Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Surge in Anxiety

Since the big ultrasound two and a half months ago, I've done a pretty good job reigning in any anxiety. But suddenly in the last week or so, I find it surging again. For example, if I don't feel any movement for a few hours, I start to panic that she has died. Sometimes I panic even if I feel minimal movement rather than significant, visible from the outside of the stomach kicks. She moves less during the workday when I'm moving around or preoccupied by meetings or other tasks. So I tend to fret all day, only to be reassured in the evening as she likes to perfect her karate moves while I'm relaxing. Then what's funny is that I'll complain to my hubby that his daughter is kicking me, but the reality is that I love to feel those movements more than anything.

I'm not sure what exactly has triggered my anxiety as it has come on most unexpectedly. By my OB's standard of 10 kicks within an hour during the most active part of the day, Miss Jillian is scoring all A's. So I don't think the movement is what triggers my fears, although I think I dwell on it more during those times. Rather, I think that I've reached a point where the thought of losing her is unbearable to me. I know she's a girl. She has a name. She has a bedroom. We've had a baby shower. I've spent 7 months planning my life around her arrival. If she were to be born today she has an excellent chance of survival. I often find it impossible to fathom that her arrival is pending in just a couple short months, and yet I cannot imagine the pain of losing her.

I know that it is rare to lose a baby so late in pregnancy, but I've read the stories. Just knowing it can happen is enough to scare me. I suspect that this fear won't disappear with her birth either. Babies die too, so my fear will simply morph into that anxiety instead. Perhaps it isn't about eliminating anxiety, but learning how to set it aside so that you can continue enjoying life. Because no amount of anxiety beforehand would make grief any easier if the worse did happen.

Now that I've been sitting at my desk for a little bit writing this post and eating my lunch, I'm feeling some small movements again. A few small kicks and hiccups I think. So I can set my worries aside for just an hour or two, I think.

10 comments:

Poltzie said...

When I was 36 weeks pregnant a friend of a friend lost her baby full term. It really freaked me out and I felt the same way. I used to just remind myself that it is very rare and that my baby was healthy. So far he has been!
It's just a preview of your love and fierce protectiveness for this baby! She is going to be is such good hands!

Heather said...

You are so right, no amount of anxiety will prevent anything or change how you will feel it something does happen.

I need to remind myself of that too. We are just starting to really get her room ready (getting the carpet put in) but she is so much a part of our family already.

Nicky said...

Yep, you're right around the point where my anxiety kicked back in, too. I don't have any advice except to wait it out. I was pretty level-headed the first 6+ months, but somewhere early in the third trimester I lost most of my ability to regulate emotions and anxiety....

Intrepidgirl said...

Wow, I totally get that. I'm almost 33 weeks and I get panicky. Last week I noticed fewer movements overall, but periods of rest followed by periods of activity. We didn't find out the sex but I also feel like it's a part of our lives as well. i've also had my shower...I want everything to work out so badly. Does your husband never freak out? My husband is so calm.
Anyway good luck. I'll be reading along.
Sarah

nancy said...

I can't tell you how different it was for me between my first pregnancy and my second because I had a doppler with the second. Those decreased movement times - that doppler would immediately aleviate my fears. I actually carried the doppler in my purse, just so I could check whenever I needed to.

What you are feeling is so normal. I think it's "worse" for us IFers too. Not because we were IF, but because we spent time online and we were around to hear these stories. Ignorance is, in fact, bliss.

Gosh Jen, almost 32 weeks already! Insanity!!!

Jennifer said...

I'm 30+ wks now and I'm constantly looking for those kicks/jabs from my little bugger - as reassurance he's doing well. I know exactly what you're talking about! Take it a day at a time and have faith that she is very healthy and will be your arms someday soon!

Barry said...

Now for the bad news...even after they are born - you still worry about them. Not sure when that goes away, if ever.

Course there will also be times when you want to kill them...

waitinginline said...

I'm so sorry for the anxiety. (((hugs))) I've heard it's completely normal to have an increase later on in your pregnancy.

Ignorance truly is bliss as far as all the stories we all know.

Maria said...

I think your fears and anxieties are justified. You love Jillian, you don't want anything to happen to her. She's your baby and means the world to you.

Katie said...

Oh, I know this fear. I have to poke and prod at Little Man sometimes, just to get reassurance. He's plotting his revenge as I type. :)

That is the double-edged sword of being so active in the blogosphere. We do read the stories and they are heartbreaking. I honestly don't know what I would do if we lost this little boy now. I think I would go crazy.

So, I completely understand and really have no assvice on how to handle the anxiety, because I have it myself. Just one day at a time, I suppose. That's how we got here and that's how we'll get to the finish line - and a whole NEW set of worries! :)