Irrational Pregnancy Fears

They're Lurking Everywhere. I Just Know It.

The other day while Fia and I were at the playground, I got the following voicemail from Phil:

“Um, why the f—k is Pest Control here? They said you booked them to spray for black widows.  I told them to leave. Call me.”

I called him back with dread. He picked up on the first ring:

“What is going on?”

“What do you mean?” I say.

“I’m really trying hard not to get pissed here, but what the f—k?”


Then, “Because of the spiders,” I said meekly.

“Jill—have you ever seen a black widow anywhere on our property?”

“No, but they exist!” I said, trying to defend myself. “There are cobwebs on all the lawn furniture.”

He cut me right off. “You are being ridiculous. We are not going to live in fear. We are not going to make Fia afraid of spiders. And we’re sure as s–t not spraying a bunch of toxins all over everything.”


He continued: “Did you know what they told me? That spiders hold their breath. So in order to kill them, they have to literally drench everything with chemicals.”

More silence.

“I am going to assume this is one of your stupid pregnancy things and I’m going to get over it. But seriously, you need to get a grip.”

I had irrational pregnancy fears with Fia before and after birth. And now, well, I guess they’re baaaccck.

Thing is, I knew he was right. I mean I’m the one who insists on using the Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent (even though he insists his clothes aren’t as clean) because I don’t like the chemicals. Most of my cleaning products, toiletries, etc. are “green.”  We live in a beautiful setting with blackbirds and doves who flock to our yard every morning. So dousing it with chemicals goes against everything I am typically about. But as we all know in pregnancy, nothing that is typical remains so. All fears and anxieties seem to take on a heightened world of their own.

Part of me blames my friend Jenn for the spider fiasco. She moved here from Brooklyn a while back and told me she found a family of black widows on her porch. She has an 8-year old and called pest control. After hearing her tale, I decided to be proactive.

Think it kind of backfired…

Two days after Phil’s irate phone call, I picked flowers from our garden and brought them in. The next day there was a spider on the curtain. And a web in the flowers. I assume I brought in the creature. I thought, I swear to god if that’s a black widow, I will march into Phil’s office and freak the f—k out. Then march out smugly.  I took this picture and googled it.

Red Back Jumping Spider

It’s a Redback Jumping Spider. They bite and have venom, but nothing too severe. Definitely not fatal. Nevertheless, I made Phil get rid of it. He didn’t kill it. He put it back outside, so it’s sure to come haunt me again.

I’m also getting worse on my cleaning issues. If I find a few crumbs on the counter—or god forbid a hair– it makes me crazy. I could puke just thinking about it.  I don’t want company because I don’t want the mess.

I guess with Baby Boy just 3 weeks away, these fears and obsessions may get worse. What should I do? Try and get hypnotized to get over them? Or just wait until I can take Xanax again? Any advice? Any good tales of your own? HHHEEEELLLLLPPPP!

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  2. by Kirsten Ann Sampsell

    On January 7, 2012 at 7:39 am

    JILL!! This is what Bach flowers were made for!! I always say that mothering without Bach flowers is like going to the beach without the sun. They are a ready made system of 38 flower essences to help balance our emotions. As Moms, we know that there is never a shortage of extreme emotions swirling in and around us. You can use them all through pregnancy and beyond. They are wonderful harmonizers to be enjoyed by the whole family.

    In your case I would recommend that you use, Mimulus (it aids in the fear of known things, in this case, spiders), Crab Apple (for an obsession with cleanliness and order) and Cherry Plum (for the feeling that you are losing control). You can simply add 2 drops of each remedy to a glass of water and sip throughout the day. The essences work gently and over time, so its not about quantity, but consistency.

    I can be reached at for private consultations and more detailed mixing information. If flowers can change our mood just by looking at them, imagine what drinking their essences can do!!

    Kirsten Ann Sampsell
    Bach Flower Consultant, Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant, Metemorphosis Practitioner

  3. by CB

    On January 9, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    HA! I live in LA too and my house is rife with spiders, but they’ve all been those harmless but gross looking “brown house spiders”. In my 6 years, I haven’t seen a black widow yet. (Knock wood). I did see a tarantula, once though… While hiking, not in the house.

  4. [...] we first moved out here, I asked exterminators to come to our house. Phil intercepted them. Here’s an [...]