Pregnancy and anxiety

(18 Posts)
Piggle21 Fri 11-Sep-20 22:08:23

Has anyone else experienced pregnancy while experiencing high anxiety.

I am finding it really difficult to remain positive and optimistic during my pregnancy. I am now almost 29 weeks.

My worry is mostly about movement. I am told so many different things from different midwives and doctors about what I should feel or shouldn't at this stage. I do end up going to the antenatal day unit or the triage a number of times as my anxiety gets really bad. I am with the specialist teams as my anxiety has got worse during the pregnancy not helped by some complications early on.

I am finding some of the midwives quite difficult when it comes to them understanding my anxiety and how being able to be monitored or go on the heat beat listener helps. I also haven't had great experience with doctors in the past so when they say don't worry on the phone I don't feel I can trust that.

It's at the point where I don't feel I can or even want to go in any more. I've been made to feel like I am wasting their time and I should just be enjoying this time.

Does anyone have any advice or have they experienced the same thing?

Sorry for the epic message. I am just finding things very hard and even more so now with how I have been made to feel.

OP’s posts: |
Mycrazylife85 Fri 11-Sep-20 23:14:35

I feel you. Although mine is health anxiety relating to me. I was taking meds pre-pregnancy again to help with it but stopped once I found out I was pregnant. It's been going on forever. I must admit I have had CBT before and am trying to keep things I learnt at the forefront of my mind. Dealing with a situation and finding the positives "I'm lucky it could have been much worse because..." Type thing. Mine goes back to when I was 17/18 and had the worst UTIs. I'm 34 now and the worry still dominates my life. Today, for the first time in 10 years I'm on antibiotics for blood in my urine, I'm 27 weeks Sunday.

Positives- I didn't feel pain but discomfort and got a check. I Drink lots of water and it helps. The doctors are so quick. I've taken 2 already and if there is anything it'll have been nipped in the bud. I coped.

Thoughts- have I not done something to prevent it/ could I have avoided it? Is it my fault? Am I going to be plagued with this? Is it going to be like before?

They say to watch frequent urination. I'm pregnant... I pee loads. What's too much? Sore back? That's standard, what type of sore? Heavy feeling in my lovely tummy? Yep- there's a baby there. My head is 🤯 but..... I stop...

I cannot carry on like it. I keep this to myself as I don't want to appear ungrateful/a bad mama/ why is everyone else swooning round without a care,is my body failing me? Am I failing myself?. Baby doesn't need the stress. I'll write my worries down. The next day, hope four a better day.

If there is a 'let's talk' in your areas I'd advice a call. Good luck lovely xx

Daisysandviolets Sat 12-Sep-20 01:16:11

Didn't want to read and run! I have suffered with major anxiety over movements through my pregnancy and now at 38 weeks it's the worst it's been! When I end up going in, I get white Coates with my blood pressure so always end up being there for hours.

Luckily I have had all good experiences with the midwives which even said to me they would rather see me every day and I be happy then me not call them. If you don't feel they are supporting you maybe see if you can put in a complaint?

Please don't let them put you off going in, it's their job to help you and all that matters is that baby and you are ok!

I know this doesn't really help but I just wanted to offer a bit of support and here if you need someone to talk too as I find it really tough and lonely when people dismiss my anxiety and concerns over movements xxx

Piggle21 Sat 12-Sep-20 08:08:26

Thank you both. It's just so hard when the anxiety really kicks in then unless I am able to hear from myself that everything is ok it just gets so much worse.

Mostly the midwives have been nice and said come in everyday if you need to but there have been a few that have made me feel like I am being stupid and I should be enjoying this time. I also worry that think why is someone like her with this anxiety having a baby.

I would love to enjoy this time like others do I would love to be out buying stuff and telling everyone but the fear of something going wrong is too strong. I have sought help with the specialist mental health teams and local mental health but that has taken months to get anyway with them. I know have medication to start but no plans or dates in place for CBT.

Best luck and wishes to both of you and thank you for replying. I think the fact with have to do all this on our own as partners can't be with you that makes it even harder. Then when you hear so many different things to do or look out for your mind is just 🤯 if I could sleep through the next three months that would be ideal!

Love to you both x

OP’s posts: |
Ginfilledcats Sat 12-Sep-20 08:10:40

So I read this last night, but wanted to reply when I had slept on it.

This was me from last September when I conceived until June when I gave birth to my rainbow baby.

Having had a previous loss, and already suffering with anxiety, I was (for lack of better word) a bloody wreck for the majority of my fortunately healthy pregnancy. My anxiety was centred around not being able to bring home a healthy or living baby. Weirdly, as soon as I went into labour all those nasty intrustive thoughts absolutely disappeared and I just knew I was bringing home my baby soon (whether it's was mother's intuition or jus that I was too busy having contractions to let my mind think of that haha). I also ended up in an emergency situation in theatre but was still confident baby and I would be ok. Weird and out of character for me! Hopefully you will get the same feeling when the time comes.

I was paranoid about movements. I'd read and been told "count the kicks" etc and to look for a pattern. My baby had 0 pattern whatsoever. I think I ended up in triage about once a week with reduced/no movements and in CTG monitor and scans. Fortunately she was fine every time and her size stayed great the whole time. No matter what the scan or the midwife or eventually the consultant told me, I'd only be happy for a few days before I'd be back in tears and on my way to triage. It was exhausting.

Eventually, by 35 weeks, I saw the consultant who said we might need to consider inducing early due to the negative impact it was having on my mental health. I was desperate to avoid that so instead we booked a weekly appointment for me to go, be monitored, talk to the midwife and the consultant and go from there. I felt so reassured by this and managed to get through the rest of my pregnancy until I gave birth (on my date). Perhaps you could arrange something like that.

I've sinc even told count the kicks is out dated and to just make sure you feel some movement. I assume you're doing the tricks of lying down, sugary food cold drinks etc to check for movement?

Good luck, stay strong and look after yourself. Your baby will be here before you know it

Piggle21 Sat 12-Sep-20 09:04:32

@Ginfilledcats what you said sounds exactly how I feel. I had a previous loss, failed IVF and now this is doner egg IVF so with all that's gone wrong before it's hard to believe in something going right.

I had been having twice weekly monitoring due to a suspected fluid loss - which they know don't think needs monitoring - but I asked to continue with the Monitoring for reassurance but I now feel worried about going in as I feel the midwives are annoyed at me for going in to much.

I think I find it hard to know what's normal for movement as everybody says different things and when you look online it says different things. Sometimes bump seems really active then the next day hardly anything. Sometimes bump responds to cold drinks and sugar and other times doesn't.

I am also worried about starting this medication but if I don't I can't see me getting through this.

Have woken up today just feeling awful about my visit to the maternity unit last night.

OP’s posts: |
Ginfilledcats Sat 12-Sep-20 11:00:33

Oh really don't worry about going in repeatedly it's what it's therefore, they don't mind and if they do who cares? I'd rather upset a few midwives and have them potentially moan at me than potentially miss something by not going in.

They honestly don't mind!

I'm sorry about the difficult journey you've had to get to where you are. It's so hard to keep positive and believe that this time will be ok, but you have to go on and keep living and being healthy for your baby.
I know I'd go in, have movement be happy and come home then the next day start worrying that maybe even though the baby was fine yesterday something could have happened since. It was a constant loop in my head. I used to go and hide in the disabled loos at work lie on the floor and cry until I felt movement. It was awful so I really understand how you feel.

Take it one day at a time, one week at a time and before you know it youll be wrestling your little wriggler into a baby grow!

One midwife reassured me by saying it was the sign of a good mother how in tune I was to my baby and her lack of/movements.

You will get through this! With a happy ending!

Have you seen the mental health midwife or been referred for counselling? I found it good to talk about my fears to the professionals.

Chin up xxx


Piggle21 Sat 12-Sep-20 15:14:00

Thank you @Ginfilledcats - my DH Kees day in that to me that they won't be annoyed and that even if they are what does it matter. But I always worry about upsetting or annoying people - I hate to think that people don't like me.

I have contact with the specialist mental health midwives in the hospital but they are only in 9-4 Monday to Friday and usually are busy. I am also now with the perinatal mental heath midwives but I'm not sure what the plan is with them you don't end up hearing anything from them for ages. Same as the local healthy minds - I had an assessment with them a month ago and haven't heard anything since.

I'm just so lost on how to get through this

OP’s posts: |
Ginfilledcats Sat 12-Sep-20 19:19:17

Your welcome

Ok - one day at a time is how you'll get through this.

Have you looked at the positive birth company? They are really good for helping you through the labour process but I found the breathing exercises and positive affirmations helpful. If you find yourself getting anxious, go into a different quiet room and try lying down with breathing exercises. You'll likely feel baby move, if you don't in two hours then call triage and go in.

You'll feel like a muppet breathing like in labour and using positive affirmations (I'm not normally into this kind of thing) but it helps some.

I'd also find things to occupy you as much as possible - things you need to concentrate on rather than letting your mind wander - play cards or scrabble with your dh for example.

I found getting out for a walk/waffle helped too.

The chances of something going wrong now are minute but I know that you'll have heard that and it won't help. But take it day by day.

I'm the same - I desperately want to like and thought well of so hated the idea of being a burden but I'd rather that possibly happen than be super anxious, upset, or ignore something with my baby.

It's not too much longer to go x

MrsMarrio Sun 13-Sep-20 03:04:30

I also suffered with very bad anxiety during pregnancy. My first pregnancy was embryonic in April 2018
I fell pregnant again immediately after and cried with worry at the positive test. I had scans at 5,7,9,11 and 12 weeks because I was so terrified. I would regularly go have the baby listened to and you could tell the midwives thought I was crackers. Unfortunately at 22 weeks my waters broke due to a uterus Infection and we lost our daughter in October 2018. I was distraught and all’s I had going through my mind was ‘see! I knew it would go wrong again!’.

We found out I was pregnant again In October 2019. I didn’t believe there was a baby until I had a viability scan. I was giving myself goals to get to i.e 12 week scan, first cervical scan, 20 week scan, every time I’d hit one I’d expect to feel better but never did, then would give myself another one to get to. As soon as I had a scan within 5 minutes I thought something was wrong. I refused to tell anyone I was pregnant, I told my parents at 17 weeks. I would hide my bump to avoid anyone finding out or talking to me about it. I cried with sadness and worry when we had to order the pram because it wouldn’t get delivered on time otherwise. I refused to buy anything for the baby until I was literally forced too. Or even maternity clothes. I’d feel anxious if I only saw 1 magpie, or if it rained when I had an antenatal appointment. I didn’t have a single bout of morning sickness but made myself physically sick with anxiety and had a panic attack on the morning of my 20 week scan. Eventually I was referred to the mental health team and was diagnosed with ptsd. My therapist always said if I feel tense I won’t feel the baby move. And that I needed to relax. Well as soon as I started to feel movements that was just another thing to worry about.

If you’ve had previous losses triage will always see you. They always told me to come in if I was unhappy. Although in time when I was worried about movements I learned to get up and be a bit active, have something to eat and drink then lie down do some breathing exercises, if I still hadn’t felt him within the hour then contact triage. But if you are worrying yourself sick at home just go get checked out if it makes you feel better, it makes no difference to the midwives if they see you or not but it will make a massive difference to you. Don’t sit at home worrying, there’s no point.

I lie in bed now listening to my 10 week old son snore and remembering how I was in my pregnancy i realise how mentally unwell I was and how I feel robbed of enjoying my pregnancy. We always wanted 2/3 children and I would have loved more but the pregnancies really take their toll but hopefully the memories fade soon. I couldn’t be treated for ptsd whilst pregnant as they don’t want to stress the baby out as I would get very distressed talking about my daughter but now I’ve had the baby they can start to process the trauma.

You are almost there and you can do it! You are stronger than you realise! Having that baby in your arms makes every second of anxiety worth it I promise!

Piggle21 Sun 13-Sep-20 08:18:42

@MrsMarrio I feel completely the same. We only told my parents and my husbands dad at 21 weeks because I had to stay on a ward for 48 hours in case I did have a fluid leak. But weeks later we still haven't told friends and or any other family.

I haven't bought any clothes which is starting to become an issue as not much now fits. My mum keeps going on about knitting things for bump and that I need to start getting things but I just can't face it. I fear buying anything and then jinxing everything so it all goes wrong. I keep thinking well I'll get to this point or get through this scan and then I'll start looking for things but I just can't do it.

I think it is just the few midwives on the triage ward that have made me feel like I shouldn't be going in but now I am worried that everyone thinks that. The last midwife kept saying to me I couldn't keep getting myself into such a worked up state but my state got worse when she was saying that I shouldn't really be going in as they wouldn't do anything different to just listening in.

So so glad that everything worked out for you and you have a fabulous little bundle! smile x

OP’s posts: |
MrsMarrio Sun 13-Sep-20 09:45:46

@Piggle21 I completely understand how you feel. And when I lost my daughter I would talk about my loss so many other women would say I’ve lost one too or they struggled to conceive etc. In fact most of the friends I keep now have had losses albeit not as late as me but they were all so supportive once I told them I was pregnant again. But you find that although people who haven’t had losses sympathise with you they don’t truly understand the anxiety.

Both my losses were down to bad luck, I just had in my mind that absolutely anything could go wrong with me again, the same thing or something different. It was exhausting being that on edge all the time.

If you’ve had a fluid leak then really just take it easy, feet up as much as you can and drink plenty of fluids yourself. And you should be monitoring movements. If you feel reduced movements you are doing the right thing by being checked out and explain to the midwife what’s happened previously and usually then they change their tune or at least shut up.

And like I said before it makes no difference to them if they see you or not but it does to you. Just try all the general tricks, being active, fizzy drink, chocolate then relaxing before ringing up.

At 29 weeks you are 3/4 the way through and doing so well but you need to look after you too. Honestly go to New Look ASAP and get a pair of maternity jeans and a few tops, don’t think too much about it, just go do it. And having clothes that fit (even the bare minimum) will make you feel better about yourself and will do you a world of good. And you are PREGNANT! There is no getting away from that.

My husband used to say that I was stopping him from getting excited by not letting him buy things or letting him tell people. I can’t remember when I started buying things for the baby but I know I was in Tesco past midnight buying baby clothes for my hospital bag on my due date panicking that I’d spent so much time putting it off that I was now very unprepared so you don’t want to be in that position either

Piggle21 Sun 13-Sep-20 13:38:30

I know I feel so terrible not letting my husband tell people even his brothers and I know my mum is excited but I can't cope with her going on all the time.

I am so torn between getting things and not being able to let myself do it still. It's the same with whether I start the medication do I take it to help my anxiety or not take it and not risk any side affects to bump.

Thank you for all your replies though it's so good to hear from people who understand and who have made it through xx

OP’s posts: |
Odile13 Sun 13-Sep-20 14:03:57

Hi Op. I just wanted to say I understand how you feel. I had three miscarriages before giving birth to my daughter. Mentally it puts you in a very difficult place.

I think in the end I just had to take it day by day, hour by hour. I had to try to accept that I couldn’t control what would happen. I would sit at my desk and do a tally of foetal movements on a notepad. It was unbelievably stressful and not something I think you can fully understand unless you’ve been there yourself.

The only recommendations I can make are doing things to relax (eg listen to guided meditations on YouTube, go for a walk in nature, reading a book for pure escapism) and just get through the time. I also did the online hypnobirthing course from The Positive Birth Company and had an audio track of positive affirmations to listen to.

I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Hang on in there and best wishes.

MrsMarrio Sun 13-Sep-20 17:14:29

Have a word with mum and say you don’t want to talk about the baby, that’s what I had to do with mine. And she also didn’t buy anything for the baby until I was ready. Mums just want you to be well and happy, she will deffo understand.

It’s awful, once I’d had the baby it was all I didn’t even know you were pregnant! I was lucky as I didn’t go out much once I was heavily pregnant due to Covid. And I’m ashamed to say the first time my brother seen or heard I was pregnant was after my son was born! Maybe confide in a friend or two that you know will be utterly supportive. And allow yourself just for a few moments a day to be excited about bump. I used to put moisturiser cream on bump after a shower late at night when I knew he was most active. Then the more you relax the more they move and the more comfortable you feel. I promise you once your little bundle is here you will miss all their nauseating movements and annoying hiccups.

As for the medication they wouldn’t prescribe anything to a pregnant lady if the side effects outweighed they benefits to you. But then again I refused any pain relief in labour because to me it wasn’t safe for the baby and obviously I knew better hmm

Maybe take up a new hobby? I’m now very into cross stitching! But don’t have the time now!

Piggle21 Sun 13-Sep-20 20:10:34

Thank you, everyone for taking time to share and for your advice.

I guess I just hoped at this point things would be easier but actually it gets harder.

I'm trying to keep busy learning how to make jewellery and getting better at crochet.

I guess that has been the one good thing about lockdown - being able to hide away so not having to tell!


OP’s posts: |
MaudebeGonne Sun 13-Sep-20 20:34:37

Have you started to take your prescribed medication Piggle? I know a lot of women worry about taking medication in pregnancy, but if it could help relieve some of your anxiety it would be better for you (and for your baby). Lots of Midwives (people) struggle to understand anxiety (I am a midwife myself) - and unfortunately there are always going to be some people who think you all you need is a good talking to. Like anxiety will crumble in the face of logic!

So carry on going in if you need to, but please consider taking your prescription too. It would be lovely for you to be able to enjoy your pregnancy and to start planning on all the things you are going to enjoy with your baby when they get here. You deserve to enjoy this. Wishing you the best of luck.

Piggle21 Sun 13-Sep-20 21:30:10

@MaudebeGonne no I haven't started yet I am constantly going between the two thoughts of what's best. I'm so scared of doing the wrong thing for bump. If I don't take it and stay constantly anxious and worried will that hurt bump or if I take it will it affect anything. I know there is a heightened risk of pulmonary hypertension (I think that's what it's called) but I don't know how treatable that is or what happens.

It's so hard to explain how it feels when the anxiety really takes hold and that I can't just think it's ok or not to worry. For me the only way I can bring myself out of it is by hearing the heart beat and movements. But I get the sense some of the midwives at the hospital think I am making it worse for myself by needing that reassurance.

Thank you for replying - just talking to other people and knowing I'm not alone and others understand has really helped

OP’s posts: |

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