Women are natural worriers. In the childbearing years, this takes on many different faces and forms. If you are having trouble getting pregnant, worry can hang heavy like a cloud over every day, ranging from the more serious "What if I never get pregnant? Am I doing something wrong? Am I broken?" and leaking into the everyday, "Should I cut out gluten? Should I do more yoga to release stress?" If you are newly pregnant, the spectrum changes a little, but the underlying worry remains with its whole armory of weapons to steal your peace.
I love serving first-time moms because they are often very vocal about all the worries and fears that come up. Everything seems alarming and they want to do it all perfectly. I recall getting a phone call from a first time mom who was in a panic, "I went to a wedding and I ate 4-5 crackers with brie on them. When we got in the car, I realized that I'm not supposed to have soft cheeses and I'm freaking out. Should I make myself throw up?" Ah, yes, this fierceness is the stuff of motherhood.
Worry comes naturally but peace must be chosen & practiced. Here are some places to start:
The first is to recognize the worry and try to sniff out where its coming from. Acknowledge it, honor it, because it is something right about you. The worry itself is communicating something from within you. In the example above, the brie was threatening the safety of that woman's baby (at least in her head) and watch out, mama bear! You and I may laugh at the story and smile at the over-reaction, but at the end of the day, we need to respect the innate desire to protect and provide for the unborn child within her. Search out your worry-spots and try to discover the interior desire they reveal.
Secondly, cultivate trust. Trust in your situation, trust in your body, trust in your partner (if there is one), trust in the wondrous will to survive, trust in the Divine, trust that this beautiful life is made of chapters and you have the freedom to move into the unknown with a spirit of peace. This is cultivated by small daily choices, by breathing deeply into your insecurity and releasing it, and in this day and age, by choosing not to use Google as your life-guide (it will probably only scare you). Find people in your life who can impart wisdom to you, ask vulnerable questions of peers, surround yourself by those who place a great value in creating positivity. Embrace the wondrous innate ability your body has to grow and nurture another human being and give thanks that you have been created for this.
This last one is really important. Get comfy with not being in control. Worry is about control, or the lack thereof. Pregnancy is the concentrated stuff of the rest of parenting, the microcosm of the world of motherhood. You'll feel all of the "feels" that will come and go over the next many years of child-rearing - only in super uber duper intensity while you're pregnant. When a babe is growing within us, we imagine that we can keep them safe and make all the "right" decisions, we think we are in control. But ask any mother who has had a miscarriage or a difficult pregnancy or has carried past 40 weeks or had their birth preferences shredded into little pieces when labor came - we are only one part of a universal orchestra. When we give birth to these little ones, we send a large portion of our insides (and heart) to toddle unsteadily into the big world. The sooner we can learn the limitations of our control, the freer we will become to play our part really well and trust the Conductor to turn all the chaos into a perfect piece of music.
Choose peace, friends. It will bring you freedom.