For anyone who does not already know, I’m pregnant! Pat and I are expecting a baby girl in April and couldn’t be more thrilled. As someone who suffers from extreme anxiety and OCD, being pregnant has brought about a whole new world of neurosis! I was told that my anxiety may get better or worse with pregnancy…due to the additional hormones. Unfortunately for me, Pat, and really anyone who has to put up with me on a daily basis, I think mine has gotten worse.
Being pregnant is a wonderful thing and I feel really blessed…. you are probably waiting for the “but” here, which I don’t really have… What I do have is this… although being pregnant is probably the greatest gift, it also brings on this overwhelming sense of responsibility to take care of someone other than yourself. In some way, I have always felt this responsibility, especially to those I really care about, but now it feels almost too big to manage.. and guess what is to blame, that’s right – OCD.
This type of OCD is often called “Responsibility OCD.” Those who suffer from it are always worried that their actions will have an impact on others – in most cases, people who they really love and care about. Responsibility OCD makes you feel like it is your duty to ensure that you prevent every possible bad scenario from happening… easy enough right? Right..sigh..
I’ll just give you a quick idea of what I am talking about. First off, below is a list of food that pregnant women are supposed to avoid:
- Raw meat – makes sense, but now I order everything well-done (burnt really) to ensure I won’t kill the baby with toxoplasmosis…yea, that’s a word you don’t normally use…
- Deli meat – yea, that’s right, no more sandwiches for this girl. Deli meats have been know to be contaminated with Listeria, which can cause miscarriage. Why take the chance? Peanut Butter and Jelly is so delish anyways…
- Fish with Mercury and Smoked Seafood – goodbye to my beloved bagel with lox..sigh.
- Fish exposed to industrial pollutants – which means I need to avoid fish that may have come from contaminated lakes and rivers… Guess that eliminates meals from Lake Champlain.. bummer… NOT. I won’t even swim in the lake..let alone eat something from it.
- Raw Eggs… no more over easy eggs… I’ll take mine hard, with very little flavor. Please and thank you.
- Soft Cheeses… which is by far one of the hardest things to give up. Anyone who knows me, knows I am a cheese plate junkie.
- Unpasteurized milk and dairy products.. seems logical…though I think I’ve become a bit paranoid. I had Moe’s the other day and when I asked the kind counter girl if the cheese was pasteurized she looked at me as if I had three heads… is that not a normal question…? eh.
- Unwashed vegetables.. again to avoid toxoplasmosis… there is that word again. I was encouraged not to google anymore, but just the sound of it is scary.
- Caffeine… sigh.. no more coffee in the morning. Try functioning with no caffeine and on very little sleep – you don’t sleep when you are pregnant apparently… at least i don’t. You can’t sleep on your stomach for obvious reasons…sleeping on your back can cut off blood supply to the fetus (and in my case make your hands go numb), so you are left with sleeping on your side, which hurts after a while, so you are constantly switching positions… oh not to mention getting up to use the little ladies room at least 9 times a night.. I’m not exaggerating, I counted.
- Alcohol… duh. I was expecting this one, but it is still hard. Especially living in a state that has so many great local beers!
So basically, I am living on a diet that consists of mac&cheese, bagels with cream cheese (pasteurized of course), pizza and pasta. I’ve also become obsessed with chocolate milk, oranges… and of course pickles.
I’ve also noticed that my fear of contamination is back with a vengeance. Back to washing my hands constantly… watching where I walk as to avoid any potential hazards (needles, band-aids… random blood pools on the sidewalks of Burlington), and of course avoiding public restrooms at all costs. Do you know how hard it is to avoid public bathrooms when your adorable baby is using your bladder (among other organs) as her own personal trampoline? Trust me, it’s tough.
My fear of handshaking has also been upped a notch… I know people do this multiple times a day, but all I can think about is “what happens if they have a cut on their hand and I have a cut on my hand…” … in all honestly, I’d rather people touch my growing belly as a form of introduction. I know most pregnant women find it invasive, but at least it’s protected by your clothing .. well unless you are a stripper…
For those who don’t like people touching the belly, this shirt is cute:
I know that a lot of my fears are irrational, but they are really hard to keep at bay. I honestly think that the more good things I have going on in my life, the more I have that can be taken away at any moment. It feels like one bad choice or decision could ruin everything and it would be all my fault.
So with that.. I am going to try really hard to live by the wise words of Elbert Hubbard..
~The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one~
PS- on a totally different note- I am helping a friend with a fundraiser to raise money for a Diabetic Alert Dog! It is a great cause – every little bit counts- so donate and spread the word! http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/Diabetic-Alert-Dog-for-Kristen-/27333.