rougher over the next few weeks.  I almost feel like a tiny part of me actually wants to be put on bedrest or have someone give me permission to just chill out and focus on the pregnancy (although that’s also one of my biggest fears–there is no way I want to have to redo this entire year of nursing school!).  Finding balance between all of the stuff going on is rough, though I know I’m not alone in it.  There are many people in my program with a variety of other stressors, and I kind of feel like a baby complaining about my pregnancy when there are folks with toddlers at home.

My attempt to chill out...

Also, this is probably going to speak to the smallest percentage of my readership (and the rest of you are going to either be confused or totally grossed out), but even if you’ve checked lots of other cervices (or are intimately familiar with your own), don’t check your own cervix during your pregnancy.  It’s not that useful, and if you’ve gotten to the point where you’re checking your cervix you’re probably on a slippery slope to crazy-lady level anxiety and you can pretty easily find something to freak out about.  Thank god for my midwife, who has been exceedingly understanding and reassuring even when I feel like I’m being a huge pain in the ass and sending her emails on the weekend (or calling her while she’s at dinner to discuss my MRSA exposure).

In the spirit of balance and time-wasting, instead of studying like I should be today I’ve spent half my day finishing my baby registry, pinning things on Pinterest (jesus that site is addicting), and knitting Hatch a hat.

I need spring break to be just a smidge sooner than it is.  And hugs.  And a glass of wine (but am drinking pregnancy tea as a really sorry substitute).

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