Have you hit a pregnancy anniversary or trigger yet? The day you found out you were pregnant. A due date you never hit. Hearing the heartbeat for the first time. Your baby shower you never got to have.
Your baby's birth day.
Your kiddo's due date.
The day you were discharged from the hospital.
The day you brought your baby home from the hospital. Some anniversaries are filled with so much joy and bring you back to some amazing memories. But many anniversaries are not. In fact, so many women who go through a high-risk pregnancy or deliver preterm have a LOT of anxiety-provoking anniversaries that they hit throughout the year. This coming Wednesday is one for me. September 27th is the day that I landed in the hospital at 22 weeks and 4 days. It was the last day I was pregnant at home. I remember the first year that this day came along. My son had been home for almost 9 months and was doing great. We were busy with his therapies and appointments but we had gotten into a bit of a routine that was easier than when he was first home from the NICU. We were starting to feel more secure and starting to feel like we lived our lives slightly more at home than we did inside a medical setting. But as we hit mid September, I noticed my mood started to change. I was suddenly way more stressed out. Way more crabby. Way more short with my husband. I felt my body was way more tense.
I felt jumpier than usual, every little sound from V making my stomach leap into my throat. The tiny amounts of milk that I was pumping became even less. I wasn't sleeping great. Something just felt off. Being a stay-at-home mom on lockdown, it didn't really matter what the date was so I hardly ever knew. All that mattered was, is it a day my husband is home or not? Beyond that, every day was exactly the same. It wasn't until I sat down to check my email one day during V's nap. I happened to glance at the calendar and it said Sept 26. My heart stopped and my eyes widened. This is what my body was remembering. It had stored the memories and it had remembered the anniversary coming up way before my brain had caught up to it. Body memories are so amazing like that, working in the background and preparing yourself for what your body knows will be an emotional day.
They're also the key to helping yourself heal from the trauma of a high-risk pregnancy, preterm delivery and/or traumatic birth.
Your body memories are giving you clues to help you heal
Every time a body memory is triggered, it's a sign for you that an unresolved trigger is coming up.
That can be an anniversary of something you experienced (like my admission to the hospital).
It can be getting ready to meet someone that reminds you of a scary time during your pregnancy.
It can be smelling something that takes you back to the NICU.