Well my last post was kinda dark, angry and negative; so I felt like I needed a follow up post that was more positive. Make sure you ready My Body, Part 1 before this!
With body trust out the window, lets focus on hope. Hope, the only thing stronger than fear. The feeling that what is wanted can be had. Wishing is the fantasy that everything is going to turn out OK. Hoping is actually showing up for the hard work.
I did some research and was surprised to find out that the topic of hope has actually been well studied. Jerome Groopman, (link at bottom of post), a writer at The New Yorker who is focused on medicine and biology, did a lot of digging. His research showed that there are two mental states associated with hope–belief that something can happen and expectation that it will. Those states have an impact on our nervous system, setting off a chain reaction that makes our improvement and recovery more likely. It literally makes us feel better to have hope–ever seen a happy hopeless person?
Now that we know how hope can help us, how do we hope in our bodies?
- Keep your own personal identity–be YOU. TTC after loss often feels like we are a changing as a person, like we have donned a completely different persona. Don’t lose yourself in your desire to have another child. Your child will need you–not this alternate personality you are subconsciously creating.
- Stay social! Understand you are not alone. Go to support groups, talk to your doctor’s office social worker, take this journey with a friend that has experienced the same thing. If none of that is your style, try blogging like me–create your own community.
- Regain your control. Often in this journey I feel like I have lost the power to take an active role in my pregnancy. Set yourself some goals, or if you need something–advocate for it! Monitor your own health by tracking your blood pressures (you can buy an at home cuff), how much water you are drinking, how much weight you are gaining, etc…
- Actively try to understand what is going on. Become a pregnancy expert! Is the doctor spouting terms you don’t understand? Write them down and look them up later–build that vocabulary! Figure out how to understand an ultrasound, what part of that baby blob is a leg? The more you understand it, the less you will be afraid of it.
I don’t think any of us TTC PAL moms will ever get rid of fear, but we can have hope–a single thread of hope is a very powerful thing. ❤