Stress Less


I’m sure the perky endorsement ‘Stress Less!’ wasn’t invented by my former flatmate (who will never die of a high blood pressure), but I attribute my own introduction to the words, to her. She would often say it to me when I was worked up or anxious over something — which my constitution easily does. Now that we live in different countries, in the absence of her reminders I’ve taped a bright pink memo to Stress Less! onto my computer, where theoretically, I’ll notice it often.

But despite my efforts to recall this healthy and helpful advice, in the last few weeks I’ve been swept up in all the anxiety that spawns from the very possibility of having a baby with a problem.

Today, I became acutely aware of just how worn out I felt. It was more than the normal tiredness that comes from living with a hyperactive basketball strapped to one’s front. It was an emotional weariness. I felt like the doctors had been tossing me around like a tennis ball, my mind accosted with scary phrases, warnings, and possibilities.

Encouraged by what my midwife had to say about the happy state of Bump at this morning’s appointment (which was mercifully routine and uneventful), I’ve decided to stress less — and I already feel better for it. Maybe the doctors feel obligated to give me worst case scenarios, out of some misguided notion that at least I won’t be stressed by an unforeseen circumstance. (It’s only ever the foreseen issues that create anxiety, isn’t it?)

Despite their ‘concerns’, the medical fact is that Bump is just fine. ‘A little below the comfortable weight bracket’ is the not the same as ‘lighter than hydrogen’. Yes, he’s small, and light, but he’s still doing all the things babies are supposed to do.

I resolve to not worry about what might be, or what might happen. Fidgety doctors do enough of that to make up for any lack on my part.

For now, Bump’s fine. So for now, that’ll do.


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