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How to cope with unfounded paranoia

(20 Posts)
DelphiStar Mon 02-Nov-15 14:42:06

Hi All,

I'm assuming this must be a fairly common issue and I'd appreciate your help and advice about how to handle unfounded pregnancy paranoia.

I'm 11 weeks pregnant and am completely paranoid that there is something wrong. I have no bleeding or pain and no reason to suspect a problem and yet I'm overwhelmed with negative thoughts about miscarriage, Down's, etc etc. I even took another pregnancy test today, not that it would tell me anything useful, just to do something. I just don't feel very pregnant, and when I do, all I can think about is bad outcomes.

I have my scan next week, which I'm expecting will help but probably not completely quell my worries.

How can I start feeling excited and positive about this pregnancy rather than paranoid and panicky?

Does anyone use a Doppler? Does it help to be able to hear the baby? Any other advice?

Bluebell20 Mon 02-Nov-15 15:00:35

Not able to be particularly helpful, but I am 5 weeks pregnant and also worrying like mad - woke up in the middle of the night last night with irrational panics that I might have cancer!

I suppose what I'm saying is - you're not alone, and that probably means it's a little bit normal smile

Nousername2015 Mon 02-Nov-15 15:09:21

I can't help you much I'm afraid delphi, just to say that you are not alone. I can identify with everything that you have written, as I'm sure many more posters on here will also say. I expect the response about dopplers to be split 50/50, I personally am against them as I'm not a medical professional. Whenever the mw has used one on me sometimes she would pick something up that I thought was baby and then say 'nope that's you' or 'that's the cord'.
I'm almost 29 weeks now and have only just started to open up to people in real life about these feelings. I've started seeing a counsellor who is helping me with coping techniques. If there is something you normally do to relax, do it as much as possible, for me it is taking baths or swimming.
I'm not going to say 'don't worry' as that drives me crackers if someone says it to me. What I will say is that you are far from being alone in this flowers

5hell Mon 02-Nov-15 16:27:59

Some lucky carefree ladies seem to poddle along happy as larry; but for most, pregnancy (and motherhood) is nothing but worry. A poster (Honey) on another thread summed it up wonderfully:

^Weeks 4-6: I feel OK! Omg, its gone wrong.
Weeks 6-10: Oh God I want to die. I feel so awful there must be something wrong.
Weeks 10-12: SCANXIETY!
Weeks 12-16: is there still a heart beat? I feel OK, it must have gone wrong.
Weeks 16-20: SCANXIETY2.0! Is it healthy?!
Weeks 20-24: I can't feel movements yet. It's gone wrong! They won't try to save it if I miscarry!
Weeks 24-30: movements aren't regular! It's all gone wrong!
Weeks 30-38: premature delivery or stillbirth. It's going to go wrong!
Weeks 38-40: omg what have I done?! My poor vagina!
Weeks 40-42: I am going to rip in two delivering the world's most giant baby! It's all going to go wrong!^

Personally I'm hopeful that after my 20w scan (next week) I will start to relax, feel more optimistic nd allow myself to plan/purchase things!
Good luck all! grin

April2013 Mon 02-Nov-15 16:48:41

5hell that is brilliant! So true!

OhWhatAPalaver Tue 03-Nov-15 08:53:38

That is totally spot on 5hell!
It's my second pregnancy and I feel totally different from my first, completely different symptoms so inevitably I'm worrying about everything. Glad it's not just me, I think I'll refer back to this thread when I'm having silly thoughts! smile

Oysterbabe Tue 03-Nov-15 09:46:36

What 5hell said. Plus she could have continued that on until basically you die.
Worrying about SIDS, hitting milestones, leaving them at nursery, getting them into a primary school, whether they make friends, them dying in a freak accident. Basically you'll never be completely at ease again. HTH grin

Although I think you get better at dealing with it. I'm 27 weeks now and only worry that the baby is dead about twice a day.

nuttybananas Tue 03-Nov-15 12:51:18

Delphi - not sure how to stop the worry - but like others just want you to know you are not alone in this!

5hell - that is spot on! - something that has made me laugh out loud - yep I'm in the 6-10 week category and its exactly how I feel!

cantbelieveImquittingcoffee Tue 03-Nov-15 12:58:30

I just want to agree with everyone and say that you're won't alone - I am now almost 14 weeks but paid for private scan and harmony test at 10 weeks as I was so hysterical that there would be a problem. The night before each scan I was more scared than I have ever been in my life but all was fine and the test results were good, so finally I did start to relax a bit...
And then this weekend I told my beloved nieces (aged 6 and 8) and everyone at work knows, and now I keep having flashes of panic that if something went wrong NOW it would be even worse.
Of course it IS possible, but it's fairly unlikely, and as everyone has said it seems to be the same for most people ( especially if the pregnancy took a while in coming and was very much wanted). Hang on in there, it will get better!

brookeberry Tue 03-Nov-15 13:36:58

Brilliant thread! I'm 16 weeks and I think I'll be panicking until my 20 week scan. Grrrr!!!!

Klaptrap Tue 03-Nov-15 13:51:48

Ah, I feel exactly the same. I had a miscarriage years ago and I am terrified it's going to happen again. I haven't had any bleeding or reasons to suspect anything is wrong (I feel sick, knackered and my breasts are agony!) but now I am convinced my first scan will show a MMC.

I've booked in for an early scan between 8-9 weeks, hoping that if we have a heartbeat then it'll help relax me a bit (apparently heartbeat at 8 weeks means ~98% chance of pregnancy continuing), however I am fully expecting to carry on as 5hell described (which made me grin it's so accurate!).

Wish there was something I could say to reassure you (and me!) but at least you aren't alone.

Re: a Doppler - I haven't got one and don't plan to, I have read they can cause more worry than necessary if you don't hear what you are expecting, etc.

Nousername2015 Tue 03-Nov-15 20:43:07

5hell has it bang on there. I've nearly driven myself to distraction about movements over the past few weeks. Something that has hugely helped me is to keep a post it on my desk and to note the time that I feel him move. Then when I have a meltdown that it's been hours I just look at the post it and it's only been 20 mins or so.
I wish I could say it gets better, and I really hope that it does for you OP. I thought I'd be fine after 12 week scan as I had a mmc just before falling pregnant again, unfortunately someone neglected to mention that to my anxious side and he's been with me for the whole ride so far...

YouAndMeAreGoingToFallOut Tue 03-Nov-15 20:48:43

I completely understand. I'm almost 6 weeks into my first pregnancy and last week I cried most days because I was so convinced something was wrong. I'm generally an anxious person anyway, so I don't think I will ever fully relax!

Pumkins2mum Wed 04-Nov-15 16:40:44

Hi all I'm so glad I've found this thread, just gone 5 weeks was trying for months to get pregnant ( this is my third) and I have gone into total panic mode today its come out of nowhere, what if somethings wrong, goes wrong etc it will be all my fault and be awful for my other children. I know it's irrational but just can't stop thinking about worse case situations!

Bixxy Thu 05-Nov-15 11:41:23

I think it's par for the course. 12 weeks with my second and also irrationally worrying that if something is going to go wrong, it will happen to me because my last pregnancy was fine. Scan is tomorrow and I so hope it will set my mind at rest (for an hour or so).

DelphiStar Thu 05-Nov-15 23:27:59

Thank you all for your kind thoughts and reassurances, or at least reassurances that I'm not the only one!

I've decided against a Doppler as it seems they are to make work and would probably cause me more panic. T-4 days till my first scan so my mind is working overtime and worst-case-scenario planning. Last night I dreamt I had a still birth.

One coping mechanism is that I've signed up to be part of some research studies, which basically mean I get extra scans for free. I'm also just trying to practice mindfulness and remind myself to be calm and reasonable. Keeping busy helps too so I'm doing my best to focus on work.

As some of you mentioned I now anticipate the anxiety getting worse once I've told people. I can see how the pressure increases. I've also decided I will not being having a baby shower. It just seems so wrong to celebrate a baby before it has arrived safely.

Any other coping mechanisms?

Nousername2015 Fri 06-Nov-15 05:23:29

Ah yes, the baby shower. I uncovered plans for a surprise one last weekend. It's a lovely gesture and I appreciate it but I can't go through with it. I've promised to have one after baby is here. All I can advise is to be honest, tell your mw how you feel. She may offer extra appointments and chances to hear the hb once baby is big enough. Distraction techniques are good too, I have a jigsaw puzzle app and a colouring book to pass the time and keep me off Google. Just remember that it is far far more likely that you will have a perfectly healthy baby at the end of this.

Skiptonlass Fri 06-Nov-15 09:22:55

It is absolutely normal to have thoughts like this! Pregnancy is the riskiest thing most women will ever do. I've been a compulsive loo roll checker the whole way - at the start I worried about miscarriage and by the end I worried My placenta Previa would bleed!

I actually think there's a positive root to these thoughts - in my opinion they are a mechanism to prepare you for looking after such a vulnerable creature. The mother who imagines scenarios like her toddler falling in the canal is more likely to keep a tight grip on them by the water, for example. I have recurring worries I'll drop my baby onto a hard floor - I suppose this means I am super careful when carrying him and thus, he's safer. Anxiety at a low level is protective. It's your brain's way of making you aware of potentially hazardous situations, like a dress rehearsal.

The problem comes when these thoughts become overwhelmingly intrusive. Are you able to think through these thoughts, op, or are they causing you serious distress..? If they are, then I'd really recommend you seek some help. Cbt isn't the panacea for all ills it's touted as, but it is really good for dealing with these intrusive thought patterns.

Personally, when I get a thought like this, I analyse it. What am I worried about? Is that rational? If it is then what would I do if it happened? Is it likely to happen etc etc.

On a final note, please don't get a Doppler. They're not easy to use and cause more concern than they are worth. They can give you both false reassurance and false concern. My ds was a little bugger at hiding - I had a Doppler at 34 weeks and although we could clearly see him doing acrobatics in the womb, three different midwives couldn't locate the heartbeat. Similarly, just because there's a heartbeat it doesn't mean everything is well. I'd really strongly recommend you don't get a Doppler. Go on movements and instinct and if you feel there's a problem, don't hesitate to get it checked out.

Good luck for the scan! Perfectly normal to be worried beforehand. The best advice I've ever had? be kind to yourself

Annie0369 Fri 06-Nov-15 17:25:28

Hi everyone. I literally found out this week I'm 6 weeks pregnant. So so so glad I'm not the only one panicking about everything.

It all seems soooo unreal at the moment, I did 8 pregnancy tests haha.

I don't think it will feel real until I have the scan, I also have NO symptoms other than fatigue and sometimes raging hunger - the last of pregnany symptoms also add to my worry! Xxx

hebs72 Fri 06-Nov-15 18:32:45

Oh - it's not just me then?! I had my 20 week scan last week and I've got a foetal cardiac scan on Monday, but I'm still convinced something will have gone wrong in the meantime. I'm refusing to do any planning, and am still in the very few pre-pregnancy clothes that I can still get into, as I'm convinced that buying anything will jinx the whole thing.

I've even banned my poor parents from telling anyone, in case that tempts fate. blush

(I must confess that I do have a Doppler, but try to limit its use; I've found it very easy to use, but then I did ask the midwife how she used hers.)

Loved 5hell's list - I'm definitely in the week 20-24 category!!

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