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20 Week Scan & Pregnancy Anxiety

By Hollysbeautybox @hollysbeautybox

20 week scan & Pregnancy Anxiety

You might have seen across social media that I had my 20 week anomaly scan on Friday the 19th June where we discovered we are having a beautiful baby boy!
20 week scan & Pregnancy Anxiety
So many people have sent both Chris & I such lovely messages and I just want to say a huge thank you for that. A lot of those people have asked me to share my 20 week scan experience and how I feel so that's what I want to do today.
I'm not going to lie, the second trimester so far has been a journey. I've been feeling lightheaded and extremely anxious to the point where I have sought help from my doctor, midwife and family. My family and Chris have been amazing as always but I have really struggled. The reason I want to talk about it today is not for sympathy, but to let anyone else know who is going through the same thing that you are not alone.
My anxiety is ongoing. I've had it for a long time and over the years, I've learned how to deal with it, but since becoming pregnant, much like other emotions, the anxiety has been heightened. I even at one stage questioned my 'sanity' and wondered if I was losing it. It turns out that my hormones mixed with a pre existing anxiety issue causing this level of anxiety is to be expected (although, please don't think that it will happen to you if you have anxiety and get pregnant, everyone is different!).
I have been having rough days where I pretty much wake up with anxiety and go to sleep being anxious but I also have days where I wake up with a positive attitude and find the day 'easier' to get through. When this all started (around 13 weeks pregnant), every day was a rough day and thanks to the support I've received from my family, Chris, midwives and mental health nurse, I'm now having more 'easier' days.
Things that have really helped me include:
- Being honest. I thought that being honest with how I felt made me vulnerable and would mean I would be judged or deemed a bad mother for feeling the way I do. I went through (and still do) phases of feeling like the end of the world is near and wondered if I will bond with my baby but actually after discussing this with my support system (family, chris, midwives & mental health nurse), I was soon told that these thoughts are perfectly normal and most pregnant women will experience these doubts. Getting even the daftest of fears off my chest really makes me feel more 'normal'.
- Meditation. I'm not going to lie, I thought meditation was for hippies and people with a much stronger mindset than me. After advice from my loved ones, I downloaded Headspace and began trying it. It works amazingly. Nothing works instantly, it's a process but bit by bit it helps you to retrain and refocus your mind on the here and now.
- Putting the 'what if's' to one side. I realised that the majority of my anxieties came from 'what if' scenarios. What if I have a panic attack in public? what if I am unwell? What if there's something wrong?. My mental health nurse told me that putting them to one side and only focussing on them if they arise - which by the way, of all the things I've worried about, 99% have never happened. I think it's because I have this mindset of 'prepare for the worst and hope for the worst' but instead of only doing that when something actually goes wrong, I do it for every scenario I can think of in order to 'protect' myself somehow.  Of all the things that I've ever experienced, not one single thing has been as bad as my mind has presumed or prepared me for. It's wasted energy.
- Reading. Normally, I'm not much of a reader. I used to think I could find more 'useful' things to do with my time and because I cannot mentally 'connect' to fiction books, I figured I would go down the self help/biography route, so I've been reading Ant Middletons 'The Fear Bubble'. I love it and it really helps to focus my attention on something other than myself.
- Challenging myself. For a while, I would keep the bathroom door unlocked when I went for a shower, 'Just in case' something happened and someone needed to help me. One day I was half way through my shower when I realised the door was locked. Instead of panicking and jumping out of the shower to unlock the door, I just decided to focus on the water and go with it. Since then, I've been locking the door as 'normal'.
A lot of these things might not work for you, but I just wanted to share what helps me.
What advice for calming anxiety do you have?
H x

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