I wish I could fully explain to you how crazy pregnancy can make me feel. Or maybe I don't because I don't want you to have to try to understand what can go on inside my head. I'm currently 16 weeks 4 days pregnant with my second rainbow baby and sometimes I feel like I'm losing my mind.
At the beginning of my pregnancy I was (as you could expect) worried about miscarriage, especially after having just lost Lark at about 6 weeks gestation in January. But honestly, I feel like I handled that part pretty well. Then we got through the first trimester and there was kind of a "honeymoon" period of little worry. I felt great! No symptoms really at all (except crazy dreams). But now, I'm getting bigger, I can feel Cranberry (nickname given since due date is the day after Thanksgiving), I'm coming up on my first appointment with the specialist (this afternoon actually), I start my extra monitoring and progestrone shots......and it's getting scary. It's getting blatantly obvious that this is is not a "normal" pregnancy. And so, the crazy is coming out. My anxiety is kicking in.
And because of that I ended up in the ER Sunday evening. Everything is fine, but I was having some questionable symptoms over the weekend. Saturday I had a pretty constant backache, twinges "down there" that I hadn't been feeling before and then Sunday came (TMI warning) discharge that I haven't had before. (More TMI) At my last appointment my OB specifically said to look out for mucousy discharge, that it can be nothing, but in my case it could also be a sign of cervical changes. So yeah, of course that's what I had and of course it happened on the weekend.
I don't care to go into the details of the ER visit. It went fine, everything is thankfully fine. What this post is about is how I feel like I am going crazy sometimes. The decision to head into the ER had me in tears. I didn't want to go (I mean who would). The thought of going made me cry, the thought of trying to wait it out made me cry. I couldn't help but think "what if I don't go in and we lose this baby too, then it's all my fault." I just envisioned getting to my appointment with the specialist today and him finding a little foot dangling out of my cervix. So, I decided to go in (so thankful for a great supportive practice that does not make me feel irrational for going in).
I had a similar experience around 22 weeks when I was pregnant with Ethan. When I went in with Ethan it was the day before Marcellus's first birthday and I thought that was why I was feeling so crazy. But the way I felt on Sunday reminded me of exactly how I felt with Ethan. Here are some experts from a blog post I wrote then (on the private blog I wrote in during Ethan's pregnancy).
From Ethan's pregnancy: "And so my mind went crazy with it. Actually I felt like I was losing my
mind. I absolutely felt crazy. I said to Mike how much I hated feeling
like that. The worry, the anxiety, the fear, the craziness. Since losing
Marcellus we've often said we want a large family, 5 living children. I
looked at him then with tears in my eyes and said, "I don't think I'll
ever be able to do this again. I don't think I can do this 4 more
times." It was the first time in my pregnancy it had gotten that hard.
That hard, that I might just say one living child is enough the anxiety
is too much."
When I got home from the ER on Sunday night I actually said to Mike, "even if this baby ends up full-term, I don't know if I'll be able to do this again." Very similar feelings as I wrote about with Ethan.
From Ethan's pregnancy: "My body failed me when I had Marcellus by going into labor so early, I can't trust it anymore."
The above statement tears me up and is now two-fold. Even though Ethan is here and healthy and amazing, my body still failed him too. And he had to spend his first 10 weeks of life in the NICU because of it. So how do I not freak out?! How do I try to trust that things are going okay?! I really feel like I can't. I can not trust my body to keep my baby safe. And what an awful feeling that is. I even said this to my OB on Sunday (when she came down from L&D to see me in the ER)...I told her how hard it is not to be able to trust my body to do what it's supposed to. To keep my babies in until they are ready to be born.
Marcellus is dead because of that inability. He only got NEC because he was preemie. His death certificate even says "extreme prematurity" as a secondary cause. So I go a little crazy during pregnancy. I guess I can't blame myself for that. Two babies - one died, one in the NICU for 10 weeks....yeah, that'll give you anxiety during pregnancy. I'm sure it's going to continue until we are (hopefully) out of the prematurity range. That's a lot of weeks of anxiety left. I plan on starting to see my therapist regularly again to help me manage it.
It's just not fair I will never have a normal pregnancy ever again. Never will I go through pregnancy without this intense fear that brings me to crazy anxiety provoking thoughts. Never again will I just be able to enjoy a pregnancy freely. And who knows, maybe after this baby I will never again be pregnant because I can't handle that. That in itself is not a thought I am wanting to explore in detail quite yet though.
Marcellus, I am so sorry my body failed you. That it did not do it's job to keep you safe until you were ready to be born. I hate that. I hate that so much. And then your little brother being born early, it failed him too in the same way. And now I fear everyday that it will fail your next little sibling. I don't think people can truly understand the fear you can live with after losing a baby. To have you die was my worst nightmare. And if it could happen to you, it could happen to another baby too. I'm going to work on managing my fear and my anxiety. So that I can enjoy this pregnancy with Cranberry in some ways I was able to enjoy my beautiful pregnancy with you. With you my sweet boy. I love you!!! xoxox.