Tourette’s & Pregnancy: Trimester 3, Part 1

Fridays are always celebration days because they mean we’re another week closer to Jelly Bean’s arrival, and today marks our victory of 33 weeks! Between starting the nursery (which mean completely rearranging my house…which meant my husband completely rearranging the house), physical therapy for my back, a bit of substitute teaching, and a lot of writing, we’ve been pretty busy around here. I thought I’d take a few minutes and give you a report on how the Tourettes has been doing for Trimester 3.

(If you didn’t catch them the first time, here are my reports for Trimester 1 and Trimester 2.)

I’ll start off by saying that my tics have been noticeably more active this trimester, definitely more so than they were in the first two trimesters. I think this is for multiple reasons:

  • I had absolutely no energy with which to tic in Trimester 1.
  • I was still getting my energy back in Trimester 2.
  • I have a lot of great things going on in the coming weeks, but even good stress is still stress. And Stress=Tics.
  • Admittedly, my emotions are somewhat less balanced this trimester.

Now about that anxiety …


It’s hard to tell how much anxiety is due to the pregnancy, and how much is simply there like it always is. To be honest, I’m not finding myself super stressed over the idea of bringing a new baby into the world. God is in control, and I figure it’ll happen as He plans it. It’s the details (as always) that are getting me.

  • Husband has changed to a new schedule at work. Now he’s on call, which means he could technically be on call when I go in to labor sometime.
  • Our house still looks like we’re moving, due to the fact that we thought we were moving, and then didn’t. With my back out of commission and Hubby often gone to work, we haven’t been able to get the boxes out and the clutter cleared.
  • Clutter stresses me out big-time.
  • I’m working hard to get one of my books published before the baby comes. This means I love my work, but it also means my pregnancy nap attacks (which happen way more often than I’d expected) are often standing between me and my deadlines for the day.

I have no hard and fast answers for this part of pregnancy. I do, however, have some secret weapons I’m going to discuss a little further down.

Shortness of Breath

I recently wrote about how exercise can sometime induce anxiety attacks, particularly in people who struggle with panic anyways. I’ve noticed within the last week or two that I’ve begun to have periods of time where I randomly become breathless. I was told this would happen, and that’s it’s normal, as Jelly Bean is now 17″ tall and squishing everything (including her feet) up against my rib cage.

Still, it’s aggravating, as it feels like I’m having an anxiety attack multiple times a day. The only way I’ve really been able to combat this feeling is by telling myself over and over again that it’s just pregnancy, not anxiety. If you repeat something enough times, you’re more likely to believe it, and I have seven weeks left to believe it.

Emotional Ties

You hear all about those women on TV who are on emotional roller coasters all the time, and I’m sure it happens to some people. Personally, however, I’ve been pretty even keel throughout most of the pregnancy (well, as even keel as I ever am). In these last few weeks, however, I have noticed a jump in my emotions, those days when I have to warn my husband sometimes that it’s not his fault if I have a meltdown.

One of the perks of having Tourettes and chronic anxiety is that I’m constantly self-monitoring my moods. If you’re going to be on the lookout for anxiety attacks, it’s something you just learn to do. Interestingly enough, this has helped with noticing changes in my emotions pretty quickly, which in turn, can help me monitor my stress, which means monitoring my tics. Extra tics signals extra stress signals perfect storm for an anxiety attack.

The interesting thing is that my tics don’t always hit the moment I feel anxiety. I often notice them when I’m doing the mundane things in life, like brushing my teeth or driving my car. It’s when I start ticcing in all the margin moments of life that I know I really need to manage my anxiety.

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