Anxiety

It is no real surprise to me that I have been a complete worry wart through my pregnancy so far – I mean, I’m just naturally a worry wart anyhow. But was has been a little surprising is the sheer level of anxiety that I have been feeling recently. Way more than worry wart stage. The kind where all I can think about is something going wrong, and then I fall down the rabbit hole (aka the internet) and I am starting to feel that I am drowning in my fears. Probably irrationally. But I can’t seem to help how just downright terrified I have been feeling lately.

The strangest thing about it is that as my pregnancy progresses, my risk decreases. But all it takes is one post on a message board to send me into a spiral of worry. I wish it were as easy as “just don’t read those things” – but it’s not. Even when I actively try to avoid them, I will inadvertantly come across something that just scares me senseless.

I don’t like these feelings. And I really need to get control of them. My anxiety seems to becoming more constat – and I am getting to the point that I almost feel like I need to bring it up with my doctor.

In an effort to try and get some ground under my feet again, and stop worrying so much, I visited the same place that is a large cause of my anxiety: The Internet. As it turns out, anxiety in pregnancy is a really common thing. One of the methods that I found to try and help control the anxiety was to make a sort of journal that not only outlines what is making you anxious, but also makes you find information to combat your concerns.

Since I am open to trying anything that will help me hold it together (and not end up a sobbing mess on my bedroom floor), I thought I’d give it a try.

Anxious Thought: That I will miscarry.
How that thought makes me feel: Terrified.
Evidence for the Worry: Many women miscarry, even after their first trimester. I’ve heard and read stories about it happening.
Evidence Against the Worry: While women do miscarry once they are out of their first trimester, once you have heard and seen the heartbeat your chance of miscarriage decreases significantly. In fact, once you enter your second trimester your chance of miscarriage is less than 5%. That means that there is a greater than 95% chance that your pregnancy is going to be uneventful and that you are going to deliver your baby.

Anxious Thought: Now that we’ve “announced” if something happens people will be disappointed.
How that makes me feel: Stressed. I have also had a problem with feeling like I disappointed people.
Evidence for the Worry: Everyone is very excited that I am pregnant. Disappointment is a natural reaction when something you want to happen, doesn’t.
Evidence Against the Worry: Everyone that is important to you, cares about you. They will be a support network, and will love you, even if something happens. Their first reaction will be to find out how you are doing, and what they can do to help you.

Anxious Thought: That something will come up wrong on the echocardiogram in December.
How that makes me feel: Scared.
Evidence for the Worry: There is scientific research that shows some percentage of babies with an NT reading that matches our has a heart problem.
Evidence Against the Worry: There is a less than 5% chance that something is wrong. In fact, over 93% of women who have an abnormal reading between the 95th and 99th percentile go on to have perfectly normal, healthy babies. The odds are very much in our favor that nothing is wrong.

Anxious Thought: That I will miscarry and not know it.
How that makes me feel: Terrified.
Evidence for the Worry: Women, even those in their second trimester, have missed miscarriages.
Evidence Against the Worry: While women do miscarry once they are out of their first trimester, once you have heard and seen the heartbeat your chance of miscarriage decreases significantly. In fact, once you enter your second trimester your chance of miscarriage is less than 5%. That means that there is a greater than 95% chance that your pregnancy is going to be uneventful and that you are going to deliver your baby.

A few facts:  It is most likely that I will deliver a healthy baby. It is very unlikely that something is going to go wrong. While bad things do happen, they are statistically unlikely to happen to me.

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5 thoughts on “Anxiety

  1. Unfortunately, humans don’t deal with probability very well. The brain processes most things as black and white and as long as there is a chance we will worry about it, especially when it’s about something that is as important as your own child!

    I’m usually always calm and collected about things, my friends jokingly say that I always shrug things off with a “nah, it’ll work out”. This is mostly true, but during my pregnancy I was a nerve wreck and went for two extra check ups (one early and one late) because I was certain something had suddenly happened to my child. It doesn’t help of course that, just as you write, you can always find examples of someone who’s had the worst happen to them, you will immediately clutch on to that thought and believe that is exactly what is happening to you. Or you know someone who knows someone… It also doesn’t help that basically everything that can happen can either be nothing wrong or catastrophe! I felt a lot during my pregnancy (and afterwards as well) that the knowledge was frightingly low and medical staff around me would often say “this is probably perfectly normal”. What do you mean probably?! I don’t want probably, I want yes or no!

    I’m not going to tell you to try not to worry or to not read about it because I know it is basically impossible. And I can tell you, you will never stop worrying either. My son is now just over one year and I still wake up in the night listening for his breathing to make sure he is still alive.

    From the moment I decided I wanted to try to have a child until now, I’ve worried about something. However, it does get easier to handle. Pregnancy is among the toughest bits because you don’t have the child yet. It is 9 months of just waiting and hoping everything will turn out ok, it is so easy for your mind to wander because it has nothing else to do. Later on, once you have the child, at least you have someone to focus on, someone that will also give you something in return, Another thing that I felt gave me some small comfort was the knowledge that eventhough something might happen, however unlikely, the further into the pregnancy you go the more likely it is that they can do something about it. The sigh of relief I drew when I came past the point where the child can survive outside the womb if it’s premature you wouldn’t believe.

    And for all my worry, I am still sitting here writing this with my son in my lap (while trying to keep his little fingers off the keyboard), and I am sure everything will work out fine for you as well! πŸ™‚

  2. Congratulations on your baby girl!

    I do have some perspective after some mild IF and a painful loss before I had my now 5 year old son. The only things that kept me semi-sane were being on a friendly pregnancy-after-loss board, and renting a Doppler for at home. I listened to my son’s heartbeat every single day, sometimes twice, and couldn’t bring myself to return the rental once I was feeling reassuring movements.
    Feeling movement will help a lot. Seeing a healthy 20-week ultrasound will help even more.

    I’m sure they ruled out a lot of the things that could go wrong when they did your loss panels, so you do have wonderful odds of having a calm, uneventful pregnancy.

    • Thanks, Amy!

      I do have a home doppler and will sheepishly admit that I use it daily. Even on days I think “I might not need it today”, I end up feeling a little anxious by the end of the day and using it! Tonight was kind of fun because we heard her kicking at the doppler tonight.

      I am definitely looking forward to feeling her movements πŸ™‚

  3. Beru I’m so happy for you! I’ve been following your journey through your blog and I cried with happiness when I read that you and Brade were successful!

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