Tired of Being Afraid

I’ve hesitated writing this on here for so long because I’m so sick of hearing my own fear and worry that I could honestly scream. But when I push it down, tell myself no one wants to hear it, that I’ll only get back loads of advice and “Just give it all to Jesus!” or the worst “Stress is bad for the baby!” – it consumes me even more. I know that to let it out publicly (to a therapist, friend, or here) means that part of me fights back against that lie of “no one cares.”

Tomorrow I am 16 weeks. And there isn’t a day, isn’t an hour that goes by that I’m not fearful of losing this baby. It’s hard to focus on anything else when everything revolves around it so much. Twice weekly Dr. appointments. Bella asking. Sam checking in. My clothes. My appearance in the mirror. All the pills. Being sick.

I can’t get away from it and instead of being like, “BABY! YAY!”…

I feel like a time bomb simply waiting to go off again and life to once more implode. Where I am left trying to make sense of everything that just shattered around me while going on. Where I’m shaken to the very core, left trying to find God and peace and the reason why in the mess of humanity I can’t seem to get away from.

I can’t control this pregnancy. I can’t control my feelings. I pray, I read the Bible, I write, I go to therapy, I talk it out, cry it out, yell it out. I am trying to put together the pieces of my life without my sons while tentatively pondering a life with this much wanted baby. But overshadowing it all is this sense of out of control that looms over me – the knowledge that indeed, at any moment this could all end again.

I hate this.

Last night I laid in bed reading Scriptures about anxiety and fear. Anything. All those nice words about giving it to Jesus don’t mean a thing when YOU SIMPLY CAN’T. I can’t figure out how to give this to Jesus because it’s my body. My baby. My life. My fear. My worries. My reality. I’m the one laying in the bed at the hospital. I’m the one injecting myself with needles everyday. I’m the one taking the pills. I’m the one who is sick. It’s me. I can’t figure out a way to hand it all to Jesus because it seems like it’s just constantly being handed back to me.

Only – it’s really not. It’s me. Mentally taking it back again and again. “Sorry Lord, I know I asked you to handle this but really, I can do a better job. Obviously I’m doing great down here so if you could just give all my fears and worry back – that would be great.” FAIL.

And? It’s really not my body. My baby. My life. My story. It’s all His. His works, His hand on my life and my testimony. The worry and fear are real, I have a right to feel them. It isn’t wrong to be fearful. What is wrong is what I am letting it do – consume me. Consume my days. My fear and anxiety

I hardly can type this.

They have become my idols.

I turn to them more than God. I let them enter my mind and my heart and my appointments and my days more than I let Jesus. I’m so comfortable in this place that it’s the easiest place to go. “Oh? You have another pill to take? Well, let’s find out what we can worry about with that. You feel the baby move? Let’s picture it dead. You’re peeing a lot? How about we remember your water breaking?”

On and on and on and on until I want to scream and shake myself hard saying, “STOP STOP STOP.”

And so last night, just for once, I let some of it go. As best I could. I’m human, it won’t be immediate. It may not be total. Ever. But I can’t live in the fear and trauma anymore. I know, I know so well, that if I do end up losing this baby I will regret those thoughts every.single.day. Forever. I will forever regret that I didn’t allow myself a lot of joy and to simply be pregnant.

I don’t know how to hand it to God other than simply to repeat over and over when the fears come, “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” – Isaiah 12:2

It’s not a simple act to give your fears to God. It isn’t a trite saying. It’s hard. Sometimes I feel like everyone else has got this down but little old anxiety ridden me. But then I open up on here, on Twitter, in my life, and see it isn’t. We all struggle with this. So many areas of our lives are simply consumed by our need to control and the fear of not dwelling on it, of not being two steps ahead mentally of a situation that terrifies us.

I’m challenging myself and each of you struggling: find your verse. Find your mantra. Say it over and over until you feel a little bit less heavy. Tell yourself it is ok for 5 minutes, for an hour, for a day, to let those thoughts go. To push them away for a while. Start small, then ask Jesus to help make the joy and ease of not living in fear a bit longer each time.

And don’t stay silent. Reach out. Tell someone. Talk about it. You might be tired of being afraid too – but so many of us are right there with you. Don’t let these things not from God consume you and take up space where He needs to be. Longs to be.


Comments

  1. I think this is a fight all us moms face at some point but especially us high risk moms. There wasn’t a day with Rory that I didn’t wonder what Gods plan was and what fight we might have in store for us. But finding a verse and a song helped me so mic. And so did my bedrest and preemie moms. If you ever need to talk need to vent to someone me who gets the ever day battle I’m here. Email me anytime. God gave us community. Sometimes we get to pick ours and sometimes we join one unwillingly but we are here to do life together. Us high risk moms are here for you!

    Praying for you all every day. Standing with you and standing on his promises for your little one.

    Hugs!!
    Jac

  2. So happy you were able to “let it go”, Diana! It’s so easy to be consumed by fear, but like you said everything belongs to God and He’s ultimately in control. Stay faithful and encouraged!

  3. I think everyone struggles with fear and anxiety at sometime in their lives. The best you can do is try to give it away to God/the universe/whatever. Whether you’re successful or not isn’t the important part…it’s the attempt.

    I don’t blame you for any anxiety you have surrounding your pregnancy…it’s grounded in legitimate concerns. Just know you are not alone and this trial doesn’t have to be on your shoulders alone. I will be your cheerleader. :)

  4. Sending this to my friend who is expecting right now after a miscarriage and who is also tired of being afraid. Your words are beautiful and offer a comfort I can’t give her–the peace that can only come from him.

  5. Thank you for sharing your inner world. I am scared, afraid and anxious and I am not even pregnant yet with my rainbow. Even through my trying to grasp and heal my grief of losing Cecilia I have had lots of fear and anxiety. I am not religious, but very spiritual, which at times has helped, but it is hard. I try to trick my mind into believing I won’t have this fear and anxiety when I do get pregnant, but I know that isn’t true. I so want it to be though. I use the mantra “All is well and as it should be.” I just keep repeating it, over and over to help ease it all. I will continue saying it. There is so much in life that we can’t control and for me believing that what is, is what is meant to be helps me to try and get through my days will a little less fear.

  6. I so completely relate to the idea of wanting with every bit of myself to stop worrying and not being able to. It is absolutely understandable why you are so afraid. Do not beat yourself up over that.

    What is so courageous, and what shows that you are bigger than the fear, is that you are willing to be pregnant again, to try, with all you know and experienced, to hope and to go forward. You should be so proud of yourself. You are strong. And you’re an inspiration to the rest of us who cower from our fears.

  7. Thank you for this. I’m living in the fear…and I don’t want to. I’m working so darn hard to find the joy, to live in the moment, but I keep thinking like you that at any moment it will all vanish and be awful and I get stuck. I will work on finding my verse, my mantra. I will take up your challenge. And I would like you to KNOW – you are NOT alone. Ever. Promise.

  8. At 14 weeks I started spotting, went to urgent care and (without an ultrasound) the nurse told me I had lost my baby. I spent a weekend in devastation and despair until Monday when I went to my OB for follow up — who told me my son was fine.

    After that, I never, not once, enjoyed my pregnancy. Every single thing was a stress, I could never enjoy being pregnant, never relax, and honestly don’t know if I was able to truly love my son while he was inside because I was afraid to get attached and then lose him. It was emotionally easier as harsh as that sounded.

    At 36 weeks they realized he was having cardiac issues and I had to have an emergency c-section. After 5 days in NICU he was fine (mommy apparently was giving him a heart attack according to my husband LOL –some reaction to my hormones since I have minor thyroid issues).

    I hated that I could never enjoy my pregnancy especially since after all that my husband decided we are not going to tempt fate and our son is our last. In the end, all that matters is I have an amazing and healthy four year old but I do understand where you are at now. I have no advice beyond I have been there and understand how extremely hard it is.

  9. It’s so hard to let go of the fear and anxiety. And this post is so timely for me as I just got some devastating and terrifying news last night.

  10. I love this. I love reading your blog and your heart that you put out there. Thank you and I am praying for you.

  11. Such good words. Sending you lots of love and peace. *hugs*

  12. I have been struggling with holding onto things too and God has really been speaking to me. Obviously we all have different situations, and in mine I relive things over and over again! But not the positive things, all the bad things that happened. A few days ago I read about Peter falling into the water because he was afraid. He took his eyes off of God. But what did he do next? He cried out, “Jesus, Save me!” and IMMEDIATELY Jesus reached out and saved him. Was it reasonable for Peter to stop trusting Jesus? No. But Jesus responded to him and saved him anyway. So when I’m starting to fear, I cry out for Jesus, and He always responds. And then I say this to myself, “Did it happen? Yes. Is it relevant? Yes… But I just can’t think or care about that right now. No matter how much it hurts, there are things I need to focus on right now, and most of them are good things.” Praying for you and thank you for your honesty!!

  13. davis ann says:

    i love your verse –

    here is mine: “in peace i will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, oh Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (psalm 4:8)

    so thankful that he is our refuge. praying for you!

  14. Stefanie says:

    Diana, I can SO relate to what you are experiencing! This pregnancy with Cora started off SO hard and I was trying so hard to hand over my fears to God and enjoy it, but I just couldn’t because the fear kept consuming me. I was finally able to overcome my anxiety after my 17 week appointment, after learning that my cervix was doing well and that she was a girl. I think I had convinced myself everything was going downhill again and I would lose her like we lost Chase. Then, everything looked good, so I was forced to deal with that. It has taken me a while to really start bonding with her, and I’ve felt a lot of guilt that we’re somehow moving on and leaving Chase behind, but it’s getting better. I pray that as the days and weeks get closer to your point of loss, the Lord gives you peace. It is truly a freeing feeling now that my anxiety is better. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my moments, but it no longer is holding me captive every minute of every day. Huge hugs, my friend!

  15. Great post. It’s so hard, all you can do is take each day minute by minute.
    In my subsequent pregnancies I woke up wondering,
    “I wonder if today is the day my baby will die”…every.single.day. Psalm 34:4 really helped me.
    Praying for peace for you.

  16. I hope it gets easier for you! I haven’t been though nearly what you have, but I understand how you feel. I had 2 late micarriages. With both subsequent pregnancies I couldn’t help but think “When will I miscarry with this one?” Once I passed the time of my latest miscarriage, the anxiety and fear did get better, but it never went away until I was holding my healthy children.

  17. Jocelyn says:

    This is such a wonderful post. I can kind of relate to this – I don’t struggle with worry or fear over losing a pregnancy, but over other things. And something I’ve learned along the way is that conquering fear or “letting go” is not a one time act – that is what some Christians will tell you, but it isn’t. It is something we do over and over. And after the 100th or 1000th time of doing it, you really do see growth. The process is so vital, but so painful and feels useless. But when you feel like you are just struggling and not going anywhere, please remember YOU ARE going somewhere. You are obeying God with faith that the results will come.

  18. Oh wow, your words could have come from me. <3 I'm so sorry for the loss of your precious baby sons. I lost my son, Peter, almost 7 years ago to umbilical cord prolapse. He was full term at 41 weeks, 2 days. I thought we had made it. It was sudden and completely unexpected. It was absolutely devastating. Add to that the guilt that was put on us because we had hired a midwife instead of an OB and the anger I had (still have) because the nurses that refused to help us got away completely unscrutinized and the awful things the hospital staff said to us, the awful things other people have said to us and behind our backs, it was absolute hell. I lived with lots of fear through my next pregnancy. I had my baby girl 15 months later and her umbilical cord prolapsed as well. It was complete deja vu. Almost everything happened the exact same way but because of some of the mistakes we made the first time around and learned from, she survived completely unscathed. Afterward I thought there must be something wrong with me to have something rare like cord prolapse happen not once, but twice. When I got pregnant yet again last year, I was once again very fearful. I got the same comments- give it to Jesus, etc.. But none of them understood. I got more understanding from my non Christian friends. That's very upsetting to me. I have given birth to 6 babies, had 3 miscarriages and one stillbirth so I have had a lot of joy that should have been mine taken away from me. Thank you for writing this. It's good to know I'm not the only one who was immersed in fear and unable to fully enjoy my pregnancies. I know I'm not the only one this post brings hope to.

  19. Christie says:

    I worry that I, too, will worry away an otherwise successful pregnancy (but am not yet “successfully pregnant”). My husband and I struggled to conceive for more than 2 years. Then, I lost the pregnancy at 9 weeks. 10 days after my first sonogram. The 10 day “waiting period” was just (essentially) waiting for my baby to die. Waiting for her heart to stop. It was excruciating. It still is. Your words have been so helpful to me. Any time I tell anyone (and there are few) about my loss, I discount it by saying, “But I was only 9 weeks” as if it wasn’t a real pregnancy. real baby. real loss. Thank you for helping me validate the “realness” of my loss.

    I will continue to pray for you and your family. I have found comfort in these words for many years and hope you will, too:
    “The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those whose spirit is crushed.” Psalm 34:18

    There is little else I can think of to calm your heart except to know that God is WITH you.

    Grace & peace.

  20. Megan Spilman says:

    Jac is right about community — I met her through a bed rest forum when I was pregnant with my son. I was given an emergency cerclage at 20 wks and told there was very little chance I would get to keep my baby. I was dilated and 80% effaced w my membranes bulging. Every day I stayed pregnant was a miracle. Yet through it all I was somehow able to not let the fear consume me. I prayed, I watched mindless TV, and I was active on the bed rest forums on babycenter and KeepEmCookin. Talking with other moms in my similar situation was INVALUABLE. It helped so much to know I wasn’t the only one going through a high risk pregnancy, I wasn’t the only one scared out of my mind, I wasn’t the only one facing the fear of losing my baby… chatting with others gave me so much strength. I highly encourage you to reach out. You are not alone in this! I would live to chat with you if you find yourself up for it. When you feel like you’re being sucked back in by the fear, reach out! I completely understand that it’s hard to just “give to Jesus” and not stress, but forcing yourself to talk about it with others is something you can actively do each day. I promise you’ll feel better and you’ll start to see The Lord working through the other amazing women you meet. Please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am praying for you daily!

  21. emily c says:

    Thank you for being honest! What a huge step. We all have a weakness and its hard yo admit we are humans. Especially for Christians. I will pray for continued strength and comfort.

  22. Diana, thank you for posting this. As someone who suffers from chronic pain, I have to look to Christ for comfort. On bad pain days, there’s nothing else that can comfort me. There are always fears about the future, such as how my body will react when we start a family. But you’re right. STOP STOP STOP and look to Jesus.

  23. This is a beautiful post! Hang in there, you are on the right track :)

  24. You have such a gift for writing and for being able to identify your feelings. I am envious of your ability to be so honest with yourself and to share it with us. Thank you for that! I found “my” verse several years ago and I’m sure I’ve prayed it every day since then.
    Phil. 4:6-7 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

  25. wow. this is so what i needed to hear today. thank you. i am 15 weeks pregnant. this last week i went in for an ultrasound and found out that we had lost one of our triplets. before this pregnancy i have had 3 miscarriages…. one in december right before i got prego with the triplets. we have 3 healthy boys for which i am so thankful, but i am so scared and so tired of being scared. i wish i was enjoying my pregnancy but i am not. i am so scared we will lose these other 2 babies. thank you for your honesty and your encouragement. i hope that the rest of your pregnancy goes well.

    becca

  26. Thanks for writing this. I am pregnant with twins after having lost my first last year. I too, would say things like, I was only six weeks along with Baxter, making it seem like it wasn’t a big deal and wasn’t a real baby, but now…oh now the fear. I have talked to my mom on numerous occasions about it and she has always reminded me that fear is not of God. He is the Author of Life and the Great Comforter. I know that to fully rest in Him and to be joyful and obedient I must cling to that. 2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and love and of self-control.” I always found it interesting that those three things were what He gave us to specifically combat fear. He is, after all, the God of the Angel Armies and He wants to give us great gifts. These are the promises that I cling to when I get scared. Which is often. The pain of loss is still so real and so close. But I know that to be a faithful child I have to trust my King, even when, no, especially when I don’t think I have the strength to do so.

    Thank you for this post. It encouraged me and made me very thankful to know that my feelings aren’t unusual for a mom who has suffered loss. I’m praying everyday.

  27. I have never lost a child, but I too have made fear and anxiety my idols for different reasons. Life is hard, it’s messy, and downright beautiful at times, but I doubt we can truly ever appreciate the splendor of this life we are living unless we learn to fully trust in him. I pray that we all learn to control our fear and anxieties, and I pray for a healthy, complication-free pregnancy for you my dear. He has you and this sweet little one in his hands, and his grip is tight!

  28. I needed this…I.get.this. I am 18 weeks 5 days pregnant. Second round of IVF, pregnant with twinkies, but lost one at about 8 weeks. I can’t shake the fear. The constant paranoid irrational fear that the other shoe is about to drop and all will be lost. I can’t shake it enough to enjoy being pregnant b/c i kill myself convincing myself that something has or will happen. I make myself crazy every minute of the day and I’m so tired. Tired of worrying. Tired of the paranoia that most dont understand. Tired of thinking that “after this appt, I won’t stress anymore” and failing miserably. I just want my baby here in my arms and it seems forever away. The fear of losing everything is suffocating. The 4 weeks between appts seem like an eternity and they about break me down into a nervous wreck. Ugh…Motherhood…beautiful but Never easy.