June 26: Trying to detour Worry City

So the entire time I’ve been pregnant, people have been commenting on how “chill” I’ve been about the whole thing. I’ve been eating what I’ve been craving, rolling with the morning sickness and fatigue (which is starting to go away!), stopped reading baby books and websites 24/7 and am trying to relax a little more.

Bella helps to relax me :)

belly2

Because deep down, all of this kinda scares the bejeezus out of me and I can see myself worrying the entire pregnancy away if I drown myself in too many “what-ifs” and information overload.

This entire time, in the back of my mind, I’ve been praying that everything is ok and healthy and that nothing’s wrong. Before I hit my 12 week mark, I was afraid to become too attached to the baby, just in case the worst possible scenario happened.

Then I hit 12 weeks and the background worry didn’t go away.

In one of my baby books, I read:

“Welcome to life as a parent. You will ALWAYS been worrying from now on.” Thanks for the encouragement, book.

One of the things that have been lingering in my mind is the ultrasound and genetic testing we have tomorrow. During the ultrasound, the technician measures the back of the baby’s neck to test for Down Syndrome and following that is a blood test which screens for genetic anomalies.

But here’s the thing:

-The blood test could be a false positive, which would open up a Pandora’s box of worry and also lead to an amniocentesis, which I definitely don’t want to have. (A 4 inch needle through my stomach? Um, no thank you)

-There could still be something wrong with the baby that the blood test couldn’t detect.

After talking with the Pilot about it, we decided to do the ultrasound first, and they’ll be able to tell from there if anything is obviously wrong. In that case, we’ll push forward with the blood work and go from there. If the ultrasound looks good, we’re forego the blood work.

Fingers crossed that everything is happy and healthy in there <3

Maybe they’ll be able to detect if it’s a boy nugget or girl nugget, too :D

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Comments

  1. Loved this quote by Nina Planck…I know some women have really rough pregnancies and I’m glad they’re free to gripe, but it’s not how I wanted to approach my own:

    “There is a culture of worry, hardship, and complaint around pregnancy, birth, and childhood. It’s a culture I want no part of. It’s boring. It’s self-absorbed. It’s whiny. Worse, it mars what’s rightly a celebration . . .The best preparation for pregnancy, birth, and mothering–even better than real food–is an open mind. Perhaps your life and work are well planned, orderly . . . Let go. Having a baby is stupendously wonderful, but things may not go as planned. If you have no fixed expectations, nothing can surprise or disappoint you. The ideal stance is a kind of gentle wonder, now and again brimming over into radical amazement, as your story unfolds.”

    I’m focusing on eating well, staying physically fit, and being emotionally calm. The rest will take care of itself. Wishing you the best…

    • Fitnessista says:

      that’s exactly my philosophy too.. i’m doing what i can to exercise, eat well and keep my mind open. i really want to enjoy this time as much as possible :)

  2. “Thanks for the encouragement, book” made me think of “Stop looking at me, Swan” :D

    do you want to find out if it’s a boy or girl? all so very exciting!

  3. Gina you have a wonderful attitude! Too often doctors and the medical community, and even society in general, is just too alarmist and I think almost thrive on a culture of worry (and fear)…and if there is EVER a time in life to NOT fall prey to that, for both your own health and the health of the baby, it’s when you’re pregnant!

    So good for you for keeping such a balanced attitude, keeping calm, and sure, you of course have your little episodes I’m sure (we all do, that’s normal!) but I love that you’re not falling into a mindset that is blanketed with worry.

    Because of course, there are more important things to worry about….like what kind of color theme you’re going to use to decorate the nursery :)

  4. We didn’t do the genetic testing for all 3 of my pregnancies. The reason was because we had 3 friends in the span of 6 months receive false positives. All 3 were sick with worry and could barely function because of it. All 3 wish they would have skipped the test and enjoyed their pregnancies, there is enough worry involved without adding stress!

  5. I wouldn’t do the testing either, especially the needle thing. I know a lot of people would yell at me, but the whole things to me reeks of “Ladies, let us terrify with you with something, and then for a small fee we will perform a test on you so that you don’t have to be terrified anymore. Is the test fool proof? No. But we’ll keep your money either way.”

    Don’t let those people steal your calm. You and the baby have been in God’s hand since day 1, there’s no reason to panic now and think someone else will take better care of you. Look back at how perfectly everything worked out. No doctor could have done it better.

    Prayers for you and the Lentil for continued good health.

  6. I call my 11 day old nephew “nugget” too, which has since evolved to Nugz. Oh, this child has great nicknames in its future :)

  7. Don’t even let those worries cloud your mind.. positive thinking yields positive results. If you do have to get an amnio, don’t shy away from it. That test (though terrifying to think about) can be very important if push comes to shove and something calls for you needing it done.. My mom ended up getting it done while preggers, and it was essential.

    But all will be WONDERFUL throughout your entire nine months – keep repeating that! :-)

  8. You have a wonderful attitude about it Gina. I remember being so worried before this test, too. They did the ultrasound, which looked fine, and then somehow the bloodwork was messed up. When the doctor called to tell me, he said to me, “Let me ask you this. What would you do if the bloodwork came back with anything that was slightly out of the ordinary.” My response: “Nothing.” My husband and I already agreed that we would not do an amnio so there really wasn’t any reason to re-do everything. I guess what I”m saying is, it’s so much better to go in with a relaxed attitude because the bottom line is: your baby is your baby, no matter how big or how small or how anything. You just deal with things as they come and let the little monkey grow as it needs to. :)
    Love your family posts and that you care enough to keep everyone in the loop – thank you! It takes me back to the excitement I had during my own pregnancy. If I end up pregnant in the next few months, I will blame you. Haha ;)

  9. TiffanyS says:

    Ill keep my fingers crossed for ya guys! :)

  10. I didn’t get the test done with my pregnancy. I didn’t think the risks having a 4 inch needle poked into my tummy is worth knowing if my baby had Down Syndrome especially since of the false positives. I think it just adds more stress to being pregnant because either way if you find out your baby had anything like Down Syndrome now or when they are born, you will still love them. Just keep doing what you are doing, eat healthy and exercising. Good luck!

  11. Worrying is natural. You can’t help but worry, but you CAN choose your reaction to it….and it sounds like you’re choosing a good path. This will help so much when you actually have the baby – you have to be flexible, and adjust as needed, even if you’re scared to death you’re doing everything wrong! I have so much faith in you!

  12. Leah K. says:

    I have 3 beautiful daughters and I remember thinking the following:
    1. I’ll stop worrying once I get to 12 weeks, because I know the chance of miscarriage drops
    Once I got to 12 weeks I thought:
    2. I’ll stop worrying once I get to 20 weeks and see the ultrasound
    Once I got to 20 weeks I thought:
    3. I’ll stop worrying once I get to 24 weeks because the baby will be viable outside the womb
    Once I got to 24 weeks I thought:
    4. I’ll stop worrying once the baby is born.
    Then the baby was born, and I realized I knew nothing about worrying! The instant love you have is so wonderful, and you truly begin to worry about it being taken away. My daughters are now 7, 5 1/2, and 5 months, and guess what? I still worry! But I worry because I love them so deeply, so strongly, so
    beautifully! Go ahead and enjoy the pregnancy, and worry if you must, it makes you just like all of the other moms out there! You worry because your heart is so full!

    • Your comment express my toughts exactly! We will never stop worrying because our love for our kids will never cease to grow!
      Ana

  13. I worry about my future baby’s health (not even preggers.. or married.. just in a committed relationship that will eventaully lead to marriage) .. so I can’t imagine how much worrying you have when you’ve got your nugget growing inside of you. Some may think it is strange that i worry about this now- but I think it is because I am a teacher.. I am always around kids.. and I see children with all types of differences.

  14. Wishing you both all the very the best at the ultrasound tomorrow – it must be so wonderful for you to have all these words of wisdom in the comments from people who completely understand where you’re at and what you’re feeling because they’ve been there too…so precious! i wish I could offer words of wisdom, but I haven’t had a baby nor am i pregnant, so instead i shall send you invisible but potent support and positive blog vibes! Take care, Gina and bump and Bella and Pilot :-) xyx

  15. You have a great attitude with the pregnancy. It’s natural to be worried, but it’s good that you’re not letting yourself become too crazed. Are you leaning one way or the other in terms of gender?? I can imagine you dressing up a little girl so cutely!

  16. The worry never ends. I wish it would, but I fear I’ll worry about my kid until the day I die. I figure if I didn’t worry, it would mean I didn’t care. I guess I care a whole lot, then. ;)

    You’re doing the best you can, which is really all you can do. I know the genetic testing and detailed ultra sound can be so nerve wracking. I pray that you’ll be calm throughout and that your baby is healthy, thriving and growing just as he/she should.

    Best wishes.

  17. Everything will be just fine! But I know where you are coming from. The first pregnancy is the hardest because you don’t know what to expect, and you want everything to be perfect. But as the baby grows, so will your confidence and strength as a mother. And yes, it’s true what they say, us moms spend the rest of our lives worrying about our children ;)

  18. Of course I pray everything is ok with your little bundle and 9 times out of 10 it is. But, having a child with special needs is not the end of the world and can open up a brand new prespective on life and love. I had two typical children, then along came my third. She has special needs and although there are challenging times, there are also times that I could not imagine my life any different. She brings wonder and joy like no other could.

    So, blood test are normal and the worry is WAY normal. A blood test is honestly human error and can be false. The important thing is when he or she is born and you look at them for the first time, it’s not going to matter if they are typical developing or not…they are yours and you will love them.

    • Fitnessista says:

      that’s what my friend and i were just talking about. for me, it’s not the fact that it would be a problem- i’d want to plan and research so i could take the best care possible of them

      • Certainly! My youngest daughter has a neurological learning disability and we have had to learn about it as we have went along. There was no planning or anything, just a surprise! I won’t say it’s been all “peachy” but it has certainly allowed me to see the world through the most beautiful eyes. :)

      • Heather says:

        I’m really glad to hear you say that!!

  19. It seems like it would be so difficult to not worry, but you have such a good outlook on everything! Can’t wait to hear if its a boy or a girl!

  20. I opted not to have any of the early testing done since I knew that if I got a positive – false or not – I’d worry the whole pregnancy, and I really didn’t want to go through an amnio (introducing the risk of a miscarriage for testing purposes wasn’t in my book). I wasn’t going to abort anyway, so it really didn’t matter. We found out at the 20-week anatomy check that baby was a perfectly proportionate miracle, and there I had my peace of mind without any other intrusive tests.

    Besides, they usually don’t recommend extra testing here unless you’re over the age of 35, have a family history of diabetes, Downs or other diseases or really want to have it done.

    Once you feel the baby moving, you’ll start worrying if it’s not moving enough and whether that could be a bad sign… haha, you really don’t ever stop worrying. But that’s what children are for. :D

  21. Good luck with the ultrasound tomorrow! It’s totally natural to worry, but just remember that there’s a 99.9999% chance that your baby will be totally healthy! :)

  22. Staying chill is easier say than DONE…way to go!!!!!

  23. I’m sure the baby is absolutely fine!

    My cousin just had a scare because her blood test came back abnormal and they freaked her out for a few weeks telling her the baby had Spina Bifida – um her baby is absolutely fine. I am so mad they told her something was wrong when nothing was wrong!

  24. God surely has your little nugget in His hands!! I’ll be praying for the all clear on the tests you’re about to undergo! :)

  25. Well, it’s true that the worry never goes away — it’s the part of pregnancy that eases you into the normalcy of parenthood!

    I have been pregnant twice and I did things differently both times. With my son (1st pregnancy) the nuchal fold scan wasn’t given unless you were 35 and I opted out of any kind of testing. I’m not going to lie, it was really hard. Despite having a great 20 week ultrasound (my ONLY u/s the whole pregnancy), I questioned my decision to for go testing. It haunted me the entire pregnancy. My son was normal (and is 10 days away from turning 5!), but I do wonder if my pregnancy would have been more relaxing if I just did the bloodwork!

    With my daughter (2nd pregnancy), I DID the nuchal scan BUT I measured a few days behind and they couldn’t get an accurate measurement. I was so frustrated! They offered to have me come back – but I declined. I did do the blood testing and everything turned out OK. I don’t regret my decision to get the bloodwork done this time – it gave me a peace of mind I didn’t have the first time.

    Now that I’ve written a book – I just wanted to say that you are NOT alone in your fears/anxiety. In fact I think if you weren’t anxious I would be more concerned. We are now considering a 3rd and if I am blessed with another pregnancy I will definitely do the nuchal scan at 13 weeks (not ANY sooner) and then like you take it from there. Best wishes for your u/s tomorrow!!!

  26. Gina I’m sure all will be fine. It’s natural to worry. I had the amnio with my second child since I was 35 at the time. It was easier than getting blood drawn. You have a great outlook. Bless you guys.

  27. I will say a prayer for you, that everything goes well tomorrow and that it will put your mind at ease :)

  28. I remember some tv drama character said just what I was feeling when I had a new baby- “Having kids is like having your heart walking around outside your body” (or something). You will worry for the next 20 years, but it’s a good worry, the productive kind. Don’t sweat things. Look up the odds of a healthy 20-something having a perfectly healthy baby and you’ll feel better!

  29. Aweeee I hope the test turns out well!!!!

  30. My husband was the same way about the genetic testing. I am more of if I don’t think about it, it won’t happen mentality. I feel like doctors and testing these days are scarier than need be, all that false positive research is ridiculously scary though. I hope everything goes well for you! Keeping your family in my thoughts!

  31. I can only imagine. I worry myself to death about unborn potential children and I’m not pregnant at all! Just the thought of it worries me. Good luck tomorrow and I truly wish you get the best news possible!

  32. I did opt to have the nuchal screening U/S. It’s a very personal decision, but for me I wanted to be better prepared for all possible future outcomes. We found out we were having a boy when I went in for the screening U/S so you never know, you may find out soon what you’re having! Best of luck to you and the Pilot.

  33. TonjaToi says:

    I hope it goes well. We had a false positive for Down Syndrome in 2005 at 15 weeks from the blood test. We went for genetic testing and 2D ultrasounds (in Tucson) they identified he had two of the markers for DS. We felt very pressured to have the amnio but choose not to due to the risks. The false positive made the rest of the pregnancy VERY stressful. I hope your test is negative so you can have a little less worry the remainder of your pregnancy.

  34. Come on now, you’re the FITNESSISTA/AIR FORCE WIFEY/ GOAT CHEESE LOVIN SUPERQUEEN!!! YOU CAN HANDLE ANYTHING!!! :) KEEP YO HEAD UP!

    Also, from Mom to Mom…. you will NEVER stop worrying. It is a blessing and demise really.

    What I do is when I start to get a little too worry-crazy, I start thinking about funny what ifs…like what if my son became a kung fu ninja overnight and what if my daughter started a kiddy blog or was plotting doom against others… kinda dumb but the more you laugh, the better. Stay strong sista…you’ll be alright :)

  35. yup! the minute you turn a parent the worry begins and it NEVER goes away! I’m on my eighth pregnancy (second full term) so you can imagine all the worry that I endured every time we got pregnant. It never gets easier and is always there. you just have to go with it and I think you’re doing a fabulous job!!!

    The downs screening is a PIECE O CAKE! I dont know how it is in AZ but in NJ when you elect for this unobtrusive testing you get the U/S first, 5 weeks later the bloodwork and then the Anatomy Scan at 20wks. We dont get to elect out of the bloodwork after the U/S..it has to be done. it’s part of the whole screening process. But to help you ease your worry, at the U/S, after the measurements, the DR will come in and tell you that you have X chance out of X amount. I forget the number .. maybe 50? and I was a 1.5. We already knew the chances of us having a pretty good positive for this were slim as it is not common on either side of the family. We elected for it just because we wanted “the extra pictures” to see our baby. Dont go alarming yourself too much. Yes, there are false positives but they are so far and inbetween. You’ll feel 100% better after your U/S appointment. I promise!

    And the best part about all of this is, pretty soon you’ll get to find out the gender (they wont be able to tell you as early as your 12 week appt. it’s too soon and they could be wrong…but they will at your “Level 2″ or some also call it the “Anatomy Scan” or the “Measurements Scan” (This one takes about 40minutes)

  36. The worrying definitely never goes away. I had to do like you and stop reading/researching so much. I was making myself crazy. I have anxiety problems anyway, so I didn’t need even more.

    My pregnancy was picture perfect until 32 weeks, when my BP went nutso. 4 weeks of bedrest, 2 steroid shots, 6 L&D visits, 4 or 5 nonstress tests, 2 Biophysical profiles, 2 24-hour urine collections, and a weekend in the antepartum unit, I went into labor on my own the week before they were going to induce me. That was nerve-racking, and a little scary, but I just went with it and had faith all would turn out ok, which it did! All of this taught me that whatever is going to happen will happen anyway. By the end, I was just chilling, waiting for my little dude to get here.

    We have a healthy, chubby 3 month old now. I still worry about things, but he is SO worth all I went through, which even this soon doesn’t seem so bad anymore.

    It’s a wonderful journey, pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood. You’ll love it, even with the not-so-glamorous parts :)

  37. I was a BIG time worrier for almost the whole first half of pregnancy. Like you, I was afraid to believe it or get attached in case something happened. Once 17 weeks hit and I began to feel movement, things got so much better.
    Now, at 30 weeks, I love every little flip and roll I feel because it assures me Baby D is doing ok. I still have little worries, like is my baby going to get tangled in the cord?!, but I feel a lot more calm than I did in those early weeks.
    Good luck at the ultrasound! I’m sure everything will be a-ok and super healthy! :)

    • Fitnessista says:

      good to know- i’m hoping i’ll become less worried when i can feel the baby moving, too
      congrats on your pregnancy!! can’t wait to see pics :)

  38. Sejal M says:

    YAY, welcome to the worry of parenthood. I am preggo with #2, #1 is 19 months old and he was sick last week with as flu/cold. Well I worried it was something else, worried that his fever was too high, worried he wasn’t drinking enough, worried he wasn’t eating enough, worried about me calling in to work, worried about me getting sick from my son and being pregnant…etc etc!

    I haven’t had the time to read through all you comments but wanted to say that I believe that it is a combination of the US and blood test that will dtermine the risk of a genetic abnormality. I know that here (Ontario, Canada) we do a Blood testa t 12 weeks, 16 weeks and US at 12 weeks to get a true picture of the risk. I know that sometimes the US shows SOME things but not all.

  39. Amazing isn’t it? How much love you already have for your child. Beautiful!!!

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