When everything around you goes as planned, it’s easy to think you’ve got this whole “life thing” figured out. It only takes one curveball to shatter the illusion that despite our best efforts, none of us are truly in control of our lives. We all handle uncertainty differently, but for many of us it can stir up feelings of anxiety and stress. Ironically, anxiety and stress can lead you to try to (unsuccessfully) control things even more.
Pregnancy is a time of enormous uncertainty. For a woman, having a baby represents one of the biggest transitions in her life, and it often feels impossible to know what to expect or where to turn. Unfortunately, you can’t control the outcome, but the good news is you don’t have to go through your journey alone.
Uncertainty Is Inevitable
Part of the beauty of life is its unpredictability because you never know how the steps you take today will shape and transform your future. While that idea is exciting, it can also feel scary to realize you don’t know how things will unfold.
Whether planned or not, pregnancy can send even the most laid-back woman into a spiral of worry and questions:
Is my baby healthy?
Will I have a miscarriage?
Am I healthy enough to support the baby?
How will I support the baby financially?
How do I tell my partner? My parents?
How will this affect my plans for the future?
Why don’t I feel _____ about this?
We’ve all experienced the questions and fears that come in times of transition. At A Woman’s Place Medical Clinic, patients come to us for many reasons: possible pregnancies, symptoms of STIs, and other women’s health concerns.
Whatever brings you through our door, we see you as a woman who has questions in her life just like we do.
Answer What You Can, Accept the Rest
Sometimes the things you worry about aren’t truly unknown, and there are answers to your concerns if you’re willing to face them. In difficult moments it often feels easier to avoid the truth, but arming yourself with knowledge is the best way to move forward.
When it comes to your health or possible pregnancy, delaying the test doesn’t change the results. This is the time for you to focus on the things you can control.
Planned or unplanned, pregnancy is full of questions that don’t have immediate answers. When you feel yourself spiraling into stress and anxiety, the American Psychological Association recommends the following tips:
Avoid dwelling on things you can’t control (Easier said than done.)
Be kind to yourself
Engage in self-care
Seek support from those you trust, and ask for help
Take your own advice (What would you tell a friend going through the same thing?)
Reflect on past successes and challenges you’ve overcome
No one can avoid the unexpected, but showing kindness and compassion to yourself will increase your resilience.
Often you prolong your suffering by searching for answers to unanswerable questions.
When you first become pregnant you have no way of knowing the gender of the baby; how you’ll feel throughout your pregnancy; where you’ll be when you first feel your baby kick; how you’ll feel after delivery; and a myriad of other uncertainties.
Pregnancy aside, how are you supposed to process motherhood? You have no way of knowing when your child will lose his or her first tooth, or whether he or she will prefer PB&J to chicken nuggets. Up until you found out you were expecting, you were only thinking about what you want to eat for lunch or if those shoes you have your eye on will go on a surprise sale. Thinking through your future as a mother can be overwhelming.
Most questions about your future are only answered by guessing, but you can take steps to ensure the best future possible–for you and your baby. Knowing this allows you to embrace uncertainty rather than worry. Accept that the journey of life involves facing unknowns with the support of people who care about you.
You Can Handle Whatever Comes Your Way
Whether you believe it or not, you have an incredible ability to cope with the ups and downs in your life–even the things you can’t control. As difficult as it may feel to face the uncertainties of pregnancy, we know that you have the strength to move forward. We believe in you.
Facing anything in life happens minute-by-minute, and you’re already doing it. Just focus on taking the next step. As Brené Brown reminds us in her book Daring Greatly, “sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.”
You Have Options and Support
At A Woman’s Place Medical Clinic, our staff understands the uncertainties that accompany pregnancy or an unexpected test result. If you would like to meet with someone who understands your situation and will offer you accurate information in a confidential environment, we’re here for you.
We put ourselves in your shoes, and in doing so we are committed to valuing your needs and concerns above all else. We have qualified medical professionals and trained staff who are ready to listen and help.
We are ready to listen to your unique and personal concerns and address any issues that you would like to discuss. You are not alone.
Schedule your confidential appointment with us today.