Topic: Fear and anxiety about miscarriage in early pregnancy

I work in a medical clinic, and have had the pleasure of seeing many healthy pregnancies - and also the heartbreak of miscarriage.

I feel beyond blessed (shocked, even) to have a confirmed pregnancy.  I tested positive with an HCG beta at 174 13 dpo, with a second beta of 1208 at 17 dpo, with progesterone at 92.

I may very well be at the beginning of a very healthy pregnancy, but my mind and my fears will not shut off.  I am on this journey as a single mother by choice, with a robust community of friends supporting me.  But the journey to get here... well that was a long and hard journey, and this pregnancy (I'm 39) has been anticipated for decades.

Now that I'm so close...I feel hyper-aware of everything happening in my body - which provides validation when I feel "typical" pregnancy symptoms, and also extreme anxiety when I perceive a change in symptoms, or that symptoms are lessening.

I am only 4 weeks and 4 days along, so there is not much I can monitor.  I am taking vaginal progesterone suppositories because they are a very cheap "insurance plan" to make sure some of the causes of possible miscarriage are prevented.  This comes, however, with the difficulty that because I'm supplementing progesterone, I may be blocking the normal signs that something is not progressing or that I've miscarried, because it will prevent bleeding - and I find myself worrying that I would not know that I had miscarried for several weeks.

How are others managing fears and anxiety?  I find that this is all I am thinking about all day long, and that cannot be healthy for me or baby!  I am pretty dedicated to self-care practice, but even those tools have been coming up short...and my inner perfectionist/control queen just wants to OBSESS...and she will not quiet.  This is causing quite a bit of insomnia.  I don't think I've slept deeply since getting my BFP, and never more than about 2 hours at a time. 

I would love to hear from others for mutual support.

Re: Fear and anxiety about miscarriage in early pregnancy

I totally relate to this. I also have an unhealthy obsession worrying about a possible miscarriage. With my first pregnancy, I worried from the minute I found out the FET worked. I did acupuncture which actually helped a lot. She treated me for anxiety and pregnancy symptoms so I felt pretty good even during first trimester. It didn’t keep me from looking online every week to see what the survival percentage was just IN CASE I gave birth prematurely! I just transferred a second embryo last week and am waiting for the blood test to confirm. I’m hoping this time I am less worried but I imagine it will be a little different since I’m chasing a toddler and I’m pretty tired at the end of the day!

Re: Fear and anxiety about miscarriage in early pregnancy

I saw you responded to my own post about "how to stay calm". I am a mental health therapist, that also has anxiety/depression/PTSD. I know all the skills in the books and see my own therapist to help manage the anxiety.

I too became hyperaware of everything and anything. I had my positive at 3w3d pregnant. By 4 weeks I had about 4-5 days of incredibly increased eating then got vicious morning sickness from 5w to 15w (10 solid weeks straight almost). Being so sick, I worried - was the baby getting enough? Would she be well? Then I would have a day every few weeks where symptoms vanished. I could eat. I was alert. No sore breasts. Then I panicked again - oh my, is she ok? Is something wrong?

My OB is incredibly helpful because she too has anxiety. She told me to only worry if there was severe cramping or bleeding. So I relied heavily on her words to get me through.

At about 14 weeks I felt "flutters", but it was often a 50/50 chance of it being baby or gas. So more anxiety - if I didn't feel flutters, was she ok?

At 15w2d my morning sickness literally vanished. I went to sleep the night before miserable, and woke up a whole new person. I was incredibly relieved, and incredibly scared. If I wasn't sick how in the world could I know for sure I was pregnant?

May 19th at 18w4d, 2 days before my anatomy scan, I woke up and went to the restroom where I had started bleeding for the first time ever in pregnancy. I absolutely panicked. I screamed for my roommate and bawled. We went to the ER. My anxiety increased because they made me wait with every one else. I had to sit and never felt more fear than in that moment. The ER receptionists were AWFUL, but finally when back with the doctor, they were amazing. I had an ultrasound and could see baby wiggling like crazy (tho I couldn't feel it at all). They said that my placenta was low, and she was kicking it, and it may have been the cause for the bleeding. They told me to only worry or come back if I had more severe bleeding or cramping.

2 days later at 18w6d I went to my anatomy scan. This too caused anxiety. What if something was wrong? But everything was great with baby. I found out she was a she smile And that she was growing right on track. No concerns other than the low lying placenta, and the fact I have a physical disability (cerebral palsy) which may make a c-section my only option to deliver. At that point I made the decision to go back on Zoloft to help manage depression/anxiety because my up/down of moods and intensity I knew were not ideal for baby. The medication helped  alot.

I am now 26w2d. I still worry... She moves a LOT now. I feel her just about every single night. But sometimes not as much, not as strongly, and not at the same times that she had done the last 6 days in a row.

I worry about when she arrives how physically I will feel.
I worry about work and finances.
I worry about being good enough.
I worry about worrying.

I share this because I am not sure the fear/anxiety ever truly goes away. It evolves at each step, and you will make it through. One day at a time. Each milestone that you worry about, I think, makes you a parent who cares, who plans for the future, who wants to be sure they're doing the absolute best they can.

Make sure you have support, professional or informally. Talk about it, as much as you need to. Make sure your dr is aware of your fears, and that they are supportive and not dismissive.

I hope all continues to go well.

At home ICI Dec 2017 - BFN
At home ICI January 2018 - BFP at 10dpo