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Very scared / paranoid

(42 Posts)
FoxHugs Sun 30-Mar-14 23:57:02

I've been typing, and erasing my post here several times through fear that I'll jinx things. In fact this is one of the reasons I must speak out, if to hear if anyone else has felt like me?

Imagine trying to conceive for many long years, and each (assisted) conception has ended up in a loss (early MC), and then find yourself being 5 months pregnant TWELVE years down the line (and even that not through difficulty as it's due to Clomid, had an early bleed - lost one of the sacs (small mercies as the other one survived), plus was on Cyclogest until 16 wks, baby aspirin + Clexane to date from the very beginning).
My head is all over the place. And I think I will soon go clinically insane!

I was very young when my world was shot to pieces upon discovering I couldn't have babies "just like that". Initially fell preg on Clomid but MC'ied at 6 weeks. Thereafter neither Clomid, nor another drug (remember having to inject it) worked. Had laparoscopy to remove endo, treat PCOS but apart from my periods becoming regular- nothing changed.
Without going through the whole medical history, will mention that all of the above was repeated some years later, but when I did fall pregnant - I lost each baby.

Now I have somehow made it to 24 weeks (with private scans to keep me sane) and the fear / paranoia is kicking in big time.

I've bit of a sore throat, thinking that will bring on fever, thus doom. If it's not sore throat it's very painful back (something bad must have happened), or having had lifted something on the heavy side - that's it, placental abruption, etc.

Having had read so much about stillbirths (as well as knowing of four people in my circle of acquaintances who've had stillbirths), personal experience with MC's, everthing makes me scared.
Sore throat being the big thing at the moment for I keep thinking about Lily Allen's loss due to fever. In my head inevitably this sore throat will lead to pneumonia. I never used to care about stuff like this!!
Quite frankly I have no idea where people get the strength to carry on after such a loss. I lost myself in mid 20's after my own, comparatively less tragic experiences.

This worrying gets to the point where I'm breaking down psychologically and mentally. I don't ever think I will meet this baby, etc.
Not once in these months have I gone to the loo without a slight heart fluttering (fear I'll see blood).
If I haven't felt the baby I think "he's gone", and while I don't become hysterical, the silence builds up and up, until the stupidest of things flips me out and I start crying. DH thinks I'm crying about any particular subject at the time, but the truth is that it's all because I've convinced myself that something terribly bad has happened.

What is wrong with me? Am I actually going mad?

Terribly sorry about incoherent (phone typed) hyperventilation, I'm just so so so scared that I too will be a statistic, one of the remarkably unlucky ones.

With envy I've read posts here from excited mums to be, discussing baby clothes, plans, and I so wish I could do the same but I'm so scared something go terribly wrong (as I've typed this - sharp lightening of pain shot across the stomach - from hip to belly button).

Baby isn't moving as much right now, some 3-4 days in the row, and I'm paranoid. Equally too embarrassed to go to the hospital again (was there on Wed), so am dwelling.

I wish I could go to sleep, wake up, and all of this was over. And by over I don't mean a tragic end.

When people say "I know someone who had x amount of MC, now have twins / baby / 3 kids" etc is of little comfort, because they have their babies, me and many others in similar position don't.
It'd be great to know if, or how it's possible to get through this without collateral damage to ones mental health.

thanks Thank you for reading and understanding.

southeastastra Mon 31-Mar-14 00:06:20

maybe look at it the other way, try to enjoy your pregnancy, i know it's very easy to say rather than put into practice but you can worry all you like but the outcome will be the same.

try to be positive

morethanpotatoprints Mon 31-Mar-14 00:06:39

No you aren't going mad.
I haven't experienced all you have but have had some similar to you.
You need to find some help to help you stay calm. My dh and mw were great here and so understanding and supportive.
Of course you will feel like this it is natural that you just daren't get up hope.
Do you have any rl friends or health care specialists you can talk to so you can gain some perspective.
I know it is hard and I never settled until I was holding dd in my arms.

southeastastra Mon 31-Mar-14 00:08:17

btw i had placenta previa with my ds2 and it was bloody scary but in hindsight i wish i had enjoyed being pregnant more that i did. it was just worry from the start but he is now a fantastic little boy of 12

AndSheRose Mon 31-Mar-14 00:34:55

I think you need some help managing your (understandable) anxieties, and the thoughts that lead to them. It sounds like classic CBT would help you a lot, which focuses on how thoughts and behaviours interact to produce anxieties. It will help you identify how a behaviour or feeling (eg back pain) leads to a thought (something is going wrong with the baby) which then leads to panic and subsequent catastrophic thoughts, which then fuels the whole thing, and techniques to interrupt this cycle. Women can feel like this in pregnancy even without previous fertility issues you discussed, and it sounds like it has become more than everyday nerves and worry.

See your doctor and tell them you are suffering, you can get CBT on the NHS or if you can afford it or have private healthcare insurance it is quicker to go private.
The irony is you are mentally anguished while physically all evidence to date is that everything is going fine and looking likely to stay that way - try to remind yourself of this, and do whatever you can to relax - yoga, relaxation CD, positive affirmations, pregnancy massage, long walks - whatever helps. And actively consider the millions of pregnancies and births that routinely work out fine, rather than search out or dwell on the stories where they don't, which seem plentiful but in reality are much fewer than the 'everything went fine' outcomes.

Good luck.

HowAboutNo Mon 31-Mar-14 05:42:41

I'm really sorry you're feeling like this. Whilst I haven't had the same experiences as you, I feel really anxious about this pregnancy. I was convinced this would never happen and I still can't bring myself to believe it

However the best piece of advice was actually from this board. Someone said to just appreciate this moment, the fact that I am pregnant right now, and that I have this time with her. Sounds silly but it really helped me focus on the fact that right now, she exists and that is something to enjoy and cherish.

I can't imagine how hard it was to go through what you have, but please just go and be monitored whenever you feel you need it - even if it's every day! It's your baby and you must do whatever you feel is right to make you feel better. They won't judge you at Triage, that's what they are there for.

Keep going, you're doing great thanks

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Mon 31-Mar-14 05:55:16

Agree to go and be checked out if you are worried! As howabout says, that is what they are there for.

flowers

FoxHugs Thu 03-Apr-14 00:34:00

Dear ladies,

Thank you ever so much for your kind input, especially shared experiences!
Not having a good bunch of gf's around me to discuss things has been more detrimental than lack of any formal (CBT) care. You'll be surprised how much good the old and simple chinwag can do! Which is why I turned to this forum, most gals seem to be level headed, and my god have some gone through Hell itself!

The best line I heard recently was from a young obstetrician at our local delivery suite, "People with your past will be nervous. That's natural. You won't enjoy the pregnancy, you will be worried, and it's normal, we expect you to be this way."
Simple, to the point, putting things into easily digestible perspective. Oh Heavens, thanks for such direct, fresh attitude!!!
Sent me home on a cloud, haven't felt the need to dig up more possible problems smile

Another thing she said, and I'm taking it on board (slowly, mind) is "obstetrics is one field where there's no guarantee for anyone, under any circumstances." Which I take as - we're all in the same boat.
So let's look out for each other brew cake grin

EllaBella220 Thu 03-Apr-14 00:42:36

I have no experience with this but I just wanted to add that maybe a little doppler might help you settle if you can hear the baby's heartbeat? I know some people aren't keen on them because sometimes you can't hear the baby's heartbeat if they are in a bad position etc BUT instead of you going out of your mind with worry you could always try to have a listen with that first THEN contact the doctor or hospital if you haven't picked up any sounds or felt any movement within whatever space of time.

FoxHugs Thu 03-Apr-14 01:03:59

Hi Ella! Thank you! BUT I was the first person to dismiss this (from my own thoughts) because even young / inexperienced gynies confuse placental blood flow / mothers heartbeat with babies hb (info from horses mouth). Which causes more damage than good (false reassurance).
I read a tragic story once about a young mum who didn't seek help because of her Doppler.
Here's a quick (old) summary as to why it's best not to toy around with it: http://m.voices.yahoo.com/doctors-warn-against-using-home-doppler-device-fetal-4868430.html

EllaBella220 Thu 03-Apr-14 01:12:45

Hmm I will give that a read as I was tempted to buy one so my youngest could have a listen (he's obsessed with trying to hear or feel the baby but I'm only 15 weeks) but wasn't really wanting it for me to keep track.

It's only natural to worry a little but you sound like you are having an awful time and it's sad that you can't enjoy this magical time after such a long wait sad I have no advice on how to cope with the worry so I hope other people here can offer some good advice.

I know it's not the same thing but I am barely thinking about my baby at the minute because I am still worried something might happen and I'm trying not to get too attached until I see everything is ok at the 20 weeks scan! For now I am just willing the weeks to pass so I can be a little more sure but are we ever completely settled until we give birth and see their little face? Actually scrap that......we're never really settled EVER when there are kids involved, there's always something to worry about!

squizita Thu 03-Apr-14 11:08:01

Hi- just saw your other post and realised why you sounded so worried about a cold!! sad

I'm in a similar boat - nervously pregnant after losses. Know of people who have had stillbirth, cot death etc' too and it doesn't help.

There is a threat for pregnancy after loss (the posifrickentivity thread) which you may find reassuring!
Also ask your midwife about the perenatal psychiatry service. It is quite normal to have this service if you're in our boat and it is enormously helpful.

Don't worry about going to hospital for reduced movements: they will be glad to help you. Otherwise you'll just be worried.

FoxHugs Thu 03-Apr-14 11:14:02

Oh Ella don't let grim reading deprive your little one from hearing the baby (even if what you really hear is placental blood flow).
If it's of any help, the only difference I've noticed when MW's listen to him is the rhythm - our hb is between 60-100 bpm, whereas little ones is 100- 100+something (140? 150?) so it's definitely faster. Placental blood flow is fairly slow in comparison to the rapid beating of your unborn baby's heart.

I totally understand you. I'm barely allowing myself to be excited, but I have those little treats like at night when he does his exercise. I devour every movement. Next day it's business as usual.

When do your weeks change?
Mine's Friday, so I tend to get the weekend over and done with (admittedly it flies). Comes Monday I think - oh, it's X weeks and day 3 already! I plan something for Wednesdays, which leaves me only 2 sleeps away from another week change.
Worth a little brainstorm to cut up your week(-s)?

Do you know what you're having?
We found out at 12 weeks (albeit it was 95% chance; 10 days later Harmony test confirmed without a doubt).

Assume all has gone well with your 12 week scan? Xx

squizita Thu 03-Apr-14 11:22:09

Fox I haven't got a doppler - same reason as you, could cause more fears!

EllaBella220 Thu 03-Apr-14 11:46:36

Fox we don't know yet but I am dying to find out....which is probably half the reason I am trying not to think too much about the pregnancy because when I do I just want to know if it's a boy or girl. I have 2 boys already and keep saying I don't mind either way but I know deep down I would love a little girl as this is likely our last baby BUT I know once I find out and it's a boy (which I think is likely as my OH has only brothers and nephews, no girls at all on his side!) I will be happy to finally know and can then get started on the prep for another little boy.

I've had 3 scans so far as I had some light bleeding through the first 13 weeks and all of them went well. I could have sworn I felt fluttering at the start of the week but now that it hasn't happened again I'm not too sure if I even really felt it lol.

My weeks change on a Monday going by my dates but the previous Thursday according to my charts as I had told the midwife my LMP was 4 days earlier by accident but the hospital said they didn't need to change the dates as it was only a few days out. So by my chart I am 16 weeks today but I know I won't be until Monday. I find it a lot easier to keep track with the Monday as it's a new week so I know we're going into out next week.

livingzuid Thu 03-Apr-14 13:45:01

I know what you mean about the fear. I had a mc and a horrendous time with an early scan with this pregnancy. I have bipolar and a few other things including hg and sometimes have sometimes felt I was losing my mind. Pregnancy is so stressful.

I found the rundown to 30 weeks painfully slow. Dh took my phone away from me several times and I was banned from reading bad stories. Every day I'd say, has the bump grown? Can I feel her move? No way would he let me have a doppler!

What I found was that a) I didn't feel anything regular till 25 weeks and b) even after then it wasn't constant every day. Sometimes there was loads and other days I'd spend in tears as i could barely feel her.

Now I'm past 30 weeks and the baby is so much bigger I can feel her kick much more. The pregnancy still feels like longest ever but that's for different reasons now and not so much due to anxiety! Just want to meet her.

My obstetrician said that so long as the pattern of movement was the same, the regularity and frequency didn't matter. So mine is super active early morning with pretty much nothing in the afternoon and then again at night she perks up. Then middle of the night nothing too much.

The other thing is that we are all different too smile as are our babies. If they are lying inwards then I feel very little but if she is facing out then wow!

It will become more regular. I found hypobirthing cds helped keep me calm as did pregnancy yoga. There is this little trick where if you put your hand on your belly the baby will move towards it, then if you put your hand on another part of your belly the baby will go there instead. It's really cool smile

It's not easy to relax I know but take faith in that you baby and your body know what to do. thanks

RedToothBrush Thu 03-Apr-14 15:52:20

The best line I heard recently was from a young obstetrician at our local delivery suite, "People with your past will be nervous. That's natural. You won't enjoy the pregnancy, you will be worried, and it's normal, we expect you to be this way."

This is brilliant and very right.

You learn from your experiences and instinctively react in a certain way. So if you have been exposed to loss or a traumatic situation either directly or indirectly through people who you are close then its very normal to react in a very fearful way. The reality that something bad can happen, is just that, a reality, rather than some statistic that happens to other people. Sometimes you just need to understand and accept that rather than comparing yourself to others who haven't shared the same life experiences to you.

I think that looking round at others and seeing how excited and happy they are about the same thing can make you question yourself even more, as you don't stop to consider the fact that we are all different. The idea that not everyone does enjoy pregnancy and doesn't share that same sense of excitement isn't really talked about. But would you expect people to be more or less forthcoming about sharing anxiety rather joy?

If you are suffering from extreme anxiety, I'd also recommend what squizita about finding out about perinatal mental health support. My first appointment was a total disaster if I'm honest, but my second has been brilliant and really helped. The biggest thing has ultimately been that they know that I need extra support and that they are willing to do various extra things to enable that, which aren't routine. That and reassuring me, that I'm not a basket case, just a different kind of normal. The less talked about and acknowledged normal.

I've personally ruled out CBT for a few reasons. Just didn't think it was right for me. And something like hypnobirthing isn't really right either for me (having an ELCS for anxiety).

I was having trouble finding something that I felt that I could engage with. By chance DH decided to pick up a copy of 'The Chimp Paradox' by Dr Steve Peters (The GB Cycling Psychologist) at weekend, as he's really into sports. He's been a little bit at his wits end on how to help me cope as its affecting him too, but suggested I read it. I was dubious but agreed to appease him.

So far I am finding it amazingly helpful just to understand how I think and where my anxiety is coming from and DH nearly cried as suddenly he understood where I was coming from better. We are only 3 chapters in and I know it sounds a bit mumbo jumbo, but it does seem to be helping us both. I like the fact its more general about life rather than focussed on being pregnant to be honest, as it doesn't feed into concerns I have in the same way that other approaches might. And I'm liking the fact that I read it in complete privacy in my own time, on my own terms.

StarsInTheNightSky Thu 03-Apr-14 20:17:54

I agree about joining the pregnancy after miscarriage thread, all the ladies are lovely and there's plenty of hand holding and support, which can be a huge help.

Personally I too found that the worst of the fear and paranoia hit me at about 24 weeks, I was expecting it to get less then, but it got particularly bad between 24 and 28 weeks, which wasn't helped by a lot of other complications and a lot of periods of reduced movement during that time, thankfully all seems to have settled down now though, touch wood!

Don't ever feel embarassed to go to the hospital, I was in four times in one week for reduced movements not that long ago, and the hospital said they'd rather see someone in every single day than have them sat at home worrying about whether something might be wrong.

At about 26 weeks I felt like my mental health was at it's lowest ebb, I felt worse than I had in a very long time, but as I got to 30 weeks it started to get better, things settled down and baby was getting bigger and stronger, and could be provoked into tantrums more easily to get him moving when he was being stubborn grin. I'm now 31+4 and not wanting to talk anything up, but I'm feeling happier and more relaxed than I have been for ages. Something which helped massively for me was getting my ELCS agreed and a date in the diary for it.

Take it one step at a time, one day at a time, you've had some great advice on this thread, but remember to be gentle with yourself xxx.

FoxHugs Thu 03-Apr-14 20:30:58

Thank you very much for your input, RedTooth, it's very refreshing.

All of us are different, probably that's why most things meant for "the masses" just don't agree with me.
When I was younger and had lost my dad suddenly, I took up GP's offer of counselling. And there she was - slinging all those cliches at me, I felt they're not appreciating that my brain capacity and analytical mind, using same old rusty stuff without consideration that I'm an individual.
I'm struggling to find the right words to summarise what I mean, you'd have done it better than me.
Basically my brain should be challenged; you can take the same thing and present it to me in four different ways. The one that has the most logic, intellectual and fresh approach will probably work.

In my case you can line up a hundred "super duper" pregnancy psychiatrists repeating the same thing, I'll just dismiss it as boring, same old stuff. Not because I'm mad, but because I already know about it.
The doctor, without psychiatrists degree, hit the nail on the head with one simple sentence.
I know stats, I know majority are OK etc., etc., but I also know that stuff happens, it's very real, it's very frightening, it's very life changing.
The only thing I'm trying to do is eliminate potential risks to save any tragedy, and self blame should something go wrong. Plus draw on experiences of others, hopefully getting some tools I can implement in my own daily life. Little tricks and tips, no different to sharing recipes.

smile

I am also 24 weeks and completely stressed out.

My experience is different- my last dd was born with huge disabilities. I knew in pregnancy something wasn't 'quite right' but couldn't get anyone to listen to me until 35 weeks. She was born at 36 weeks and handed to me to hold until she passed away. Thankfully, she had other plans, and stayed for 13 months before leaving me.

With this pregnancy, I'm so scared something will be missed again. Not that I would do anything differently, but I would like to know about any problems before the birth this time. But my anxieties have moved on from my dd's problems to other equally awful scenarios, many of which you mentioned in your OP. I've no idea how to get through the next 14 weeks without anxiety. It's difficult being pregnant without the innocence and joy that I see in other people, but equally I don't want to wish this time away.

Hoping you get some useful advice OP and wishing you a healthy and uneventful pregnancy.

FoxHugs Thu 03-Apr-14 20:40:46

Stars I could just hug you smile
Yesterday was a good day, I actually felt happy butterflies that this just might work out.
Because he'd been quiet for two days, I took matters into my own hands - laden with Millie's cookies set sail for home, to try and make him respond to me! The sugar made me feel sick if I'm honest, as did the cold drink, but he did kick!!! I felt good that I'd been positive about things. These days may be few and veeeery far inbetween, but I've had my 1st! Xxx

FoxHugs Thu 03-Apr-14 20:51:31

Hugs to you, Cupoftea. Big, huge bear hugs.
The whole issue about something being missed is exactly what I have.
So very sad that you had to experience the awful consequences of these errors, I cannot put into words how in awe of you I am for becoming a stronger person through your loss, it takes a big person to be where you are today!

My issue doesn't lie so much with the nature as it does with medical profession. The nature I can only try and work with (avoid foods, etc.), but it's the blasé recklessness (no other words for it; I'm a perfectionist at work, yet no lives depend on it but I work as though they do), cockiness and overconfidence of medical professionals that frightens me!

In our antenatal we met a midwife who treats you as though you're intellectually and socially waaaay down below her level, because you're not a midwife. How very well dare you question their oppinion or actions?! Good lord! It's people like that I'm scared of.
It wasn't just her demeanour but, putting it bluntly, stupidity and arrogance that made me shake with fear. A small exam

FoxHugs Thu 03-Apr-14 21:01:22

(Cont.) ... Small example (pressed "post" by accident). This is a very basic example (the medical necessities is too long winded, but was the straw that broke the camels back).
She told us we were to be seen by a community midwife, she even wrote all numbers down for us. Two weeks later she was laying into us as to why we haven't been assigned a midwife. Seriously?! God forbid if she'd had the authority to tell me what medication to take, or not.
I didn't want to embarrass her so said nothing, but I did immediately call our private Dr who does blood monitoring (need to take meds) asked if it's worth ditching the NHS and going private, because I'm frightened that an attitude like that will kill or seriously harm our child.

The said doctor doesn't like NHS secretive approach etc., so wasn't at all surprised to hear about our experience. Saying also something about certain type of midwives thinking they're IT, but should, in fact, be sticking to delivering babies "as they're meant to".

Hope you're doing well ? Xx

RedToothBrush Thu 03-Apr-14 21:03:26

Basically my brain should be challenged; you can take the same thing and present it to me in four different ways. The one that has the most logic, intellectual and fresh approach will probably work.

In my case you can line up a hundred "super duper" pregnancy psychiatrists repeating the same thing, I'll just dismiss it as boring, same old stuff. Not because I'm mad, but because I already know about it.

Haha, sounds very familiar...

Seriously consider having a look at that book.

It works on the principle that we have two parts of the brain that control our actions. We have a part that does the logical thinking and a part that does the emotional thinking. And they don't always work together.

Its puts it in a way that explains why you might "know" something from the evidence, but still act in a way that is completely contradictory to that logic. The logical part understand the likelihood of something, but your emotional part still goes "but what if...". It is a bit of a 'lightbulb' moment in understanding why you can't reconcile why you can be so irrational yet understand x, y and z.

It is an easy read, but actually I think thats part of its appeal but it doesn't insult your intelligence at the same.

squizita Thu 03-Apr-14 21:15:28

What you described as wanting was exactly what I got from the perenatal team, BTW. Its very mindfulness based, about realistic chances, knowing and coping.

You know you can change midwife if you want to, also? You don't have to go private for that! In fact, almost all the private consultants who are very highly rated also do NHS work: if you don't like your care, ask to change.

And don't worry about food etc too much. Just as you find the NHS blase, I found some private/alternative clinics gave an exhaustive list of "forbiddens" with no scientific backing to cynically hook frightened women in and keep them paying. I managed to get onto a world famous team on the NHS (by asking repeatedly) and read extensively; I found there are few things we can control bar the right medication and regular checks.

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