There are times when you know you are probably overthinking to unnecessarily bother yourself and the little one inside! But you defend your actions, claiming that you are helpless and what is happening to you is beyond your control.
In pregnancy, there are basically two ways to fall in this harmful trap of ‘stress’. Either you are stressing over the pregnancy or there is an external event, having nothing to do with the pregnancy, that is causing the stress. If it is the latter one, for e.g.. something at work place or some major crisis in the family or some illness or death of a close person and so on; then there is very little you can do to change the situation. All you have to do is modify your reaction to your situation. But in the first case, where you are stressing over being pregnant or dreading how life will be once the child is around and so on; then you really need to give your self a reality check and come to terms with the positivity that revolves around a pregnancy and the child which is going to change your life for the better.
I was recently in this situation, just around the time when I was having crazy mood swings, that a certain old issue from my previous project cropped up and on further investigation it so turned out that it was my mistake and I really needed to compensate for it. Not only financially but also take charge and accept that it is my blunder and all this while, when I had already gone on my maternity leave, I didn’t realise what it meant. I not only had to own up to it but also prove that it was a mistake and not an effort to con someone. As the issue cropped up out of nowhere; I was suddenly hit by a strong wave of stress. I couldn’t sleep in the afternoons, even at nights – sleep was full of nightmares revolving around the situation, I wouldn’t feel like eating, continuously my brain would run back to that situation and there was this certain fear in my heart leading to an acute and continuous pain in the chest. I could somehow feel that the baby was stressing with me and I couldn’t help it. The more I would try to distract my mind, the more it would run back to it. My husband was keeping very busy at that time and I had no one other than me to help me feel better… I was in a mess and I knew I had to fight a way out of it myself.
Over the weekend, I called for an impromptu get-together with some close friends. I some how felt that the nonstop chatter outside will silence the voices inside my brain. And it worked miraculously. Happy people around you, make you happy inside! Then I convinced my self that now that this situation had come up, there was no way of running away, so rather accept and face the consequences. Once you make up your mind to face a situation, half your problems dissolve! It gave me strength. I decided ‘Jo hoga dekha jayega!’ – enough of torturing the baby! And lastly, I started to find ways to occupy my mind – cooking and cleaning the house (though it didn’t help much) and went for a random interview. That day on my way back from the interview I was reminded of this friend of mine whose husband died very young – leaving behind her and their four years old son! They were on a vacation and something triggered an infection and he died on the spot. The thought of her and what she must have felt then, and now how she has emerged out to be such a fighter – made me instantly realise that my problem was nothing when compared to that. When in a situation like that – you need to stress… For all those other times – just breathe and think straight! That evening I spoke to my boss, confided in him with the truth and a sincere apology and he accepted it and asked me not to stress. I celebrated with a cup cake and smiled all evening!
But this incident taught me a very important lesson (for not only this period, but for life!) – Everything shall pass… Just take charge and find your way out of that situation!
Coming to pregnancy and stress… Just the next day I read an article in Mumbai Mirror. And then did a lot of reading online – They all have to say that ‘Stress’ has adverse effects on the baby! Chances of premature deliveries, still born child, stunted brain growth and pre rooted psychological disorders.
Hence, follow a thumb rule — Come what may… Do not stress during pregnancy. Easier said than done… But you do not want a bigger reason to stress in the future… so be careful today!
Things to do to ward off stress (From things that certainly work to things that they claim work!!)
1. Deep Breathing techniques (Prananyam) and Yoga
3. Go shopping – Splurge some money and you will feel good!
4. Sweet Rush! ‘Stressed’ when spelt backwards is ‘Desserts’ – And they do instantly work!
5. Soothing music – Play some music either for yourself or make the baby hear it.
6. Watch any of your favourite films.
7. Sleep as much as you can.
8. Get yourself a massage done – the stress points will help you relax.
9. Call people over and try to distract yourself.
10. Above all – accept, address and move ahead!!