positive pregnancy test

Are you freaking out about pregnancy? Find out how to deal.

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I wanted to get this down because I need to know that I’m not the only one freaking out about pregnancy – even though it was my second child. And I wanted to put my thoughts out there so you know if you feel this way, you’re not alone.  And that it does get better.

To start off, I wrote this post two days after I found out I was pregnant with our second child. I wanted to get the raw emotions out while they were fresh because as I’m editing the post, I’m 32 weeks pregnant and really excited about a new baby. That said – know that while I 100% felt all these feelings, if you do too you’ll get through them. Breathe deeply and give yourself grace. Motherhood is hard.

Background Information

This wasn’t an unplanned pregnancy, and I’m not a teen mom. I have the financial means to care for a child (although I’m not sure how you ever really financially plan for all these costs). I’m married and am not in a bad relationship. All that said, I felt terrified and like we might have made a huge mistake the minute I saw the hint of a line on my early test.  I was totally freaking out about pregnancy before I was even 100% sure I was pregnant.

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Freaking out about pregnancy part 1

I’m sure (and hoping to everything that is holy) that this feeling will fade. But right now, I’m terrified. I am 13 days post ovulation (DPO) and I found out at 11 DPO that I was probably pregnant. I had a feeling that something was off. But since I was using old pregnancy tests that expired two years ago, I hadn’t confirmed until this morning. {Note, if you’re planning to get pregnant, go out and buy yourself some new pregnancy tests. It will save you a lot of angst.}  I bought a digital test and looked down at the big ‘ol word pregnant staring back at me. There was now no mistaking this. Let the panic about pregnancy commence.

I know a ton of mammas-to-be end up unexpectedly pregnant and have a stage five meltdown. Freaking out about pregnancy is actually pretty common, especially if you’re young or it is unplanned. The reason I feel so bad about feeling bad is that this wasn’t an accident. Although I didn’t actually expect to get pregnant on the first try, it was planned. We baby danced in the strike zone and there is no way that I can play this off as a whoops. And since that was true, why in the heck did I feel this way?!

Did we even want to get pregnant with baby #2?

To provide a little backstory, we’d been debating whether or not to have another baby since our daughter turned one. At age one, my attitude was ABSOFREAKINLUTELY NOT. There was no way in hell I was going through that first year again. 

Then, as things happen, life got a little easier. By the time she was two we decided we should definitely maybe be thinking about it. I mean, we don’t want her to turn out to be a narcissistic sociopath or all the other bad things they tell you about only children, right? {By the way those things are  also not true.}

I had a couple of months where my doctor told me not to get pregnant because we were watching a bad pap. When I felt like I might not be able to have a baby again, I was pretty sad about it. I’m not going to use words like heartbroken or devastated because I hadn’t been sold on the second child.

I know those are very real feelings many women experience in that situation and I don’t want to cheapen how traumatizing it can be to think you can’t have more children. But for me, I was definitely more annoyed and upset. You know, the whole, you want what you can’t have situation. 

We were comfortable already

Months went by, I had no medical issues and we fell into such a comfortable routine. We actually even had a VACATION the month before our daughter turned three. It wasn’t a trip. It was a vacation, where we slept until 8 a.m. every day and went to Disney World and saw everything through the eyes of a two-year-old.

And it was amazing. I saw this entire life where we were able to travel, and we had freedom and flexibility. Yes, she might be a little lonely, and she’d have to care for two old decrepit parents, but we were happy. So then we decided maybe she’d be ok as a single.

Will she be limited as an only child?

Then the doubt started creeping in. Should we have another one? We can’t really leave her all alone, can we? You won’t believe the number of people who feel the need to tell you to have more children. There are people who just intrusively ask if you are planning on having more. And then people who basically tell you that your child NEEDS a sibling. Do you know what I think? I think she needs me to feed her and provide a roof over her head. I wasn’t sure sibling was on the necessities list.  

After agonizing for what was literally years, we decided to go for it. We felt like we were held hostage from making any other big decision. After all, I couldn’t possibly figure out my career, whether or not we were going to move or buy a bigger house, or how long it would take us to reach financial independence until we sorted out the huge question mark of another kid. Could I?

Because another kid would change everything. 

We took the plunge to get pregnant with baby #2

Since we hadn’t totally ruled it out, and I’d started to get warm feelings in my ovaries when I saw babies, we jumped in. I have pretty serious anxiety and emetophobia. I knew there was no way I wanted to have a newborn during flu season. We waited until we were close to clear and then decided to give it a shot.

In no scenario did I think we’d get pregnant the first month. It took three months with my daughter and we were seriously trying. This was more of an afterthought. I felt like we were “starting the clock” in case getting pregnant took longer than we anticipated.  

After we’d already committed, I plugged in my due date calculator and realized I’d be due in early March. I assumed this meant February, and told my husband that I was glad the odds were pretty low that month. We were just too close to flu season for me to be excited. As luck (and apparently extreme fertility at 34) would have it, I started feeling a little weird about a week after ovulation. 

Baby on Board

I wasn’t sure what was going on but I knew better than to think everything was totally normal. However, I convinced myself I was in my head and inventing pregnancy symptoms because I was scared. I was already freaking out about pregnancy and we were nowhere near being able to find out if I was actually pregnant. I did decide to take an early test to give myself “peace of mind.” Since the tests were expired anyway, it seemed like a pretty low risk to take a test at 11 DPO. 

Based on early testing with my first daughter, I absolutely assumed nothing would show up, so imagine my surprise when there wasn’t NOT a line. I wouldn’t call it a line on that first test, but I took enough pregnancy tests the first few months trying to conceive to know what a negative test looked like. And this wasn’t one of them. 

Day two the line was a little darker, but I was still using expired tests. It was still days before my period was due so I went right out to the store. Day three of testing, 13 DPO, I took a digital test so there was no mistaking it. And yep, I was pregnant. Then immediately terrified and sad, and confused.

And more than a little upset that I feel this way. 

Pregnancy panic: planned pregnancy with unplanned emotions

I thought I was ready and wanted to get pregnant, so why did I feel this way about our growing family?

We wanted this baby and decided expanding our family was a good idea. We talked about it not once, not twice, but probably a hundred times, agonizing whether it was the right decision. I actively conceived it. And now all I can think is that I went and ruined a pretty damn good life. 

The immediate thoughts that went through my mind were that we didn’t finalize a baby budget before we conceived. I felt like I’d be trapped in a demanding career forever. We live in a townhouse with NO more space. Good thing babies are tiny for a while. After I read the test all I could think about was that life as I knew it was over. Again. 

At least the first time I had 10,000 semi-excited butterflies in my tummy. Now I already had the beginning twinges of morning sickness and was looking down the barrel of what promised to be a miserable 12 weeks. 

I was 100% not looking forward to pregnancy again

I am not a pleasant pregnant lady. I’m miserable and I throw up a lot. My first trimester combined with the first year of not sleeping and sickness scarred me so badly that I couldn’t even think about another child seriously until my first was 2.5. 

Before the internet gets uppity – yes, I know how fortunate I am to be able to conceive. And that I’m lucky I just have bad morning sickness and not hyperemesis gravidarum. But, can I please just have a minute to freak out? 

I was uncomfortable and unhappy a lot of my first pregnancy. I was not thrilled about doing this again, even though I knew that the baby on the other side was worth every ache, pain, and illness to get there.

Postpartum Issues

At this point, I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least talk about some of the postpartum issues that can face moms, especially those of us who have had depression or anxiety in the past. Although freaking out about pregnancy doesn’t signal depression, I do want to ensure that all mammas-to-be have all the facts. 

I’ve experienced both anxiety and depression in my life and know that taking care of yourself is a top priority. As I’m coming back to edit this post (significantly after it was first written) I know that I am currently happy and healthy in my third trimester. However, PPD and PPA can rear their heads for any mom, so it’s important to know what to look for.

If you have high-risk factors, or if you’re a first-time mom, please check out the PPD and PPA resources in the posts below.

Related: Is it Postpartum Depression or just the baby blues?

Related: Postpartum anxiety and how to deal

From freaking out about pregnancy to beyond excited about a new baby

Ok – this is the edited version that I’m now writing again at 32 weeks after the initial pregnancy panic is over. Once I got out of my first trimester and was no longer feeling like I got hit by a truck every day, things got a lot easier.

I was still nauseous through 24 weeks and didn’t really get the second-trimester energy boost or glow that a lot of moms talk about. However, I was able to see the forest through the trees and began to finally get really excited about a second baby.

I remembered all the good things about the first few years with a new kiddo, and all the reasons we decided to have a second baby in the first place.

If a planned (or unplanned) pregnancy is giving you panic attacks, take a deep breath and know that it will get easier. Whether this is your first or fourth you will get through it. And the view on the other side is pretty great.

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If you also had no idea how to manage these early pregnancy emotions, leave a comment below or pin this for later. Sharing is caring!

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