What To Expect When I’m Expecting

pregnant_belly2001

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.

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16 Comments

  • Reply Lea White

    I’ll be there for you, even if I am on the other side of the world. Whilst I can never ever fully comprehend what your journey must be like and in no way am I ever qualified to walk in your shoes, but I would like to let you know that I have suffered a miscarriage before. So I do understand a little bit of what you might be feeling and I want to just let you know that I am sending hugs and prayers and lots of positive thoughts all the way from here..

    If I may be so bold as to share with you what’s helped me with our current journey – what’s worked for us was not to focus on the tests each time, we try very hard just to focus on now and especially in the beginning I used to tell myself each and every day “you can do it, you can do it” and I used to remind myself that if I could just get through each day and put one foot in front of the other then we would be one step closer to our goal. I stopped myself each time my mind wanted to wander too far ahead and I knew that whilst we couldn’t control what was just around the corner, we could focus on now and try to make the best of it.

    I pray that as you start this part of your journey you will have sufficient strength and peace of mind to help see you through each and every day. To have enough “energy” to put one foot in front of the other.

    I pray that you will realise you are not alone even if not all of us know what this must be like for you.

    Hugs, hugs and more hugs all the way from here!!!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:51 am
  • Reply WiseGuy

    I won’t ask you to relax, because I have become more insightful through experience to say something as trivial than that. I can understand how you feel.

    All I can do is to wish you all the very best – and that all your mood troubles and crankiness will be accepted. You are so welcome.

    I still wonder how everybody in the fertile world makes it look so darn effortless!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and the comment on ‘Dunk’. There was no hope….I did not feel anything but her impending arrival.

    January 12, 2009 at 9:29 am
  • Reply Amanda

    Shaz, your emotions are your own, and no-one should be presumptious enough to judge how you feel. We all cope anyway we can with difficult situations. If people in all their “wisdom” give you stupid advice, then just let it fall on deaf ears. I am praying for you and W, and you should know that you can do this. We are not afraid of hard work!

    January 12, 2009 at 9:57 am
  • Reply Elize

    I will always be there for you. Being on the same side as you, I understand fully the anxiety that goes with seeing a BFP. The utter fear that appears instantly and the growing panic that results in a full blown panic attack. After I lost my second pregnancy my SIL admitted that she didn’t know what all the fuss was about, they kept telling me to believe and to have faith. I hate it when people down play my feelings of fear. I guess it’s because they don’t know how it feels. Praying for you and W my friend.

    January 12, 2009 at 10:23 am
  • Reply Katherine

    HI there
    There are enough people who understand your anxiety, so who cares about the rest. I’ve only had 2 m/c’s but this pregnancy was filled with utter dread, so cannot even begin to imagine how you will feel. I think all of my non-doubling beta’s and bleeding did nothing for my state of mind and it actually helped when I finally found out at 12 weeks that my placenta was lying low and probably causing the bleeding. I therefor hope that the Dr finding your septum, will possibly ease your mind a bit, as at least there’s a possible reason for the previous m/c’s. One thing I can assure you, even if the mom lives in a state of constant fear and worrying, it has no effect on the baby, despite what everyone says.
    My advice – go on the tablets, go for weekly scans and buy yourself a doppler (only works from 12 weeks though) and I hope you have constant, unbearable nausea and vomiting (yes, it’s the pits but gives one a slight bit of peace of mind). Each step is like a massive hurdle, so let’s hope the BFP IVF is now on the horizon and one can go from there.
    Well done on your weight loss, brilliant stuff.

    January 12, 2009 at 10:25 am
  • Reply samcy

    I’ll be there for you, through good times, through bad times, I’ll be on your side forever more! That’s what friends are for…

    In fact I’m hoping that I can deal with a fragile anxious Shaz soon cos that means that you’ll be on the path to becoming a parent. I can only pray that the septum removal and the polyp removal will be the difference in your next pregnancy.

    I like the advise given above of focussing on each milestone as you reach it – so we’ll get past each “hurdle” by focussing only on that hurdle and then turn our eyes to the next one.

    Love ya!
    xxx

    January 12, 2009 at 11:40 am
  • Reply Mandy

    Hi there, Sharon

    I haven’t commented before, but I read your blog daily. I have also suffered miscarriage, but only once, and I can relate to your post in each and every way. I am pregnant again (22 weeks) and just this morning I was scared shitless when I realised I haven’t quite felt the baby move today. I would just like to say that I found in my own TTC journey that it was only when I started making plans around a baby ( and I wasn’t even pg yet) that it all seemed to fall into place. Once I started imagining it as real life, and planning around it and picking names and doing the baby room it all suddenly happened. Yes, I know, the fear never goes away, but I started living towards it, and I can highly recommend it. I was in rut for a long time before hand and pregnancy seemed absolutely imposssible, until I changed my mind and said “NO, i refused to accept this as my life!!”
    I sincerely hope you get a BFP and please take the anxiety meds, it will help you keep composure in those terrifying times. Love, Mandy

    January 12, 2009 at 12:01 pm
  • Reply 'Murgdan'

    I hereby solomnly swear to never ever tell you to ‘just relax’ or ‘take it easy’ or ‘just enjoy it’…although I’ve never experienced it–I can only imagine that being told to ‘just relax’ about being pregnant after RPL must be about as comforting as hearing ‘just relax’ after repeat pregnancy attempts that have never and will never work.

    I’m glad you’re getting some help on the anxiety end of things this time…and I’ll still be eternally crossing my fingers for a good result at the end of all this…whatever that means.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:25 pm
  • Reply skrambled

    I think that it is so important to tell us how you want to be treated. I will also be there for you, and I will be whatever kind of friend you need. Anything you need – Just ask!

    January 12, 2009 at 12:59 pm
  • Reply Kirsty

    Keeping everything crossed for you! xx

    January 12, 2009 at 3:54 pm
  • Reply stacey

    Sharon, you are so spot-on with every single word of this. It’s so weird (and refreshing, really) to read someone else’s words that are so much like the ones in my own head. Thank you for being so open about these feelings. As much as I agree, these feelings are uniquely yours and I am glad you shared them.

    I feel the same way about positive pregnancy tests and ultrasounds/blood tests. For us RPLers, the positive test is the beginning of a rollercoaster – and it is one scary ride, both physically and emotionally. All of it begins with seeing those two lines that represent such joy to others. I’ve always felt like I’ve been robbed of that, and robbed of making announcements to family and friends. Now my announcements, when they do come, are quiet and cautious. Yes, I have faith in God and I pray and I trust in His will and reasons for taking me down this path. But you’re so right, sometimes his answer is “No,” or at least “Not right now.”

    This is getting long, so I’ll again just say THANK YOU, and Amen, and I’m hoping this will be your time, my friend.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm
  • Reply Maritza

    Completely understandable, even for a non-RPL’er

    We surely cannot take away your anxiety, but we can hold your hand through it.

    Hope we have a chance to take you all the way, very soon…

    Mwah! M 🙂

    January 12, 2009 at 7:05 pm
  • Reply Katie

    I can completely sympathise with the anxiety. The waking up at 5am with a racing heart… the running to the loo and wiping with your heart in your mouth when you feel a little dampness…

    January 13, 2009 at 1:58 am
  • Reply pastfirst

    Great to see that so many people care!
    I’ve never had your problem, but I can honestly sympathise with you and send you as much positive energy as I can!
    Thanks for sharing your feelings with us. All the best.

    January 13, 2009 at 10:53 am
  • Reply C

    The panic & dread of a BFP. I am terrified of it!!!! I guess that is why I am stuck in no mans land. I wish good things for you!

    January 13, 2009 at 2:23 pm
  • Reply CalT

    I’ve only had one m/c but I know my chance of another is very high.
    While I long to see two lines, I actually dread it more. Sometimes I feel like I don’t want to actually endure pregnancy, purely because of the fear. Rather just tell me I’m pg then give me the baby right after that.

    I hope that when your BFP comes that your journey will turn out very differently to the feelings you have experienced during pregnancy before, but if it doesn’t I hope that you will be surrounded by people who will be there for you every step of the way.

    January 17, 2009 at 12:02 pm
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