My life has changed to much in the last few years and one of the changes is that W and I have had to cultivate a whole new circle of friends. So we have some old friends and lots of new friends. Most of my new friends have not been around me when I go through a pregnancy. Now with my IVF just around the corner, and hopefully a positive result, I thought it best to give you all a bit of insight into the workings of my mind during a pregnancy so that perhaps you’ll understand my reactions a bit better when (Please GOD) I get my next positive result.
Pregnancy, for those of us who’ve had the misfortune of experiencing recurrent pregnancy losses (RPL) is not actually a happy time. In fact, the number one emotion I recall experiencing with my last pregnancy was anxiety. Constant, never ending anxiety. Anxiety when you open your eyes first thing in the morning, anxiety throughout the day, anxiety when you try to sleep at night. Anxiety that builds and builds and builds and in my case has even resulted in panic attacks. I think I speak for all women who’ve suffered the misfortune of RPL, that the level of anxiety increases with the number of pregnancies lost.
As sick as it may sound, the only relief I’ve had from the terrible anxiety has come in the form of a miscarriage. Miscarriage I know, miscarriages I know what to expect and what to do, I know how it happens, I know the signs of it happening and as soon as its been confirmed I feel…….. resigned relief….. sick I know, but I feel a sense of resigned relief at not having to live with the constant anxiety that eats away at my mind every second of every day that I carry a pregnancy. My anxiety was so out of control with my last pregnancy that I’ve already arranged with my RE that the second I get my positive result I’ll be going on some safe anxiety medication for the remainder of my pregnancy.
Now I know what the non-RPL’ers will say, just relax. Stay calm, don’t get yourself so worked up. But everyone who’s suffered RPL will tell you, relaxing is impossible. EVERYTHING is terrifying. Every mile stone in the pregnancy achieved is frightening. My first reaction on seeing the two lines on a pee stick is crying. I immediately get this overwhelming sense of foreboding and anxiety and I can’t stop crying. Then we face the next hurdle, the blood test, once you’ve passed the first blood test its the agonizing wait for the second and third blood tests, analysing the HCG counts with each and everyone. Squeezing your boobs constantly, wondering why they’re so sore? Is it because of the pregnancy or because of your constant poking and prodding. Convincing yourself that they’re not as sore as they were the day before and hence a miscarriage is imminant. Going for the first scan………. God scans terrify me, I’ve never had a good one. They’ve always been bad and so for me scans will always be terrifying.
I also become supersitious, I don’t want any gifts for the baby, I don’t want to make any plans around the baby because I’m afraid that by doing those things I doom the pregnancy to a miscarriage ending.
I know many well meaning non-RPL’ers have told me to just pray and everything will be ok. But the truth is that sometimes God’s answer to our prayers is a No. If all it took to save a pregnancy was prayer, well then miscarriages probably wouldn’t exist and I’d have 6 beautiful children. I know my friends mean well, I know that they want to comfort and support me, but please understand that telling me to pray doesn’t comfort or help me at all.
I don’t think it will matter how far along I get in a pregnancy, I know that with my history of 6 pregnancies lost, that the statistics do not bode well for me and so regardless of whether I’m through the first trimester or not, I will be anxious and terrified and fragile.
I will be hard work to be around. My anxiety and uncertaintiy will irritate you and test your patience. But the only thing you can do for me is to be there for me and try and tolerate what you may perceive as negativity when next I get pregnant.