A few weeks ago I began to notice a growing number of stories about pregnancy and infant loss. At 30-weeks pregnant, I found this very confronting. While this is an important topic to honor, I didn’t want my focus to be on loss.
Around the same time I started reading recommendations that I should begin counting my baby’s kicks on a daily basis. While this is rooted in logic, it felt like more of the same. I didn’t want to look for things that were wrong, and also wanted to trust my instincts.
One day I texted my friend who has a four-month old daughter and asked her if she ever worried about losing her baby during the third trimester.
“No,” she said, “but I did worry about things that could go wrong during labor and delivery.”
“Hmm,” I thought to myself.
Something about her comment got my attention.
While I consciously understood that we are all different, it made me wonder why this fear was so present for me.
After our conversation I decided to mute most of the pregnancy and motherhood accounts I follow on social media, but I noticed this still left with me a strange nagging feeling.
“Am I just ignoring my fear?” I wondered.
I later learned that October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month. This immediately assuaged any belief that doom was on the horizon, and after a week or so of not seeing the content as often I felt much better.
Then I came across a Humans of New York post.
I didn’t pause to look at the photos first and just started reading. As a result, I was crying within seconds as I read about a woman who had to plan her baby’s funeral while she could still feel her kicking inside. While the story had a happy ending, it was too late for me.
I sobbed for 20 minutes as I allowed my fear to pour out of me.
A little while later it occurred to me that something felt familiar about this experience, like I’d been here before.
It turns out I had, shortly after my husband and I got married.
In 2018, after we returned home from our “familymoon” (we traveled with our parents after our wedding), I started having frequent thoughts that I would mess everything up and we would end up getting divorced. I became terrified that I was going to lose my husband — this thing I had waited so long for — and began lashing out as a form of self-protection. It was irrational on the surface, and yet my fears felt so real.
It was a dark time.
Ultimately it took two months and a lot of support to move through that experience, and it was very healing. If you’re curious, you can read more about it here.
That said, the bottom line is that when I finally got what I wanted, some part of me didn’t think I deserved it, so I panicked.
It was my upper limit.
The same thing began occurring with my pregnancy, but the GOOD news is I could recognize it this time. As a result, I caught it much sooner so it didn’t last for two months, it lasted for a few days.
If you’ve read past posts, you will recognize this as the rebound rate.
Now, to be perfectly clear, if you said, “hey Karen, do you think having a baby will bring too much joy into your life and that you don’t deserve it?” I would have emphatically told you NO.
This is really important, because what it tells us is that this sort of thing is often an unconscious block.
And it’s exactly what holds some people back from taking their lives from good to great.
To shed some light here, most of the people I speak with have what they would describe as a good life, and yet they often tell me something is missing and they want more. While some honor this truth, others say they should be happy with what they have because of all the pain and suffering in the world, which immediately stops them from claiming what they want.
What is ultimately being said here is that they don’t believe they can or should have more.
This is the same upper limit as mine, just in a different form. And while everyone’s experience is NOT mine, this often stems from a childhood misbelief that suggests you can’t have what you want.
The TRUTH is you deserve everything you want. At times this may be different than getting it, but you always deserve it.
Furthermore, if you want something there is a deeper reason for it, I promise.
I share this because I think it’s important to understand the following:
1. Your unconscious beliefs are more responsible for your life experiences than your conscious ones. Just knowing this is the first step to setting yourself free.
2. Many of us have a cap on what we believe we can do and have. If we didn’t, we’d be doing it already.
3. The only way to shake some of this loose is to start doing things differently. If you remain in your comfort zone and keep things the same, you’ll never fully know what’s in your way or what’s possible.
So where do you start?
This might sound biased, but getting support can be extremely helpful. Reach out to me if you want to talk more about this.
In the meantime, here are a few questions you can ask yourself for insight:
What do I want most in my life?
What am I telling myself about this?
What are the ways that I hold myself back from having it?
What might be possible if I really let myself to go for it?
And remember, you don’t need a reason to create the life you want.
The only thing you need is the desire to do so.