Hey you, so it’s been a while. No, this isn’t Joe Goldberg from you. It’s me.
It’s literally been two months of me putting my fingers to the keyboard before shamefully pressing delete, over and over. It would be justifiable to say that it has been nail-bitingly hard to not take to WordPress when times have been difficult. It has all been for a good reason, however.
… I am now 14 weeks pregnant and am starting to feel the heavy cloud that is the first trimester slowly lift away. It would be generous to say that I feel ‘great’; I am certainly not glowing. My skin is pasty and sallow- I look like I’ve never seen a glass of water in my life.
I was lucky not to get crippling sickness- I have felt sick but it hasn’t been everyday and there is certainly no bones about me not being able to keep down food. I have also ruled myself out of normal life for the past few weeks because of general weakness and heart palpitations caused by ‘inappropriate’ Tachycardia. Not rare but equally not nice.
What has really shackled me for the last few months has been what can only be described as a constant ‘black cloud’ hanging over me, as well as the persistent droning of the next anxiety attack. After having children, it is so easy to forget how vulnerable and anxious you can feel in the first weeks of pregnancy. I became a sort of ‘google recluse’, relying on Google to reassure all of my worries- big and small.
The one big worry that plays on the minds the most of those expecting is the fear of miscarriage. For me, the fear quickly became irrational. I found myself going on websites that promised you reliable ‘miscarriage risk statistics’ based on your ‘risk factors’. You would enter your gestation, age, height etc and you would be ‘2%’ better off than the day before.
The big problem with this is that it’s not at all based on reality. Sadly women of all ages experience miscarriage regardless of any number that is put up onto a website from 2005. I had read so many thread on different parenting forums that seemed to stick miscarriage on the end as a consequence of everything: eating too much- miscarriage (yup, you heard it), exercise- miscarriage, eating deli meat- you guess. People claimed to have miscarried from sex and some of the stories We’re undeniably heartbreaking.
After getting sick of Google getting infecting my brain, my partner banned me from looking things up online. I was free. Don’t get me wrong, I was still teaming with anxieties but it sure took the edge off of it. I forgot about it and started worrying about eating too much cheese and overstimulating my toddler before bedtime rather than things that were out of my control.
I can’t speak for the future, but for now I have been so lucky that my scan revealed nothing but a healthy baby. For so many women though, this is not always the case and they really are in my heart. It’s painful to realise but the bottom line is that things that can go wrong in the first trimester are 99% out of our control, and it gives us an illusion of control if we try to attach causes to things like miscarriage; “you shouldn’t have gone to that body pump class”. Statistically though, most MCs are caused by chromosomal problems- something that is isn’t within the simplistic boundaries of ‘risk factors’. In trying to explain this to an extremely anxious me at 8 weeks, my midwife told me that building a baby is like trying to build a perfect car- not so easy.
I’m sure every person who is TTC, pregnant and indeed a parent can relate to this vulnerability. But it makes it all the better when you get to the other side, which most of us will.