As a 38-year-old newly pregnant woman with two grown children, I am overwhelmed with worries and my anxiety disorder is going into overdrive.
1. I'm worried about my health (what if they do the bloodwork at my first prenatal visit and tell me I have AIDS and cancer??). I generally avoid doctors and screenings as much as possible because I have serious health anxiety, but I realize I can't avoid them in this situation.
2. The baby's health. I'm older. My pregnancy is considered "high risk" just because of my age. What if I miscarry (which would suck because I've already shared the news with everyone)? What if the baby has a genetic defect?
3. Finances. My first two children were born while I was in my teens. My parents helped, and I eventually married the father, a college grad who made decent money, and I stayed home and raised the kids. We were able to afford a decent apartment, food, diapers, medical insurance for us all, etc. Money was a little tight, but we got by just fine.
Now I'm remarried, to a high school drop-out who makes less than I do and is uninsured himself. I don't make much either, nor do I have any education or experience that would allow me to make more. People like us simply consider ourselves fortunate to have jobs at all, in this economic climate.
Money is already tight for us. We both work full-time, but all we can afford is a small apartment. I'm insured through my work, but he's not. We do have two cars (both gifts from our parents), but we can't afford any extras like eating out, just to give you an example of how tight our finances are. We make just over the limit to qualify for Medicaid and other assistance. I don't know how we're going to afford childcare or insurance for the baby, or diapers or formula or clothes or anything else. We can barely afford to feed and clothe ourselves (I have one pair of shoes, and I don't replace them until the sole starts separating from the shoe itself). The only real "extra" we have is internet service, but I feel that to give that up would be to cut myself off from being able to find resources for myself and my child, or look for another job, or learn about educational opportunities, or look up necessary info, or keep in touch with family and friends, etc. In other words, I view internet almost as a necessity and think we'd be even worse off if we gave it up.
What else, let's see... I hate my job and I'm under terrible stress every single day. I often cry when I'm driving home.
My grown children, especially my youngest, are unable to stand on their own feet and constantly hit us up for money, which we usually give them. if we refuse, they guilt-trip me so badly that I want to kill myself. Both are currently in legal trouble.
And finally- although it seems petty compared to these other concerns- I'm afraid I'll get fat/old/ugly with the birth of this child, considering my age. I've worked hard all my life to stay slim and attractive. If I get fat and ugly, my life will totally suck and my husband will probably leave me. But I fear it's beyond my control.
I feel like everything is wrong, wrong, wrong.
I feel so sad and terrible today.
I want to be excited about this baby, but it's hard. I try to focus on happy things- names, what the baby will look like, the fun things we'll do. But it's really hard. These negative thought keep intruding.
Last edited by Kali333; 04-08-2011 at 04:34 PM.
The following 2 users give hugs of support to: Kali333 jellybread (04-08-2011), KK82 (06-29-2011)
Wow, that's a lot of stuff you've got going on there. First, understand that everything you are feeling is normal. Bringing a new life into this world is stressful even if it's also happy, and it does sound like you've got some valid concerns on finances.
This is my advice, and of course just take from it anything that works for you and ignore what doesn't.
Okay- first- do you have ANY reason to think you might have cancer or HIV, or is it simply the tests that scare you? It sounds like it's just the tests giving you anxiety. In which case, try to chill, get the tests as soon as possible to get them out of the way so you can stop stressing, and you'll have your answer soon.
Second- yes, your baby is at higher risk of genetic defect but they can test for that. My sister had twins at 42, they're perfectly normal. I understand worrying, but try not to.
Third- I would sit the older kids down and explain that since you have a new child coming into your life, they're going to have to stand on their own two feet and stop hitting you up for cash. And you need to mean it.
Four- Could you encourage your husband to look for a career that offers more benefits? Just because he's not college educated doesn't mean he can't have a lucrative career. Careers in construction and trades (like plumber, electrician) often pay VERY well, and careers in sales also often pay very well. And none of them require college degrees.
Five- Do you want to keep working when your child is born? If not, you need to have a candid discussion with your husband about him supporting you.
Six- I suspect that since your body didn't lose it's youthful shape after two children before, it won't after this child either. You sound like you are a driven person who makes time to stay healthy and to exercise. But- do you REALLY think your husband would leave you over that? If so, that's pretty concerning because this is a man you're depending on to be there for you and your child. Or is this just an anxiety?
Have you talked to your husband about all this?
The following user gives a hug of support to EagleRiverDee: jellybread (04-08-2011)
The Following User Says Thank You to EagleRiverDee For This Useful Post: Kali333 (04-08-2011)
Thanks for replying, Dee.
Gah... no, I haven't talked to my husband about most of this stuff.
I think that's why I needed to vent.
My head's just been spinning with all these worries. I figured it would help just to sit down and list them all, so that they wouldn't seem so overwhelming. Earlier today, I felt like the world was crashing down. Now that I read over my list, I see that I really only have two main concerns- health and finances- not a million of them, which is what it felt like earlier.
When I do talk to my husband, he just says, "It will all work itself out."
What's that supposed to mean? I feel like we need to be proactive here, do something, make some plans.
I think i just needed to get it off my chest. Thanks for the encouraging words.
What you said in the end about it's "out of my control".....that is the key, you hit it right on. Try to not focus or think about the things you can never control in life. Focus on things you can control and make yourself busy doing those things.
I spend all day anxious and worried about things out of my control and the what ifs. It really takes a toll on me. But I find when my focus is somewhere I can control and work on, I feel better, but it is so hard! But we are all hear to support each other in this.
So yes, this is a great place to vent. you can also write down in a journal all your anxious thoughts, and fears, and just write them all down, as if taking off the burden. It's like venting as well. And if you do this before bed, you can tell yourself you wrote it all down, then tell yourself now forget and sleep. It's like unloading the mind so you can sleep without thinking about all the fears. hope that helps.
The Following User Says Thank You to jellybread For This Useful Post: Kali333 (04-08-2011)
Well, I'm pleased to report that I can scratch a couple of worries off my list.
The baby appears to be fine and healthy (haven't had any tests for genetic defects or anything, but the heartbeat is strong, and the baby looked the right size on the ultrasound). And I got my bloodwork results back today: everything is fine. Nothing abnormal.
Other than the fact that they found a cyst on my ovary during the ultrasound, I'm feeling a lot better about everything. With most of the health worries out of the way, the other worries (the financial stuff and work-related stuff) seems a lot more manageable.
I had planned to tell the doctor that I didn't want to be tested for certain things (HIV, Hep B, etc), because I was scared of finding out that I had them.
But once I got there I chickened out and didn't tell my doctor anything, so they tested me for everything, and I'm so glad, because now I have the peace of mind of knowing I don't have these things, whereas before I didn't know.
Thanks again to those who responded, for the support and encouragement.
The Following User Says Thank You to Kali333 For This Useful Post: EagleRiverDee (05-04-2011)