Monday, December 10, 2018


July 23, 2018
My head is pounding and my stomach churns. I pull up to the grocery store and walk in to use the free blood pressure monitor. Am I dying? Do I have preeclampsia?

My numbers pop up 105/ 52. No preeclampsia. (Not to mention that according to my doctor, preeclampsia isn't even something you develop until after 20 weeks, which is still 4 weeks away for me.)

I vaguely remember that when I was pregnant last time, I did not feel scared. I was eating all the right things, getting sleep, seeing a chiropractor, and though it was unknown and I didn't particularly enjoy being pregnant, I was confident in my body and in the care I was giving it. I don't know if I'll ever enjoy a pregnancy free from fears again.

Nesting comes and goes in waves, even at 16 weeks. I finish sorting all my pre-baby, post-partum and maternity clothes. They are all labeled and put away. I finish sorting and putting away all the clothes that are too small for Sammy, by size. I label all of it. I enjoy the feeling of organization, but holding hands with that feeling is another thought, "It's good I am doing this now. That way if I die in childbirth, Caleb will be able to find everything."

It's a horrible thought that burrows it's way into joyful moments. "I wonder if I should take a video of myself telling Sammy how much I love him and how sad I am that I won't get to watch him grow up." I think as I snuggle his sweet sleeping self. "You know, just in case."

I have thought I was doing okay, mostly fine for the past many months. Caleb and I didn't hold each other and weep like we had done in the early days. But as I texted with a friend, it started to come to light just how un-fine I felt.

I feel unhinged. So many pieces of me feel scattered, or dead. I used to believe that physical wellness mattered. I used to have time and space to care about what I put into my body, to monitor my energy levels, to be aware of the deeper world. Maybe the loss of some of that is just motherhood.

August 2018
Finally, I realize that this is probably something I need help with. I am tired of crying through all my prenatal appointments and of living with such fears. I find a therapist who seems like she might be a good fit. I schedule a time to see her. It's not a good fit. Someday I might write a post on how much artificial fragrances bother me (perfumes, scented, body lotions, laundry products, I'm looking at you), but I am not exaggerating this time when I say every outlet in that building had a Glade plug-in.  It still didn't cover up the dog smell coming from the doggie daycare in the basement.

I got smarter. I realized that I would need to ask about the use of scented candles or air fresheners when I called to schedule the initial appointment. When I found my therapist she seemed confused by the question. "Of course I don't have Glade plugins."

When I arrive at her office, it is cozy and smells only faintly of peppermint, in a nice way. Over the course of weeks and months, I learn about and complete EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) therapy. It takes many weeks and I am left completely exhausted. I can tell this is deep work, but it is also making me feel lighter. The heavy thoughts come less frequently and I have a way to handle them when they arise. I begin to trust my body.

It feels like a new beginning, but also like a continuation of myself. 

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