Anxiety is a Bitch

Well, I’ve started taking birth control pills, folic acid and pre-natal vitamins, it’s been a week and a half and currently I’ve been home with Hand Foot and Mouth disease (since one of my children brought it home to me, blech). I’ve had some time to stir in my own thoughts and get caught up in the vast caverns deep in the darkest parts of my brain.

It all started a couple weeks ago, when I noticed one of those gofundme links in my Facebook scroll. A casual scroll, turned me into a raging anxiety and fear nugget. Me, being a glutton for tragedy, I clicked on it and was saddened to read of someone in the community who had just died due to complications from childbirth. Scary, especially when your planning to have another baby, and it is always a risk. I internalized it and felt sadness and pain for both the victim and her widow and their new baby without a mother. I rationalized it, and moved on, only to see another friend post about her later that same night, at this point, I put together that people I know, know her. It makes me more sad, and fearful that it hit so close to home, so to speak. Then, I see a post on the social media site, Nextdoor, about her and I realize she lived in my city, which isn’t that big of a community. Then, the next day, I saw a news article about another woman in another city who died the day after giving birth. Might this be one of those situations like when you decide you are going to buy a car, and you pick the make, model and color and then you end up seeing a million of the exact same thing on your commute to work, leaving you thinking wow! I swear there have never been that many white Chrysler Town and Countries before ever! What gives? It could be…just one of those situations where you are hyper alert for that subject and you are seeing it everywhere because of your acute alertness to it? Maybe…or is it a sign? Hard to tell right? Both of those tragic stories are so sad, and I became engulfed in overwhelming anxiety and fear on my end about having another baby. Will that be me? Will my labor be okay? I began researching how the woman in my community died, which of course made things worse, thinking about if she was in pain, thinking of her husband feeling helpless, all of the what ifs and whys, and I personally don’t even know this woman, or her family…just a few friends (really more acquaintances, as we know the Facebook world really is). After reading all that, my anxiety is now through the roof. I find ways to talk myself through it, thinking about how there is likely more chance of being killed in a car accident on my way to work than that happening to me and how I can’t stop living life in the fear that I may die. Then I think about finding peace knowing that when my time is here, it’s here, but hoping that it’s not my time and knowing I will fight for it if I have the chance. I am a fierce warrior woman and I will not be leaving this lifetime any time soon. Easier said than done though…because fear and anxiety are real. And debilitating.

A few days into my stewing and after I had read all that stuff…I went to my massage therapist for a massage. This is a woman who is a dear friend of mine and has been a dear friend of the family for almost twenty years, and she knows what I am about to embark on, the journey of the injections and all of the IVF process. I asked if she could do some reiki on me to calm me down a bit. I told her of my mounting fears surrounding the injections and the pain that it will be. I told her about those women who died and how I’m afraid of dying during childbirth. I asked if she could help me find calm and squash my fear and anxiety, and of course she said sure!

Now, let me preface this story with the fact that I want to believe in this type of holistic healing, but I’m resting somewhere on the fence between believing and not believing.  I can’t say I have proof that anything works, but I’ve had too many experiences where things have happened to prove to me that something is not going on. It’s not something I can explain.

So I take my clothes off and lay down on her comfy plush table, she begins massaging my back. We typically talk and catch up, but this time I remained quiet, following her lead because I figured she was doing something in regards to the reiki. I really didn’t know what to expect or if I would feel something, or anything really. Thinking back, she’s probably done reiki on me before, but it was years ago and I couldn’t remember what it was like exactly.

I’m laying there on my stomach, quietly, thinking about my fears and out of no where I get this vision in my head. I’m talking, a crystal clear, vivid, amazing vision pop into my head and I cannot shake it. With details down to color and texture, bright and in focus. I try to tell myself it’s a coincidence and I conjured it up out of somewhere, even though I was fully awake and alert. I asked my friend what she did exactly and told her of my vision, I asked if she did that and she said that I did it, it was my imprint, but that she gave me the energy to create it. That reiki was her transferring energy into me to create a vision to help me. She said she focused on the word ‘movement’ to help create a constant ‘movement’ of these fears to come and go. This is how I know it works, because with that being said, if I would have ‘created’ anything involving movement, I am sure I would have conjured up something with water, being that it is where I feel the most comfortable, and at peace.

She explained how I conjured up this vision as my imprint to go to instead of letting the fear and anxiety take me away. It totally makes sense.

My vision was beautiful, it was a beautiful grassy meadow, one that had rolling hills and was surrounded by dense forests. The stalks of grass were tall, about 24″ and had the fuzzy wheat-like ends. Mixed into the grass were light purple wildflowers and the wind was blowing ever so slightly to create this movement (there’s that word). The wind was blowing the grass into a wave-like pattern, similar to going to a Michigan football game and being in the stands. It was fluid and gentle. I was in the grass, kneeling, in a white hippie-like flowing dress and my hair was down, long and wavy, with a thin white headband wrapped around my forehead matting my hair down. I had a small brown leather pouch, it was tiny, very similar to the one in Jack and the Beanstalk, the one Jack had put his coins in, it had a leather drawstring. Just then, a bald eagle came soaring through the air and landed right in front of me. I put the pouch, which felt weighted, in the eagles beak and it nodded at me and flew away with it.

From this vision, I see the bag as obviously holding my fears and the eagle is literally taking them away. But why an eagle? I googled it a bit and found this: Eagle(s) teaches us to courageously face our fear of the unknown, so we are then able to fly as high as our heart’s joy can take us. Your strengths need to be utilised wisely and remember, to soar like Eagle you must view things with caution, being confident and trusting your abilities. The bag felt weighted, which means I had a lot to stuff in there.

Interesting to think I conjured up this vision and even more interesting to realize the peace it brings me to think about it. It was far too vivid to have been some sort of daydream. This is why I can neither prove nor disprove the effects of reiki.

Now, it’s been a week and a half since I had this vision and now I’m home alone, in my own thoughts and I decided to watch a couple videos on the pharmacy’s website, to show how the injections go. Maybe I shouldn’t have watched them, because I’ve been a ball of mess thinking about the pain of the needles. I’ve googled other peoples blogs and read questions about how much it hurts, and while reassuring the pain isn’t that bad, it’s still pain. It leads me to ask, how much pain can I tolerate? I’ve had three children, ranging from vaginal birth, to labor and emergency c-section to planned c-section, I underwent a breast reduction which left me in terrible pain for weeks, I’ve suffered from chronic back pain most of my adult life and I suffer from IBS, which is related to stress and anxiety, so, I am no stranger to pain, and discomfort. Can I handle the weeks of needles? Will it break me? Will I be brave and strong and pull through for this?

Should I cave in and scrap the whole idea? Is this the right thing to do? I think about all the women who have undergone IVF to have a baby and I think about how they wanted a baby so desperately, they were willing to undergo this for that, but I’m different, I don’t need it, per say, I can do it on my own. But the reality is, I’m not different, we are the same. We desperately want something we don’t have and we will go to any length possible to get it. I am strong, and I will get it. Suffering through the anxiety and fear, one day at a time.

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