One of the things I hear most frequently from women who have a high-risk pregnancy is, “I’m stressed but I’m ok.”
Or “I’m feeling anxious and I’m really worried about my baby, but I’m fine.”
If you find yourself saying that, keep reading.
Most women who say this are trying to stay positive and have hope, which is very important when you’re facing pregnancy complications. However, there is a stark and critical difference between denying how you feel and having hope.
Denial is saying that you feel ok when you really don’t. It’s telling yourself how you wish you felt without actually feeling it. (Tweet that!)
On the flip side, thinking positively is having hope about the future being brighter while acknowledging that your present feels dark.
You can tell that you are denying your true emotions because when you do it, it doesn’t feel good.
Your words don’t match your emotions or how you feel in your body.
Your mouth says, “I’m fine” but you still have a pit in your stomach.
Your words say, “I’m staying positive” but you keep thinking about everything that can go wrong.
You tell yourself, “I’m ok” but your heart stops every time you can’t find the heartbeat on your doppler.
If you say the sky is green, does it change the fact that it’s actually blue?
Just by saying you’re fine doesn’t take away from the stress and anxiety you're actually under. Instead, it prevents you from getting the support you need to protect your baby.
Because here’s the reality. If you’re stressed, you may not feel the effects of that stress but your baby does. (Tweet that!)
Stress is a tremendous risk factor for so many pregnancy complications :
...and so many more
The thing is, stress is one of the most manageable risk factors for pregnancy complications. Additionally, stress management doesn’t require you to do an entire lifestyle makeover.
In fact, the most successful and impactful strategies to lower your stress are tiny effects you make daily. (Tweet that!)
Acknowledging your reality and staying hopeful are not mutually exclusive.
Women mistakenly believe that if they just stay positive and try to convince themselves everything is fine that everything will be fine. There’s a mistaken belief that you can be hopeful or you can be a debbie downer and there’s nothing in between.
If that resonates with you, let me reassure you that it’s not an either-or situation. In fact, the healthiest option for you and your baby is to do both.
Having hope during a high-risk pregnancy is as important as going to all of your prenatal appointments.
However you cannot have hope without being honest with yourself about what’s happening now. Our brains just don't work that way.
Pushing it to the side, not acknowledging how stressed or worried you truly are allows for those feelings to fester, and it’s not just you who is impacted by it when you’re pregnant.
Give yourself permission to truly acknowledge how you feel right now. Remove any judgment you have about how you should be feeling or how you should be more grateful. Just acknowledge it.
I’m not ok.
I’m having a really hard time right now.
I’d like to be hopeful about the future but in this moment I’m really struggling.
This isn’t about how much you can handle, how much you should be able to bear or whether you’re good enough or strong enough.
This is about how you can increase your odds that you stay pregnant a few days or a few weeks longer than you otherwise would. It’s so that you can you give your baby a fighting chance at a healthy start to life so you have a chubby, squishy baby to bring home with you.
No matter how you look at it, stress impacts the health of your pregnancy and thus the health and survival of your baby. (Tweet that!)
If you are determined to do everything in your power to protect your baby and are ready to get the support you need to have a healthier pregnancy, let’s talk.
What do you tell yourself when you’re feeling stressed but don’t want to admit it? What makes it hard to admit it to yourself or to others?
Leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you!