Pregnancy & the futility of anxiety

Thinking, planning, and dreaming about your unborn child is part of pregnancy, and for most people, includes a bit of anxiety. A lurking fear that the baby will not be healthy is common, but even more so for Lisa Martin, who’s first baby was born with Autism, and who was 36 when she became pregnant for the second time.

“My second pregnancy – so unexpected, so intensely emotional – was terrifying in ways I could never have imagined.” And when little Chip was born, a beautiful, healthy baby, the feeling of everyone involved was incredible relief.

How does Lisa feel about this experience? She has taken a lesson for life that she carries with her all the time. “Those nine months of unrelenting worry, to this day, remind me of the futility of anxiety,” she writes. The realization that she spent so much time and energy in futile worrying helps her stay calm when problems arise. She has become a better friend, kinder, and more empathetic. And she can put things into perspective.

Of course, worrying is normal. “Like it or not, a certain amount of anxiety signals your induction into the Mommy Club.” The worry doesn’t stop with the birth of a healthy baby, you just find different things to worry about. But the lesson Lisa wants to share is not to let anxiety debilitate you, to live in the moment, and be optimistic. Life throws you curves but also gives you the strength to handle them. As her pediatrician told her, “We all have something to deal with and so will he, even if it’s not autism. And that’s OK.”

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