If you are having lots of anxiety with or around pregnancy or sex, check in with yourself to see if you’re having it anywhere else. Sometimes, anxiety disorders are at the root of pregnancy scares, especially if they’re happening a lot and even when there have not really or likely been risks.– Scarleteen, Pregnancy Scared?
I made it through a pregnancy scare in December. It was horrible.
When the scare began, I had just returned to my parents house in the States after a semester abroad in Budapest, Hungary. I had just left the place which I felt was my home, and with it, my (now-ex) boyfriend. Even after being back for three weeks, I still feel like I left half of my heart in that apartment in Hungary.
I had been having sex with my boyfriend in Budapest. Really safe and responsible sex. Of course, sex always comes with some level of pregnancy risk, but the risks we were taking were small. Logically I knew this, yet when I returned to the States, all of a sudden there was nothing that could ease my anxiety, my fear that I was growing a child inside of me.
I prayed to God over and over and over: Please, God, don’t let me be pregnant. And… if I am, can I miscarry? Kill it, God. Kill it, kill it, kill it.
This “pregnancy” was eating away at me. Would I get an abortion? How would I tell my parents? What would my sister think?
I’ve heard that the power of thought is really effective at healing. That if your ankle is sprained, spending time every night imagining the ankle fibres meshing back together can actually speed up the healing process. I wondered if maybe this method worked for miscarriages, too. I spent every night hating myself: sending negative thoughts to my abdomen trying to kill off whatever bundle of cells I was convinced *must* be growing inside of me.
The rational part of my brain was constantly trying to quell the anxiety– The chances of you being pregnant are minuscule. You’re being ridiculous. And, at the least, chill out until you can get a pregnancy test. There’s literally nothing you can do at this point.
Yet I couldn’t ignore my missed period or my horribly painful breasts which has been that way for over two weeks.
As soon as I’d waited long enough for a home pregnancy test to have some measure of accuracy, I took one. Negative. Yay! The wave of relief only lasted a few days until I still hadn’t gotten my period. I convinced myself the result must have been faulty.
I felt so scared, so distressed, so alone. But… none of these feelings were actually about the pregnancy. I knew I wasn’t pregnant. And even if I was, so what? I’ve handled worse before.
I was scared, distressed, and alone, but… scared I wouldn’t be able to find another place which really felt like home, distressed over breaking up with someone I wanted to spend my life with, and alone alone because I’d just left a huge group of friends I’d travelled with, learned with, and grown up with– likely to never see again.
I honestly believe the fear of pregnancy was easier for my mind to wrap itself around when compared with the fear of my future. I was so happy last semester, and I worry I will never feel that kind of joy, love, and HOME ever again. That’s a lot.
I got my period. It was late, but it came. And why wouldn’t it have been late, after the stress of moving, international travel, final exams, and a breakup?