The Pregnant Life: Danger Zone
I have a site called Keep 'Em Cooking: Prevent Preterm Birth on my Twitter feed. A posting from their forum hit my list last night, and I stared at it, knowing I should click thorugh, but feeling afraid to at the same time.

"Approaching the Danger Zone, nearing 24 weeks," it said. I could have typed it myself: I'm in Week 23, Day 2, according to my BabyBump iPhone app. My third trimester approaches. I'm not ready.


My OB told me, when I first sat in her stirrups, that we would take this pregnancy trimester by trimester. She is straightforward, clear, and honest; she needs me to be extremely careful, but also to stay as calm and un-stressed as possible. How on earth can I do both? I'm good at denial, but yesterday at 4 a.m., worries crowded in on me till there was no more room in my bed, and I was up and straightening the kitchen (with hilariously disastrous effects, as we discovered when we got up this morning to find three different tax envelopes, one stuffed with junk mail).

Anyway, she wanted me to be super-careful for the first trimester. The second, as long as I did my weekly progesterone injections, would be smooth sailing. "It would be very rare for anything to happen before week 24," she told me. I took that sentence and stuck it in the front of my brain, where it covered up all my day-to-day worries; I had a free get-out-of-jail free pass till Week 24!

Welp, my pass just ran out. What happens now?

To make matters worse, due to taxes, work and family schedules, my husband and I somehow forgot to do the 17p progesterone injection on Monday; he's missing a (small) comedy gig just to stay home and make sure it gets done tonight. I feel incredibly guilty and careless about that. We also found a great apartment with more room, more light, and amazing landlords – but we have to move in on May 1, which was a month sooner than we'd hoped. Yikes! I feel a little bit like I'm strolling through the lovely tree-lined park of my pregnancy, and every few feet, I step into a dog-turd of stress that threatens to distract and derail my fragile serentity.

It's impossible to change my external situation right now. I can't stop working – besides, I work from home, and that's as easy as it gets. I can't not move – we need a bigger nest, and the price is no more than we're paying now. Life has to go on in all its messy glory, so the change has to come from inside me – I have to remind myself that there are women under a lot more stress that I have, and they manage, and I have to turn off the anxiety-works and find peace in the maelstrom.

Ninja, please. If I could do that, I would have done it years ago! As my sister told me a few nights ago, when I was beating myself up over a different emotional minefield, "It's easy to just tell yourself to detach, and then get mad at yourself for not being able to. You are who you are -- the least emotionaly detached person I know. So do what you can, but don't make it worse by stressing yourself out about not being unstressed enough."

When did she go from baby sister to wise advisor? It's annoying enough to give me an anxiety attack!

Read More >