I'm going to let you in on a little secret about me that you may not know. My personality strongly leans towards that of a Type A. I think that may be hard for people who only know me through my blog to see, because I come across as carefree, joyful, relaxed, and dare I say creative in most posts. However, much of how I live my day-to-day life would not only be labeled as Type A, but extremely Type A.
I like to joke that I'm the worst of both worlds. I am highly analytical (Type A), and highly emotional (Type B). I am extremely ambitious (Type A), yet mostly passive aggressive (Type B). Basically, I'm an analytical, impatient, ambitious, rigid, fast talking, multitasking workaholic who cries when things don't go my way.
Also, apparently, I'm self deprecating. (Another Type A trait I might add.)
So how does someone like myself deal with such an unpredictable event as pregnancy without losing my mind and placing myself in a self-induced coma? Well I'm only 4 months in, but I've found a few things to be extremely helpful for me and wanted to pass them along to all you other Type A'ers out there.
2) Remember that those pregnancy rules are mostly just recommendations. Type A's, we LOVE to follow the rules. No deli meat, no raw fish, no more than 8oz of this a week, and no more than 16oz of that. There is a lot to remember when it comes to the do's and don't of pregnancy! And that pregnancy brain --you know, the forgetfulness you've been experiencing -- isn't helping! But if you happen to forget a rule you will not be arrested by the pregnancy police and forced to wear a sign on your forehead that reads, "I'm a bad mother." I know this because one day I accidentally ate blue cheese in my salad (oops) and said pregnancy police didn't arrest me! I got my panties in a bunch for nothing and probably caused more undue stress to my baby by all the worrying I allowed myself to wallow in after the fact. Plus, these rules weren't around a few decades ago when momma's-to-be were puffing away on their cigarettes and sipping their martinis...yet humanity survived. Go figure.
3) Don't read What to Expect when You're Expecting. And/or other books (and internet forums) that will scare the bejeezus out of you and fool your over analytical / hypocrondriac obsessed brain into thinking you have every disease known to man and that there is no way you and your baby can survive such a dangerous phenomenon as pregnancy. Instead, read books that are empowering and informative. Books that present information to you in an unbiased manner and that educate and inform you rather than simply instill fear. Pregnancy shouldn't be written as an apocalyptic event. People survive it everyday.
4) Remember you were created to do this. "This" being give birth. There is a reason women give birth and not men. (There is also a reason why I first wrote that sentence as "men give birth and not women." see #2 pregnancy brain above.) We were created to do this. I don't know about you, but I find immense comfort in that. I have been uniquely designed to give life to another being and if nothing else can soothe my soul and quench my fears, so be it. I was created by the world's most magnificent designer to bring forth life and that fact alone is great enough for me to find peace in.
5) Know that your identity is not found within your birth story. Ladies, why are we so critical of one another when we should be each other's biggest support? And why do we put so much emphasis in our birth experiences as if they somehow define us and prove our womanhood? And is womanhood even a word? ...But really, WHY? You had an all natural birth? Good for you. You screamed for an epidural? That's more than okay. You opted for a Cesarean Section because of this, that, or whatever? That's great, too! I think it's important to remember that your identity is not found within your birth story. You don't have to stand for other women pushing their birth experience on you. Remember that you are unique, you body is unique, your baby is unique, and only you know what is best for your situation. I am planning an all natural birth at a birth center, but if something does not go as planned and my midwife says I need to be transported to the hospital for a c-section, I refuse to allow that circumstance to shape the rest of my life --what kind of mother, wife, or friend I am. My identity does not lie in a natural vs. medicated birth. Nor does my child's. Don't hold too tightly to the notion of a "perfect birth." Your health, happiness, identity, and sanity does not lie within it.
Remembering and following through with these 5 things has helped me thus far, but I still have 5 months to go! Does anyone else out there have any helpful advice for other Type A personalities to stay calm during their pregnancy? Feel free to leave your suggestions below!