As I confessed before, I am a bit of a hypochondriac. Before, it stemmed from my fear of doctors and needles. I am since over my fear of needles, after all of the infertility treatments and D&C. Now, my hypochondria stems from my fear of something going wrong with this pregnancy. I am absolutely terrified of losing this baby. I’ve lost one before and I do not want to go through that again. Every little thing that seems wrong, I freak out about and obsess over, afraid that it could mean something is wrong with me or the baby. I am 18 weeks and still refuse to buy anything baby or pregnancy related. I just deal with my pants not fitting and leave them unbuttoned all day. I am very fearful of counting my eggs before they hatch so to speak and just very hesitant to allow myself to get too excited.
We had our second OB appointment this past week. I had immense anxiety about the appointment. The 4 week wait in between appointments with no confirmation that everything is ok, gives me massive anxiety. I am very fearful of something going wrong. So of course, my blood pressure is always slightly elevated. At the appointment it was 132/90. I explained to the Doc that I have “white coat syndrome”. I always have anxiety about doctor’s appointments and my blood pressure can be elevated because of it. She went on and on about how it can be hard to determine if it is in fact “white coat syndrome” related without anything to compare it to, like home readings. She advised that any type of high blood pressure I may have would not be related to pregnancy at this point since that doesn’t usually start until 20 weeks. She mentioned determining if I had chronic high blood pressure. Obviously, that freaked me out and I became obsessive about it. I ordered a blood pressure monitor on Amazon and had it on my doorstep the next day (Thanks Amazon Prime!) Of course when I checked my pressure, it was normal. So I’ve been monitoring it every few days to see if it is still normal (which it has been) and writing down my readings to bring to the doctor at my next appointment. So there is one stressor checked off, kind of.
Then the next day, I am sitting at my desk at work when it felt like my nose was running. I wiped my nose and saw a streak of blood on my hand. Commence freak out! I had a nosebleed. It wasn’t gushing blood or anything but it was enough blood for me to feel it trickle out my nose. I have never, in my entire life, had a nosebleed. We all remember those kids in school who were just prone to having nosebleeds. Their clothes would be covered in blood when a random nosebleed would hit. But I was never one of them. I watch Grey’s Anatomy and we all have seen the people come in presenting with nosebleeds to be ultimately diagnosed with a brain tumor. I know, I know, massive overreaction and overreach but I’ve never had one before. Totally freaked me out! I mentioned this to my coworker and she was like “oh yeah, I had them a lot when I was pregnant. Pregnancy can cause nosebleeds.” WHAT?! Well that was reassuring, I wasn’t dying.
At church on Sunday, I was standing there singing a hymn when my stomach felt weird and then I suddenly felt super dizzy. I had to sit down and then started sweating uncontrollably. I then proceeded to have the chills. Then within 10 minutes, I was fine. What the heck was that?! After church we went home and I checked my blood pressure to see if it was low, because I know that low blood pressure can cause dizzy spells and passing out. It was lower for me but not in the low zone. I texted my brother about this, who is a Physician’s Assistant, and he tells me that it is probably just related to the human growing inside of me and I need to relax. It could’ve been a sudden drop in my blood pressure but I’m fine.
During my initial appointment with the OB, I was given a book, their version of “What to Expect”. I haven’t opened it more than once or twice. I pulled it out once before and saw that in month 4 of pregnancy you will start to get weird dreams, which I was (and still am) experiencing. I pulled the book out this morning and looked at month 5 (17-21 weeks) to see what the symptoms could be. First thing I read, nosebleeds! Second thing, dizziness! Boom! Right there were the typical symptoms I had been experiencing. And my nerves were calmed.
What have I learned from this? If something seems like it would be weird and abnormal if I wasn’t pregnant, it most likely is a normal symptom of pregnancy. Apparently, there is a lot going on inside you and everything is going to the baby. The “pregnancy brain” people get is because all the blood is going to baby, not your own brain. Crazy! You feel dizzy? Blood is going to the baby, not your brain! The tiniest increase in salt intake can cause swelling, and not just to the typical areas (hands and feet) but anywhere! You start having weird dreams about aliens (true story)? Pregnancy! Nose randomly starts bleeding? Pregnancy! It’s all pregnancy!
Everyone keeps telling me I need to relax and that my body is changing. That is easier said than done. The fear I have of something going wrong and losing this child is immense. Anything that seems out of the ordinary worries me. I need to remember that it is most likely ordinary for a pregnant woman. I need to make it a point to read the book my doctor gave me before I approach a new month. It will help to see what type of symptoms I may experience so I don’t freak out when I actually do experience them.
On a more positive note, prior to our OB appointment, I kept feeling like little twitches in my abdomen. I couldn’t tell if it was gas 😆 or baby because I know some people start to feel movement around 16 weeks. At our appointment, I asked the Doc about this and she said it was most likely baby. Now that I am aware of it, I am noticing the movement of the little Gummi Bear. It is providing me reassurance. I know baby is in there and moving around. I tried to get Hubby to feel it on several occasions but the movements weren’t big enough for his hand to feel. Finally, on Saturday morning, I had him lay his hand there and just wait for a little. Along came a big one, and I looked at Hubby, and said “That! Did you feel that?!”. A slow smile spread across his face and he said yeah. 😊 Now, let’s just hope I don’t become super obsessed with Baby’s movement and freak out when I don’t feel for it move for a while.