image via lucky friday studios
There is no doubt that pregnancy is a great adventure from the very beginning. However, when you are facing a high risk pregnancy, that uncertainty can come with a thousand more twists and turns along the way. The normal roller coaster of a pregnancy is added to tenfold when you have extra obstacles thrown your way. Personally, during my pregnancy with Sookie my emotions were all over the map. On one hand, we were both ecstatic, as neither of us ever thought we would get to be parents. On the other hand, only knowing of about nine other women in the world who have cystinosis and have had biological children, we really had no idea what would happen. And yet, we were armed with an abundance of hope and faith.
Here are my 5 tips for coping with a high risk pregnancy. Please add your own in the comments! I would love to hear them!
1. Be Open
When you are facing a high risk pregnancy, being optimistic and yet realistic at the same time can be an extremely tricky balance. I found it was best to be honest with our family and friends about our obstacles, possible outcomes, and complications. The look of glee on our faces was incredibly obvious to anyone who saw us. However, our concerns were heavy and very real too. Being upfront with loved ones is key in keeping your sanity.
2. Accept Support
Don't be afraid to accept support in any way, shape, or form. People love to help, especially if they don't know what to say. Accept what people offer and don't feel guilty about it one bit. It takes a tremendous support system to conquer a high risk pregnancy. The more people you have rooting you on, the better.
3. Stay Positive
Stay upbeat! Sometimes you might have to fake it. Surround yourself with positive people. Create your own optimistic mantras to repeat every day. Read success stories. Engage with others who will cheer you on and assist you in always finding that silver lining. Believe in miracles. (Cheesy, but true!)
4. Educate Yourself
Read stories of others who have been where you are, but at the same time remember everyone is on their own personal journey and no two cases will be the same. Connect with friends who might be able to offer some knowledge. Seek out support groups online. Absorb as much information as you can handle. Ask questions and then ask some more. Quiz your doctors constantly.
5. Be Your Own Advocate
Luckily I've had plenty of practice advocating for myself in the medical environment. It came in handy when working with my maternal fetal medicine specialist in doing our best to keep Sookie safe, and at the same time, keeping my health in check as well. There were many times I requested labs to be drawn to monitor my creatinine (kidney function). I'm not ashamed to admit this at all. Don't be afraid to make your voice heard. I was hyper aware of how high the stakes were and wanted to stay on top of everything as much as possible. If you feel something isn't right, don't downplay it or ignore it. Speak up.