Mantras and other things…

Last week my insomnia got so bad that I finally realized I had to do something to counter the (completely unfounded) anxiety I was feeling. So I started in on some serious positive thought modifications. And, will wonders never cease, it seems to be actually working. Every morning, every evening, and whenever a negative thought creeps in to my head, I repeat these words over and over.

I am not fat. I am pregnant. I’m back in a routine of the exercise bike, lots of walking and my prenatal fitness classes. I’m eating sensibly. There is nothing more I can do, and I’m going to gain the weight I need to gain. So I’m trying so hard to stop fretting over my ever-increasing hips and thighs.

This is a healthy baby. There is no real reason to think otherwise. My sister has read the evidence for me, and I’ve heard tons of stories where these cysts have turned out to be meaningless. There is no reason to think that this is not going to work out.

My body knows what to do, and will know what to do in labour. It is good at being pregnant. This is a truth that it’s taken me a while to really accept, but I can’t deny it. I may stink at actually getting pregnant, but thus far my body has coped admirably with the end result. Leaving aside the hives (which were an allergic reaction to the pio shots), the worst I can complain about is some insomnia and the occasional dehydration headache. I didn’t have morning sickness. I have no aches and pains right now. I feel great, and I need to keep reminding myself of this.

I also have a couple I repeat to deal with school-related stress, as I have a few big things that I need to get done before the baby comes, and it’s important not to have that stress compounding with my pregnancy-anxiety.

The end result has been pretty impressive: I’m back to sleeping normally, I’ve unclenched my jaw, and I seem to spend more time dwelling on fun aspects of pregnancy and our new upcoming life with baby than on the possible things that could go wrong.

—–

It was probably quite appropriate then that this week my hold on Ina May Gaskin’s A Guide to Childbirth came in to the library. It was an amazing read. It really drove home to me the mind-body connection and made me realize that if I go into labour frightened that there is something wrong with the baby, and afraid to face my child, I will stall my own labour and end up giving myself every intervention that I want so much to avoid. That was a really big kick up the ass, and it was helpful that it came right after I’d seen that my positive mantras were helping.

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Q. and I went to look at strollers on the weekend. He doesn’t think getting a jogging stroller makes sense- he doesn’t think we’re going to spend that much time running together. So he would prefer to get the Ba.by Jo.gger City E.lite rather than the Summit. I’m still on the fence about this. The Summit would be clunkier to get around on a day-to-day basis, but I’m not sure I want to cut off the option to run with my baby. But then I wonder if I really want to run with my baby, maybe I should be getting a dedicated stroller with a fixed front wheel rather than a sort of compromise like the Summit. We’ll see. A friend has the Elite so I’ve emailed her to see how she’s finding it.

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Q. felt the baby move this weekend. On Saturday night we were lying in bed and I got a series of kicks on the left, so I told him to put his hand on my belly. We’ve tried this countless times before, and bub always stops moving, but this time after a minute or so we got one more kick that Q. clearly felt. And then last night bub went crazy right at bedtime, so Q. felt heaps of kicks. He is just SO excited about this- it’s really sweet.

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I booked us in for prenatal classes. I was a bit surprised to discover that I’d already missed the chance to book for February/March, so we’re doing a series of evenings that start in late March. We finish when I’m 36 weeks, so hopefully I won’t have the baby early! I’m excited about them. I’ve read everything under the sun by this point, but Q. just won’t read the books I ask him to, so I think these classes are really more to get him involved and aware of what is going to happen.

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I am such a nerd, but the most exciting thing that happened this week was I discovered that our neighbourhood elementary school (which is literally just around the corner from our house) is one of the schools in the city that offers early French immersion. This is a huge deal for me- although I’m an anglophone I have a rich family history in Quebec, and I have always taken for granted my ability to speak French. The chance to have my child start their education in French (the program starts in senior kindergarten and remains with all education in French until grade three, and then brings English in until it gets 50% of the class time by grade six) is so important. I know this is WAY too early to be thinking about this- we might not still be living here in five years’ time, the bub might not be suited for immersion, etc.- but just to know the option is right there is wonderful. This will also cut off one of Q’s and mine long standing debates, as he comes from a country where not sending your kids to private school if you are of the middle class is seen as tantamount to child abuse. He can’t believe that there can be a functioning public system. French immersion is the perfect way to close the debate at least until grade seven. And…if nothing else…it’s not going to hurt our property prices, as in this city people will move according to school districts.

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2 Comments

Filed under Daily Life, Emotions, Pregnancy

2 responses to “Mantras and other things…

  1. Good. I’m happy that you found something that is working. Keep saying all those things, because it’s true.

    For me anyway, pregnancy was all about managing the fear. My mantras helped immensely, as did regular movement from O. Even so, I didn’t fully relax until my water had broken and I was in the hospital, listening to his heartbeat on the monitors – because I finally was able to accept that my body was able to carry a pregnancy. To term, even.

    Anyway, I’m happy to hear that you’re in a different space now. Long may it last. 🙂

    xoxo

  2. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a great tool. Glad you’ve been using it. It’s true. You are great about being pregnant. If you’re having trouble accepting your weight gain, you might want to read Barbara Luke’s “Program Your Baby’s Health “.

    Yes, language is so easy to learn when you’re young. So glad that you’ve found a great school. What a wonderful gift to a child. If all goes well with our little one, we hope to put them in French-speaking childcare.

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