I just found out that I am FINALLY approximately 5 weeks after having fibroids removed 19 months ago!! My first prenatal appointment is in a couple weeks. I am SUPER excited but...I am the "glue" to my family and right now we are in the middle of a cluster of health crisis with various family members. At this point...Im SO about me and my baby and me and my baby ONLY but have yet to tell them why I feel this way. I dont want to be a outcast to them but I have waited for this to happen for SO long even before I found out that the canteloupe size fibroid was the reason for my lack of conceiving....my emotions are so high I feel like Im floating!! HELP!!! How do I handle this and not stress my growing baby or myself completely out!!!????


First off, congratulations on your pregnancy!!! It sounds like you had an amazing journey to get here and you should enjoy every moment!

I totally understand about your position with your family. It is incredibly difficult when you are juggling your responsibilities for your loved ones while trying to take care of yourself and your baby as well. Having "been there, done that" -- and STILL there in many ways... I know that different suggestions will help at different times. Here are a few ways that I have found helpful when coping with balancing the two:

If possible, establish some boundaries
Granted, I have no way of knowing if there are additional support systems available or what exactly you are dealing with. IF, however, you do have perhaps siblings or other relatives that can step up (even if they do not necessarily *want* to) figure out what you can do that would enable you to have some time to rest, recharge, and take care of you and your new little one. If you feel that you are constantly going to appointments for others and feeling drained, ask someone else for help to give you a break.

Example: If you have a parent in the hospital and you have either a brother or aunt that you can turn to, tell them "I can be with mom/dad on Tues. night. I need to have you stay on Weds. as I need to get some rest per my own doc's orders (and trust me -- if you asked your doctor, he/she WOULD say that! LOL)

If you are the "sole" supporter
This is where I have found myself on more than one occasion. I *had* to deal with my relatives' health crisis and yes, I know how overwhelming that can get. For this type of scenario, you have to get a bit more creative! First, talk with your partner if possible. Work together to see how they can be a support for you. Even having them take care of grocery shopping, preparing dinner, laundry, or whatever else is on your plate at home can be a relief. Even a few minutes saved can FEEL like a huge lift.

Another means -- look outside. Does your relative have close friends? Are they active in a church or other organization/group? If not -- what about you? Don't be afraid to tap those individuals and ask for help. People are willing and often want to help but don't know what your needs are until you ask.

Example: Ask for a volunteer from your mom's church / women's group to take her to an appointment. For a sibling, turn to one of HIS friends to see if they would mind staying at the hospital for a few hours to give you a break.

Carving time out of an impossible schedule
Ok -- I know that there are times when there IS no one else and it seems to fall ALL on your shoulders. For these, you *still* need to do what you can to take care of you and your baby. Some top tips:

  1. Take care of your nutritional needs. That means eating regularly. Pack some small snacks (crackers, pretzels, fruit) that you can keep with you. At this stage of pregnancy in particular, you may find keeping something on your stomach will not only keep your energy up but hopefully keep morning sickness at bay.
  2. Grab short breaks when you can. 5 - 10 minutes away from the "crisis center" can seem like a gift. For instance, if you have a relative in the hospital -- step outside into the sunshine for a few minutes... or head to a quiet place like the hospital chapel, a secluded waiting room, or heck -- the bathroom down the hall! :)
  3. Put your feet up! Sounds cliche, but seriously try it! Elevating your feet / legs can help improve the circulation and blood flow leaving you feeling better.
  4. Housekeeping can wait. When you ARE home, do what MUST be done right now. More time intensive cleanings can wait -- or again, tap volunteers to give a hand.
  5. Get an "emotional" break! Are you able to get online while at the hospital or endless waiting rooms? You'll find virtual teams of online support available here that are absolutely AWESOME listeners for venting AND -- a place where you not only *can* talk about your pregnancy and new baby... but are encouraged to do so! You can also grab a book related to your growing baby to take along (one on pregnancy, baby names, breastfeeding, parenting -- the topics are endless!) Having the time to focus on your baby is likely to seem like a wonderful respite!

Getting past the 'Guilt Factor'
Having relatives with serious health conditions is frightening for everyone. At times, they may lash out for what little time you take for yourself / your baby. In these situations, find a space to vent (Pregnancy.org is great for that!) -- but really try NOT to internalize it. Most often, those words are said out of fear and anxiety and do not reflect the norm. While I know this is easier said than done, bear in mind that those "stolen moments" for yourself and your baby are necessary. They also will enable you to be there for your relatives in a far more positive position.

Know that I wish you and your family all the best! Thank you again for sharing your journey with us! Check out more of our community where you can connect with birth clubs that are due the same time as you. Also, know I'd love to have you drop by our Pregnancy.org wall and say hello, ask a question, etc. anytime! ("Friend" us while you are there by clicking on the star under our profile pic on the left!)

I can't wait to follow you and then next year, "meet" your new son or daughter!! :)

Take care,
~Missy (missyj@pregnancy.org)