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Emotional Things to...

Emotional Things to Avoid When Pregnant

I just went to my ten week OB appointment yesterday, and I am all set with lists of foods and activities I should be avoiding during pregnancy. For example, no unpasteurized milk, heat up your lunch meats, if you need a pain killer, Tylenol is the only one you can take. I’ve been through pregnancy before, so I’d heard most of this before. There are a few differences I’ve noticed, being pregnant with twins this time. Like, make sure you eat lots of extra protein. I still need to figure out how to get up to nine or ten servings of protein, especially with the nausea I still have.

The nurses also wizened up and printed a list of medications that are safe to take for various ailments while you’re pregnant. I mentioned needing to call the nurse line several times during my last pregnancy to check on whether Sudafed or Tums were OK, and my nurse smiled.

“Having this list saves us a lot of time,” she said.

But with all this helpful advice, they forgot to mention the emotional things to avoid. So I was hit with a big one today. This morning on the radio I heard the song “Cinderella” by Steven Curtis Chapman, and I burst into tears. If you haven’t heard it before, the theme is similar to Bob Carlyle’s “Butterfly Kisses.” A little girl grows up, wanting to practice her dancing with her daddy so she’ll be ready for a make-believe ball, then a prom, and then her wedding day. And Chapman, as the dad, says he’ll take every chance he can to dance with his Cinderella, knowing that when the clock strikes midnight she’ll be gone. (Now I need a moment to collect myself again—here we go, deep breath).

If you’re currently pregnant, it may be that you’re set off by different things than sappy songs. I’ve heard from other moms that they cried during diaper commercials. I personally have trouble hearing news stories about people dying, especially if they’re younger and I can imagine their poor mother grieving over them. This can be the case even if they were criminals and none-too-bright. “Oh sonny, why’d you have to go rob a bank and get yourself killed by running away in those baggy pants that fell down?” Without the pregnancy hormones, I might be able to laugh at such a situation.

So here’s what I have to avoid while pregnant, along with a solutions in case something comes up:

1. Sappy songs. If possible, I’ll switch the station. If not, I’ll have “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” ready in my head to sing.

2. Television news and baby commercials. For this, I’ll just keep the TV off during those news times and be ready with the remote if I do decide to watch something. It’s probably better that my fifteen-month-old doesn’t watch TV yet anyway, so we can both have an excuse.

3. War movies. What was I thinking renting We Were Soldiers?! Now I have some nice Little Bear videos ready in case something else gets too rough.

Emotional stressors are going to come at you during pregnancy. If you can’t avoid them, relish in your ability to sob it out and have lots of extra tissues on hand. And perhaps some ice cream and happy music.

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