Keep considering a termination - please don't judge(21 Posts)
I am 6+7 according to my LMP. We'd been TTC for 6 months. Then we finally fell on our 6th go.
At first it hadn't sunk in and I couldn't believe I could see two lines.
Now I'm absolutely riddled with anxiety. I already suffer with anxiety and depression. Specifically health anxiety. I cant sleep, I can't concentrate on anything else. I just feel like something bad is going to happen and I'm going to die. I spend hours googling ectopic pregnancies, pre eclampsia and watching birth videos..
I'm carogerised as obese because of my BMI so I'm terrified of something bad happening during this pregnancy. These concerns are mainly about me and not the baby which is why I feel guilty.
I am seeing a counseller regularly and have been for many months, however it's private and I pay her, therefore I will need to stop soon as we need to save and are both on low incomes.
Even though I have severe health anxiety I have a huge fear of anything medical. So I avoid going to the doctors at all costs, let alone going to hospital to the EPU. I have a fear of implements being inserted into me, so the thought of a TV scan makes me feel sick and I just couldn't let them do it. I'm also terrified of what they'll find, undetected cancer, a tumour, an ectopic pregnancy...the list goes on and obviously it would be sensible to get it checked out before it gets worse but for me its a case of burying my head in the sand and trying to pretend this isn't happening.
My family and close friends live 200 miles away in my hometown. I have my DP, my in laws and a couple of friends (not close friends).
I want an elective c section if I get that far but even the thought of an operation sends me into a state but if I can't do childbirth either? It needs to come out somehow!
Sorry for the long message, I feel so alone and scared.
You really need to see your GP and talk this through with them. Maybe consider seeing a therapist?
All the things you mention are possibilities, but we are lucky to live in a country with great medical care. In the UK pre-eclampsia is very unlikely to kill you these days, ectopic pregnancies will have symptoms etc.
I understand your fear of going to the doctor & the fear that they will find something awful on a transvaginal scan. I am similar and have decided against an early scan for this reason! In extremis you could refuse all scans - or you could inform your hospital of your concerns and they could attempt an abdominal scan first. Ultrasounds have helped signficantly with maternal & foetal health but they are not 100% neccessary.
On c-sections etc, i think you again need to lay our your specific fears to your midwife/GP and talk through what they could do to alleviate this.
So sorry you're feeling like this. I think you would benefit from discussing your fears with an expert, and then you will have the information you need to make a decision.
No judgement here.
I'm also obese (BMI 39). I have health anxiety although possibly not quite to the extent of yours. You can do this.
(a) You don't have to have a TV scan if you don't want one - by the time you're 12 weeks they won't need to do one anyway.
(b) They're not going to find a surprise tumour or undetected cancer when they scan you because firstly, you don't have one to find and secondly, they're just not looking for that kind of thing. You won't be scanned by someone whose job is to find cancer. They're a specialist fetal sonographer looking at the baby, at your placenta and at your cervix. (I also worry about having cancer all the time so I really understand why you feel this way.)
(c) If you have an ectopic pregnancy you'll know, because you'll be in a lot of pain. Stretching period-type pains are a normal part of the first trimester so don't panic when you feel those (and they often only happen on one side, they did for me). My friend had an ectopic pregnancy and what she felt was completely different to that. Again, I constantly worried about having an ectopic. And it's OK to phone the midwives if you're worried, it really is. I phoned loads of times and they were never anything but sympathetic and reassuring.
(d) I don't know where you are but my midwife was very happy to see me as often as I wanted to be seen. They'll take your blood pressure and check your urine whenever you go in for signs of pre-eclampsia - they're very on the ball. They'll ask you to do a glucose tolerance test at around 30 weeks to see if you have gestational diabetes - I did have it (twin pregnancy), it was absolutely fine, controlled by diet and I went back to normal as soon as I had given birth. I was, I swear to you, the only fat woman in the gestational diabetes clinic (whereas I was never the only fat woman waiting for scans!). It's unusual to get it and even if you're obese you'd still be unlucky, but if you do get it it's really not the end of the world and it's only temporary.
(e) None of the complications you can get in pregnancy are the end of the world, as it turns out. I also got obstetric cholestasis, which is when your liver function goes a bit off. Again, it was very well controlled with meds and my liver function went back to normal as soon as I had had my baby.
(f) None of the monitoring is invasive. At 20 weeks you'll move from the early pregnancy unit to the maternity day assessment unit. You can go in for monitoring whenever you want to, or at least you could where I am. Monitoring just means having sensors attached to your tum where the baby is so that they can listen to the heartbeat over a period of time. It's very un-stressful.
(g) I had a planned section for medical reasons. It was honestly lovely and I would do it again (and will if I have another baby).
Like I say, I've always suffered from health anxiety. I was very frightened of giving birth via natural labour and only slightly less nervous about a c-section, but in the end the c-section was fine. As ti turned out, my pregnancy was incredibly complicated for lots of reasons; having twins really ramps up the risk of complications, and one of my twins sadly didn't make it (we were very unlucky as he had a very serious heart defect - vanishingly rare, nothing to do with my weight or anything I had done or not done; your baby will not have it). I coped with it all so much better than I thought I would - I really surprised myself! And now I have a daughter who I absolutely adore and I would go through all of it again to take her home at the end of it.
I would not for a moment judge you if you decided that you couldn't cope and wanted to terminate - only you know what you can and can't manage and you have to do what is right for you. But if you want the baby (leaving aside all the stuff you have to slog through to have one!) then the risks, and your fears, will be the same whenever you get pregnant, and it would be a shame to terminate a baby that you want to have. I think you can do this, and I know that if you are honest with your medical team about your fears they will support you through this.
Aww you poor thing. Congratulations on your pregnancy. I agree with pp please speak to your gp or Midwife about your fears. Honestly looking things up online will only make your anxiety worse: i’m talking from experience. I’m an anxious person and was literally petrified and even scared of the smallest things like even having a catheter put in (all new for me) and it sounds so silly now when I realise it wasn’t so bad! I wanted a c section but in the end went for VB. It was so much better than I thought and with the epidural you don’t feel a thing and c section for me would have been a mistake. Put it this way people wouldn’t go on to have multiple pregnancies if it was that bad. It’s awful when your mind gets the better of you because in reality when you experience it it’s not half as bad as the way your mind builds it up. I was two weeks over due and induced and suffered a traumatic lengthy labour etc but I’d still do it again. For me it was being pregnant that I hated, you’re so fed up by the end you’re dying to get the baby out! It’s so worth it when you hold your beautiful little miricle. Please talk to your Midwife as they’re lovely and will help you
Oh and I wasnt the skinniest. My BMI was just literally on the cusp at 25ish. I only gained appropriate amount of weight during pregnancy though. As long as you try to eat healthy and take the vitamins with some light exercise you’ll be fine
I second all the pps. Pregnancy is stressful at the best of times so i can't imagine how it must be for you on top of your anxiety.
Im 39 weeks and so far I've had nothing invasive. The abdominal ultrasounds are absolutely painless and when you see your baby they are worth all the worrying you may get beforehand. You don't have to have a TVscan (i had no reason to) and unless you're in severe pain there is no reason to suspect an ectopic. I was worried that as I got further on in the pregnancy I'd have to have internal examinations of my cervix but the mw reassured me they dont need to do any of that until I'm in labour. And if you can have an ELCS they won't need to do it at all.
Dont worry about an ELCS being like an operation, i know it seems it due to being in theatre etc and all the equipment, but everyone I know who has had one have all found it very stress free and relaxing, DP can be there with you and because you're awake you don't have that feeling of dread you get when they put you to sleep for a general anaesthetic.
Please speak to your GP about therapy etc, i appreciate you need to save money for the baby but this is the time you will need the most counselling support so if there is an alternative rather than a private one which won't cost you anything its worth exploring.
Also speak to your GP about discussing your anxieties with the mw. There is quite often a specific midwife on the team who deals with anxiety and mental health and they will be so used to ladies in your situation so you can talk through all your worries with her and come up with a plan together. Its important they know this before your first appointment if possible so you don't feel too overwhelmed with having to tell them everything.
There is help out there for you, it seems a shame to consider a termination when you've been TTC for all that time because of your anxieties. You can do it, I hope you find the right support to make this easier for you. And don't be afraid to post questions on here about anything at all. Forums are great for getting worries out in the open
P. S please try and stay away from Google unless you're looking on the NHS website, it's not good for anyone let alone people with anxiety, stick to what your health professionals tell you and don't be afraid to phone them with any questions, that's what they're there for!
I don't understand why you would try for a baby if you had all the anxieties listed below, did you know how felt about childbirth, scans etc
You are not the only person to feel the way you do. If you are a naturally anxious person then is is not surprising that your fears have stepped up now that you are pregnant.
There is a lot of specialist support for pregnant women who have mental health problems. Speak to your GP and get a referral to the perinatal mental health team. The support on offer to will increase now that you are pregnant. Tell them how you feel they have heard it all before and are basically unshockable.
You can decline any treatment you don't want with no fuss. I don't think it is usual to do a trans vaginal scan. An elective caesarean could also be a possibility for you.
There is an organisation called PANDAs which helps women with post and antenatal anxiety and depression. It might help you to contact them. I phoned the helpline a few weeks ago and it helped me.
^^ that last comment is a bit unfair!
I second all the other lovely responses you have, please don't let your anxiety stop you from going through with this pregnancy. Seek help from your GP/midwife and please ask for extra support.
I say this because I have recently had a termination for the very reasons you state, I went into a state of severe depression when I found out I was pregnant and simply could not go through with the pregnancy due to severe anxiety (for all the reasons you listed above) and it is my second termination for the very same reasons.
It is extremely difficult to explain exactly how crippling anxiety is and I regret the decision I made. I never did seek help from my GP or midwife and instead let th anxiety get the better of me and opted for a termination.
Please don't jump into making that decision, seek help first and as previous posters have said I am sure the medical teams will be very supportive.
Hope you can find the strength to get through it x
Sorry cross posted with elephantgrey. I meant the post above that was a little unfair!
I felt the same and was totally overwhelmed with pregnancy and the depression I felt when I found out. My partner didn't understand either and it's difficult to try and explain anxiety to someone who doesn't suffer from it
Why is it an unfair comment, I'm assuming she had anxiety before she got pregnant and had these fears before, wouldn't the best thing to do is try and get help first via the GP or counciling before trying for a baby and coming on a site called "Mumsnet" clues in the title and asking for opinions on terminations, did she think people wouldn't say anything. I'm sorry if it seems harsh but if you had crippling anxiety the last thing to do would to have a baby, it's not fair on you or the baby
Lord it’s an unfair comment because anxiety can come and go and lull you into a false sense of security. Something in theory can seem fine but when the reality hits the anxiety can follow. Mental health isn’t blacks and white so please don’t make it so.
No judgement, with my first the reality of having to give birth didn't really kick in until I was pregnant.
As it turned out I had 3 very easy quick labours despite being high risk and on blood pressure medication out of pregnancy.
If I were you, I'd speak with a midwife - make sure its someone you feel comfortable talking with, and also ask for a consultant referral to discuss your anxieties and birth options.
In your situation, I would opt for an epidural and try for a natural birth. You may find you get into labour and realise you don't need anything too but have it as a plan to reassure you.
Definitely don't rush into a termination, it sounds like you very much wanted this baby and its the anxiety, probably worsened by the changes of hormones, which is clouding that.
Just remember, people only talk about the bad things - it's not much of a story to tell when its like mine and lots of others were 'oh I put the kids to bed in early labour, it was milder than some period cramps and wasn't even sure it was labour, then was 5cm when we got to hospital, then he was out an hour and a half later'.
The first weeks are also the worst hormone wise in my experience. Things will get better
I agree with Bubble. You never do hear the positives. Somebody I used to know had 3 dc and when she was in labour with her last she declines to go to hospital until she’d finished her take away and had a bath!
Thank you for all your comments.
@Lorddenning1 it's hard because myself and DP wanted a baby and in actual fact I think I'll be able to cope well after the pregnancy and birth and bringing up a child. I'm sure my anxiety and depression will rear itself once in a while.
Currently it's the overwhelming fear of something terrible happening (to me specifically at the moment) the thought of being entirely out of control of what is happening inside my body and there's nothing I can do about it. I suppose it's worse because I start thinking about it too much, a person growing inside me is amazing but also completely terrifying and unbelievable.
I could have decided not to have a family because of my MH issues, but I don't want to miss out on that because of them. I've been seeing a therapist for months and previous to that I've had counsellers and psychologists and been to support groups. Anxiety is awful and I wouldn't wish it on anybody. I just wish I could be 'normal'
You can only be yourself, though, and yourself is someone who needs a bit of extra support to get through pregnancy. That's absolutely fine. Talk to your midwife and see how you feel after that.
@LordDenning, can you not read or didn't you bother? OP says she has been having counselling since before she got pregnant.
We like to try and help each other on this board. If you want to make someone scared and miserable feel even worse, why don't you go and hang around in AIBU instead?
Antenatal anxiety and depression is a very real thing. Being pregnant can be a worrying time even if you don’t suffer from the above. But I think you would feel worse if you had a termination. Please seek help and don’t let anyone minimise your fears.
SpongeCake23 I can completely relate to the anxiety and the something happening part. It is extremely terrifying and I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy. I didn’t have it before but developed bad health anxiety after ds was born and have struggled thinking if something happens to me what would ds and dh do. It got so bad I thought what would happen if I died in my sleep and never got to see ds again. The good news is I am controlling it and I have got a lot better. I won’t lie it is a daily struggle and I have to remind myself to be realistic and not let the anxiety/panic win. Do I regret having a baby? Not in a million years because I can’t imagine life without my beautiful son. I feel stronger after becoming a Mum because I will go to the ends of the Earth to protect ds. You can do this, please speak to someone, you’ll hopefully feel so much better after alittle chat with your Midwife.
Can you try a mindfulness app like ‘calm’ every time you feel like your anxiety really takes hold? I think a termination would wreck your head, especially since ultimately a baby is something you want and have actively tried to conceive. Please please step away from google too. And btw, you don’t have to consent to internals, even during labour. I had my youngest DC at home without a soul laying a hand on me. The first midwife did try to push me a little to consent to internals but I just said no. Speak to your midwife. You won’t be the first or the last to have pregnancy anxieties.
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