Scared as a Mutha: “It’s Just One of Those Pregnancy Things”

When you find out you’re pregnant, you sort of expect certain things. Nausea, weight gain, stretch marks and pickle cravings are amongst the most talked about classics, but what about a visible epiglottis? Not sure what an epiglottis is? Well you have one, and I didn’t know that until mine decided to peek out from the depths of my throat. I figured this meant my airway was about to be cut off and I was afraid to fall sleep, so I set an alarm for every 30 minutes to check my vitals. Obvious solution, really. Turns out that this painless, yet freakish, discovery is just “one of those pregnancy things.”

Oh! One time my nipples started to turn white-ish after I peeled off a 6-week-old gel manicure in the tub and I was convinced the baby was allergic. GASP! Did a preggo just say she was in the tub?! And she had her nails did?!  Yup.

Turns out most headaches are not tumors, not every mosquito carries Zika, the grooves in your fingernails are probably just from 16 years of gel manis, and the emergency appointment with the dermatologist might not be as necessary as you think. As a first time Mama, I’ve never been more aware and in the dark about what’s going on with my body. I might be in tune with each sensation, ping and pain, but I have no idea why they’re happening and if they’re normal.  It’s exciting, new and emotionally and physically exhausting.

Does this bump make me look like I have a fever?

After skin cancer scares and calls to the 24/7 Nurse Hotline, I’ve found that once you begin to expect the unexpected, the smoother the ride becomes. (Does the same apply to parenthood? I’m not there yet.) I can’t confidently rule out any future non-emergency emergency appointments, or hours wasted scouring message boards comparing symptoms, but so far, in my experience, almost everything circles back to hormones and the simple fact that your body is stretching and growing.

I’m not a doctor, but I’m definitely comfortable with mine. With every symptom or possible-yet-probably-impossible-scenario, I’ve been able to go to her for answers and reassurance without judgment. I’m grateful for this, but I strongly feel like this should be the norm. If that’s not the case for you, try and do what you can to make some changes that would make you feel more comfortable. First or fourth baby, this is YOUR experience and it’s supposed to be a positive experience that leaves little room for fear or being bullied by the ones who should make us feel safe.

What are some scary-but-probably-normal symptoms you’ve experienced? How about made-up diseases you convinced yourself you had? Girl, I’ve probably been there.

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