You have had a miscarriage or two, maybe three, four, five or more. And you’re pregnant again.
This is a stressful time when everyone around you is telling you to be happy, excited and look forwards not back. Easier said than done when all you feel is anxious and ready to be several weeks in the future so you can feel out of the danger zone. And it doesn’t stop there if you have had a late miscarriage or a stillbirth.
Coping with this period of time is incredibly harrowing and stressful despite the euphoria of pregnancy. It’s a sad fact that many of us will never truly feel pregnant until we pass the stage that we have formally miscarried before. You may have not told anyone about your losses or your family and friends may all know. Sometimes you don’t feel anyone truly understands what you’re going through. With my current pregnancy all I can focus on is having that baby in my arms. Never mind that statistically the chances of a miscarriage past 12 weeks are low – you will always be counting the weeks so you get to that ‘safe’ zone that much sooner.
In my experience much of this anxiety is caused by the lack of control in a situation. Even if you have had a diagnosis of implantation problems, Natural Killer Cells or an incompetent cervix, you are still at the mercy of your body and how it will react to sometimes unknown drugs. You are once again diving into the unknown.
You may not just be concerned with losing your baby, you may also be experiencing perfectly normal worries about becoming a parent for the first time or once again, fearing the birth process or worrying about other aspects of your pregnancy or the impact of the pregnancy on people around you. As my mother reminded me the other day, ‘It’s no surprise really, you have a very good reason to be anxious’. I felt much less guilty for the way I was feeling with those words.
Tommy’s have a lot of information about these fears, which you can find here.
If you have these fears or worries or can feel yourself become anxious or depressed, I cannot stress the importance of speaking to your doctor, midwife or the early pregnancy unit at your hospital. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists state that aside from investigation into miscarriage or recurrent miscarriage one of the top priorities in treatment is giving couples who have experienced miscarriage or recurrent miscarriage plenty of tender loving care. This can include early scans, regular scans, being understand when couples come to them with worries and other support. There is support out there for you. If your GP won’t listen, shout harder. You should not have to live with this anxiety without support.
Your GP can suggest local counselling or CBT training. I also cannot stress the support gained from techniques such as Mindfulness. Luckily there are plenty of books which you can get very easily which will make a massive difference to your everyday life.
I can recommend the following books: