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  1. #1
    Senior Member mwv6r's Avatar
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    Default INFJ pregnancy -- am I crazy?

    I know this is a very particular topic but I'm curious to know the experiences of other INFJs during pregnancy, or observations on any pregnant INFJs you may have known.

    I recently found out I am pregnant, which is very good news after quite a few months of trying to conceive. But ever since finding out, I've found myself overwhelmed by anxiety. I'm kind of embarrassed by how anxious and worried and not myself I've been feeling -- frequent worry about miscarriage, the worst insomnia of my life and then worry that my insomnia is hurting the baby, the sense that time is crawling and doubting my ability to make it through a full nine months of this! I'm hesitant to share my feelings with many people because I don't want to seem ungrateful for the pregnancy when I know many people have difficulty conceiving. I do want children very much, I'm just wishing I could fast forward through the pregnancy part! Also so many women I've known seemed to love being pregnant and were able to relax and enjoy the ride instead of thinking about everything that could go wrong....

    The first few days after I found out I was pregnant I spent hours each evening devouring every pregnancy article I could find on the internet, which was maybe my Introverted Intuitive (Ni) way of trying to figure out the big picture of the situation. But I realized pretty quickly that this tendency was only making my anxiety worse (there are a lot of articles out there about every little thing that can go wrong!) and so I forced myself to stop the constant research. In the past, during stressful periods of my life I've temporarily been on anti-anxiety and sleeping medications, although that is of course out of the question now. So I've been doing my best to get by with yoga and relaxation techniques...

    Anyway, it occurred to me today that my anxiety could be related to Extroverted Sensing (Se) being in the inferior position for INFJs. Maybe I'm "in the grip" of my inferior function during the very physical experience of being pregnant, which I imagine is best characterized by Se out of the four functions.

    Anyway, just curious for anyone else's thoughts, insights, advice on the subject...

  2. #2
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    Congratulations!!!!..

    I have heard that stress can have an effect on the unborn baby .. Maybe just relax and let nature do it's thing?

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    It's entirely normal to have some anxiety when you first become pregnant- it means that you care about it. There's a great book for new moms-to-be, "What To Expect When You're Expecting" that addresses common concerns during pregnancy and can be quite reassuring. I do remember worrying about miscarriages and other concerns when I was pregnant. There was also almost a feeling of panic, because once the process has started you are in it until the baby is born, so that can be scary. I do think that rising progesterone levels over the course of the pregnancy can have a calming effect, so I think you can anticipate some of that kicking in over the next few months.

  4. #4
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    yes congratulations!!!

    yes, stress can effect the baby, because it changes your internal chemistry. but my guess, mvw, is that if you feel like this about this issue, you tend to experience anxiety about big, important things, yeah? so, in a way, i don't think it's that big of a deal, because you're probably used to carrying a little stress along with you, and it won't upset you internally too much and it won't upset the baby internally too much. my bff is enfj, i know she tends to Ni-stress too. it's just kind of part of her process. and there are so so many things besides stress that are worse for a baby. unhealthy food, drugs, lack of water. yet so many children in those conditions survive and thrive. put in perspective, i tend to worry more about the stress effects on your quality of life and on your psyche than on your baby's physical health.

    and there are many varying things that could go wrong, but childbirth is in a lot of ways what your body is "made" for, so your body is very much primed to address them. and beyond that, your doctors are too. in some ways it's so very cool to be pregnant... you've become part of a chain of women stretching back to the beginning of humanity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Intricate Mystic
    There's a great book for new moms-to-be, "What To Expect When You're Expecting" that addresses common concerns during pregnancy and can be quite reassuring.
    my mom has that

    a few other thoughts of mine...

    -- it's so totally reasonable to be nervous. you don't need to feel ashamed at all. you're caring for the lives of two people, not one, and that deserves others' respect. you could join a pregnancy forum online and speak with others there, if you would rather not talk about it with people IRL. i don't think that many people in real life would begrudge talking with you though. most women i know love love love babies and pregnant women and would be so happy to be there to help support you.

    -- there's no empirical research that shows lack of sleep has a measurable detrimental effect to the body, aside from making you a bit spacey. eventually, when your body gets tired enough, it will make your brain sleep too. until then, i think your relaxing activities are a great way to go. have you tried progressive muscle relaxation? it's one of my favorites... tends to put me to sleep even when i don't mean it to! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFwCKKa--18)

    -- you might want to talk to your ob/gyn about all this, if you haven't yet. they might have some suggestions for sleep, or at least help talk with you through the worries. they've gone through years of training for it

    -- you could keep a journal and write about your physical experiences of how you're feeling the pregnancy, if you have concerns about if you're feeling abnormal. then you can clearly see if there are any patterns and if you deviate from them. my general thoughts, from being around medical stuff my whole life (raised by doctors and in a hospital, lol) - is that people - all people - feel physically a bit "weird" rather often, especially with hyperawareness of a different physical condition, like a medical condition or pregnancy. there are always little day-to-day changes, but in general you will know when there's something that's very out of the ordinary. trust your intuition

    overall, i think it's wonderful that you're pregnant, and totally reasonable to feel anxiety about it. you are not crazy at all. let others help take care of you and help distract yourself - let yourself still be happy and have fun! judging by everything here i think you're going to make a wonderful mother.

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    Senior Member mwv6r's Avatar
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    Aww thank you for the words of kindness and encouragement, you all are very sweet... I think I am feeling a bit better already. I always feel at home in the NF forum I think all this will help me with trying to take things one day at a time

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    Senior Member Lily flower's Avatar
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    Both lack of sleep and anxiety are completely normal in pregnancy. The hormones really do mess with your brain.

    And don't worry about "harming" the baby due to stress. Stress like an abusive partner or poverty might hurt your baby, but every mom experiences a normal amount of stress during pregnancy.

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    Junior Member Alchemilla's Avatar
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    Congratulations! Two of my friends recently had incredibly stressful pregnancies, but the babies are perfect. Don't worry about worrying - stress is a normal part of life and it's a myth that most women sail through this like glowing angels.

    in some ways it's so very cool to be pregnant... you've become part of a chain of women stretching back to the beginning of humanity.
    I love this idea. It's true, too!

  8. #8
    Junior Member Tricksie's Avatar
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    Totally normal to have anxiety and it will NOT hurt the baby! You may find that your anxiety will lessen as you get further along. My BFF is an ENFJ and she gets extremely anxious about things...and had a LOT to be anxious for during her last pregnancy, but her baby is the sweetest, happiest, easy-goingest (um), sleepingest little guy.

    Congratulations and I hope that everything goes really smoothly for you! I LOVED being pregnant...loved the feeling that I was carrying around another little person all the time, loved that sense of connection and communion.

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    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lily flower View Post
    Both lack of sleep and anxiety are completely normal in pregnancy. The hormones really do mess with your brain.

    And don't worry about "harming" the baby due to stress. Stress like an abusive partner or poverty might hurt your baby, but every mom experiences a normal amount of stress during pregnancy.
    Amen! This kind of stress is very normal and won't harm the baby. Congratulations to you, mvw6r
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  10. #10
    Symbolic Herald Vasilisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwv6r View Post
    I know this is a very particular topic but I'm curious to know the experiences of other INFJs during pregnancy, or observations on any pregnant INFJs you may have known.
    Paging Doctor MonkeyGrass

    I recently found out I am pregnant, which is very good news after quite a few months of trying to conceive. But ever since finding out, I've found myself overwhelmed by anxiety. I'm kind of embarrassed by how anxious and worried and not myself I've been feeling -- frequent worry about miscarriage, the worst insomnia of my life and then worry that my insomnia is hurting the baby, the sense that time is crawling and doubting my ability to make it through a full nine months of this! I'm hesitant to share my feelings with many people because I don't want to seem ungrateful for the pregnancy when I know many people have difficulty conceiving. I do want children very much, I'm just wishing I could fast forward through the pregnancy part! Also so many women I've known seemed to love being pregnant and were able to relax and enjoy the ride instead of thinking about everything that could go wrong....

    The first few days after I found out I was pregnant I spent hours each evening devouring every pregnancy article I could find on the internet, which was maybe my Introverted Intuitive (Ni) way of trying to figure out the big picture of the situation. But I realized pretty quickly that this tendency was only making my anxiety worse (there are a lot of articles out there about every little thing that can go wrong!) and so I forced myself to stop the constant research. In the past, during stressful periods of my life I've temporarily been on anti-anxiety and sleeping medications, although that is of course out of the question now. So I've been doing my best to get by with yoga and relaxation techniques...

    Anyway, it occurred to me today that my anxiety could be related to Extroverted Sensing (Se) being in the inferior position for INFJs. Maybe I'm "in the grip" of my inferior function during the very physical experience of being pregnant, which I imagine is best characterized by Se out of the four functions.

    Anyway, just curious for anyone else's thoughts, insights, advice on the subject...
    I can't say for sure because I have no experience in this realm. I do relate to always wanting to consider every possible future, and how that can rapidly wick away all your hours and energy. Not to mention cause anxiety and perfectionist stress.

    My own mother (ESFJ) told me about the mistake she made when she was carrying me: of browsing through genetics textbooks belonging to my father (one of his degrees is in microbiology) and scaring herself so bad by seeing photographs of genetic abnormalities. This was before the web made it so commonplace for us to find information with which to instantaneously diagnose and scare ourselves. So, maybe that makes you feel a little bit at ease to know that you aren't the first mommy with these kinds of anxieties, its been going on a long time.

    A big congratulations to you, too!
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