Concerned about baby shower- just paranoia?(9 Posts)
My sister is kindly throwing me a shower I Jan (I'll be 31 weeks). I'm not a big fan of the idea of showers but I accepted because she and my mum were so excited and at that point I still felt good about the pregnancy. She lives about 4 hours from me and mum but since most of the family and my oldest friends are down there it made more sense for me to travel. Since then however I've developed severe anxiety/ocd/whatever and i know there's no one in my family can cope with me if I have a breakdown. Most worryingly she has an outdoor cat that hunts and not the cleanest of houses, the way I feel now just getting over the threshold is a terrifying thought never mind eating there (toxoplasmosis is amongst my big fears). I'm scared in case it tracks cat poo or soil into the house and I'm not sure I it gets up on the kitchen sides. I get quite depressed as it is as I feel I've probably already put the baby at risk of all sorts and it will be born poorly. The only way I can cope with this is to try not to talk about the baby too much or acknowledge the pregnancy, I hate the thought of everyone celebrating like things are normal. Also I'm scared of being so low afterwards if I feel I made a mistake going, I've pushed myself before and ended up borderline suicidal. But I'm scared to cancel because i know people have gone to a lot of effort and it means a lot to my mum in particular. My mum keeps pointing out she had three cats when pregnant with me, but I don't trust my luck and feels safer to avoid cats altogether. I don't know what to do for the best?
I think you sound very very anxious about this. Toxoplasmosis is relatively rare and normally only a concert if you are in direct contact with cat poo (eg changing cat litter or gardening without gloves). Are you getting help for your anxiety and depression? It sounds like it is really affecting your quality of life.
I don't think the baby shower is the problem here. With all kindness those things you are worrying about are trivial and will not harm your baby.
I think you need to tell your midwife you are feeling this way. It is totally normal to feel anxious about a pregnancy and to worry about keeping yourself and the baby safe but if this means preventing you from doing things, especially nice things with family then it's above and beyond.
If you cannot face the shower, just be honest with them but you also need to get some support. Hormones are mad things during pregnancy. It's not you and it's not necessarily controllable so please don't feel bad. Have a look here to see if this sounds familiar at all.
You poor thing, you sound like your really struggling with your anxiety, that must be really hard.
I have had extreme anxiety but only after my babies were born, I know that any sort of logical statistics don't make much difference.
You can be tested to see if you are immune to toxoplasmosis (most people are) I think it's a routine test in pregnancy in France. Could you ask your dr if they can test you as if you have already had toxoplasmosis you wouldn't have anything to worry about.
I do understand you not wanting to upset other people, I was very paranoid about my baby being held by people who smoked to the point that is start to feel myself hyperventilating and panicking, I'd have to rush home and bath the baby, it really hurt my family who smoked and I feel bad about that but I struggled so much with it. I'd try to avoid situations where I was likely to panic, tummy bug is always a good excuse as no one wants to catch a tummy bug!
I has a mildly anxious pregnancy, nothing major just a few panic attacks. And I wouldn't have felt totally comfortable going 4 hours away at 31 weeks, especially if I knew I wouldn't be properly cared for if something happened. So I don't think you're being at all paranoid not to want to go that far.
If it helps at all, if you grew up with cats it's likely you've had toxoplasmosis already. People who aren't immunocompromised generally show no symptoms when they have it. And it's only dangerous if you get it for the first time during pregnancy - you build up an immunity to it. But I know that's probably not going to completely solve the issue.
I think I'm right in saying that toxoplasmosis is only contagious when a cat first gets it, so a kitten new to going outside is more likely to be a risk but a cat that has regularly been outside is likely to have already had toxoplasmosis and not be contagious anymore.
Thanks for the advice- it helps a lot to check out what regular mother's think cos I can never tell if I'm being rational or not. I am seeing a counsellor but y'know we're at the stage where my homework this week is touching door handles with my hands so it's slow. Thanks for the link Quiero. I don't want to let anyone down - my mum or the baby. I'm going to ask my midwife to test for immunity at my appt today but I don't hold out a lot of hope she'll do it for reassurance only.
Oh Worry this sounds very distressing and exhausting for you, I really sympathise. Firstly, I want to offer a tiny reassurance that you probably have done nothing to harm your baby. Unless you were doing coked-up black-out boozy weekends or sharing your heroin needles throughout the first trimester, you're really unlikely to have harmed your baby. There is so much information out there to terrify us, it's no wonder we get anxious, but the chances are really very slim.
As for toxoplasmosis, here in France it is standard to test for immunity, and I know I don't have it (but many women I know do/did and so carried on eating whatever they liked throughout pregnancy!). But my midwives have been very clear that the only thing to do is make sure I wash raw vegetables well and, if we had a cat, not change the litter tray. It's really that simple. So I soak my salad veggies in water & vinegar for a few minutes before rinsing off and preparing the salad as usual, and that's it.
On the baby shower, I think you need to be honest with your mum & sis. Yes, they are excited, but this pregnancy isn't about them, it's about you and your baby. If you're struggling with small steps, then maybe a 4 hour journey and a cat house and lots of people is just too much for you. Are you able to talk to your sister about your anxiety? Might there be things she could do to reassure you (ie cat out for the whole day, do a quick spring clean before you arrive?). If you can't easily discuss this with her (I know my sister might get a bit arsey if she thought I was suggesting her house wasn't clean enough!), then simply explain that your anxiety is such that you can't go. Perhaps you could ask them to do something later in the year, after the baby has arrived? No plans yet, just play it by ear once the baby arrives.
Please look after yourself and don't be too hard on yourself. Your body and mind is going through so much at the moment, and you're clearly doing your best. Take care
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