Stress is pretty standard in everything with life.
Pregnancy is, and isn’t, stressful. Sure, you can make it the most stressful thing in the world, but if nothing is going wrong, why stress over something that hasn’t happened yet? It’s a joyous time, and makes for exciting conversation starters, but I try not to worry about everything that could go wrong.
I’ve found that the most stress came from dealing with others.
Cause of Stress: Everyone has an opinion. Everyone.
Usually this is prefaced by, “Don’t feel like you have to listen to what I say, but…”
This is another super annoying sentence. Dealing with the sudden onslaught of information from the internet, parents, in-laws, co-workers, is stressful. One the of the best things I’ve found to handle this is to only discuss things as they come up with qualified people: my doctors and/or midwife/doula. If someone gives me friendly advice, I listen and either make a note to discuss with my doctor, or just let it go. I know that people are just trying to be helpful, but some of the information just isn’t helpful.
Cause of Stress: Everyone has a horror story.
Everyone and their mother knows of a story of someone (or themselves) who had a horrific time. What makes you think I want to hear these? Spoiler: I don’t. I love how this is usually prefaced by “Everyone’s pregnancy/birth is unique to them, but listen to mine/so-and-so’s/my great-aunt twice removed”. Gee, thanks for making me worry now that I’m going to have to go through hell and back to bring this child into the world.
Cause of Stress: Baby Shower Planning
This probably isn’t a stress for most people because they’ve typically have already planned a wedding. As Andrew and I are not married, and haven’t really planned anything larger than an “invite everyone over to the house for a party”, this is my first time dealing with anyone else’s opinions. I am not a fan of being the centre of attention. Partly the reason of why I don’t want a wedding, and it didn’t even cross my mind when I got pregnant, but I don’t like everyone looking at me. So the idea of sitting around a whole bunch of people to open gifts? Torture.
This is where I’ve learned the art of compromise. Andrew wants to do a big, couple thing. The grandmas want it to be fairly traditional. I could go with out. So, compromise. After learning that to do a big mixed event there would be about 150 people there (courtesy of Andrew knowing everyone), I made the decision to split it in half. Andrew can have his mixed event where there will be no gifts, and the grandmas can have their traditional shower and never the twain shall meet. I kid, there will be some cross-over of guests, but not much.
I also have to learn to put my foot down and say no. That’s something that I’m apparently terrible at, and am working on for this year. Who knew?
This is all made worse because I can’t have (barely) any caffeine. Thankfully, I can eat cake.
Again, this is a little tongue-in-cheek. I’m not trying to make light of anyone out there who is trying/getting pregnant and finding it to be a bugger of a time.