Tuesday, December 04, 2007

13 weeks... And I can't seem to shake the fear

I am 13 weeks today... Officially (or unofficially, if you are a strict mathematician and go by being exact with 13 weeks, 3 days) into the second trimester. Officially "out of the danger zone" for miscarriage.

But, I am still having such a hard time being happy about this pregnancy....

...No, no. I don't mean not happy - I am happy. But, I am still having a hard time being comfortable about this pregnancy. Feeling comfortable... Feeling safe...

I have had repeat betas, all goods one. I have had three u/s's, all showing (and hearing) heartbeats, on-target growth, fetal movement. I cannot wear my regular pants anymore. I have felt what felt like movement already, last week later at night while trying to fall asleep (that percolating feeling, which I know from my PG with Chris is not gas).

But, none of this seems to alleviate the fear that, with everyone knowing about this pregnancy (which is getting rather hard to hide now anyway), something is going to go wrong. That I am going to have to un-tell everyone...again...the hardest to tell being Chris.

Days before each appointment are spent in an anxiety-ridden panic state:
  • Sleep is minimal for days leading up to the appointment, which brings on additional nausea.
  • I begin to make up scenarios in my head of how will I react to finding out the baby has died. Will I cry or be angry? Will I be able to drive home? How will I tell everyone? How will I face everyone? How will this loss end?
  • I get short with the Hubby, nit-picking such little things he does, when he has been so great taking care of things I don't have the energy to do myself.
  • I recoil from Hubby as he touches my tummy, talking to the baby growing in there.
Then, after the appointment ends and we leave with u/s pics in hand, I feel guilty for the things that I am preventing myself from doing:
  • Talking to the baby myself in those days leading up to the appointments, in fear of getting to attached and having my heart ripped out again.
  • Allowing Hubby to have his time with the baby...telling him/her the stories and singing the songs he used to tell and sing to Chris when I was pregnant with him.
  • Feeling the joys of carrying another life with me every day.
After my last m/c in 3/06, I remember feeling such guilt for not praying enough for that baby to stay with us. I talked with my therapist about it - how I always carry this guilt that maybe if I had hoped and prayed enough for that baby, instead of feeling so guarded toward the PG to protect myself from the pain again, that maybe the baby would have stayed with us. I know the guilt is irrational... That there was nothing I could have done to save that baby.

Yet, here I am with that same fear...and that same guilt for feeling that same fear... Even with knowing that up until now, this baby is doing just fine. He/she is growing and thriving...and, has a much greater chance of surviving and being born.

All of the doctors involved are so positive, so reassuring that things are going to progress just fine. Why can't I allow myself to feel that?

I have built such a strong defense mechanism for myself...and it is so impenetrable, that I am having a hard time living one day at a time, enjoying the time I have with this pregnancy.

I miss my naiveness I had when PG with Chris. It was a time when I felt nothing could go wrong...that loss could never possibly factor into my world. When morning sickness, as awful as I felt at times, still meant that I would bring a child home in the end. That m/c could never happen to me.

I know all too well now that anything can happen... That just because God has allowed this PG to happen, the "natural" way, does not mean I will bring a baby home. That just because I felt like I was going to puke at any moment, the baby may not necessarily be alive.

I wish I could find that total optimistic side of myself again... I used to always think the cup was half-full. I feel so different now...always waiting for the world to fall in on me.

Maybe these feelings will change once I start feeling movement consistently...have a little reassurance between appointments that he/she is moving around. That won't happen for a few weeks more...

Until then, what do I do?

I want this baby more than anything... To finally give Chris the sibling I always wanted him to have. To finally give the grandparents another grandchild to spoil. To finally give our family the gift of a new life.

How do I stop myself from fearing the worst?


r_is_moody said...

I'm sorry I don't have an answer for you because I have never been that far. But I do know that I personally decided to enjoy every moment of every pg no matter how short they may be. I know that is no easy task, but I had to do it for my sanity.

Have you thought about getting a doppler, that way you can hear the HB any time you need to. Maybe that would help to calm some fears.

Katie said...

I second the idea about the doppler - with one BIG caveat. Don't get a cheap one. Rent a high quality one and get someone at your OB's office to show you how to use it. I have had to many RL and blog friends not know how to detect the heartbeat and give themselves fits when the baby was fine.

Secondly, I have never had a successful pregnancy, but I guess what I do each time I am pregnant is suck the joy out of each day that I have. We can't control or change the outcome. If the worst was to happen, then would you rather have spent your days giving all of your love to this baby, or would it torture you to know that you withheld that? I mean, let's be honest. Whether you talk to the baby or not, you are attached and it will hurt like nothing else if you were to lose it. So, I say, enjoy every last minute. Soak every second up with your baby. And hopefully, you will have years and years ahead to do so!

ilyse said...

I wish I could give you the answer but I can't. The only thing I can say is to try to have faith and know that you are doing everything that you possibly can to bring a healthy baby into the world. I went through the same feelings and concerns as you. It was slightly different circumstances that led me there (only one miscarriage but an extremely difficult pregnancy)but basically I was not able to be naive and enjoy it as much as I would have liked it either. If it is any consolation to you, think about my case and how things turned out ok. Just know that you are a great mom to both of your children and you are not alone.

MoonNStarMommy said...

Hi Tina - it's NissaRae from FF. I found your blog :)

I know your fears all too well. With Noah, I had lost my oldest son's twin, along with 4 other early m/c. I faught through 5 years of infertility, and had gotten pregnant using Clomid. I was scared to death... I couldn't relax until i saw his heart beating away at 6 1/2 weeks on the U/S confirming that the PG stuck... and then - each appt brought fear... until he started to move, and I could TELL he was fine myself. (on top of all this we got the scary news about his genetic disorder.. and I was told he wouldn't survive the pregnancy.) At this point, I just made the choice that I didn't care how long I had with this child, it was my job to love him no matter what, no matter for how long! I would enjoy the time I had with him if it be a minute or a lifetime. I didn't feel him move for several days at one point, and I thought for sure he was gone... I went in, they put the doppler down on my belly in some gel, and wouldn't you know that I got a swift kick, "get it off me! I was comfy!" ... he was fine, the little stinker! Now he is 5... and a true miracle :)

When I got pregnant with Nathan, I was flipping out... now had had 12 m/c total... I couldn't stop taking pregnancy tests, as long as I knew that test was + at least I knew that it haddn't gone down to 0 and I was losing the baby. Saw his heart beating away and I felt better... but until I could feel him move, I was on edge. Always on edge...

I now say, there are several steps to get through a pregnancy when you have had a or multipul m/c...

#1 ... a sigh of relief when you see the heartbeat...
#2.... Thank GOD when you are in the second trimester and the chance of m/c decreases by light years...
#3 ... some reassurance with every kick and punch and flip..
#4 ... you can relax a little more once you hit 24 weeks and you know, if the baby had to, it could be born with a fight...
(and each week after that, knowing survival rates go up dramatically)
#5 ... but you can not TRULY relax, until that baby is handed to you, wet and screaming ... and only then can you finally let out all the fear and say "I did it" ...


Jessica said...

I don't have too many words of wisdom but I do know that miracles happen and I hope that the fear will go away soon so that you can enjoy your little miracle. Perhaps it won't get easier til the baby is actually born, but no matter what we'll all be here to support you and cheer with you with every pregnancy milestone you pass through.
In the meantime- YAY Happy 2nd trimester.

Tiffany said...

Tina, happy 2nd trimester! *hug* I understand how you are feeling right now. I just got a BFP last month after our m/c in October and no matter how much the doc or symptoms reassure me, I know that it can be misleading. We just need to keep the faith and stay positive and celebrate each teeny milestone, whether it's week by week or day by day. You can do it and I can't wait to read your updates about your sweet little bean. Take care of yourself and hugs to Chris!

Tiffany aka Samar

Val said...

Happy 2nd trimester. The other ladies have given you such wonderful advice. I won't try to repeat it but will just offer hugs.

kiLikiNa said...

I totally understand how you feel because I'm going through the same even though I'm now at 21 weeks. We just can't help it but yeah, just keeping the faith and praying will help. But as time goes by, you'll feel better and safer. (http://thenest.garynchristine.com)