Journals on Motherhood

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Pregnancy is that strange and wonderful passage that carries you to the new world of motherhood. Just as the baby grows for nine months, so does the young woman who must experience such enormous changes. These changes are just as magical than those of the baby inside her womb.

The Self-Help & Psychology Magazine is proud to introduce you to Melissa and Kristina, who are going to carry you with them through their intimate journey of pregnancy and childbirth. They hope that their adventures and misadventures bring insight and humor and a sense of comfort to all women. There is a universality in this odyssey we call motherhood.

As our series continues, we welcome your comments, suggestions and insights. Pregnancy, birth and motherhood are best enjoyed when seasoned with the wisdom that experience and diversity can bring.

Izabela Vaught-Karmach R.N. MFCC (IZZY)
Editor
Family, Parent Child Dept


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Six Days Late and Two Negative Tests

June 1996

Since the start of my first period when I was thirteen and through the four years of birth control pills, I have ALWAYS had a twenty-eight day cycle. I could tell time by my period. Every fourth Tuesday, it would arrive and stay with me through Saturday like a reliable friend. In February, I stopped taking the pill so I could try and get pregnant. Now, I am six days late with two negative pregnancy tests under my belt. Today is Tuesday and I have a doctor's appointment on Thursday to take a urine test, and, if that is negative, a blood test.

I have talked to many people about my situation and the answers that I found out may come as a surprise to many. The woman at the 800 number for the test told me that if your test is positive, you are pregnant, but if the test is negative, you could still be pregnant. Many women told me that they had three or four negative tests, even at the doctor's office, when they were actually pregnant. One woman told me that she went through the same thing, so as a joke, when she was six months along, she took another pregnancy test. Guess what the result was? Negative.

Emotionally, it has been very difficult. This has only been our second month of trying to get pregnant, but it was the month that we almost needed it to happen. If I am pregnant right now, my due date would be January 2, 1997. This would fall over Christmas Break and I would not miss any school. Granted, I haven't been accepted to graduate school yet, but I was planning ahead just in case. For the first two weeks after I ovulated, I felt I was pregnant. My mom kept telling me that it was just psychological; that I just wanted to be pregnant. Tucker didn't want to get too excited just in case I wasn't. And everytime I read about some symptom in "What to Expect" whether it was a sympton of being pregnant, or not being pregnant, I would have it.

Now that I am six days late, I just don't know what to expect ( no pun intended). We didn't buy anymore pregnancy tests because they were a waste of money, so we are just counting down the days and adding up the days I am late, until I see the doctor and she confirms it either way.

Comments from the Editor

As they say...best laid plans of mice and men...we wish that this eager young woman has her dream come true. When we want something so much it is hard to wait. Time seems so long and control of events so elusive. Becoming pregnant is easy for some and a heartbreak for others. Often the best approach is having patience, developing healthy lifestyle habits, and enjoying your partner. Preoccupation, measuring, obsessing over dates all cause tension and stress that work against your wishes and your body! Of course, if undo time has passed or a depression occurs a woman should immediately seek the advice of her doctor.

- Izzy


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The Beginning

February 1996

Let me introduce myself. I am Melissa. I am twenty-nine years-old, have been happily married for nine years, and I am expecting my first baby in May. I currently work full-time as a busy Administrative Assistant at a hospital. I like to write and since this is 1996, I decided to share my experiences with all of you through a computer. This way I could generate a journal and a network of friends all at the same time. The experts say this is a good stress reducing technique!

My husband and I have always wanted to have a baby, but we were waiting for just the right time. But, when the right time arrived we were all somewhat in shock. We were very excited and happy and surprises by the mixture of feelings that all rolled in after the lab test result.

I am now in my sixth month of pregnancy and the reality of it all has finally set in. I am actually looking pregnant and I feel the baby move around inside of me. In the beginning, I had a hard time believing I was actually going to have a baby. Maybe that was because I have truly wanted a baby for so long that I felt afraid. How could I be so lucky and privileged as to actually be fulfilling my dream?

I was very fortunate not to have experienced morning sickness. But then, I actually wished I had so I could wear it like a badge of courage and reaffirm to all that I was, in fact, pregnant! Then, instead of morning sickness, I seemed to have developed morning worry. Will the baby be healthy, am I going to be a good mother, am I eating enough of this, am I eating too much of that, am I gaining too much or too little weight, etc. There were easily a million things to worry about, including the fact that worry was worrisome for baby!

So, determined to put my mind at ease, I purchased a couple of books on the subject. I quickly realized that this was not the whole answer. Yes, some of my questions were answered, but I found that every question answered was replaced by another concern. According to some books, I shouldn't even go outside because of the carbon monoxide and gasoline fumes from the traffic, EMF (electro-magnetic fields), and basic air pollution. By all rights, I shouldn't even be typing this article on the computer because of the increased radiation level.

All of these worries made me stop and think. Am I Cut Out To Be Pregnant? I want to do the right things and take care of myself and my baby, but all things considered, I do have such limited experience for such an important job!

I have finally come to the realization that all I can do is my best, use common sense and believe that everything will be fine. I do have control over my mind, even if my body has a shape of its own. Billions and billions of women have gone through this; pregnancy is a natural, wonderful thing.

Now my anxiety level is subsiding, I am feeling confident and excited about being pregnant. Then another thought pops into my head... how will I shave my legs two months from now?!

Melissa


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The Decision

March 1996

Let me introduce myself. My name is Kristina. I am twenty-two years old, and have been married for a year. My husband and I have been together for four years when babyitis hit.

I think it hit pretty hard for Tucker and I, especially after finding out that two of our friends were pregnant. Reality set in. After years of dreaming about it and picking out names, couples who were in the same life position as we were, were actually doing it. We started talking about it in November. We started talking about it every day. I wasn't due for a renewal on my birth control prescription until June, so we decided that we would start trying to get pregnant then.

It was like our decision to move to California from Colorado in 1995. We talked and talked about it and planned to move in June. But, with both these decisions, we got tired of waiting for June to roll around. I took my last pill in February. When we were sitting in the bathtub, holding each other, listening to the Grateful Dead, we decided that now was the time for Tucker and I to start trying to get pregnant.

I had done all the research that I felt I could for the baby. I bought "What to Expect When You're Expecting" by Eisenberg, Murkoff and Hathaway. I went to my doctor and had a physical and some tests done. I called our insurance company many times to get information on our benefits and coverage for me and for the baby -- before and after the baby is born. I looked into my disability insurance through work since I don't have maternity leave. I felt like I was doing the biggest research project of my life and the only grade that I could get was an "A."

I definitely believe in a woman's inner clock. But, it was more of a feeling in my body that it was the right time, not that my time was running out. I think that men have something similar. Tucker is just as excited, if not more than I am. I think that I am a little more apprehensive because of all the enormous changes that pregnancy brings; irritability, mood swings, exhaustion, weight gain, etc.

We both know that the timing is best right now. We know that as time passes, we can only hope to become more stable, emotionally and financially. But, we also know that there never really is a right time. We feel stable in our love, our marriage and our deep desire to have a baby . . . what better timing is there?

Comments from the Editor:

Melissa and Kristina are both undergoing all the natural anxiety that a life transition elicits. The body, mind, family structure, habits, home environment, finances, job are all adjusting and flexing to accommodate a new person. Quite an amazing feat really. Nine months is barely enough time to sculpture such a new life shape.

But they are coping well. They are using books, journaling, humor and a network of friends to help them cope with that free floating anxiety which is related to the unknown and change. The anticipated consequences of important decisions can bring both excitement and fear.

Perhaps, you, their new network of friends, can send your advise and humor to our young moms!

- Izzy


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Another Article About Motherhood for Mia Michelle Rynearson
Born to Lisa, Edward, & Kali Rynearson
April 21,1996: 5:15 am
in Apartment 13A

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