For the first 23 weeks of pregnancy, my mind was in a pretty good place. I have been immeasurably happy, and while I have had my share of concerns, they have been completely within the realm of normal. Or at least I assume that most pregnant women experience them (having the baby early, not really knowing what to do with them, long painful labor, etc). And these have been fleeting thoughts that I have been able to move past easily and quickly.
This week has been different.
I have a long history of anxiety, but it has been well controlled for many years. And it’s like something in the last week changed that. I don’t know if there’s an extra special hormonal surge at 24 weeks, but it’s like a light switch has been flipped. I mean, I’m still functional, but my mind has been in a constant state of panic.
My 45 minute commute to work is filled with racing thoughts. In the past week these thoughts have ranged from something happening to the baby to my mom getting in a car accident and dying. I have literally brought myself to tears several times simply with the crazy in my head. I realize how awful and ridiculous this sounds all at once, and yet, it’s my reality every day. I suddenly cannot turn my mind off ever. Sleep has also become nearly an impossibility, which is really making coping so much easier.
I am constantly worried that someone in my life is going to go away in some tragic fashion. I’m afraid that something terrible is going to happen and there’s nothing I can do about it except picture it over and over in my head.
I feel out of control in a way I haven’t in a long time.
I hesitate to blame this entirely on pregnancy, but I also feel like the arrival of this baby is so big, so good, that I’m waiting for something bad to balance it out. I’m so excited for my parents to become grandparents and consequently, I’m so anxious that something is going to ruin that for them or for us.
I know that my emotions are supposed to be somewhat unpredictable right now. I know that my hormones are crazy. I know all of this, but somehow I was not prepared for the anxiety I’m fighting this week. I know I can manage it, but I really wish I didn’t have to. And I really hope that it goes away as suddenly and completely as it arrived. Preferably really soon.
Am I the only one who felt this shift? Have you experienced pregnancy anxiety? How did you cope?
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