Giving Up Control During Pregnancy

There's nothing like a pregnancy to throw a control freak for a loop. Giving up control during pregnancy can be hard but I can also be truly liberating.

Real talk: I’m a control freak.

And I don’t mean that in a cute, perfectionist kind of way. I mean it in an ugly-crying-while-desperately-clutching-my-planner kind of way.



Despite desperately wanting to live a Zen lifestyle, I still struggle with surrendering control.

I want everything to fit into neat little boxes, but things rarely – if ever – work out that way. One thing’s for sure: change is a constant. Control is irrelevant. We have to surrender to the ride. This is one of those universal truths I know in my heart but can’t seem to process in my head. My heart says to trust, to be soft, to flow. But my mind insists on pushing, hardening, doubting. I never thought I would be one of those people who could just take a deep breath and choose to let it go.


And then I got pregnant. And everything changed.

Very quickly, it dawned on me that I couldn’t control a single thing about this pregnancy. I couldn’t control when I got pregnant, and I can’t control if the baby is healthy. I can’t control how much weight I’ll gain, how my body will change, or what the sex will be. I can’t control my appetite or my energy levels or whether or not I’ll ever be able to handle the smell of steamed broccoli again.


Pregnancy is the first time in my life where I truly cannot control the situation.

Sure, I can manage it to the best of my ability. I can eat healthy and take my vitamins and do my daily sets of Kegels. But I can’t sit down and write a five-step plan on how to best grow a human. I can’t check off the baby’s development on a to-do list. I can’t willpower myself to get through this pregnancy without gaining more than ten pounds.


This experience has forced me to trust in something bigger than myself.

It’s become crystal clear that I’m not the one driving the bus right now. I’m just a passenger. I have no other option than to trust, so I might as well enjoy the journey. Meanwhile, my body is growing and expanding and creating a home for my baby, something that I’m incredibly grateful for and privileged to experience.


And all of this is happening without my management or interference.

This seems to be the pattern in multiple areas of my life. I’ve learned that I can choose to not vacuum, or cook a fancy dinner, or fold the laundry without the world caving in. It seems like my control wasn’t serving anybody. It was just causing me pain. Maybe I can
loosen my grip and the world will keep spinning.


Maybe I can afford to relax.

The reality is, bad things might still happen. My baby could be sick, or I could deliver prematurely. There are a million things that could go wrong. But I can’t do a damn thing about any of them. And if they do happen, I have to trust that I will figure it out. For the first time ever, I feel like I am able to loosen my death grip on this thing called life. I feel like I can breathe. I feel brave enough to surrender to the current and let it carry me. I feel something close to peace. Maybe motherhood has more to teach me than I thought.


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  • This is me too – I’m such a worrier. Having my son helped me worry less, for all of the reasons you listed above – there isn’t a single thing I can do about something going wrong during pregnancy or what my baby will come out like. I’ve worried less with this pregnancy, and that’s been very freeing.

  • YES! Yes, yes, yes!

    I too am a control freak when it comes to most everything, but being pregnant has shown me that I can’t actually control everything and that I need to have grace with myself. I’m still learning that and some days are much easier than others, but the times I decide to surrender and let go are always much more peaceful than the moments I don’t.

    I’ve already decided that when it comes to birthing this baby, my body will do exactly what it’s supposed to and that the medical team at the hospital we’ll be delivering at will be able to handle the rest. It’s my job to just stay calm. (I’ve had to make this decision early so that in two months when the baby makes its way out, this feeling will be second nature to someone it doesn’t come second nature to.)

    Thanks for this post and the reminder! 🙂

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