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Is this normal pre baby anxiety? quite long

(18 Posts)
angels1 Thu 11-Nov-10 14:35:56

I've been having recent thoughts that I'm not sure if they are usual anxiety or something more.

I'm 25 weeks pg and this baby was very planned and wanted. I feel blessed to be pg, especially after suffering a mc last year.

I have been getting ocasional 'cripes what have I done? am I ready?' moments which come and go, but also 'can't wait' ones so I take this to just be the emotions of pregnancy. However, I've also noticed recently that sometimes when I feel baby kicking I feel sort of upset and resentful at this unknown creature making me so uncomfortable. I've also had ocasional worries that once the baby comes I'll lull into depression and be unable to cope or deal or look after the baby and feel much pressure to be a good mother and do everything as well as I possibly can.

This pressure comes from no one but me - I'm a bit of a perfectionist in my work life and strive to be the best I can be. Since getting pg I've had a very tough time with bad nausea, feeling generally rotten, bad back, dizziness etc etc etc. I often cry as I've now had over 5 months of feelign like I'm living and moving through a fog and don't feel myself or capable of doing anything - I can't manage long out of home every day as I get tired so easily and become generally rubbish. I've been signed off for most of my pregnancy due to various pregnancy issues and now my GP tells me not to return before my maternity leave. I also have a history of being suseptable to anxiety/worry/depression, and being pg seems to have made it much worse. I'm not sure tbh if the time off makes me think about things too much as I have to rest alot and spend alot of time thinking about and reading about pregnancy and babies.

I know I'm having a bad pg so this is bound to take its toll. My mw knows about my anxiety and I've had to fill out a special vulrerable person form so they know I'm very anxious about things. Do other people have these thoughts? Please tell me I'm not going mad?! I feel so bad for thinking them as I just want a lovely little baby and to feel myself.

madwomanintheattic Thu 11-Nov-10 14:47:39

do you have a partner? you sound quite lonely, and if you are anything like me, time alone magnifies all the issues.

your mw sounds very good - make sure you keep her up to speed with your concerns. lots of it is very normal (i was frankly terrified before dd1 was born - had never really had anything to do with babies before, and had read loads...) does she know about your depression history etc?

do you have an nct group near you? have you taken any ante-natal classes? this is a good way of being in the company of other pg women too - and only once a week! smile

of course you're not going mad - having a baby is a huge thing - and hormones can exaggerate any feelings you have. just make sure you keep talking to your mw. she'll know if you need any additional help.

ANTagony Thu 11-Nov-10 14:48:10

I can relate to a lot of the anxieties you express and I'm pregnant with my third. I don't suffer from depression or have a history of anxiety. I do believe hormones of pregnancy along with tiredness, discomfort and generally not feeling fully in control of your body send all sorts of weird, wild and wonderful streams of thoughts through your head. I'm 29 weeks today and going through feelings of wishing it was over and the baby would come early to panicking that I'm really not ready and the worlds about to be turned upside down. Then guilt that if the baby came this soon it'd be a risk to its health and that I'm being really selfish.

I try not to allow the baby to become an obsession and read some non baby related materials, I also went to the travel agent and picked up a load of brochures for exotic locations for holidays we'll have, if we ever have the money, in the future. My husband and I have a few days out planned over the next month just us as adult time again before a few months of being a bit baby focused. I also try to get some fresh air each day - some days its just a cup of tea wrapped in my coat whilst pottering in the garden others its a walk in the woods. I find the bit of air and day light makes a major difference to my mood and energy levels.

I'm also an avid list writter. If I start to feel a bit overwhelmed I can then go to my list and start ticking off a few activities i.e. make a batch of curry for the freezer, wash all the towels, strip all the beds etc then at least I can feel good about ticking something off.

angels1 Thu 11-Nov-10 17:18:17

Thanks for your replies. I'm hoping my worries are just normal but maybe a little heightened due to my anxious disposition hmm. I'm hoping it's just a bit like starting a new job - you get really nervous and worry about everything you could do wrong etc but then once you get used to it it's great and you wonder why you stressed so much.

It's good to hear that I'm not the only one with moments of panic.

antagony I do try and write lists but that actually makes me more miserable as I have so much to do but can achieve so little every day as doing much makes me feel so bad. I get annoyed as I can't do a pinch of what I could achieve every day pre pg. But I do try and do a few little bits every day, even if all I can do on a bad day is empty the dishwasher and pay some bills.

madwomanintheattic tbh I think I can get lonely - I try and see friends/family so I'm not on my own all day every day, but I can't manage more than a couple of hours with company as then it gets too much for me <feeling pathetic and embarased at not being able ot do anything emoticon>. DH works all day so I see him when he comes home from work, but by then tbh I'm so tired I'm not much use or company for him. My mw is fabulous generally, I'm really lucky

Deliaskis Thu 11-Nov-10 17:22:16

I've been toying with whether to post this for about an hour now, as I don't think it reflects well on me generally, but hey ho, none of you know me, so here goes...

angels sorry you're feeling like this sad. As you know I'm also a first time Mum so I don't know if it's 'normal pre baby anxiety', but I do know that I also veer from being excited to thinking 'what have I done?', and genuinely wondering how I'm going to cope. Anybody who knows me in RL knows I'm not that fun to be around when I'm 'over-tired' (sorry for using 'these' but I always crack up when people say over-tired, why is it not just tired?), and I really worry about this during maternity leave - being completely exhausted and unable to cope, and being expected to be in the bloom of new motherhood but actually thinking, this is really shit. I'm used to working full time so the expanse of 6 months at home (which I know isn't even all that long really) feels a little intimidating to me. I also worry that I won't bond with the baby straight away, even though I have to some extent bonded with it already, I just don't think I'm going to be one of those 'natural' Mums who just take it all in their stride.

I think the thing with the slight resentment when you feel the baby kick etc. is probably also not that unusual - I feel like we're slightly on hiatus timewise at the moment, as we've been pregnant for aaayges, and still have quite a way to go, it's a bit tedious, I feel like I’m on slow-cook, and I know I have told baby I just want him/her out of me a few times lately! I think it’s this feeling of being an incubator and not getting a say in the terms & conditions so to speak, even from simple things like what I can and can’t eat, to having to go to bed early, to being unable to plan life beyond February, not being just Delia but also being a vessel for this baby to grow in, and that having to come first. Sometimes if I've had no sleep and I feel him/kick I do feel a bit grrr about it, but then I also quite quickly feel an overwhelming affection for him/her making himself known as well, so I guess it doesn't last long. It also feels like a long time to have been focussing on this one thing, and still have nothing to show for it, IYSWIM! We’re not in control of what’s going on - you especially with all the illness you’ve been dealt - and so I can see how resent might start. I’m a bit blush about this but I also worry that I’m going to have a horrid baby, that won’t be cute, and won’t sleep, ever, and won’t feed, and will just be a problem basically.

I’ve just read that back and feel like a complete bitch now for having written any of it, because I also love my baby so much already, but all this is leading up to saying, I don't know if it's normal, but I honestly can't imagine not feeling like this about such a huge thing.

I also think the key thing for you is that you've been having a really shit time of pregnancy, and I am completely relating a lot of what you are feeling to that. If you were feeling as cr@p as you do (in terms of nausea, fatigue, etc.), and it wasn't due to pregnancy, I think you'd still be having similar thoughts TBH, I know I would in your situation. I also think you've probably had a lot of time on your own whilst off work to sort of 'drift into' thinking about this, probably more than you would if you were healthy and busy, IYSWIM.

I also suspect that, whilst I know your DH has been really supportive, you might be also worrying about being a burden (you're not, by the way) because of everything you've been through, and so maybe you feel you've got to put a brave face on (even though I'm sure you don't), which can make you feel more alone.

I think you've done all the right things by making sure mw is aware etc. and stopping work was obviously the right thing to do under the circumstances. Also the fact that you recognise that you might be at risk of this is pretty good in terms of making sure you get the right support if you do start sinking. I think it’s a good idea to try and focus on some non-baby stuff as well, as I know it can get a bit constant sometimes.

I'm also sure though that when the baby arrives you actually will handle it. Your pregnancy ordeal will be over and you'll have the baby you've wanted for a long time. Hopefully you will start to feel a bit more normal (in terms of getting rid of the symptoms you’ve had) and have something new to focus on.

I hope you feel better soon, and that you don’t feel like you’re completely on your own in this.


ANTagony Thu 11-Nov-10 17:25:00

The not achieving much definitely gets easier. I now feel a sense of satisfaction if I can cross off unloaded dishwasher and paid bills. Pre children I used to run a large engineering department coordinating many projects and staff. Now getting the kids in clean clothes and on school to time is an achievement.

Don't be hard on yourself, even when sitting on mumsnet your bodys working hard right now. That's achieving something.

Energy levels will eventually return and you will again be able to achieve things in the future.

My favourite parenting phrase 'What ever it is its a phase' comes into play here.

Deliaskis Thu 11-Nov-10 17:26:11

I feel terrible now for having said that you might be feeling like a burden. I just meant that I do, even though DH constantly tells me I'm not.


WanderingSheep Thu 11-Nov-10 17:53:20

Hello <<waves>>.

I'm so sorry that you're feeling so down sad. I would say that it's totally normal to have these worries and anxieties, I have them all the time! Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to be pregnant but I do have days where I think, "should I really have had another? Will I cope with two?" too late now I guess! grin

I imagine that it's something that most pregnant women feel. Everyone worries that they won't bond or be a good mum, especially nowadays where everyone feels under such pressure to be superwoman! Just remember that you are human and you don't have to do everything perfectly.

Sorry I didn't have anything better to add. Just wanted to give my support. smile

WanderingSheep Thu 11-Nov-10 17:55:24

Delia, I'm sure angels knows what you mean and took it in the way that you intended smile. Don't feel bad!

angels1 Thu 11-Nov-10 18:06:36

hey delia. I completely understand what you mean about feeling a burden - don't worry - didn't take it the wrong way. I'm also glad (well, not glad for you IYKWIM) that other people feel the same. I feel terrible when I feel resentful of baby and what it's doing to me, and often I love feeling the kicks, it's just every so often I feel a but frustrated by what this unknown thing is doing to me and my body and how it is imposing itself over me when I don't even know it as a person yet.

Next week I'm hoping to send wrapping christmas pressies so am hoping listening to some jolly christmas music while I do it will distract me and cheer my mood up (I say it will take a week as I know it will take me ages to wrap everything to my standards and can't manage to do too much in one day).

delia I also worry I'll have the baby from hell. This worry isn't exactly helped as every scan/mw appointment the sonographer/mw make a comment about how awkward the baby is being for them shock

angels1 Thu 11-Nov-10 18:08:32

x posted. Thanks wandering

doughnutty Thu 11-Nov-10 18:13:51

You are normal and what you're feeling is perfectly reasonable.

I was signed of most of my pregnancy and it sounds pretty much like I was you a year or so ago.

Try to remember that you probably won't be the perfect mum shock but you will be the best you can be smile.

Don't focus on what you don't get done in a day but what you do. I always liked lists at work and often sat at the end of the day and wrote down all the things I'd achieved and ticked them off. I included showering, dressing, putting a wash on etc not just big things like doing a shop or cleaning the bathroom. That would sometimes take a couple of days, a bit at a time. This is very good practice for when the baby comes grin

And lastly, don't think too much about how you'll cope once the babies here. For the first few weeks you won't be able to move for visitors. Use them. If they offer help take it. Don't worry about housework (that's what DH/DP is for and don't think about how it's not as good as if you did it. Everyone says it but seriously sleep when baby sleeps and concentrate on keeping them fed, clean etc. Tell DH to use the same philosophy for you. 6 months down the line you won't care that you spent the first weeks/months in your pj's!

DS is almost 1 (in 6 days) and I'm already pg with no.2 so.......

WanderingSheep Thu 11-Nov-10 18:57:57

Just wanted to add: don't worry about how your baby acts on scans and take no notice of comments from the sonographers!

I had to have extra scans with DD as she was in a difficult position for them to check the spine. Every time she was completely bottom down into my pelvis and they couldn't see the bottom of her spine. They sent me for walks, told me to drink lucozade, have a mars bar. Would she move? Would she buggery! I couldn't have asked for a better baby TBH. She slept well (like a cat), fed well weaned onto solids like a dream. Now she won't touch a vegetable for love nor money but that's another story! So hopefully you will be just having a laid back baby just like I did!

Piranha1981 Thu 11-Nov-10 21:07:44

I just wanted to say that I could have written parts of your post myself, and judging by others' comments on here, these feelings are pretty normal. I relate to your feelings of anxiety and like you can be quite a perfectionist which doesn't help.

I have to say I've had a fairly easy pregnancy physically speaking so far (currently 28 weeks) - some lower back pain and occasional insomnia but nothing worse than that - and I still feel all the anxiety and worries and sometimes get very upset (almost hysterical) and then feel guilty about getting stressed and worry that the baby will be picking up on it, listening to me cry and carry on etc. etc. So I imagine that with a difficult pregnancy I would be even more anxious.

Like you, I'm also very worried about what comes post-birth and my ability to be a "good mother". I worry about bonding and being able to feed and also about how it will feel being stuck in the house all day with a baby dependent on me. And I worry about post-natal depression / anxiety since I've had episodes of depression in the past.

I don't have any good advice to offer but I think again that many of these worries are normal so no point in beating yourself up about them. I was having cognitive behavioural therapy in early pregnancy (not related to being pregnant but the end of a course of treatment from before) and my therapist said that at least if I did feel depressed after the birth then at least I / others would be able to recognise it quickly and take action to tackle it. It sounds like you already have the support of a good m/w so they will be particularly careful about making sure you are supported post-birth.

Personally the best thing I've done recently is take up pregnancy yoga which has helped me to relax a lot. I go to classes but also have a DVD. And I've also got a pregnancy relaxation natal hypnotherapy CD which also helps. And some advice from a friend - don't read pregnancy books or baby/parenting books as these can make you feel worse.

I still get anxious though - but at least these things provide some respite!

Good luck to you and although things might not always feel amazing, I'm sure that you'll get there.

smaych Thu 11-Nov-10 23:15:46

You're definitely not the only one - as others have said, there were parts of your post that I could have written myself.

I'm 17 weeks and have had a really awful time with this pregnancy, and been off sick for most of it. I've also got a history of anxiety/depression/mental health worries. I definitely do get anxious about things, and there have definitely been times I've resented being pregnant.

Somehow I thought everything would feel very natural, but when the baby started moving it just felt strange and a little distressing. I've also been having some issues with food, since for so long I was quite violently sick whenever I tried to eat or drink anything. I'm feeling a bit better now, and have been getting some help from the maternity mental health people at my local hospital. They've said that these issues aren't at all uncommon for pregnant women, especially with difficult pregnancies in some way.

I definitely don't think you're going mad - pregnancy is so much to cope with even at the best of times, let alone when you are sick and miserable and isolated at home. I try to look forward and get excited about the good things I'm looking forward to when the baby arrives.

I hope you're feeling better soon xx.

GruffalosGirl Fri 12-Nov-10 08:43:06

I think as everyone has said it is normal to feel a bit like this, especially if you've had a bad pregnancy so far. It is something that has a huge impact on your life, it's the biggest thing you will ever do, having a child, and it would be more worrying if you weren't feeling like this to be honest. The fact that you're thinking about all of these things and worrying about whether you're going to be a good mum shows that you already are a good mum, and I'm sure you'll be brilliant at it if you care as much as it seems you do.

It's hard when everything's changing and you can't seem to do anything, I know I hated the end of my last pregnancy, it really scared me as I think it's like being old and a sign of what's to come down the line. But make sure you get support and look after yourself and remember, most of the symptoms from pregnancy disappear within the first 24 hours after the birth, and my midwife says if you've had a difficult pregnancy you usually have an easy birth.

southlondonlady Fri 12-Nov-10 09:05:11

Hi...I think this is all really normal and I agree it would be a bit odd NOT to worry about such a big change, it just shows that you are taking it seriously and that you care.

One thing I'm finding sometimes hard is that pregnancy is so passive, OK I can eat well and so on but basically my body is just getting on with a biological process by itself. So yes can feel at times just an incubator! And if you have had a bad pregnancy that must be really taking its toll.

Like you I am worried about PND, as had terrible anxiety in the first trimester. I am trying to just take the view that if that happens, I will get through it - I have a great midwife who be ready to step in and get help if needed - sounds like you do too.

angels1 Fri 12-Nov-10 13:45:54

Thanks for such thoughtful responses. I'm still feeling the same emotions on and off but at least I'm reassured that other people have them too and the fact that you say I'm worrying about this means it's a good thing as I'm taking everything seriously etc.

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