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Sep 18 / Caro

Worry is Normal

Pregnancy is full of myths. Things like how you’ll look glowing and be full of energy during your second trimester. How you can eat for two. And, so it seems, how it can be so enjoyable. Not to say it isn’t enjoyable at all, but the primary descriptor actually seems to be “worry”.

Yesterday, when I met with other local women due to give birth at around the same time in the same hospital as me we spent a lot of time (unsurprisingly) discussing pregnancy – our experiences and our hopes and fears for the remainder of our pregnancies, birth and parenthood. What was most interesting to me though, was to listen to other pregnant women describing just how much they have worried throughout their pregnancies about every little thing. Whether the baby will be OK. Whether certain activities are risky. What to eat and drink. What potential their choices may have for harm. Constant worry in the early weeks about viability, giving way to worry at this later stage about premature birth, or all not going well with the delivery. Will there be a happy healthy baby at the end of the journey.

Obviously I’m very wrapped up in my own experience of pregnancy with type 1 diabetes. And obviously I worry all the time about the extra risks associated with my medical conditions. Justifiably so, I think, given that I‘ve been having them drummed in to me not only throughout the last seven months, but also for years before we even though about having a child. I’ve always known that all prospective parents must worry, but I’d never really stopped to think about just how much beyond diabetes there is to worry about. Even though I’ve also experienced all these same worries myself, they usually link back to diabetes in some way, as all pervading as the condition is.

It made me feel a bit more “normal” to realise that constant fear is not the exclusive preserve of those with the “high risk” label attached to their pregnancies, but something that afflicts the majority of pregnant women, especially first-time parents-to-be. I’m not happy that we all seem to put ourselves under so much pressure and stress, and that it can’t all be roses and sunshine, of course. But I am happy that I’m not alone, and that I probably haven’t missed out on a blissful pregnancy, because they probably don’t occur all that often.

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