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Blogger's Corner: Stress Caused My Preterm Labor

Preterm baby in an incubator. Most people are interested in how my pregnancy and labor experience was as a first-time mom.
Preterm baby in an incubator.
Preterm baby in an incubator.

Most people are interested in how my pregnancy and labor experience was as a first-time mom.

When I tell them I had the usual morning sickness for the first three months but after that it was fine, no issues, I didn't gain too much weight, it was a pretty good pregnancy.

When I tell them that I gave birth five weeks premature, all I get are those pensive looks and the one question… Why?

My answer is always "I don't know", but that is a lie. I know why I went into labor early…

When you hear the phrase, "there is no perfect time to have a baby" that, is no lie. My husband and I began to hit a rough patch it seemed as soon as our attempt to try and get pregnant paid off.

The arguing, bickering, accusations, and tempers rose to an all time high, right along with my belly. The few people close to me that knew, kept telling me not to get so upset that it could make me sick and it's not good for the baby. I tried hard, but my self-control was in a losing battle with my hormones.

Then there was the new job, and the commute to the new job: The 46 miles and an hour and a half drive in one direction plus traffic were too much. My new employer was a friend of my husband's and for me, that meant I had to work harder than anyone else.

My performance at work would not only be dissected at the office but among our circle of friends as well. Talk about being under a microscope.

I don't need to stress how hard it is for pregnant woman in the work place (most of the time) but to be pregnant, sick and tackling the challenge of a new position, all while being scrutinized by the 'good ole boys' was taking a toll on me. And what's worse, I felt I couldn't tell anyone.

So when the company I worked for fired me after announcing my maternity leave (go figure), I actually had a nervous breakdown. To be fired meant to be a failure. And how could I deal with being a failure when I needed to focus on being a mom?

I cried for days as the anxiety built up in my chest. Aside from my husband and my best friend, I didn't tell anyone what happened because, even though I had no reason, I was so embarrassed.

One week later at 2:30am my water broke. They say contractions are more likely to begin between the hours of midnight and 4am. The theory is "survival", predators were usually out in the day, and so females could labor through the night without fear.

That sounds accurate, but the 'without fear' bit I could not relate to. My primal fear was heightened even more because I had to get from Brooklyn to Hackensack, NJ before this baby decided to make her grand entrance somewhere along the George Washington Bridge.

My doctor couldn't understand why I would go into labor early, after having a textbook pregnancy. I lay there riddled with guilt feeling I caused this by not being able to manage my stress levels.

It wasn't until I was staring into the plexiglass incubator watching my baby wrapped in tubes and monitors, when it weighed on me what stress can do.

It's not worth the worry.

Find Dawn on Twitter: @MomBazar , Instagram: Mom_Bazar, Tumbler: MomBazar