Put a question to Bridget Phillipson, Shadow Education Minister

My feed

to access all these features

Get updates on how your baby develops, your body changes, and what you can expect during each week of your pregnancy by signing up to the Mumsnet Pregnancy Newsletters.


Found Out I'm Pregnant & Panicking

13 replies

Elizabeth181183 · 31/05/2020 07:07

Hi all

Sorry if I get any of this wrong (I've just joined Mumsnet after lying awake since 4am biting my nails) and am unsure of all the acronyms still!

In a nutshell, I've always known I've wanted children, but always been the worst with change. As friends have told me how much their lives changed overnight when they had their babies and some suffered with PND, I sort of developed an irrational fear of having kids, whilst also wanting them. I've got a history of anxiety and panic attacks & most are triggered by change and fear of the unknown. So it's been the perfect storm in that respect.

Anyway, fast forward a few weeks and I'm now pregnant, something that's a complete surprise.

The past week has been a complete blur of panic, tears (not the happy kind), panic attacks, feeling sad, feeling terrified, feeling guilty for (in the middle of the night) hoping maybe I miscarry. I even feel awful writing that - it's such a horrible thing to think. I always thought I was a nicer person than that.

I'm 34, married and life is stable. My partner was shocked, but now delighted, & so on paper this should all be fine.

But I don't feel fine at all. I feel like I'm losing my mind with panic about what is to come and a feeling I can't turn back now.

In the past, when change comes, I normally backpeddle furiously until I get things back to 'normal'. I guess in terms of fight or flight I like leg it as quickly as I can. But in this situation, it feels impossible.

I know I've got to go through this one day if I want kids, but I'm not sure how to manage this huge head f*ck and sense that life is going to change. I loved my life as it was & can't help but feel terrified of what's to come.

In all of this, I guess I've not even had the chance to think about a possible baby, as it's all just clouded by this immediate panic.

I've had a few positive days but last night it hit me again and I started panicking quite a lot and feeling awful.

I'm sorry I sound such a horrible person, I promise I'm not. I just don't know how to move forward positively at the moment.

OP posts:
PastaBolognaise · 31/05/2020 07:16

I’m accidentally pregnant too and it’s been a huge shock. Very different circumstances to you as I have kids but I was done having a family, my kids are older, my career is going places and I have a health concern which makes pregnancy very risky now.

I’m finding my emotions are a rollercoaster and sometimes I think I can do it and others I’m panicking and convinced I have to end it. I find it best to just sit with these emotions, observe them and let them pass. Certainly don’t make any decisions when feeling strongly one way or another. I know each extreme feeling will pass eventually and I remind myself of that.

I’m getting counselling. That might be a good idea for you too.

MissHoney85 · 31/05/2020 07:17

Don't apologise. I went through something very similar. We have been trying for a baby for 2 years, including failed IVF. We found out we're pregnant naturally a few weeks ago. After the initial excitement, I experienced similar thoughts about how much our lives will change. I naturally avoid stressful situations, but I was already stressing about all the things that could go wrong with a pregnancy then realised that stress will never go away as a parent - you are always worrying about your child. So much of my focus had been on getting pregnant that I don't think I'd really thought about the next bit.

I think it's completely normal to feel these feelings, and even healthy as it means you appreciate the scale of the change that's about to happen. Life is scary and parenthood will have many challenges, but that's how we grow as people. Plus, I'm sure the shitty bits are more than outweighed by the joy of the good bits. It's a lot to come to terms with though and you shouldn't beat yourself up for your feelings.

Rebelwithallthecause · 31/05/2020 07:20

I have just given birth to a planned for baby and I still had some of these thoughts throughout

They are all just a memory now baby’s here but I did question if I was doing the right thing a lot

As pp mentions - counselling might be good for you Flowers

Lavenderpurple · 31/05/2020 07:42

This is totally normal. I cried to dh in the chip shop because I wasn’t sure I wanted the planned baby that I’d just discovered I was pregnant with.

Just because you’re friends struggled with certain things doesn’t mean you will. Your life will change I’m not going to lie, having a child is hard work but it is undoubtedly the best thing I’ve ever done. I wouldn’t go back now, if I could. All being well, we’re doing it again in November and fwiw I’ve gone through all the same emotions.

BeMorePacific · 31/05/2020 08:02

Can I please urge you to speak to your midwife openly about how you’re feeling, and ask for a referral to the perinatal mental health team.
You certainly aren’t alone on how you’re feeling, but the feelings can grow.
I saw my sister experience mental health issues during pregnancy with devastating results. It’s so important you look after yourself.
The right support could make a huge difference.
Sending you love xx

Elizabeth181183 · 31/05/2020 08:12

Thank you so much (from the bottom of my heart) to everyone who has taken the time to reply so far. I really, really appreciate it. As I've had anxiety in the past, I am quite on top of my mental health hygiene, so have an appointment with my usual therapist this week. I've also begun journalling and doing my normal thought diaries to help stop my catastrophising (which I have a natural gift for).

But, I guess as pregnancy seems so enormous a change, I feel like I needed a bit more reassurance my thoughts aren't completely irrational. Normally I'd be managing things like a new job or relationship changes, so this feels enormous in comparison! But maybe they're the same really, in terms of managing fears and anxieties.

Thank you so much, again. I'm off on my usual jog now (after convincing myself I couldn't all week) & feel already confirmed by your really kind replies.

OP posts:
Elizabeth181183 · 31/05/2020 08:13

*comforted, not confirmed!

OP posts:
Dillybear · 31/05/2020 08:36

I’m sorry you’re feeling so anxious and worried. When you feel like that about a pregnancy/baby, it makes you feel so guilty.

I got pregnant unexpectedly, too. Like you, stable, married, had recently bought a ‘family home’, so it’s not as if it wasn’t something that wasn’t on the cards or that the pregnancy was unwanted, just unplanned. And I am a planner. So for me it felt like the control I had over my life was suddenly ripped away from me. I remember my DH being so excited and I was just terrified, cried a lot, sometimes wished I wasn’t pregnant. Completely know what you’re saying about the feelings of loss - especially when it’s unplanned. Your life changes completely from the moment you find out, with pregnancy symptoms, eating differently, not drinking alcohol, thinking about finances, work, your career...etc etc. Men have the full nine months to get their heads around it, whereas women are mothers from the moment you see the line on the test! But after a couple of weeks I started to feel really excited and looked forward to my baby, which was lovely.

After my DD was born, I had a lot of the same feelings of anxiety and fear and ‘what the fuck has happened to my life?!?’. I would say I felt that way for a few hours most days for the first four weeks. I loved my baby but found the adjustment difficult - again, their needs dictate your whole life and they’re very unpredictable to start with, so I felt totally out of control. I’m not saying this to worry you, just to let you know that you might feel this way after your baby arrives. I wasn’t expecting to feel that way, and so then I felt very worried and guilty about it, which didn't help. But I reached out to friends who have had babies and they dragged me through those first few weeks. I really recommend that when you have the baby, stay in touch with your friends with children and talk about how you feel, every day if you need to! Post on here. Support from other mums is a real lifeline. I also found that all the women I know with babies, I wasn’t that close to them at the time, all checked in with me a lot, and have become such an incredible source of support because they all know how hard the adjustment can be! I am now doing the same for friends who have just had babies, and it’s lovely to be able to offer that support and to reassure them that it does get better and easier!

Having said all that, I wanted to tell l you that for me those worried, anxious feelings are completely gone. My DD (15 weeks) is my whole world and she brings me so much joy. She’s much more predictable now (and has been since around 2 months, with blips here and there - babies! Hmm). But I am absolutely loving being her mum. In fact, I can’t really remember my life before she came along! (What did I do with all that free time?!)

Wishing you all the best with your pregnancy.

Summer23 · 31/05/2020 08:53

I wanted kids but when I found out I was pregnant I was pretty scared too. It’s normal, it’s a life changing thing and can be overwhelming. Go with it, you’re doing all the right things. The anxiety was all worth it in the end, the sense of euphoria I experienced when my little one arrived was of the scale. Best thing ever. Congratulations!

seventhrow · 31/05/2020 10:19

Hi just chipping in to repeat what some of the other ladies are saying - it’s completely normal to have some level of alarm at the big changes that will be coming. I planned becoming pregnant and 6 weeks into trying when I got my positive test my first thought, repeated for hours in my head, was “oh shit what have I done”. It’s a big change and those feelings are part of recognising that. There’s a lot of “cult of motherhood” out there and the internet’s cooing cloying webpages don’t really speak to many women who are keen for a family but nervous about the first few years. Talk to your husband!! He’s obviously super happy and his support is going to be paramount in how you deal with this. It’s likely that you both have some nervousness about the next year! Good luck and congratulations!

2007Millie · 31/05/2020 10:22

Just want to say that I was constantly fed the "it'll change your life forever/you'll never do normal things/it's hell" etc crap about babies

Life has hardly changed. It only often changes if you allow it to. My son goes with the flow and just does what we would be doing anyway that day

Elizabeth181183 · 31/05/2020 11:30

Thanks so much ladies, I don't think you know what a help even a few messages have been.

I'm a planner and a bit of a perfectionist, so this really rocked the old boat. But I recognise planning and perfectionism need to probably do one now, possibly for the rest of my life!

I will take all your advice, alongside speaking to my therapist and midwife, and try and just normalise my WHAT THE FUCK feelings.

For the first time in my life I'll try and go with the flow and just let it all happen/wash over me.

Thank you so much 💕 💕

OP posts:
nmw93 · 03/06/2020 21:44

Just wanted to say thank you so much for this thread. I’m 7+4 weeks and I was so delighted after 2 years of trying. I cried, couldn’t wait to tell people, had an early scan and saw babies heartbeat, I cried with happiness but, the past few days I’ve felt so overwhelmed with all these fears and anxieties and have too worried that I won’t cope having mental health issues myself. I have been well adjusted on meds for the past 4 years but my anxiety has been at a peak over these last few days. I see posts about people being happy with pregnancy and I can’t even look at them because I feel so guilty. All I’ve ever wanted is to be a Mum. My OH has 2 children already to whom I am a step mum and I’ve always wanted one of our own and now I just feel so shit about it all. I haven’t had my first midwife app yet but it’s due soon and I’ll be telling them how I feel. This thread has definitely made me feel some relief that I’m not alone and that these fears are normal.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.