Pregnancy, Anxiety, and My life

by: Ashley Roman

It was the morning of March 8th (my second wedding anniversary-yay!) and I decided to take a pregnancy test. No line, no change in color, so I set it on the counter and started to brush my teeth. Didn't want to be late for work. I happened to glance back down at it before throwing it in the trash and I saw the beginning of a pink streak.

OH MY GOSH. (those weren't the exact words that came out...)

If my years working at a pregnancy center taught me anything it was that any pink line meant something was going on. This was real.

I always had the vision I would find out I was pregnant, keep it from my husband until I could come up with some cute little baby surprise and wow him. Well, none of that happens in real life.

I instantly woke him up, tried to get words out through my hyper breathing, and told him what the test said. He replied with a slobbery lisp through his nighttime mouth guard, "Are you serious?".

Pure romance.

I was told about three years ago from a doctor, "Once you get pregnant, your anxiety will significantly improve. You will probably not need any medication and in fact, your hormone levels might stabilize and you'll never need medication again." That is not a direct quote but rather the gist of the conversation. I was skeptical of this projection; but really hoping and praying those words were true.

For me, they weren't.

In fact, my anxiety became unmanageable after my doctor told me to quickly ween of all medication and just suck it up. Maybe the pregnancy would give me more 'motivation'. Needless to say I was terrified, angry, and desperate for relief and peace.

All I could think about was how in the world was I suppose to be a mother when I could barely find the motivation to get through the day, let alone smile.

Since then I have sought the opinion of three other doctors (one of them being a highly-qualified specialist in maternal infant health psychiatry). I am back on a steady dose of medication, saw my therapist for a couple months, and feeling overall huge improvements.

I lost myself for a month. I was unable to enjoy and fully celebrate the fact I was creating life inside me because the worry, anxiety, and depression completely took over. If you are ever in a similar situation; seek multiple opinions. Ultimately you will know what's best. Most often the best decision is the one where you feel whole and complete. That's what my child needs; a mother who can be present, whole, complete, and peaceful.

Since finding out we were going to have a baby, life has gotten crazy. We realized we needed to move... a tiny 400 square-foot apartment with a baby and a black lab just wasn't how I wanted to spend my time. Thus began the searching and moving process.

Almost four months into my pregnancy I was driving home from work and was hit by a man trying to cross five lanes of traffic, right into the drivers side. That resulted in a multitude of medical tests and tears, all of which came back fine. We are praising the Lord for that!

Then my husband found out some not-so-encouraging medical news, which has completely upped my stress level.

Then our doggie hurt his paw and had to go to the emergency vet and wear the cone of shame for a whole week. He was even on dog narcotics! It was sad but almost comical to watch.

Then we bought our new car and it's already in the shop. We've owned it for four days.

I forgot to mention in the midst of all this I started a new job and Jacob is having trouble at his work. When my husband, who is always the calm one, is constantly stressed it really throws us for a loop.

My beloved grandmother is going through a possible cancer-scare, which has our whole family in tense waiting.

We are moving to a completely new city in a month and a half.

Needless to say I am so thankful for the medication I am able to take to help me cope with life lately. I am even more thankful for the Lord's constant provision and peace. Jehovah-jireh, the Lord provides. My favorite saying and my favorite truth to live day by day.

"The Revelation of the Name Jehovah-Jireh, Genesis 22:12-14. The meaning of this name is The Lord Who Provides. The name is literally, The Lord Who Sees, or The Lord Who Will See To It. This is what we long for when we have a need that is personal and special; One who will see to our needs and provide for us. This is what Jehovah-Jireh means; the Lord Who will see to it that my every need is met. One Who knows my need because He sees."

Regular life stress can be really difficult for someone dealing with an anxiety disorder. What some can brush of and 'not worry about' can consume others. We have to be patient with those around us who we don't fully understand. I can't even express how much patience and compassion are necessary to help me through any struggle.

On a positive note, we are just days away from finding out the gender! Will we need a pink or blue nursery??