A pregnancy after a loss often feels frustrating. There are times that you will get good news. An ultrasound will go well, the genetic testing will come back normal, you will feel the baby move, or hear the heartbeat. For a few seconds, hours, or sometimes even weeks, you feel happy and you feel like things will be okay. You briefly stop worrying and are sometimes able to just enjoy being pregnant. You start thinking about naming the baby, decorating the room, and the baby even coming home with you. But inevitably, the scary feelings come back. They never go away, they just are temporarily buried.
I have been feeling pretty consistent movement for a couple of weeks now. I feel her move almost every day in the morning and at night and then sometimes throughout the day, but that can vary. On Sunday morning, I woke up and wasn’t feeling her move like I normally do. Cue the panic. Lack of movement was, after all, the ending sign for our angel daughter and it happened literally overnight. So it’s hard to not immediately be terrified.
This is why feeling the baby move is both a good thing and a scary thing.
You love when you start feeling it consistently because it’s one way of knowing the baby is still in there and still doing okay at that moment. But when you don’t feel them move for a while, it’s terrifying and your mind jumps to the worst possible thing. I tried to remind myself that babies can change their movement patterns and that I’m not even far enough along for kick counts. I had to talk myself down. I ate my breakfast and went upstairs and not long after, I felt movement and it was such a relief.
But I hate being terrified all the time. I hate being afraid that every little thing I do might hurt her or cause a problem with the pregnancy. I’m afraid of eating too much sugar or drinking too much caffeine. I’m afraid of walking around too much or not getting enough sleep. I’m afraid I’m not eating well enough or that if I am eating healthy, that I’m not eating enough. I worry about every little twinge or pain I feel. Honestly, it’s really exhausting. But it’s hard to shut it out of your mind. I try to turn off the thoughts, but they are always there.
I felt great after our anatomy scan and finally started having some confidence.
Everything looked normal up to this point and I started thinking that we may just get to bring this baby home. We started getting her room ready. It’s painted and the furniture is in there. The curtains are hung and there are pictures on the wall. It’s not finished yet, but close to being finished. We talk about her to our family and friends and make plans for when she will be here. I talked to my son’s pediatrician about her being born and we are overall planning for the future that includes her.
But now, three weeks later, I am panicking again and I’m just scared that something may be wrong again. It’s been four weeks since my last appointment and four weeks since I have seen her on ultrasound. I usually do okay for a couple of weeks before I get scared again. I have my next OB appointment this week and my next MFM appointment next week. The OB appointment should be uneventful, with a quick heartbeat check and the fun peeing in a cup (which is great when you get so big you can’t even see the cup!).
I think the MFM appointment is giving me a bit of extra anxiety.
One, because it’s another ultrasound and all ultrasounds give me anxiety. I’m still afraid of them finding something wrong even after all of the appointments have been good so far. Secondly, I am worried that they are going to release me and not monitor me anymore. Being released is both good and bad. It means that there are no concerns and that there is no reason to be monitored, which is obviously great. I feel stressed about it, though, because that means I have no more ultrasounds after 22 weeks. That is a long time to go for even a normal pregnancy, but even worse for a mom who has had a loss.
My loss didn’t occur until the 32 week mark, which is still 10 weeks away from when I will have that ultrasound. I really don’t want to be left unmonitored. Yes, I will be seeing my OB, but they don’t do ultrasounds like the MFM does. I’m worried that my anxiety will be even worse. While I may have anxiety about the ultrasounds, I have even more about the idea of not having them.
Based on my last pregnancy, I had just assumed that they would follow me all the way through. At my last appointment, the MFM had mentioned that they wanted to see me one more time to check on the heart again when baby is bigger. I have also seen several other ladies get released around this time if everything looks normal. If they do try to release me, I plan on asking if I can still stay on and be monitored. I am totally fine paying the doctor fees for my piece of mind.
My mantra this whole time still remains, everything is fine right now and you have no reason to worry.
So I am choosing to try and focus on the fact that I get to see her again in a week and see how much she has grown. I am choosing to believe that things are still okay. That doesn’t mean the negative thoughts will go away, but I am just trying to push past them.