Induction Panic!

I thought I was doing a great job at staying calm for baby and being ready.  Until I went into my doctor’s appointment. She had been talking about inducing me between weeks 38 and 39 for a while now. So at my 37-week appointment, I asked about it.  I wanted to know when we would schedule the induction date.  I wasn’t sure if we would do it that day, but I wanted to know when and how much notice I would have.  My OB looked at the computer and went, yeah, we can schedule that now since it will be next week! And gave me a date for the next Thursday.  I was calm and organized until that point. And then we left the appointment and I went into a mild panic! Having a date made it seem so soon and so real.  I’m really glad my husband was able to come to that appointment with me for grounding.  If the appointment was even a few days later, he would not have been allowed in and I definitely needed his support.  


I immediately started thinking of everything that needed to be done be before we bring baby home.  7 loads of laundry was a major one! I was still washing my way through a huge pile of used baby clothes I got from a friend.  And then that didn’t stop our laundry from needing washing.  I also wanted to prepare a few more freezer meals and deep clean our whole house.  I made a huge list of everything that needed to be done. And our living room looked like a mess because I had pulled all the baby items that needed a home out of the closet and had them sitting around.  It was a whole bunch of small things adding up.  Not to mention worrying about actually bringing a baby home and taking care of her.  The pandemic is also hitting the second wave in our area.  Right after we found out the date, the city went into lockdown for the second time. We also got advice to wear masks for the first time in our city.  A lot of small things all added up. 


So now I’ve discussed all the things that made me panic, I’ll talk about what I did to calm myself and prepare for induction.  I do have another post on induction preparation. 


First I want to mention talking with a professional. Having panic over major events, especially when it is a short term panic is normal. However, if it happens regularly or for small things, seeing a mental health professional can be very helpful.  Even if you don’t have mental health issues, it can be very useful for setting you up for continued positive mental health.  I have antenatal depression and a history of anxiety, so I have seen a therapist and got many of my coping techniques from working with one.  It was extremely useful and has set me up for success and recognizing when I am going down an anxiety path and need to redirect.  


My first step is to write out everything that is worrying me or on my mind.  I try not to dwell on each item, just make a quick summary.  If it comes to mind, I’ll write down something that can help, but otherwise, just a quick line of everything that is bothering me.  As you saw above, it is quite a list and that wasn’t most of it.  So first I write the list. And then I take the list and write down everything that is solvable.  So I have a bunch of laundry I need to do. I can solve that.  Our area is going back into lockdown did not get written down on the second list, because I can not do anything about that.  So besides everything written on the second list, I wrote what I can do about it.  And I made a plan for everything that needed to be done and how I would do it.  

For the items that were not solvable, I decided to work on thought redirection when they came up.  So whenever the thoughts that were making me anxious came up, and I couldn’t do anything to solve it, I would run the thought in my mind to another thought that was milder.  


That helps but doesn’t completely solve my anxiety, so I also make sure I am taking time for my meditation.  I find meditating on a regular basis helps me keep my mind calm and deal with the invasive thoughts quickly before they become entrenched. I use the headspace app’s basic course when I want a guided meditation. While I enjoy the app, I find I get enough from the free version and I have never paid for it.  I also do meditation while doing repetitive motions.  So I will meditate while crocheting if I have a repetitive pattern that I don’t need to look at.  I also meditate while stretching.  I particularly practice clearing my mind while stretching a night when I can’t sleep and I find that it is very effective.  


I also have several things that I find relaxing that I made a point to be doing. Taking warm baths with essential oils is wonderful and relaxing.  I also make sure I am doing my crocheting because I enjoy it as well as it being a calming habit.  I also make sure that I am reaching out to others.  Being in contact with friends is something I find soothing.  I do not overdo the contact, but being able to talk to others is important, especially at the moment since it is in the middle of the pandemic and causal contact is severely limited.  


I was not expecting such severe panic from having my induction date, but I was able to recognize what was happening and got a handle on it within a few days.  Now I am mostly excited and a little bit nervous about my delivery and then raising a baby!  I keep remembering that labor will be the easy part.  I am so excited and looking forward to meeting our precious little girl. 

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