9.17.2013

Surviving Pregnancy When You're a Type A

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.
1) Find a knowledgeable, professional staff that makes you comfortable. I say this because I fear that a lot of women don't do this. It's easy to become pregnant and simply go to the hospital where your friend's had their baby or where your mother gave birth. But I think it's important to stop and ask if that's the right place for you? If the people there are the ones you want to surround yourself with during one of the biggest events of your life? For myself, I knew the big, sterile, bright walls of a hospital were not where I would feel the most comfortable during my most vulnerable moment. After much research, I decided on a birth center where one of three midwives will be attending my birth. Amazing women who know me and understand my wishes and limitations when it comes to my birth experience. I didn't want to be another face in the crowd and I didn't want the first hands that touched my baby to be impersonal ones. You aren't your best friend or your mother. You're unique. Take the time to find the best birth place (and people) for you. I think your mental state over the next 9 months depend on it.

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!

8 comments:

Recently Roached said...

Love this post, especially point 5. Everyone's story is different and beautiful. No birth story is better than the other. :)

Cara said...

I just read an interesting article that talks about how a lot of Type A people are also SUPER Type B as well. It was pretty interesting.

Rustic Living said...

I loved #5! I planned on and got the epidural when I had my baby girl, I unfortunatley got some negative responses from some women. I loved my birth and labor experience with the epidural and would do it again in a heartbeat! I also give a big high five to any woman who chooses to do it naturally! Your right, its our choice and we should be supportive of one another! great post danielle

k8te said...

these are gret tips..bookmarking for later hen my type A self has a kid! glad the pregnancy polic didn't get you :)

Natalie | Mrs. Janney | said...

If you makes you feel any better, most blue cheese (and other soft cheeses) are made from pasteurized milk, at least in the US. And in most cases, they say to avoid soft cheeses because they used to only be available with "raw" milk.

:)

Renata Barbosa said...

I feel like you just described me in your first paragraph. My husband and I are trying to conceive and all those rules freak me out. Good luck with your pregnancy! Hopefully after reading your story I will feel more comfortable with my future pregnancy.

xoxo

heylouwrites.com said...

Wow!! You are pregnant!! So exciting! Congratulations... that's amazing. :) You look so cute. My favorite bit of advice is to remember we were created to do this! People have been giving birth since mankind began, so, I think it'll all turn out alright ;) I'm glad you're pregnant before me because now I'll know where to turn to for advice.

Eloise August said...

Love this post. I'm super type A and have been wondering how I'll handle pregnancy. We've been trying and I'm already going nuts because I decided it was time and it hasn't happened immediately. Thanks for the post, it gives me hope that I won't be too crazy once it happens!