The Fear is Real

I’ve been having a bit more anxiety than usual the past week or so. The trigger – it started after I read something on social media – a friend of a friend’s 3 month old daughter passed away in her sleep ten days ago. The parent’s friends started a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses, etc., and any extra would go to the SIDS Institute.

I’ve never met this couple before, and they have two older children as well that I have never met. I can imagine how pained and devastated they are. And I’m sure that, as horrifying as I think it is, whatever they are experiencing is worse and my heart broke a little when I saw their daughter’s picture on the GoFundMe page. Why?? There is no answer that will ever suffice. When I saw those posts my mind got immediately swept up in the vicious anxiety web and I was off and running on Google and blogs and getting myself into a panic. It is hard to break out of that feeling that, once you have been “the one” who experiences tragedy (three times no less), you will always be “the one.” I know that I will not always be “the one” and that I am not going to carry all of life’s burdens and tragedies. But I have moments where I feel like I will be and that it is just going to be my lot in life. Even when things are going well with my current pregnancy, I still don’t entirely trust that my good luck will continue…. because it does feel like good luck. Like somehow, during this one pregnancy, I got lucky. I hope that it continues and  I hope that I get many, many healthy and happy years with my son, but there are no guarantees for any of us.

And then I decide I just have to try to be present, in this moment right now, and be thankful that I have made it this far. Right now everything is okay. Perhaps it won’t be tomorrow, but there’s no use worrying about it now and wasting this moment. And I don’t want my baby to feel my anxiety.

I wonder what it feels like to be one of those pregnant women with no fears or doubts. The ones that think after 12 weeks, everything is just golden and there is nothing to fear. They are right, the majority of the time at least.

I don’t mean to give the impression that I am just worrying 24/7. We’ve been on vacation and to a comedy show and to Babies R Us and things are moving right along. We’ve even picked out nursery furniture!  I’m getting in light exercise and reading and following the dramedy that is our 2016 election (#NeverTrump.) We go out to dinner and have been to cookouts and are going about life. But yes, I do have those moments of agonizing fear – I’ve been through so much to get to this point and I’m so afraid of losing it.

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18 Responses to The Fear is Real

  1. lyra211 says:

    Oh, what a nightmare for that poor family — my heart goes out to them. I do think that once you’ve had something go very wrong (like, a second-trimester loss or three…) you just feel in your bones that the worst can happen, and it can happen to you. Even if you were vaguely aware of pregnancy- or baby-related problems before, you become hyper-vigilant. I didn’t start to really believe that our son was going to be with us for a long time until he was almost four months old and the worst of the SIDS risk had passed. It’s rare, but not, like, unicorn rare. The only thing that helps me is to try to put the numbers in perspective. Out of 500 women, approximately one will have their baby die of SIDS. I envision an auditorium full of 500 people (which I can do because of conferences I’ve been to that have plenary lectures that large), and then imagine being picked at random out of that group. You probably know about five hundred women, and now you know one whose baby died of SIDS — the probability that it’ll happen to you too is completely miniscule (especially if you do all the recommended things like back to sleep, no bumpers, yadda, yadda). Not saying that it can’t happen, just that it almost certainly won’t. And yet I know that me saying that to you is probably pretty useless for your anxiety levels, just as thinking through this whole exercise was for me when I was pregnant and parenting a newborn. Hang in there. This road you’re on is hard. There’s a lot of joy and a lot of worry, and I’m pretty sure that those two things (joy and worry) will continue the whole time that we are parents.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A nightmare indeed. Thank you for sharing your perspective – the anxiety seems a bit more manageable when you think about it that way, but you’re right, it may help ease the anxiety for a little while and then something else will probably trigger it again. Such is pregnancy/parenting after loss, I guess. Hopefully in a few months when he is here and happy and healthy the burden of anxiety will seem lighter.

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  2. I can so relate to the anxiety you describe. And I haven’t got words to convey my sadness for that couple who just lost their baby girl in her sleep. I’m going to go snuggle my two boys right now, thank god they are still here and send up prayers they stay here. I’ll send some up for your little guy too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jen says:

    OMG! I completely get it! I wrote about the and thing. You feel like the obsticle is to stay pregnant but once that looks viable it becomes more. The anxiety is the same. All I can say is 9 months later I have managed to keep an alive baby. My dreams have come true. That is not to say that I don’t worry but as he gets older I get more confident that I can do this. And I know you can. I believe patents that have tried as hard as us are the best ones. I’m awaiting pics of your boy!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. RJ says:

    What an incredibly sad time for that family. My heart breaks for them. People can tell you the odds of things but honestly once you’ve experienced losses it does feel like it’s more likely to happy to you. Glad you’re getting things ready for your little guy even though your anxiety is still present. You’re in my thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My heart goes out to that family. Unfortunately, once something bad happens to you in the realm of pregnancy / baby loss / infertility, I *think* you are doomed to heightened anxiety and concern going forward. I suppose I can only say that for sure about myself. I remember being pregnant the first time and ready the pregnancy book every week and thinking, “Oh, we’ve made it to 26 weeks. We are in the clear! The baby is viable.” Ha. Little did I know. When I was pregnant with B, I worried about everything and still do (stillbirth, SIDS, getting hit by a car, other drivers, crazy illnesses). I know all Moms worry, but it seems excessive.

    This is all to say that I understand. I hope you can still enjoy moments of the pregnancy without anxiety and concern and that it helps to get your feelings off your chest through this blog. We are all rooting for you!

    Also, #nevertrump. Honestly.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a tragedy. Pregnant people, especially those who have experienced pregnancy or child losses, should be wrapped in a special soft fragrant cloud, insulated from tragedies of every kind. I’ve lost two, both in early second tri. My third was a boy who is now 31, but I’m sure you can believe that I am still a ball of anxiety about losing him some way or other! I don’t think we ever really recover from those losses. Reassurance can be like a slap in the face, don’t you think? So I’ll send you a gentle ((hug)) instead…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am sure you do worry about him to this day! And I’m sure I will do the same. You’re right, we probably don’t ever really recover or “get over” pregnancy loss and it’s a fools errand to try and forget. It leaves its scar on us. Thank you for your kind words.

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  7. scrambledeggsandsundry says:

    I’ve never gotten to the point of being pregnant, but I can imagine if I ever do I will be scared the whole time! When you’ve worked so hard for something and it’s finally happening, you are terrified you will lose it. I totally get it. Sending you prayers for a healthy and happy rest of your pregnancy. And ditto to #nevertrump 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind words. At least I feel like I’m not alone and other people get it! Sometimes it can be so isolating when you feel like you’re the only one who has these fears and anxieties during what is supposed to be such a happy, exciting time. xxx.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. ChickinNH says:

    I can certainly understand those moments of agonizing fear. It is HARD. I think the only thing you really CAN do is try to enjoy the present moment. I feel like you have a solid, realistic view of your present right now and I hope you know I am always rooting for you to be a typical, boring pregnant woman. Ahhh to have the blissful ignorance that most preggos have…that would be lovely.
    Hugs mama. #nevertrump

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I get it. You have a right to worry and be afraid. This will be different though. Faith.

    Liked by 1 person

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