During pregnancy there are so many rules. There are prenatal vitamins to take and foods to avoid, ways to sleep and clothes to wear. The list of to dos is dwarfed only by the list of not allowed to dos. And on top of all the guidelines dictated by science, there are wives tales that further instruct. All these rules create so many (too many) opportunity for worry - Am I doing this right? Did I remember to do that? Should I do that? One's mind can really get away from her. Mine certainly did at times.
When my worries became overwhelming, I coped by being thankful. It worked...usually. I tried to forget the lists of dos and don'ts and, instead, make a list of thanks. Sometimes the list included milestones, like reaching a big ultrasound. More often the list included just everyday things, silly things.
Some sample list items:
- No one ever told me to lay off desserts. In fact, my mother encouraged me to eat ice cream...all the calcium.
- I got some cute and comfortable hand-me-down maternity clothes from friends.
- I bonded with other pregnant friends and mom friends in a way that I couldn't before I experienced pregnancy for myself.
- At least once a day, a stranger would congratulate me.
- My hair was shiny and thick from the prenatal vitamins and the hormones. And my nails were stronger than ever.
- No one ever commented on how big my butt became.
- I got a seat on the subway...most of the time.
- I had a legitimate reason to discuss baby names whenever I wanted.
This list, as cheesy as it was somedays, was a great tool. Realizing that I was eight months along and no one had even joked that my ass looked as pregnant as my belly was a great distraction from all the do's and don'ts. Yes, there's a lot to worry about during pregnancy, but there's also a lot to be thankful for. It's just a matter of finding those small moments of sweetness or comedy. When you do, it's amazing how easily they can overpower the big moments of worry.
Were you a worrier during your pregnancy? Do you think you will be? How do you/will you cope?