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stupid? irrational? still so worried about losing him - advice needed please

(24 Posts)
berolina Sun 19-Dec-04 18:15:28

Evening all. I thought rather than bother you any more with panicky paranoid threads about individual things I would maybe get the 'whole' of how I'm feeling off my chest and see if anyone has any advice. I know how very very lucky I am but am having a really tough time.
I'm nearly 17wks pregnant with my first, a little boy , as we discovered at a scan last week. I had a very early miscarriage in the summer, which was a big shock and very upsetting, and I think took the 'innocence' as regards pregnancy from me. But I conceived again three cycles later and in this pregnancy things have gone absolutely fine so far, apart from some spotting. I can hardly believe how easy I've had it - no sickness, very few other complaints, tiredness yes but it's been manageable, and now I've started to show and am so very proud of my bump. I've seen my little boy in such detail on the scan and he is so beautiful. Of course I worried a lot in the early stages but I thought after 12 or 13 weeks that would pass. It hasn't. I'm simply terrified I'm going to lose him. Although I'm desperately in love with him already I can't allow myself to get excited about him, I'm not making any plans at all and I've only bought the bare minimum of maternity clothes. I'm scared stiff that the in-laws (who are of course all excited) are going to give me something FOR THE BABY at Christmas - as I feel, completely irrationally, that that might jinx it! My colleagues and students (I'm a lecturer) can tell I'm pregnant (I'm small and it really does stick out already) and are so happy for me, but all I can think about is how I'm going to face them if it all goes wrong - students whispering to each other in lectures when they see my tummy deflating - etc. I'm just so worried because I have no 'feeling' about how this pregnancy will go - recently a close friend who's had two m/cs in the past gave birth, and throughout her pregnancy I had a very strong positive feeling that everything was going to be OK this time, and it was - but for myself I don't have this feeling, and that terrifies me. I am so very worried about doing something which will make me lose him. I'm absolutely paranoid about listeria and toxoplasmosis, for example, to the degree that I'm falling victim again to a hygiene obsession that I'd almost completely got over all by myself. I hate the idea of Christmas/New Year - I have 2 weeks off and dh and I are going to the city we lived in until this spring, and I loved it there and usually I wouldn't be able to wait, but because we'll be staying in other people's flats, be in a big city etc. I'm so worried about coming into contact with some dirt, raw meat traces, accident etc. that will make me lose him, and despite longing to see my friends I'd rather bury myself here at home. (What doesn't help is that I had my m/c this summer during a weekend there ). I just think 'it only takes one little thing and that's it' - I feel so extremely responsible for this little life inside me and can't help thinking 'why should it be me who's lucky?'. I'm wondering whether some of this might be because it still somehow seems so unreal that I'm pg and he's mine - not having had physical symptoms sometimes does make the whole thing unreal, I think. I know there is no insurance against something going wrong and even if something does he will always be our precious son, but I almost feel I don't 'deserve' him and am finding the whole fragility and vulnerability of the pregnancy process very very hard to take (not because I've always been in control/never had anything go wrong in the past - far from it). And I worry about dh - he is much more confident than me and so happy about the baby, and he is such a sweetie and sometimes I think how it would break my heart even more to see his grief if our little one died - at least I'm preparing for it...
OMG, this is really long - and morbid. I'm so sorry - I hope it hasn't upset anyone - I know how very very lucky I am to be pg. If anyone has any wise words I would really appreciate it. TIA

Tinker Sun 19-Dec-04 18:21:54

Well, I think feeling worried about a pregnancy after a miscarriage is very normal. Like you, I had a mc in the summer and then conceived again 3 months later. And like you, I keep worrying that it's still possible to lose it. Have my 20 weeks' scan on Friday and am worried about that since have hardly felt any movemnet at all after feeling quite a bit a few weeks ago.

I think you just have to try to console yourself that teh further it continues the much lower the chances of losing it will be. Not a great deal on consolation I know but I do have a lot of sympathy with your worries.

Frizbethereindeer Sun 19-Dec-04 18:24:24

Oh Hun, HUGS, you sound like you really need it, I don't feel qualified for advice on this one, but BUMP

Laylasmum Sun 19-Dec-04 18:24:46

Hi berolina.I think most expectant mums feel like you at one time or another during their pregnancy, i think its important to try and enjoy your pregnancy as much as possible as you will never have this special time back again will you? If you spend the whole time worrying and fretting about the little things all the exciting parts will pass you by.! Unfortunately no-one at all can ever promise that your or anyone elses pregnancy will progress withjout any problems but these things are absolutely out of your control, you cannot do anything to prevent bad things from happening, so i think its important to realise that and to stop fretting about things you cannot control or predict but be positive about the parts of your pregnancy you are in control of such as a good diet exercise, RELAXATION, enjoying your last months together as a couple with your dh.I was sorry toread about your previous misscaraige but try to remember that was an entirely different pregnancy and should have no impact on your current one. Keep your chin up!! XX

feastofstevenmom Sun 19-Dec-04 18:25:58

Hi Berolina. I think I have talked to you on a thread a few months back about your anxieties during PG. I had a lot of the same experiences/worries during my PG, including an obsessive fear of listeria and toxoplasmosis, which ended up with me compulsively handwashing and very depressed. I had had a prior history of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but hadn't had a bad episode like that for nearly ten years. I ended up on Prozac at 30 weeks PG, and having CBT. I do wonder, particularly with your comment about a previous hygiene obsession, whether you might have a previous history of OCD. Apologies if that is completely off beam. I certainly wouldn't advocate any PG woman taking medication without some serious consideration/discussion with her doctor first. But I do think that you might find it useful to speak to a psychologist specialising in anxiety disorders/phobia/OCD.

PG is scary. You do feel so terribly responsible all of a sudden. But these little beans are far far more resilient than people like me give you credit for. One thing that my therapist told me, that made a lot of sense to me, is that, awful as it sounds, I was going through this sort of worry, and compulsively handwashing to make me feel better, that I was doing all I could as a mother - that it wasn't really about my baby at all but just about me. But you really do have to think - are my fears real? What sort of behaviour should PG women be doing? If someone posted on MN, would you tell them to avoid staying in cities throughout their PG?

It will honestly get a touch easier when you feel the baby moving, as every day you have some evidence that your baby is doing fine.

take care

Donbean Sun 19-Dec-04 18:33:23

No wise words but some empathy and understanding if it helps.
After two M/C i became pregnant again after 3 cycles.
I felt EXSACTLY the same as you.
Frightened of every thing and i mean everything.
I just seem to stagger through my pregnancy. Got to week 12, couldnt allow myself to be relieved, got to week 20 couldnt allow myself to relax,week 30,same,week 36 he arrived. completely healthy,small and the most beautiful thing i had ever set eyes on.
Looking back, in retrospect,i now feel completely robbed of the excitement,anticipation and wonderment of a baby growing inside me.
I/We just would not allow each other to become excited or dare look to the future. I would look around my house and could not "see" a child there.
When eventually we went to buy things like the pram,cot etc, i couldnt "see" a baby ever going in there.
This picture of doom apeared to follow me like a big black cloud. Until i held him and saw his little chest rise and fall with his sweet little breaths i would not believe that he would be given to us.
Now, just your thread has reminded me of those days. Now he is here, as your little fella will be soon,i hope that it will all be erased from your thoughts and that joy and brilliant sunshine in the form of your little chap will fill your thoughts instead.
Be happy, get huge and wait till you feel him kicking you.....

fisilhohoho Sun 19-Dec-04 18:36:12

berolina, will be quick cos ds is about to get in the bath, but I empathise totally with you. I will try to make a link to my thread later on - it is on the feeling low section and is about a week old. I'm 22 weeks now and lost a baby in March. I am convinced that this baby will also be cruelly taken from me. I had my scan last week and the comfort of seeing a healthy little boy lasted all of about 10 minutes by which time I was convinced he was dead again! I train teachers, and one piece of advice I give them is that a little bit of anxiety is good. I say that only good teachers look back on a lesson and worry about it/criticise it. I have tried to apply this to this pregnancy in an adapted form. It has had a limited comfort, but it is so horrible knowing deep down that there is absolutely nothing we did to cause the loss of our last baby. And then it makes it worse, as you say, that while we know we didn't cause the death of the last one, we also know that there are things we can do to make it safer for this one, and then we get paranoid about it! Plus we feel the guilt for having negative feelings about being pg when we know how lucky we are! You are right about the students too - I teach in a secondary school, so they would either not have a clue what to say, or some would be deliberately rude! And colleagues are already overwhelmingly nice - I dread to think what they'd be like.

And look at me - I've had two pregnancies before this one, and one of those turned out a beautiful, perfect little boy. But when I think about this current one I can't help but think that the one that worked was the chance event - and it is the one that went wrong that will repeat itself!

I've not been very positive, I know, but at least you know you are not alone. CAT me if you want to chat some more. And never ever think that people have had enough of hearing your unhappiness and worries - keep talking about it, you are very lucky to have us all here!

berolina Sun 19-Dec-04 18:52:58

Thank you all of you so much.
Donbean - - what a lovely post.
Feastofstevenmom - spot on. Had about two years of it around 10yrs ago when I was 16-18 (27 now), then (when I got away from home) it gradually faded away and just left traces. Never took anything or had CBT - to some degree I can CBT myself, as it were, but it is pretty exhausting to do it when pg and working FT. Can't have a proper course of it as I finished a course of psychotherapy this spring (basically about a horrible situation with my parents) and there is a two-year period here after finishing the last one before you can get it on health insurance again. I do understand your point about it being more about 'me' than 'the baby' - it does make a lot of sense and I'm certain there's an element of that going on at some level with me. Thanks for making that point - think I'm onto something there .

berolina Sun 19-Dec-04 18:59:45

Thank you fisil too - spent so long on my last post that I've only just seen yours. I'm sorry you're going through something similar (although pleased about your pg of course, and yours too Tinker ). We will be together in feeling sad in March as it's when my miscarried baby would have been due.
(My students are trainee teachers as it happens - though I teach them the subject rather than the didactical stuff. I like the advice about a little anxiety being a good thing - I might pass it on if I may ).

fisilhohoho Sun 19-Dec-04 19:06:23

what subject and where? and what a coincidence!

brusselbeansprouts Sun 19-Dec-04 20:39:24

I do understand how you feel, I used to get really, really anxious about anything happening and would get myself into a real state. Unfortunately, it's the same now he's here! My head can really have a tendency to morbid thoughts, plus there was a SIDS death in the family when I was 8 weeks pregnant and that has haunted me ever since.

I think we need to take it a day at a time, and as you say, so far so good. I can spend a lot of time (and I mean, a lot) worrying about things that just are not going to happen and in doing so, just miss a lot of wonderful moments. Good luck with the rest of the pregnancy and congratulations on your healthy baby boy.

BTW, if anyone does buy you anything, you could just ask a friend or family member to store it away for you until you need it?

bunny2 Sun 19-Dec-04 21:09:04

berolina, I had 2 miscarriages after having ds. when I got pg a 4th time I was so scared I'd miscarry again, it overshadowed the whole pregnancy. To make matters worse I bled on and off throughout and was told after a scan that the baby had a high chance of abnormalities. I lost count of the number of trips I made to the hospitals early pregnancy unit, trips always made with me verging on hysteria and convinced I was once again losing my baby. Those 40 weeks went on forever and like you I became paranoid about every germ and bug that I might come into contact with. How I got through those weeks and kept my sanity I'll never know! Happily I gave birth to a gorgeous and healthy baby girl nearly 3 weeks ago and it wasnt until I held her in my arms that I finally relaxed. I think you are probably going through something similar and thoug I have no words of advice I hope my experience shows these things usually do have a happy outcome.

feastofstevenmom Mon 20-Dec-04 10:46:51

hi berolina. hope you are having a bit of a better day today. i ended up going privately for CBT - and although not cheap, wasn't desperately dear - £50 per session for about 10 sessions, so wonder if that might be an option for you, doing it outside your insurance, if you decide to go down that route. otherwise you just need to get yourself as relaxed as possible, and do as much as you can - as these sort of anxiety problems feed on stress - one thing I found really helpful was going to the ante-natal breathing classes my hospital put on!

walkinginawelshmumwonderland Mon 20-Dec-04 10:55:09

Hello Berolina from the June 2005 thread, I don't really have much advice to offer on the OCD front but I do understand from a m/c point of view. I wanted you to know that I was thinking of you and hoping that you would find a key to help you relax and enjoy this a bit - is there anything you really like doing? That takes you out of yourself a bit?

berolina Mon 20-Dec-04 17:26:00

Hi there everyone and thanks! Bunny2- congratulations
Busy today and quite OK. Didn't sleep well last night and when I was lying there trying to get to sleep had the most horrible sensation - as if my bed, duvet and pillow had turned to stone and were just really hard. Really creepy and freaked me out a bit. I also think last night I may have had a brief reoccurrence of a random allergic rash (non-itchy and non-painful) I got for the first and only time last summer - it only lasted a few hours and we've no idea what caused it - saw something that looked a bit similar on my leg last night and forgot to check again - it's gone now, of course. So I obsessed a bit over whether that would have hurt little one. I never stop, do I...
On the other hand, had a chat with dh about being worried about our Xmas trip and he's being lovely - says we'll just take it as it comes and have a nice time. I hope once I'm there I'll relax, as I know if I wasn't pregnant I'd be absolutely desperate to go (haven't made it there since our summer holiday) and it should actually be a real treat for me. We'll mostly be house-sitting for/staying with friends but we've just booked a hotel I've always fancied staying in for the last 2 nights, which should be lovely. It was good to have a proper talk to dh about how I've been feeling and about how I worry that our little boy won't make it to us . Still feel very vulnerable, but am OK at the moment.
fisil - I'm in Germany. Subject's English.

Donbean Mon 20-Dec-04 18:13:23

Where in Germany,if you dont mind me asking?

berolina Mon 20-Dec-04 21:04:11

Down south, Baden-Württemberg.

Spacecadetiscomingtotown Wed 22-Dec-04 09:20:53

oh berolina, you poor thing, I know exactly how you feel, i have a healthy dd born in july, yet despite her being my 4th baby i worried so mich i nearly made myself ill.i had a stillbirth 14 years ago yet i have had 4 healthy children since then, however i worried about listeria, toxoplasmosis etc, u name it i wooried about it, i had a slapped cheek scare it just went on.Every day came a new worry, by the time i was in the last month, i was a nervous wreck, everything that could possibly happen, i was convinced was going to.I became obssessed with hygeine and wouldnt eat out, nor would i eat anything that hadnt been prepared by my own bare hands, if my dh even made me a drink i would ask him if hed washed his hands etc, it did get the end i contacted my hv, who was quite happy to come and see me as i have a history of pnd and we would talk about my worries, every week i had to write them down and then we discuss the possibility of them really happening and in most cases they were un founded worries, the hospital were really good when I explained and would let me come in virtually whenever I liked if I was worried about the babys movements.I would have a ctg and feel reassured.dont suffer in silence berolina can u contact your gp or hv and get the ball rolling, it will help to talk to someone else about your worries.

PamiNativity Wed 22-Dec-04 09:27:37


I know exactly where you're coming from. Having had 2 completely normal and healthy pregnancies, I too miscarried a baby who would have been due in March. I am now 11 weeks pregnant again and not yet ready to accept that it will be ok. I agree with the loss of innocence - I was so innocent for my first 2 pregnancies but will never have that again.
I don't know if it's possible in Germany, but over here you can be tested for toxoplasmosis resistance in pregnancy - I was tested in my first pregnancy because I have 2 cats and was a bit concerned. It turned out that I had previously had toxoplasmosis (a lot of people have had it and don't know because symptoms are just like a cold) and that has enabled me to be worried about one less thing. I just asked for the test along with my normal blood tests.
I'm currently going through a measles scare (dd2 has been exposed, I've not had measles and my parents aren't sure if I've been vaccinated) so I too will be having a restless Christmas.
Alles Gute!

gothicsanta Wed 22-Dec-04 10:11:10

berolina, I worried throughot prg and labour about dd (she is now 4) I had a lot of mcs and an ectopic pregnancy before, I used to look forward to ante natal appointmenst as tehy really reassured me - all you can do is the best you can each day hard as it is try not to worry or get stressed

cazzybabs Wed 22-Dec-04 10:19:02

I have been blessed never to have a miscarraige but through both my preganancy's I was so scared I was not going to have a healthy baby at the end of it and now, bar a runny nose and a swollen eye and a bit of nappy rash, I have two of the most beautiful normal healthy children I know. I think what you are feeling is normal because you have no control over being pregnant. You just have to trust your body - it knows what it is doing.

MariNativityPlay Wed 22-Dec-04 10:39:16

Berolina, more hugs and empathy from here. I had a nightmarish 3rd pregnancy after my second child was stillborn at 22 weeks.
What you are feeling is normal in the circumstances. There are lots of strategies for dealing with it, as you say yourself and others suggest, but please don't ever feel bad about feeling this way, or guilty because you are not feeling blessed enough.
I had counselling to get me through my pregnancy, and a very supportive midwife. I have no idea how things are done in Germany, but is there anyone at your hospital you can approach to discuss your fears and concerns? Sometimes, talking it through with my bereavement midwife helped me get on top of it all for a few weeks.
Posting here was so helpful too - Mumsnetters are wonderful.
My dd was born safe and well in August 2003 and is a pickle and a delight.
But, like everyone on here whose baby has died, I think of my son all the time and wish he could somehow be with us too. You are in good company when you talk of losing your pregnancy innocence, sadly. But I hope knowing that gives you some support when kind unthinking people blat on about how thrilled you must be etc.

pabla Wed 22-Dec-04 11:45:16

berolina, like you I was very reluctant to buy baby things, even pregnancy magazines, for ages during my first pregnancy. Both my mother and grandmother had lots of miscarriages and I was very worried I would have one too. However, my daughter was born perfectly healthy.

I then had a period of infertility followed by two early miscarriages. When I got pregnant again I was sent for an early scan at around 8/9 weeks and all was ok. I said to my gp that it was still very early days and I was still worried I would miscarry again. She said that if they detect a heartbeat at this stage, there is a very good chance that everything will be ok. She was right. I have subsequently seen something on the news reiterating this. Obviously late miscarriages and stillbirths do occur, but they are much rarer than earlier miscarriages. I hope this reassures you. Babies are actually quite resilient - my mother had her appendix removed under general anesthetic when she was pregnant with me - until they operated they didn't know if it was her appendix or an ectopic preganancy!

berolina Wed 22-Dec-04 15:43:20

Thank you for your replies everyone. It's awful to hear so many stories of baby loss , and I'm so sorry for you all having had to go through this. It does give me some comfort to know I'm not the only one worrying like this (IYKWIM - not because I like to hear of anyone worrying, but because it makes me feel less alone and irrational).
Pami, I've had a toxo test and am not immune, which I was a bit surprised about because I've lived with cats before and (when not pg) always make a beeline for friends' and relatives' cats because I love them. So of course I'm paranoid about it, but trying not to be too bad. I really hope everything'll be OK with the measles and you won't have to worry.
Mari, I'm afraid I've no chance of counselling for the reasons detailed in my post, but I do have a very good gynaecologist who also looked after me when I had the m/c and is very down-to-earth and reassuring. He scanned me tons of times in the early weeks - whenever I felt I needed reassurance really, plus extra check-ups - due to the m/c I count officially as a 'high risk pregnancy', which is kind of frightening but I just ignore the terminology because it means more check-ups etc. than in a 'normal' pg. (Also, in Germany loads and loads and loads of reasons - including just being over 35!!! - put you into that category - it's used pretty inflatedly). I never get made to feel silly for worrying either.

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