I once read a quote: “Worrying is nothing but picturing the worst-case scenario over and over again.”
During the first trimester of my pregnancy, I too got caught up in worst-case scenario thinking, wondering: Will I have a miscarriage? Is this my baby? What if I lose it? I cut out caffeine totally, Googled miscarriage symptoms, and watched my underwear with worry (sorry if that’s TMI).
But it wasn’t until I mentioned these worries to my mom that I realized how obsessed I’d become. I told her that I wasn’t telling people about the pregnancy until the end of first trimester, in case I had a miscarriage. “We’re not going to use that word” she said. “We’re going to think only positive, this is your baby.” This wasn’t Stuart Smalley positive thinking (if you don’t know that reference, I guess I’m dating myself). She said it matter-of-factly. Of course, this is my baby. There’s no need to think otherwise.
After that, I stopped focusing at all on losing the baby. I stopped imagining what it may look like, or what I would feel like. I think a lot of people want to picture the worst-case scenario to prepare themselves – to “not get their hopes up.” Like somehow, if we prepare ourselves for the worst, it’ll hurt less. I think that’s a bunch of horse poop.
Having a miscarriage would be incredibly difficult, whether you have prepared yourself or not. So why spend any time focusing on it or worrying about it? In the end, there are only a few things we can do to affect the outcome. Namely, taking care of ourselves, trying to reduce stress, keeping our weight under control, and cutting way down on caffeine, to name a few. But in the end, it’s not you who controls what will happen here.
In my first trimester I made a decision. This was my baby. End of story. Whenever worries started to creep in, I would just matter-of-factly remind myself: “No, this is my baby, that’s not going to happen.” I didn’t even let my husband use the “M” word. Don’t get me wrong, I still held off on telling people that I was pregnant until the end of the first trimester, but that’s a personal decision, and I don’t judge anyone who does otherwise.
So, if you’re in your first trimester, today is the day you stop worrying. Today is the day you stop using the “M” word, and decide that this is your baby, end of story. Picture yourself in the second trimester, getting bigger and bigger, buying baby stuff. Picture your baby in your arms at the end.
I know positive thinking can feel hippy-dippy, but think about it. Does it really help to picture the worst-case scenario? You’re just adding stress and negativity to your inner world. What makes more sense is to picture what you want and bring positivity. You can do wonders to reduce your stress levels this way. If something happens, you will deal with it. Worrying to “prepare” yourself or to “not get your hopes up” is a load of crap.
So, stop worrying ladies, and start imagining your bright future as a happy new mama!
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this…
What do you worry most about and how have you dealt with pregnancy worries and anxiety?