I’m a planner by nature and this was not in the plan. We had just spent the past month packing up our home and moving from Canada to Alaska, we were living in my parent’s basement temporarily, and looking for a permanent job with insurance. Oh no, this was far from the plan.
I’d love to say I was excited and then terrified, but at the start I was only completely shocked. I showed my husband who was equally shocked and we just cried and laughed together. How was this happening? We had no idea, but the fact remained, it was indeed happening!
The next few months were the sickest I’ve ever been in my life. I honestly thought I might be dying (I’m dramatic!) and was feeling so stressed that I was having this baby when I could barely take care of the two kids I already had. Physically and mentally this was a low in my life and I knew I had to do something about it besides feel upset.
Flash forward to now. I am about to have three kids! My husband and I are about to be outnumbered and it’s wildly exciting, and still a little bit terrifying, but mostly we are so excited! It took me the entire nine months of my pregnancy to arrive at this point, but I’m here! It wasn’t easy, and it took a lot of coping mechanisms, so I wanted to share them with you in hopes it can help a fellow mom who finds herself staring at the other end of a surprise positive test.
1) Let yourself feel all the feelings
If this is a total shock to you chances are you’re going to go through a wide range of emotions. Let’s face it; some of them might be negative. They certainly were for me. Don’t feel guilty about having negative feelings. Go ahead and let yourself feel it. Grieve seems like a strong word, but I gave myself a grieving period where I could feel badly about it, because that’s what I needed at the time. It was so helpful for me to finally give myself permission to feel this way, and opened the door for me to move past it.
2) Rely on your village
When you haven’t planned on having a baby there are likely a lot of plans you need to get in place to make everything work. Chances are between you and your spouse you’re going to need extra help, and I’m here to tell you, TAKE IT! I would have never survived the first few weeks and months of my pregnancy without the help of my family. I felt absolutely terrible that I was so sick I could barely care for my kids. I’m a pretty independent person, and it was out of my comfort zone to hand over control so much, but I’m so happy I did. It taught me that things would be ok even when I’m not doing everything. It taught me there would be help to come when this next baby came too. So reach out for help, accept help from others, and rely on your village.
3) Find a healthy coping mechanism
Even with the help of family I still had lots of stress and anxiety about having another baby. Being the emotional eater I am I tried to fill that void with chocolate, but turns out I was just eating a lot of chocolate and not solving the problem at all! I searched out coping mechanisms for stress and anxiety and turned to meditation to help me. This was exactly what I needed and I have practiced it for most of my pregnancy. Also, exercise was a wonderful help to deal with these feelings. Any healthy way you can cope with the feelings you have will really help.
4) Get excited!
It might take a little bit to get there, but take steps to get excited about your bundle of joy! Buy some cute baby things, rejoice in the feeling of baby kicks, have a gender reveal party. Anything that helps to celebrate the miracle that is having a child can really add to your excitement and anticipation. Each step along the way I took to be excited about this baby has led me to my current state of total excitement and anticipation of our baby’s arrival!
Many of us have gone through a surprise pregnancy, and ultimately we each learn to deal with it in our own way. These things helped me and I hope they will benefit you as you prepare to welcome your new baby! You’ve got this.