Thursday, January 20, 2011

Keep Calm & Carry On

Maybe this has happened to other pregnant after loss moms (PALMs?), but today I felt more anxious and stressed about this pregnancy. Nothing significant has happened, so it's not that I'm worried about anything in particular...I just have this amorphous feeling of anxiety.

I just feel like sometimes the worry is overwhelming. I can't sleep sometimes due to the stress. I'm (of course) worried about my current little embryo who I hope is doing well and growing and thriving. I'm also (again) worried about how my heart is going to cope with pregnancy. And I don't mean in a figurative sense. I remember being about 15 to 16 weeks pregnant last time and taking my heart rate lying down...and it was 116. Awesome. I just don't know how I'll cope with work and chores and other life events if I feel like my heart is about to jump out of my chest. My heart will always be a concern. I know that. I knew that going in to both's just different to think about in terms of the future 'when I'm pregnant' compared to the current 'now I'm pregnant'.

I was looking at old pictures of myself the other night and sometimes I cannot believe how happy and content and worry-free I looked. Was that was life was like? Was I really so blissfully ignorant of how stressful things could be? I know I was never a completely carefree person (I've always been a worrier)...but sometimes it's hard to remember what the heck I could have possibly had to be stressed about back then.

I don't know, maybe other PALMs worry about stuff like this, especially if your pregnancy caused not only the death of your child...but also placed your own health in jeopardy. It doesn't at all cancel out the happiness I feel that we have another chance to bring home a baby (hopefully), but it certainly ratchets up the notch on the "Stress-o-meter". I know a lot of moms worry about the first trimester in terms of their baby...and then feel more reassured the farther along they are...but I feel like my pregnancy anxiety might have more of an parabola shape:

With anxiety for the baby being high at the beginning (and let's face it, probably not completely disappearing, ya know, ever), but then anxiety for my own health increasing as time goes along. I also worry about what this will do to Brian. What if something bad happens to the baby (again)? What if something bad happens to me? It's not just my health and happiness we're playing with's both of ours. It's our whole families'.

As usual, there is absolutely nothing I can do about any of this. *Sigh* Like the British, I'll have to keep a stiff upper lip and Keep Calm & Carry On (I really should get a poster of this...)

What worries you these days? What helps to calm you?


  1. I am British and I'm rubbish at keeping calm and carrying on! I wish I could be MORE 'British' as it would be coming in handy about now.

    I'm lucky in that I do not have particular anxieties about my own health but I recognise that parabola shape. My own anxiety levels seemed to be crescendo-ing about now, at the end of the second trimester. I'm hoping they'll damp down a little as time goes on.

    I'm just trying to recognise, as you have written above, that there is nothing that I can do to change the outcome. In theory, that should calm me down but it doesn't always work.

    Wishing you all the very best and I hope you can find some little tricks to help you deal with the worry. x

  2. When I was a PALM, my emotions were so mixed. I was thrilled to be pregnant again, missed Jacob even more and the pregnancy reminded me even more of my pregnancy with him, and just plain scared. I was worried that I didn't feel sick enough and worried about all the possibilities. There were moments of pure joy here and there, and they kept us going. There were plenty of nights of lying on the couch and crying.

    I just kept telling myself that it was out of my hands. All I could do was to take my vitamins, eat a balanced diet and stay away from the foods that pregnant women shouldn't eat. I couldn't do anything more than that and it did help to think that way.

    I have also looked at the old pictures of myself (meaning anything taken before Jacob died) and wonder if I will ever look that happy again. I look at my eyes in the pictures and don't see what I see now. I also wonder how I could be stressed about anything to do with work, etc back then.

    I hope, hope, hope that everything goes well and that your heart holds up well and that little one keeps getting stronger everyday.

  3. Oh, Emily. I'm thinking about you and wishing I could make things easier for you. Pregnancy after a loss is really hard and scary even under more usual circumstances - I spent many, many days being afraid and fighting anxiety when carrying Teddy's little sister. Juggling the hope and happiness and the anxiety takes a lot of effort, too. And I can only imagine how hard it is with the added worries about your heart.

    Hoping hard for you, that you have a safe delivery and a healthy little one, and also that you find some peace in all of this as you wait.

  4. Your parabola fits me and my current PALM experience very well! First trimester was FULL of anxiety for me - worrying about a miscarriage at any time. Now I'm at 24 weeks. From 18 weeks until just recently, I was feeling pretty good about the pregnancy (emotionally and physically). Now anxiety seems to be rearing its ugly head again. Not sure how I'll work at calming myself down for the next 16 weeks. I know that's where some of my anxiety is coming from... 16 more weeks feels SO LONG, even though I've made it over half-way... it's still not far enough, my baby isn't here yet.

    Hope you find some good/helpful ways to work with your anxities. Let me know if you find something that works well. :)

    Sending much peace and love your way.

  5. Reading your posts recently have me thinking about the future and how I'll deal with being pregnant again. I think it really helps me to be a bit more prepared for some of the things that I may feel like stress, fear and no sleep (I can't even sleep now sheesh). Your a great writer and it's easy to be connected to your story and your blogs. I gave you a blogger award over on my most recent post, just wanted to share your link with any of my readers who haven't stopped by here before

  6. I have a post it note on my desk at work that says just that "keep calm and carry on" it normally doesn't help though! lol
    I am so stressed with this pregnancy. I keep looking to milestones and saying "i'll calm down at this point" but really I won't calm down until my boy is home safe. it's really tough but hang in there. we can only take it one day at a time

  7. I've worried every day of this pregnancy so far. And some days are worse than others. And like you said - sometimes it is for no particular reason at all! Your situation is different than mine, though, since I don't have any underlying medical issues.

    I wish I had some practical advice to give you - I've just had to live with the fear and anxiety each and every day. Somehow, someway, the time does pass. But it sure has gone by slowly for me.

    I am really happy that your pregnancy has been going well so far. It may not help with the anxiety, but please know that I get it!

    I always wished there was a way to fast-forward time...

  8. Wishing you deep breaths and good health throughout. I don't know that I'll take the risk to my health again since I already have one live child. It's such a tough decision and breaks my heart daily. Good luck to you and your little rainbow. :)