Thursday, August 30, 2012

Freaking Out

I hate this. I am having a shitty, emotional day (okay like two weeks now) and I am driving myself crazy. As of today, I am 38 weeks and 3 days pregnant. While I am uncomfortable at this point, it is nothing compared to the mental torture I am going through. To put it bluntly, I am freaking out and I really can't think of a way to stop other than delivering this child (which will bring on a whole new set of worries but one step at a time here.)

Before I had Naya, I was prone to anxiety. There were a few times when I had panic attacks and would actually drive myself to the hospital and sit in the ER, just in case. Over time, I learned to manage my anxiety (mainly by cutting out caffeine and getting off the pill) and once I got pregnant with Naya, I hardly ever got anxious. After she died, I expected my anxiety to return full force and was surprised when it didn't. Now is a different story.

I have been pretty good this whole pregnancy. The first trimester was rough. I was sure that I was going to miscarry and I was constantly checking for blood and second guessing every cramp. Once I hit the second trimester, I mellowed and the rest of the pregnancy, I was fairly calm. Until now. Everyday is kind of torturous. When I don't feel the baby move, I freak out. I can't sleep. I am up crying a lot of the night or having panic attacks. I am so scared. I don't think I can deal with another dead baby and I am so scared that it's going to happen again. I just want the baby here so I can double check that it's okay all the time without an expensive hospital bill attached everytime. (Yes, I've been to the ER...I'm that pathetic.)

I realize that what happened with Naya was a fluke incident with the chances of it happening again akin to getting struck by lightning. Twice. That's all well and good but what about all the other more "common" ways babies die? Who says that can't happen to me. Cause guess what? I no longer live in that naive "everything will be fine, these things happen to other people and not to me" world. These things can happen to anyone at anytime. Why couldn't it happen again?

Sometimes I don't think it helps that I have completely engulfed myself completely in this "baby loss" world. Don't get me wrong - this wasn't a mistake. I love all the other loss mommas I have met. They have been my saviors and I really don't think I could have gotten through this far without them. It's just that I now know literally hundreds of women who have lost their babies (not to mention older children). You learn everyone else's story, which is just as tragic and unique as your own. And you can't help but think, "oh fuck, this could happen to me." I know that I am never "safe." My baby can die. Anytime and of a variety of things. And it's fucking stressful. I'm drained.

14 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry, friend. I can't imagine your fear right now, but I do think it's normal given what you've been through. I will tell you that even though my losses were so different and nothing even remotely close to what you have endured in losing Naya, even with my 2 first trimester losses this current pregnancy has been pure hell. Like you said, once you know that things don't always work out (and once you immerse yourself in this community and see just how MANY things go wrong, you're right) it's impossible to just let go and trust it will all be ok. Because the truth is, we're never guaranteed that.
    It makes sense that your fear is worse now than earlier in the pregnancy, b/c you are nearing the point where all hell broke loose. And I truly think there is PTSD involved with all of this, so the closer you get to when bad things started happening, the more anxious you are bound to be. And I'm sorry about that b/c it's not fair. You know, just like you said, that the chances are so much better for all to go WELL than for tragedy to strike again, and I truly believe all will be well, but that doesn't mean it's easy to relax and not worry.

    Every day I panic at least once when I realize my baby hasn't moved in a while (I'm 26 weeks). Every day I let the thought run through my head that my baby might be dead. I can't help it. We lost both babies with NO warning that anything was wrong, and so I am conditioned to expect the worst. I know it's so different from what you are experiencing, so please don't think I'm trying to compare our losses here. All I am trying to say is that you are not alone in your fear and anxiety, and that I think you are doing remarkably well given what you have been through. You can do this! Look at what you have been able to do so far (carry this pregnancy this far while dealing with so much grief and fear), and know that you DO have the strength to keep going. You are so close to holding that baby in your arms!

    Hugs to you from Michigan,
    Emily

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    1. Thanks Emily. Everything you said is completely what I have felt. It's terrible, isn't it? Congrats on your rainbow!!!

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  2. Big hugs. I hope your new little one arrives safely...and soon!

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  3. I hear you, Jamie. I am not pregnant (yet, hopefully soon) but honestly sometimes I dread it as much as I hope for a pregnancy. The roller coaster ride of emotions because of your loss combined with the hormonal stuff must be so crazy. I totally hear you on the whole NOT being able to go with the 'everything will be fine' thing anymore. We have lived through the nightmare of our lives and will never be the same. Have you tried prenatal massage? I'm a big massage-junkie and though know it won't change everything it may help calm you down for a little while. I will be thinking of you in these final weeks of your pregnancy and wishing you lots of calm and peace in the midst of the storm.

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    1. Thanks Rona! I can't wait to hear the good news from you! Hopefully soon :) I got a few prenatal massages and I loved them! I was very spoiled by Dan during this pregnancy :)

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  4. Jamie, I have been thinking about you a lot lately and am so happy that you will be holding and loving your baby soon. I am sad for the hurt you feel about Naya but very joyful for the new life you will be blessed with. Much love, Judy A.

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  5. With my last pregnancy, I had a lot of worries (including previous pregnancy losses, work, school, no sleep, and children). When my baby was not moving enough, I would start to have anxiety attacks that I could feel slowly building up. I would wait, and wait, and when that little one would take too long between movements and it had been hours, I would literally wake her up. I would move my belly around (hey, if the doctors can do it then why can't I?) or gently feel her feet (she was a big girl) and rub them until she woke up and start moving around. It might sound silly, but it kept me sane. After a while I think she knew the drill, I would rub her foot (hey are you ok in there?) and she would kick back (yes, mom, now leave me alone). Anyways, it is worth a shot and don't be scared to wake your little one from a rest to give you the reassurance that you need.
    I'm hoping for your little one's safe arrival soon, and sending good thoughts your way. I wish I could help more, I am a helper, always cleaning and prepping for friends and relatives.
    Also, I am at that age where it seems like everyone I know is having a baby. I am not one that tends to shove advice at people, but this is one area where another's experience really can be a life saver. I always make sure that they know that their baby needs to poop before they leave the hospital and that if they aren't eating it is a red flag.
    Thank you for sharing your experiences.
    I love Naya's name, and I am looking forward to hearing your rainbow's name and about their safe arrival very soon.

    Take care :)

    -Rebecca

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    1. Thanks Rebecca. It's amazing how overpowering anxiety can be. I think my best solution was using one of the pregnancy aps on my phone for a kick count. I found that my mind was overdoing the time between kicks. It's almost like I was looking for something to be wrong because I expected it.

      Thank you for the compliment on Naya's name. I think it was as beautiful as she was.

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  6. Keep in mind this rainbow baby has a guardian angel watching over her to keep her safe.

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  7. Thinking about you and the little one. I think everyone of us now sees the bad possibilities hiding in the shadows. It is absolutely ok to tune out for a bit if you need to- I know before this happened when I was dealing with my miscarriages I had to drop from the support boards for a bit during the pregnancy. Now I am not sure what I will do as my fears penetrate into the after birth side as well. I guess everything is on a day to day basis. This is a different child- control what you can and/or should, the result does not have to be the same. I firmly believe that there is more good ahead for you in your life, for all of us- maybe not the future we wanted, but still worth it. There will be a day that you will see this new child meet bittersweet steps and be incredibly happy that you are there for it.

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    1. Seriously. It's hard to be surrounded by stories of babies who have passed sometimes. Sadly, it makes you wonder if any babies survive.

      And you are completely right. It will all be worth it with the new one :)

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