Pregnant with Anxiety

Pregnancy and Anxiety… by Adrienne Lavine

Wedding Day Anxiety

Wedding Day October 2014


Be proactive. Be proactive. Be proactive.

Less than a year ago this was me getting married last Fall in Newport, Rhode, Island. We were nervous as newlyweds but now we are about to become parents and it is a whole  kind of nervous.

I have had especially high anxiety during this time in my life.

My brain and mind are always on the go. Falling asleep at night is not a problem because I am just so tired but I usually wake up at least once for an extended period of time. I lie awake usually up for about two hours or so. Sometimes I even wake up gasping for air and other times have erupted into full-blown panic attacks. Sometimes I know what caused the panic attack and other times I have no idea.

Women and Infants Hospital has a very specialized program that caters only to women who are pregnant or new moms who suffer from anxiety or depression. Having either one of these conditions during pregnancy increases the chance of having problems postpartum. I am trying to avoid these issues. Wanting to be as physically and mentally healthy as possible inspired me to call and make an appointment for an evaluation of my anxiety. I was not looking for medication so I was set up with a clinical social worker. My initial meeting with the social worker was for about an hour. Together we reviewed my medical history and talked about my anxiety and certain aspects of my life that maybe relevant to my anxious feelings.

Truthfully, there are so many things that I am anxious about when it comes to becoming a new parent. I worry about finances, being a good mother, labor and delivery, the change in my lifestyle (all common things for a pregnant woman). We also discussed feeding, birth control after delivery (it seems a little early but I realize it is all important stuff) and it is all cumulative when it comes to disrupting my sleep.


The social worker decided that I did not need to attend the Day Program offered at Womens and Infants. Instead, she referred me to two therapists who were closer to where I live. Both of who are clinical social workers.

I am not ashamed to say that I’ve been seeing a therapist on a weekly basis with whom I really connect. I am proud that I’ve taken control of the situation to better myself. I know that I did myself a favor by getting help as soon as possible. Talking with someone who is objective works for me and I couldn’t be more grateful to be surrounded by such a wonderful network of support during this important time in my life as I get ready to be a parent.

Weekend Reading…My Favorites

Weekend Reading…My Favorites

Weekend Sunshine and Sand

I have a summer reading list but many summers it carries me over into fall. The last time I read all the books on my summer list was on Martha’s Vineyard probably around 15 years ago.

Primates of Park Avenue is a book I will put in my beach bag this summer based on this NY Times review.


If “Primates of Park Avenue” never quite manages to be either the satire or the tell-all I’d hoped for, it did manage to be exactly the kind of book I want in my summer beach bag. I put it down a little unsatisfied, but willing to recommend it in spite of its flaws. “Primates” is, in the end, exactly what it purports to be: a book about the lives of mothers in a small subset of wealthy families that offers a little insight into all of our choices, and a lot of entertaining appreciation for choices most of us don’t have to make. If you think you’d enjoy the spectacle, you’re probably right. I did.

As you know I am a clinical social worker and am all about feelings, so this Pixar movie is definitely on my list to see on an upcoming weekend. Children do experience difficult emotions and parents sometimes try very hard to stem these negative feelings because to them it means their child is not happy all the time and this suggests failure of the parents to create an idyllic childhood.


In Pixar movies, inventive plots, engaging characters and stunning visuals come as no surprise. But the best thing about the studio’s newest production, “Inside Out,” may be its commitment to celebrating the worst.


Life with Dad is one of my new favorite blogs and podcasts. I met Ryan E. Hamilton, a founder of Life with Dad at Mom 2.0 Summit and regret I did not get to talk with him longer. Dad bloggers are some of the best and you are missing something if you don’t know any of these great bloggers. So take a look at Bobblehead Dad Parenting and Life with Dad this weekend.

Bobblehead Dad Parenting
Posted on June 26, 2015
Current research confirms that there are numerous health benefits attributed to laughing including lower blood pressure, increased tolerance to pain and – most importantly – a reduction in stress. As parents, a better understanding of the value of laughing – for ourselves and with our children – can be one more tool to living a happy, healthier life. Children laugh a lot. About 300 to 400 times a day! The average adult laughs about 20 times a day! We’ll talk about the causes and implications of that dramatic reduction over a typical life. We’ll also discuss: How simulated laughter provides the same benefits of spontaneous laughter Why you need to integrate more laughter into your family’s life How to do a DIY Laughter Festival! The results you will enjoy if you lighten up and use some humor in your daily interactions How laughter can be a bonding element between a parent and child What you can do if you don’t think of yourself as a “funny” person So stick around. This promises to be a fun time! References from this Podcast: Dr. DeBenedet’s website



The Weekend is my favorite time…sometimes it is relaxing sometimes not so much.

But take time to breathe and relax and renew!



Pregnancy at 29 weeks

Pregnancy at 29 Weeks


I can’t believe that in 10 weeks or so I will be meeting my new grandson for the first time!

Right now he weighs in at about 2 1/2 pounds. He is only the size of a butternut squash and is about 15 inches long from head to heel.

Preset Style = Natural Format = 6" (Medium) Format Margin = None Format Border = Straight Drawing = #2 Pencil Drawing Weight = Medium Drawing Detail = Medium Paint = Natural Paint Lightness = Normal Paint Intensity = Normal Water = Tap Water Water Edges = Medium Water Bleed = Average Brush = Natural Detail Brush Focus = Everything Brush Spacing = Narrow Paper = Watercolor Paper Texture = Medium Paper Shading = Light Options Faces = Enhance Faces

Right now in his growth spurt he is making nutritional demands on his mom. He needs plenty of protein, Vitamin C, folic acid and iron along with Calcium to help his still developing and hardening bones. So it is time for my daughter to make sure she is still eating plenty of healthy foods like milk, cheese, yogurt and even enriched orange juice.

Source: Your pregnancy: 29 weeks | BabyCenter

If you are 29 weeks pregnant here are some of the things you may encounter:

  • You may be asked to do kick counts and notify you healthcare provider if you notice that your baby is becoming less active.
  • You may have a nonstress test or biophysical profile to check on how baby is doing in utero.
  • Heartburn and constipation may return or become worse due to smooth muscle relaxation throughout your body and gastrointestinal tract causing sluggish digestion, gas and heartburn.
  • The crowding in your abdomen also contributes to your gastrointestinal discomfort.
  • Hemorrhoids can become troublesome at this time as well, so avoid sitting or standing for long stretches. Ask your provider before using over the counter remedies. Eating high fiber diet and drinking plenty of water and getting regular exercise continues to be important now.

Supine Hypotension Syndrome

When lying flat on your back the weight of your baby and uterus on major blood vessels may cause you to become lightheaded due to a change in your heart rate and blood pressure. Instead try to lay on you side and get up slowly to a standing position to avoid getting dizzy.

“Shake the pregnancy blahs by enjoying your last weeks of pre-baby freedom. Do all the things you probably won’t have time for — movies, facials, romantic dinners with your mate — once your little one is here.”

Now that you are 29 weeks into your pregnancy:

Make sure you buy these things to have on hand when baby comes.

  • Wipes and diapers
  • Small baby nail clippers, a baby thermometer take a look at the Kinsa it has a app for your phone I love it, a “snot sucker”, NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator and pacifier
  • Pick up some Dreft, baby laundry detergent
  • Sanitary pads for yourself
  • Thank you cards and stamps
  • Paper towels and paper plates for ease at meal and snack time


Pregnancy and Cleaning Your House Safely

Pregnancy and House Cleaning

pregnancyHow difficult it is to choose the “right” cleaning products for your home? This is an especially hard task for mom-to-be during her pregnancy.

I find it super difficult these days because of the many years I have been married to certain  products especially those I use for cleaning my home. The more I read and the more I know about harmful chemicals the more concerned I have become for the safety of my family and as well as my pets.

DIY and mixing my own cleaning products is not my thing although I wish I had the time to devote to this. Instead I would prefer to buy safe products and focus on spending my time making healthy foods for my family’s enjoyment.


The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has come out with a new labeling system that may make decisions easier. The new product label will help you select products that have safer chemical ingredients with an option for fragrance-free, and maintain a high standard for quality. What does the label mean for pregnant women?

Source: News Moms Need » Blog Archive » The safer choice

The new Safer Choice EPA label will assist the pregnant women to identify and make safe selections of cleaning products.


Staying safe is paramount in most moms and pregnant women’s daily routine. Staying away from stuff that can hurt you or your baby is confusing at best. This new labeling system could make your mom life easier when making cleaning product choices while earnestly attempting to keep a clean house to protect yourself from infections.

  • Read labels on cleaning products look for the Safer Choice label.
  • Do not use any product that specifies it is toxic (poisonous).
  • Although ammonia or chlorine (bleach) are not harmful in cleaning products the smell may cause nausea. To avoid this open windows and doors, wear rubber gloves and NEVER mix them together this can cause dangerous fumes

Things to avoid to have a safer pregnancy for you and your baby.

  • Changing cat litter
  • Hot baths, hot tubs and saunas
  • Lead exposure from old pipes and faucets
  • Mercury from broken bulbs and thermometers
  • Pesticides and certain chemicals (check labels)

via March of Dimes

Pregnancy is often a time of worry and fretting about all kinds of things especially things that cannot be controlled for, however the new Safer Choice labeling can wash some of your worries away.

Traveling during Pregnancy

Pregnancy…travel when you can…

by Adrienne Lavine

Pregnancy Travel

During Easter Break, week 17 into week 18, I met my family in Pompano Beach, Florida for a little  pregnancy R&R.

I was nervous for the whole three and half hour flight but I made it and it was well worth it. Family time, warm weather, salt air and sunshine were just what I needed.

My suggestion, if you can during pregnancy, is to travel when the opportunity presents itself. This freedom will be gone before I know it. Time with my family is very special. I slept better. I was up early and out the door by eight at the latest. I really started to look forward to breakfast, especially by the beach. I also took a daily walk on the beach to keep up with my exercise. What better way to exercise than in the sunshine with my feet in the sand and the ocean?

Pregnancy 17 Weeks

I also realize that I was now into my second trimester. I was less tired, less anxious and more energetic and generally enjoying myself more frequently. We spent the day by the pool or on the beach and then would go out for a delicious dinner. I couldn’t have asked for a more delightful five days.

It rejuvenated me.

I also felt pretty darn good in my Victoria’s Secret bikini with my newly acquired pregnancy curves.


This post was not sponsored.

Your Pregnancy at 28 Weeks

Pregnancy at 28 Weeks

Pregnancy at 28 Weeks

This beautiful eggplant represents the size of your sweet little baby that has now grown to be about 14 1/2 inches from head to heels and weighs around 2 1/4 pounds at this time in your pregnancy.

  • Her eyes are blinking and he now has eyelashes.
  • Developing brain neurons and adding body fad are her main activity..

For you, this is the home stretch, the Third Trimester. You will probably gain about a pound each week from now until deliver. You will visit your caregiver every two weeks from now until 36 weeks.

Your glucose screening will be reviewed and if your result was abnormally high you will have a Glucose Tolerance Test. In addition if you are Rh negative blood type you will get an injection of Rhogam, Rh immunoglobulin which prevents your body from developing antibodies that would attack your baby’s blood.

RLS, Restless Leg Syndrome can affect you at this time in your pregnancy. It is a “creepy-crawly” sensation in your legs that is relieved when you move. Caffeine can make these feelings worse. No one knows the cause of RLS, make sure to mention to your caregiver if you have these symptoms

“Now that it’s later in my pregnancy, I find that if I sleep on either side with a pillow tucked underneath my stomach, I can make it through the night.”

Source:  | BabyCenter

Preeclampsia is a serious condition that affects about 5 percent of pregnant women. It is diagnosed by these findings.

  • high blood pressure after 20 weeks of pregnancy along with one or both of the following
  • protein in her urine
  • liver or kidney abnormalities

It can be mild or severe a occur near to your due date. Most women and babies do fine with the proper care.

Severe preeclampsia is another story. It can affect many major organs and be very serious and lift threatening to mom and baby. Delivery of the baby is the only cure for preeclampsia.

Symptoms of preeclampsia can come on suddenly.

  • Swelling in your face or puffiness around your eyes, more than slight swelling of your hands, or excessive or sudden swelling of your feet or ankles.
  • Rapid weight gain — more than 4-5 pounds in a week.
  • Severe or persistent headacheVision changes, including double vision, blurred vision, seeing spots or flashing lights, sensitivity to light, or temporary loss of visionIntense pain or tenderness in your upper abdomen.
  • Nausea and vomiting

Preeclampsia can occur without any obvious symptoms, particularly in the early stages, and some symptoms may seem like normal pregnancy complaints. So you might not know you have the condition until it’s discovered at a routine prenatal visit. This is one of the reasons it’s so important not to miss your appointments. via Baby Center


Weekend Review Reading Selection

Yay it’s the weekend! Sailing into Summer…

My weekend is a precious time for me and my family. I try to stay away from screens although with a blog it is difficult not to maintain some daily presence on social media. One thing that I enjoy in particular is Friday night dinner with friends. It is a time to relax and unwind for Papa and me where we can kick back and be ourselves while enjoying some good food that I don’t have to prepare.

Another favorite thing for me to do on the weekend is cook with my granddaughter when she is at our home. Sometimes we make sweet things, other times savory. We love to eat homemade pizza on Saturday and sometimes have movie night.

I also love to read so here are some of my suggestions.

Summer Weekend

Sailing into Summer

Since I recently had shingles, I found this very interesting. Luckily for me it was a mild case but since it was on my face and close to my eye, it gave me a great amount of initial anxiety and concern. One thing I can say is if you develop a rash of any sort and you have had chicken pox then you need to see your doctor right away so he can check it out and prescribe an anti-viral medication to keep the virus from spreading. The sooner the better in the case of shingles.


Shingles, kids and pregnant women – know the facts Many pregnant women have written to us expressing concern about being exposed to a family member who has shingles. Usually it is their parent or grandparent, or another older adult who has the virus. However, did you know that children can get shingles, too?

Source: News Moms Need » Blog Archive » Shingles, kids and pregnant women – know the facts

While I am happy that Caitlyn Jenner has raised the transgender discussion to a new level, personally I find it difficult to put my thoughts into the right words. So I have relied on reading many of the more serious articles concerning the transgender topic. Certainly we as women can relate to this particular article as a important aspect of transgender dignity.


People who haven’t lived their whole lives as women, whether Ms. Jenner or Mr. Summers, shouldn’t get to define us. That’s something men have been doing for much too long. And as much as I recognize and endorse the right of men to throw off the mantle of maleness, they cannot stake their claim to dignity as transgender people by trampling on mine as a woman.


Source: What Makes a Woman? –

How do you read people you come in contact with on a daily basis? This is kind of a fun article which will test your ability to read people’s emotions. Try it out and then use your ability this weekend.

If you are among those people who are mystified by moods, new research offers hope. A new study shows that certain types of reading can actually help us improve our sensitivity IQ. To find out how well you read the emotions of others, take the Well quiz, which is based on an assessment tool developed by University of Cambridge professor Simon Baron-Cohen.


Source: Can You Read People’s Emotions? –


Don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers!

Summer and Pregnant…No Sweaty Feet for this Mom-to-Be

Summer and Pregnant

summer and pregnant

Thanks Tory!…

My third trimester is during the summer. This very pregnant mom-to-be needs to make sure that she has a comfortable pair of flip-flops.

I live in a beach town so they are a must!

I found that Tory Burch’s flip-flops are the most comfortable pair. I recommend them for anyone who is pregnant to get them through the summer looking chic! A black pair can be perfect for the beach or can be dressed up for a night out.

Pregnancy at 27 Weeks

Pregnancy at 27 Weeks

More growing…your baby is probably 2 pounds and the size of a cauliflower(14 1/2 inches)  from head to foot. He is sleeping at regular intervals.

Pregnancy-baby at 27 weeks

Baby is probably experiencing her first hiccups. You will feel the rhythm of these first hiccups every now and then for the weeks to come. Her lungs are functioning better and could sustain her if they had to outside the uterus with the help of medical intervention if she was born this early in the pregnancy.

Your life continues to change:

  • Second trimester is ending
  • You may develop some new aches, your back and leg muscles may hurt due to the increased weight of your uterus which is putting pressure on certain blood vessels and nerves.

Leg cramps are more common at night but can also happen during the day. When a cramp strikes, stretching the calf muscle should give you some relief.

Straighten your leg and then gently flex your toes back toward your shin. Walking for a few minutes or massaging your calf sometimes helps, too.

As it gets closer to the end of your pregnancy, you might want to think about birth control after you deliver. If you are planning a tubal ligation you will have to decide soon and sign a consent form in advance of the surgery. Some states require a 30 day delay in the surgery after you sign your consent form for a tubal ligation. You are always able to change your mind about surgery but better to sign your consent just in case your baby comes early.

“Need more vitamin C? Try red bell peppers! They have nearly twice the vitamin C of a navel orange, and a half cup is one of the five servings of fruits and vegetables you need each day.”
– Kayla B.

Source: Your pregnancy: 27 weeks | BabyCenter

Pregnancy at 26 weeks

Pregnancy at 26 Weeks

Wow, time is moving along…your baby is hearing your voice and your significant other’s so he will recognize you both after he is born. He is also breathing amniotic fluid and developing his lungs. Weighing in at about 1 2/3 pounds, he is now about 14 inches from head to foot. Boy baby’s testicles are now descending into the scrotal sac, this process will take about three months.

Pregnancy 26 weeks

Your mom-to-be life at 26 weeks of pregnancy:

  • Childbirth classes
  • Getting baby’s room ready
  • Taking care of yourself, eating right and exercising
  • Your blood pressure may be increasing slightly
  • Watching out for signs of preeclampsia

Preeclampsia — a serious condition characterized by high blood pressure — most often shows up after 37 weeks, but it can happen earlier so it’s important to be aware of the warning signs. Call your caregiver if you have swelling in your face or puffiness around your eyes, more than slight swelling of your hands, excessive or sudden swelling of your feet or ankles, or rapid weight gain (more than 4-5 pounds in a week). With more severe preeclampsia, you may experience other symptoms. Let your caregiver know immediately if you have a severe or persistent headache, vision changes (including double or blurred vision, seeing spots or flashing lights, sensitivity to light, or temporary loss of vision), intense pain or tenderness in your upper abdomen, or vomiting.

  • Your lower back may be achy due to your growing uterus and your shifting center of gravity-your abdominal muscles are stretched and weaker at this point-your joints and muscles are feeling the stress of your extra weight-all of this makes you feel pretty tired at the end of the day.

Some relief measures:

  • warm baths or warm or cool compresses
  • maintain good posture
  • take breaks from sitting and standing too long
  • sleep on your side
  • bend you knees and put a pillow between your legs and use another pillow to support you belly.

Some of these suggestions will come naturally. Over thirty years ago I did these out of sheer common sense…your body sometimes tells you what to do if you listen to it.

“To help yourself relax, immerse your feet in a basin filled with warm water. Add a few drops of scented oil and enjoy.”
– Astrid

Source: Your pregnancy: 26 weeks | BabyCenter

Questions for this time.

  • Do you want to write a birth plan?

Maybe you don’t even know where to go with this idea but it can help you to learn more about labor and delivery. If you are considering using a doula you might want discuss a birth plan with them or with your caregiver and your significant other.

Things to think about in a birth plan:

  • pain relief
  • medication
  • epidural
  • elective c-section
  • unpredictable things about labor and delivery
  • remaining flexible
  • defining your philosophy and writing about how you would like things to go
  • do you want delivery to be somewhat private or do you want family present
  • do you want your partner to cut the cord
  • do you plan to breastfeed
  • 24 hour rooming in with your baby

If you are having a boy, here is a question. Circumcision or no circumcision?

Most of all try to enjoy the remaining weeks of your pregnancy before your baby arrives.