With my second pregnancy I was a nervous wreck in the beginning. My first I had some normal worries, but not too bad. This time around we had been trying to get pregnant. I had even suffered a very early loss called a chemical pregnancy (where you pretty much just ‘start’ a few days late.) That made me realize just how much I was ready and wanting to be expecting our second.
When I found out I was pregnant I was ecstatic, but then the worry set in. I felt that I was too happy. That there was no way I could have just what I wanted. I couldn’t stop from thinking about it. I was suffering from true anxiety. And it was HARD.
I began doing everything I could to distract myself. I left the forums I had been following for fear of reading about loss and freaking myself out. I started doing complicated puzzles to keep my mind occupied. I stared at my calendar counting and recounting the days to my first appointment.
This type of anxiety is not uncommon in early pregnancy. If you are feeling this way there are things you can do to help quiet that worry.
Like I did you can distract yourself. Puzzles, movies, catching up with friends, anything that you love to do that will take your mind off of it can help. Being with your partner or someone else who knows you are pregnant and worried can be great for support, but also spending time with someone who doesn’t know yet can force you not to think about it too much.
For some people reading stats can make it worse, for other it can help. Some good information that helped me was that most losses (of that high number you hear about) occur before the women even know they are pregnant. We only know about them at all from clinical studies.
Also, once you see a heartbeat, studies and resources all seem to agree that your risk has now gone down to less than 5%. I’ll add some links below if you feel that reading the stats will help. Personally I found it helpful since the reality of the risks, to me, was way better than the risks my mind imagined.
You can also request an early ultrasound. I had my nurse intake appointment at 7 weeks, with my first midwife appointment not scheduled until 9 weeks. Once the nurse realized how I was feeling she offered to schedule an early dating ultrasound.
It made all the difference to be able to see that little bean with the flutter of the heart. I was finally able to breathe, let go, and feel oh so much better. I hadn’t been planning on doing any ultrasounds besides the 20 week anatomy scan, but am so glad that I changed my mind!
If you feel like your anxiety is too much to handle please, please, please talk to your partner, a trusted friend, and your caregiver. Pregnancy induced depression and anxiety is a real issue that is often overlooked or ignored. The major physical and mental changes that a woman is going through can make this a very difficult time. Find help. Talk to someone. You and that little one deserve support and help