The Mommy 101 posts are part of an occasional series in areas where we feel knowledgeable. Each mom brings her own set of life experiences to these posts and we hope that you can benefit from these tidbits. Read all of the posts in the Mommy 101 series here.
By nature I am a worrywart and an obsessive planner. So you can imagine how well I handled the news when, at seven months pregnant, I found out that I had cancer. No words can describe the panic and fear. It was the only time in my life that I ever truly understood the phrase “my blood ran cold.” Mine continuously did for about 24-hours straight. After I cried and panicked and went through multiple sleepless nights I started to have even more worries about what all the stress was doing to baby. I knew I had to get my fear and emotions under control in an extremely stressful situation.
These are a few things that got me through that anxiety-filled time. I hope that they can help some other moms facing stressful situations during pregnancy.
|Prenatal Yoga, via healthtalkbuzz.com|
Quiet time and meditation. I had never meditated in my life before my diagnosis. I’ve always had bouts of insomnia and I’ve found that meditation helps with that also. It doesn’t have to be formal meditation with tapes and chants (who has time for that?) but if you can take twenty minutes of silent time and really concentrate on your breathing, it’s amazing how clear your thinking can become. I downloaded a couple of guided meditations from iTunes and found them to be very simple and helpful.
Turn off the negative. Shut down all the bad stuff. Don’t watch the news or read a newspaper for a few days. I hate the feeling of being out of the loop but sometimes it’s best to just block the world out if there’s nothing positive coming back from it. If anything major happens in the world you will find out. Sometimes mother and baby just need time to be at peace. Asking a few friends for an uplifting book recommendation is a great way to find something that you may not think of on your own. A couple friend’s recommendations turned out to be the best books I ever read.
Stay in the moment.This actually came from one of the books that was recommended to me. Remember that nothing horrible is happening to you at this exact moment. Bad things are always in the past or the future. Keeping your mind in the present tense and trying not to worry about what comes next is such a gift. I am by no means a master at staying in the present but every time I really start to get nervous about what comes next I remind myself of this point. Sometimes just repeating to myself “nothing bad is happening in this moment” keeps me from losing my cool.
Help is never far away. Even if you live far from family, most people will eagerly help in any way they can, but you have to let them know that you need it. I’ve always had an aversion to asking people for help, not sure why. I’ve found that if I actually open my mouth and ask people for help, they always come through. During those first scary days, sometimes it was just a phone call to my sister to tell her how stressed out I was. Just saying it out loud made it a little less weight on my shoulders. I never like to “bother”anyone with my problems but I’ve found that trying to smile and pretend that everything is fine can lead to some very lonely times. When you’re faking it, you isolate yourself. Be honest and open and people will surprise you.