Post # 1
hey bees, Im anon for this one because my Mother-In-Law knows my username and uses the site to plan her wedding and I don’t like to involve her in our reproductive decisions. Please be kind, I know this might be an overreaction because I have some problems with anxiety disorder. I just don’t know who to talk to about my feelings that will understand.
Anyway so, D H and I decided to actively start TTC at the beginning of this year and we had no luck thus far (3 cycles trying). No problem, from what we’ve read it can take awhile so wasn’t stressed about it despite being older (35/38 respectively.)
My best friend lost her baby at 8 weeks (or might have been closer to 9, I think 8 weeks 5 days) at the beginning of March. it has been incredible traumatic for her (understandably). She shared a lot with me because her partner was away for some parts of it so I felt very involved and was at her side for a lot of it. The thing is, I think I was very very ignorant about what a “miscarriage” was. It was physically a lot a lot a lot more intense than I imagined. I think I was aware of the emotional side of it, but perhaps not to the same extent. I also did not know the stats of just how often it happens. I’ve heard stats loosely tossed around, but somehow it made me think that it’s not “such a big deal”, like a heavy period or something because it seemed so common and women were just getting on with their lives amd getting pregnant again etc, but experiencing the process so closely with someone made me see it in a completely new light.
Now I am too scared to get pregnant. I just don’t think Imm strong enough to go through what my friend went through. I don’t feel like I can confess that I have these feelings to her because it’s actually about her and I don’t want to move the focus to myself. I don’t have many other close girlf friends. I talked to my mom amd she basically just said well you can’t control it so if you want a baby you just have to risk it. I know that on a rational level but I just can bring myself to willingly risk that amount of emotional and physical pain. It really made me question whether I am strong enough to be a mother. Ialso discussed it with my D H and he agreed we can hold off on TTC and he suggested that perhaps I should talk to a therapist about these fears, and I think I should, but I just wanted to reach out and ask whether anyone has experienced anything similar. My therapist that I see for my anxiety is a man and I just don’t feel like he will really get it. He is quite clinical and although I like that with other stuff, I just want to talk to someone who understands what I’m fearing. Not the clinical abstract idea of miscarriage but the actual pain and terror and heartbreak of it. I feel so ashamed for how ignorant I was about what women went through with a miscarriage! And I’m just so scared, definitely beyond what feels like “normal” fear or worry.
Post # 2
MC is a scary, awful thing. One thing that has always brought me comfort is the knowledge that miscarriage is your bodies way of stopping a pregnancy that would not be sustainable for whatever reason. As painful as that is emotionally, it’s really our bodies way of helping us.
But there is no guarantee that it will happen to you. We spent 10 months TTC and I was very aware of then possibility of what could happen if I did fall pregnant, especially being apart of the POAS boards and watching other bees go through it. We were very lucky that our first positive resulted in a healthy baby but I am aware that we may not be as lucky next time.
I say this to say, MC has not already been decided for you. You can conceive and have a healthy baby without experiencing loss. It’s not guaranteed but it’s possible. I know I decided my desire to try was more than my fear, now you have to make the same decision.
Post # 3
Your friend’s miscarriage just happened, so the pain is very raw for her. I imagine as time goes on, she will begin to feel better both physically and emotionally, and have a more positive outlook again. That’s how it was for me anyway…I was devastated after mine, but a couple weeks later was back to TTC and feeling more or less like myself again. Still had moments of sadness of course, but it was like a switch flipped and the hormones cleared and I actually began to feel kind of detached from all that pain that I’d been feeling just a week or two before, and back to feeling excitement about TTC again.
Of course everyone processes this type of thing differently, and your friend may take more or less time to move on after this – all I’m saying is that she’s in the thick of it now and how she feels today may be very different from how she feels in a few days, weeks, or months.
As for your own fears about TTC…yes, miscarriages are fairly common (my OB told me the rate is 20% I think), and it’s good to be aware that it could happen to you, but if you know you want a child I wouldn’t let the fear of miscarriage stop you from trying. Personally, now that I have a baby, I find that “what if’s” about my child’s actual life way more terrifying than the prospect of going through another MC some day when we TTC #2. Like what if my child gets sick, struggles with mental health, gets into drugs some day…etc. There are soooo many unknowns in life, but, as cliche as it sounds, I don’t think it’s a good idea to let fear of the unknown stop you from pursuing something you want. Therapy is definitely a good idea to help with that sort of thing.
Post # 4
anonee008 : miscarriages suck. I’ve had one (that’s how I spent my first mother’s day so yea….) and so have many women I know. But you know what’s totally awesome? My daughter. She’s the best freaking thing to ever happen to me. She’s sweet and legitimately funny and I don’t just love her – I like her. When TTC and even when you get pregnant it can be really scary to think of loss, but focus on the potential good! The good far outweighs the bad and helps you to appreciate it even more.
Post # 5
I think you should look for a therapist that you can talk to about this anxiety. Miscarriage is really hard, even if it’s very early. Mine was at 4 weeks, so just after I got the positive test, and there are times I am still sad about it. However, I agree with PP that the risk is worth it to have a baby in your arms. There are a lot of variables throughout your child’s entire life, so being able to look for the opportunity instead of the fear is something you should work on before continuing TTC. Only you can decide if the potential for a child outways the fear of miscarriage, but since you struggle with anxiety I think you need to work with a professional to get to the bottom of this instead of letting your anxiety decide this for you. I have bipolar disorder and anxiety, so I understand how hard it is to get out of your own head with something like this, but it really is worth trying.
Post # 6
Thanks so so much for sharing your experiences, bees, I value it beyond what I can say. You all make such helpful comments. I think I’m not ready yet, even though all of what y’all said above makes complete sense. Esp the excellent point about all the variables in a child’s life and all the bad things that potentially could happen. I’m glad I have time to rethink our decision now BEFORE I got pregnant because it has definitely made me question whether or not I’m strong enough to do it. Also, and perhaps this is selfish and I’m obviously speaking from a place of NOT having a child (and not having that love that overrides the fear and other negative emotions), but just because I “could” maybe work through it and have a child doesn’t mean that i “should” do it. (Not that anyone implied it, I mean more ito of my own thinking.) I think this experience reminded me that while I’m sure all the fear etc is worth it if you have a child, I don’t NEED to have a child. It’s not a “must”. So maybe I’m not a suitable parent after all. But I think I should give it time and seek counseling from a female therapist before making any final decision (with my D h of course).
Post # 7
- Wedding: June 2007 - City, State
anonee008 : you need professional help to deal with this. Its extreme. I’m not trying to be callous but delaying your own family plans because of what happened to a friend is severe. Miscarrying is very common and most women go on to have healthy pregnancies. Your anxiety is affecting your life in a really big way.
Post # 8
I would definitely recommend getting therapy, and if you decide you do want to resume TTC then keep it up, because it will be good to have a supportive person/coping strategies later in pregnancy too. I had issues with anxiety about the safety of my baby during the last few weeks of pregnancy, despite having manageable anxiety levels in normal life.
I don’t know if this helps or makes it worse (the unknown), but you never really know how your body/hormones etc will react. I’m a fairly anxious person normally, that got a little out of control during pregnancy, but has been much better since my son was born. My cousin is also a very anxious person but during pregnancy she felt very relaxed, and has been mostly the same since her daughter was born.
Post # 9
I think your last update showed really admirable, courageous, honest self analysis . Not everyone deeply desires motherhood or is, as you say, necessarily destined for parenthood.
But also sometimes , a frightening thing can make you doubt your ability or even your desires . I think, with the hindsight of many years I realised that my stance on not ‘needing’ a child and being ‘OK’ with infertilty arose in part from something like this , and meant I didn’t follow other options or more stringent anti infertiilty avenues.
I’m not saying being childless has ruined my life , it hasn’t , nor might it ruin yours, I’m just saying consider everything before making any longterm decisions and /or hardening a particuar mindset.
Post # 10
- Wedding: September 2017 - California
It’s totally normal not to know much about a miscarriage until you have had one. And even then, every woman’s experience is different. For some, like me, there was no bleeding and I ended up having a D&C. For others, it really is like a heavy period. And for others, it is as painful as labor. For some reason, doctors and nurses don’t seem to do a very good job of making clear to women that there are many possible outcomes and that it can be very physically traumatic in addition to the emotional trauma of it.
It sounds like right now you are not sure if you want children. I hope, though, that if you end up deciding that you do want children that the fear of a miscarriage will not deter you. I had a severe paranoia and fear of miscarriage when I was pregnant and I honestly don’t think it actually mattered in the end – it didn’t make going through the experience of an MMC and a D&C any different than it would have been had I not been so afraid of that outcome going into it. I think its a good thing that you have a greater understanding and appreciation of what it can be like and that you have been a supportive friend to someone who needs that right now, but you also can’t live your life in fear. I sometimes think that our brains try to use fear as a way to protect ourselves but it seems like a really ineffective coping mechanism in the case of fearing a miscarriage when you are pregnant.