Friday, October 28, 2011

Am I Normal?

A brutally-honest post here.  Please don't mind me.

Seventeen-nearly-eighteen weeks pregnant.  I should be posting cute little "pregnancy posts" every now and then, shouldn't I?  Letting you know how I'm doing and feeling and letting you see my baby belly.  That's what "normal" first-time blogging moms-to-be do, right?  Sharing my experiences with you, portraying with word and picture the joyful development of my pregnancy.  Shouldn't I?

Yet, emotionally, I don't feel capable of any such posts, at least not right now.  I'm not feeling particularly cute, excited, happy.  Instead, I feel worried, anxious, scared.  Is that normal?  It certainly isn't for me.  I'm not a worrier, not even a little bit, usually.  That's my sister, my Husband.  They worry sometimes to the extent that they make themselves sick.  But not me.  I most often can see past the worry and head straight into the trusting or the making a plan so things work out.  But not about this, even though my rational brain says nothing has changed.  I'm worried, anxious, scared.  All the time.  The only escape is to be busy, to teach, to be surrounded by my students and not have a moment to stop or breathe or think.... and even then, sometimes, in the midst of the doing, I still feel afraid.

I'm about to put my greatest fear into words for you.  You might think I'm crazy.  You might understand.  You might be upset I would write it.  But I'm going to be honest.

I'm practically convinced that my child is dead in my uterus.  Right now.

Why?  I don't know.  I don't really have a valid reason to think that.  I just do. 

Perhaps it's because I've known a few women in the last couple of years who've carried their babies almost to full term, only to have their sweet babies meet Jesus before birth. Perhaps it's because my hormones are totally out of whack and I'm an insane person.  Perhaps it's because I don't feel great, but I'm not sure what I'm supposed to feel like.

I don't know why, exactly.  I can't describe it very well.  I'm just terrified. 

Is that normal?  If it is, why didn't someone warn me that I was going to be an emotional disaster area, a doomsday-sayer, a total and complete wreck?  If it isn't, well, then.... I guess I'm nuts.  (To be fair, I know I'm not totally alone in my craziness; a friend last night told me that his wife went through the same phase.  But she is a nurse who worked on the peds floor at the hospital and go in and listen to her baby's heartbeat every lunch.  No fair.)

I don't know what pregnancy is supposed to feel like.  And yes, I know that it's different for each person, but I don't know what it's supposed to be like for me.

I've been super blessed in my life - I've never had menstrual cramps, and I've never had indigestion.  Lucky me!  (I once made the mistake of asking a friend in college mid-cycle what cramps felt like.... I thought she might kill me.)  I'm not complaining - I know I've been fortunate.

But now, I can't tell what I'm supposed to feel and what I'm not.  I have really bad indigestion almost all the time these days - not heartburn, but an odd combination of gas and constipation, of an achy-crampy tummy box feeling.  (I don't mean cramps like menstrual cramps, but I don't know what other word to use.)  I just don't feel great.

I feel twinges of discomfort in my abodmen sometimes.  Is that normal?  I don't know if it, as my doctor told me at the beginning, is just my uterus expanding and pushing my insides all around, or if it's a symptom of a bigger problem.  I am exhausted and out of breath when I walk up the stairs.  Normal?  Or a sign of a problem?

And I don't feel any movement, I don't think.  I rationally know that it's okay - that first time moms feel their babies at different times, but I want to feel this child moving, so then I would know he/she is okay.  I need to feel him/her.  I'm going crazy.

Our next doctor's appointment isn't until the 9th.  We're scheduled to have our next ultrasound and find out who will be joining our family - Baby Boy C or Baby Girl C. What I wouldn't give for it to be next week, so I could just find out.  Rationally, so I could be calmed the heck down, because I "know" that everything is okay.  Our previous two appointments yielded nothing but positives.  A healthy heartbeat, lots of movement.  Irrationally, so I could just find out and deal with whatever happens. 

I don't want to call the doctor and ask to come in early, because I'm probably just being neurotic and freaking myself out unnecessarily.  But I don't know if I'm feeling normal things, so then I think maybe I should call.  But then I think I should just wait.

As I said, I'm worried, anxious, scared.  Pretty much a disaster area.  I want to be cute and excited and happy, but this week, that's just not happening. So that's me, for real.

And now back to work, to filling my mind with my job, my students.  Distraction, come my way, thank you very much.

Coffee Company, one thing that always makes me happy.
5 Minute Fridays, where we're talking about what's relevant.  And this is all I am, this week.


  1. Oh honey, you are completely normal. Those are very common fears, and for me they lasted until the baby came out, and then I worried about SIDS. So, basically, a lot of first time Mom's feel like total basket cases. Some women don't feel movement for a long time, and your Dr. will let you know when it's time to start keeping track of babies movements and such. See if anyone you know has one of those doppler things. Sometimes they don't work this early, but sometimes they do. Or, you can always call your OB up and tell them you want to come by to hear the babies heart beat on the doppler. They usually have several extra and if you are nice they might just let you sit in an empty room and listen. It's worth asking about for peace of mind. They will not think you're neurotic, I promise:)

    And then, then you have to come to a realization that happens with motherhood, especially: We have no control, and we must trust God. With the growth of a child in womb, out of womb, through illnesses of infant hood and toddlerhood on into their adulthood. We as mothers wear our knees out in prayer, from conception on.

  2. welcome to the worried world of being a parent!

  3. You are normal. Please go find a book like What to Expect When You're Expecting and put your mind at ease. We all experience those thoughts when pregnant. I can't tell you how many times I woke up in the night (or stayed awake) poking at my belly to get the baby to move. Paranoid? Maybe, but it helped me. Rest in the Lord, Beth.

  4. Dear Beth,

    Thanks for keeping it real and you are normal. Pregnancy can be hard.

    Praying that God would give you peace that He is with with you.

  5. Ditto to all the comments above. Totally normal no matter how many pregnancies you go through. And lucky you, no cramps!

  6. Worry is normal, but normal or not it still stinks. You don't have to live under it. You have freedom in Christ; freedom from whatever would cause your heart to stumble. You know you know this. Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). You said yourself that these thoughts are not you, and you're right. So command them away in the name of Jesus, our Sovereign Lord. He alone do you fear! Let the Word of God be your sword. Mamas are fierce and bold!

    Jesus is very straight forward about worry. Worrying will not add a single hour to your life or your baby's (Matthew 6:27). Choose trust instead. When worry comes, dismiss it and replace it with hope. Worry is futile. Cling to the Rock of Hope! This I learned from Beth Moore: If ______, then God. Whatever happens, God. Embrace the _(only God knows)__.
    "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10) Maybe Baby C just already has the hang of this? Maybe God is teaching you stillness through this new little one. His ways are higher than our ways. I pray comfort and hope for your heart, Beth. I love you!

  7. Worry starts with pregnancy and it will now NEVER END. The good news is that if we are corageous enough to place our baby's life into God's hands as we try to do our own, then we MUST trust that He will care for him/her better than we can (particularly in-utero) and even if suffering comes our way (which sometimes it does), He loves us and holds us and wants us to depend on Him with EVERYTHING. This is coming from someone who lost two babies in 1 year and came out on the other side even more in love with Jesus (not b/c it happened, but b/c I walked through it with Him). Trust Him. And don't worry, you are TOOOOOtally normal. :)

  8. Ooooh...I'm so sorry you are feeling this way. I hate anxiety and I hate hormones sometimes. I was like that at times with Abby before anything baby-bad happened to me. And then with both the boys too. It comes with the hormones. I'd like to say it gets better--but there is just all sorts of new things to worry about after they are born and start growing. What DOES get better is your faith grows and you learn how to deal with the worry better.

    All of your symptoms are normal. You are completely normal! (except for never having cramps--how did I not know that? I'd be happy to share mine with you, cause I am of the opinion that once you are done having kids, you shouldn't have to have cramps.) :0)

    Love you and your baby. Breathe deep and remind yourself that whatever life brings your way--He will hold you. That I know for sure.

  9. These ladies have already given you some great advice. But rest assured, you are normal. It is during this journey of pregnancy and motherhood that we realize just how far out of our hands life really is. I know that the 9th feels like a long ways away but I have put your name and a little note in my phone and will keep you in my prayers until you are able to see and hear your little one again.

  10. I just found your post through Home Sanctuary. I was nervous through all three of my pregnancies! What I found to be helpful for me was the baby beat doppler you can rent and have at home. ( And no, I have no affiliation with them) I always got the least expensive one and found it worked well. I liked being able to "check in" on baby whenever I was scared. Bless you as you embark on this new adventure!!

  11. Yes, normal! For a pregnancy NOT to change you is probably more out of the ordinary. I will go ahead and forewarn you about what nobody ever warned me about... if you have reached the "pregnancy brain" part where you can't remember things that were once easy to keep straight in your well-organized brain, it doesn't get back to normal after the baby comes. I thought it was a "pregnancy" thing. For me, pregnancy just onset a permanent issue. It should be called "pregnancy brain...and beyond!"

  12. Well I don't know what you should be expecting, but I love you. :) Thanks for being so real.


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