Tuesday, April 25, 2017

5 Stages of Grief Applied to the Final Weeks of Pregnancy

I'm sure at some point you've taken a psychology class and learned about the 5 stages of grief: 

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

As I've stated in a lot of my previous posts , I have not had what I consider an "easy" pregnancy. In fact I've downright hated being pregnant. Usually these stages are usually applied to losing a loved one. However, I have found them applicable to my final weeks of pregnancy. Mostly regarding my due date and when I would finally give birth.

  1. Denial: After hearing from my doctor a few weeks ago that I would likely not make it the full 40 weeks, I believed her wholeheartedly. Anytime anyone would tell me that statistically, first time mothers tend to go over 40 weeks with their first. I childishly told them, that I was not just another statistic, I would not even make it to 40 weeks, my doctor told me so. I refused to make any appointments or plans (starting at week 36) because I just knew I was going to go into labor at any moment.
  2. Anger: I actually feel like the next 3 stages, anger bargaining, and depression where slightly muddled together. I definitely felt each one, but one day, I was angry the next depressed, halfway through that same day I was bargaining. I was angry because I each subsequent appointment I went to since being told I probably wouldn't make it to 40 weeks, there was little to no progress. In fact each time I went, it was looking like more and more that I could possibly be a first time mother statistic. I was angry at my doctor for getting my hopes up, I was angry at my body for not doing what it was supposed to do, and I was angry at my unborn child for being so stubborn.
  3. Bargaining: Around 37 and a half weeks, I started Googling ways to naturally induce labor. I bounced on a yoga ball all night, ate an entire pineapple in one sitting, took castor oil (not recommended), ate eggplant parmesan (don't you love all of these random old wives tales about inducting pregnancy), going on long walks, climbing stairs, and doing squats every night. I begged my body and prayed every night that if I could just give birth I promise I would be happier and stop complaining about everything in my life so much. I promised that I would never complain about another body ailment again.
  4. Depression: After about a full week of trying these remedies (most of them daily), I realized it wasn't working. I honestly did fall into a state of depression. I swore I would never give birth, that I would be miserable for the rest of my life. I kept thinking I was being punished for something because I hadn't given birth (dramatic I know). I felt like everyone else who was due in April (and some who were due in May) were already given birth and here I was still pregnant. I developed major babyitis (think senioritis when you were in school) and didn't care about anything at work. In fact every time some came up to me with an issue that needed to be solved, I just got annoyed because their petty little problem had nothing on the way I was feeling.
  5. Acceptance: Finally, I am at the final stage, acceptance. This past weekend it really hit me about how immature, selfish, and ridiculous I was being regarding my due date and giving birth. I had tried nearly every natural labor inducing remedy (that I considered safe for me and my baby) I could find and I was still pregnant. Clearly, she is not done baking and needs more time. I know that I wont be pregnant for ever. Even if I go past my due date (which is this Friday 4/28/2017) I will likely only be pregnant for 2 weeks longer because then my doctor said she would induce. I've realized that Zoe will come when she is ready and there is nothing I can do to make her come earlier. And believe it or not, I actually feel peace at this thought.
I am super excited to meet our little girl soon and I honestly do think as long as she is healthy and happy, that is all that matters. I feel stupid that I spent all that time in the stages of grief when I wasn't even close to my due date yet. I wasted a lot of time pouting when I could have been enjoying my last few weeks not adhering to anyone's schedule but my own. One of my biggest fears at becoming a mom, was my own selfishness. I consider myself to be pretty selfish, I like to do what I want to do, when I want to do it. I have to admit, pregnancy has taught me a lot about preparing for what is to come. What it will be like to put someone before myself. I am really excited about this growth and look forward to how much more I will grow once I have Zoebot in my arms!

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