Fun Pregnancy Surprise: Being Terrified Every Day

I don’t know if it’s because I had a missed miscarriage before, but now that I’m in the second trimester, I spend more time every day than I’d like to admit paralyzed with terror that I’m going to lose this baby. Keep in mind that I have no physical symptoms that would lead any reasonable person to believe this. Not two weeks ago I was at the doctor listening to SchuFetus’s little heartbeat through the Doppler. Since that time I have gotten bigger–somehow I get bigger every day. At night before I go to sleep I even feel a little weirdness in my belly that could very well be the babby moving around.

It doesn’t matter that the chance of having a second-trimester miscarriage is like 1 percent, smaller if the babby does not have any problems on Chromosome 18 or 13 (I had a full DNA workup done; it doesn’t). I’m just a naturally anxious person (REALLY?) and so every day I’m, like, terrified that something has gone horribly awry with this creature that I desperately want to grow big, come out and commence ruining my life (and I will commence the countdown to when she’s old enough to ride the Tower of Terror and the Harry Potter ride).

As anyone who’s had a babby, been pregnant or watched someone be pregnant knows, the “magical” second trimester is full of a lot of disgusting surprises. The intestinal regularity of an 85-year-old on the Atkins diet. The bladder continence of a 19-year-old Golden Retriever. A chestal region that looks like two over-inflated water balloons being strangled by angry blue wires. A back that feels like it’s being ripped apart, migrating into a pubic bone that feels like it’s being ripped apart. Bursting into uncontrollable sobs at reruns of Clarissa Explains It All.  And, of course, looking like a big giant wide-load who is not yet obviously pregnant-looking. But while my books speak of “anxiety,” none of them prepared me for the all-encompassing and totally irrational terror. 

Fun times.

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11 thoughts on “Fun Pregnancy Surprise: Being Terrified Every Day

  1. “somehow I get bigger every day.” You didn’t pay attention in biology class, did you?

    In all seriousness, I’m so sorry that you went through a miscarriage and you are experiencing fears caused by that and “normal” 21st century parenting over-anxieties. I hope the nest few trimesters speed by so that you can enjoy your time with a healthy baby.

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  2. You are not alone! I am a little bit ahead of you, and it took me until sometime after week 24 for the terror to abate. (Basically, until it hit the point of technical viability, more or less.) I think part of it is personality based – some people are optimistic and assume everything will be just fine unless anything indicates the opposite. Others, like me, want to be prepared for the worst case scenario, and leave appointments saying “phew, everything is ok,” thereby slightly terrifying more optimistic family members who think, “wait, why wouldn’t it be?!” Anyway, hang in there for a few more weeks, when the worst case scenario transitions from “unlikely miscarriage” to “unlikely extreme premature birth” that might actually make you feel better.

    And everyone told me the second trimester was the “best,” “easiest” one. I had a very easy first trimester, so I was pretty happy about that. Then several weeks in, boom, things started to suck, and continued to for about a month. I think your “hey, everything can suck” position is a lot better in terms of managing expectations.

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  3. I had a missed miscarriage too – two years ago, while abroad in the field. I gave birth to my daughter 7 1/2 weeks ago, and continued to be worried until she was out. *best wishes*

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  4. Congratulations! “All encompassing and totally irrational terror” pretty much characterizes all phases of parenthood. Fate now has a hostage. Everyone eventually develops some strategies to avoid looking down all the time.

    Somewhere I have a list I made, during the second trimester of my first successful pregnancy, of all the different ways I was experiencing physical discomfort–if not outright pain–in that moment. I saved it in case I needed emotional blackmail for my grown kid. I didn’t realize that when she got to an age where it might work, I would already be thinking ahead to the possibility of grandchildren down the line and not wanting to put her off.

    Solidarity. I hope you get to the good part soon.

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  5. The terror fades & changes but for me it hasn’t really gone away yet….and my daughter is 15 months old. The good news is that the uncontrollable crying does go! I remember one night I spent just sobbing at- of all things- the music video for David Guetta’s “She Wolf” (But the wolf! She is so ALONE!)

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  6. Oh my. I missed a few blog posts and I come back to this delightful news! Congratulations, Rebecca. I wish you a safe and stress-free pregnancy. Also, LOL @ “the bladder continence of a 19-year-old Golden Retriever.”

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  7. Yours could be especially poignant because of your loss, but this is not abnormal at all, er, at least it sounds pretty normal to me. It will get better, and maybe it will get worse once in a while, but at least you know it’s normal? And I found it helpful to blame the hormones for everything. Take care of yourself!

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  8. so I had a high m/c potential with my son, and was thus v. anxious. we bought a hand-unit doppler-thing from the medical supply store down the street, and the nurse showed me how to use it at home. it was very reassuring to use at night, and a *lot* easier than that “counting kicks” nonsense. I think it just took AAA batteries and cost something like $20.00

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  9. You don’t need a Doppler thing – it’ll freak you out if you don’t hear anything. Anxiety is, like, totally normal (unfortunately). Have a *hug*. As a mother of two toddlers I tell you that parenting is basically half being totally amazed at how brilliant the world is and the other half hating everyone and everything. It is joyous. But it makes you feel ALIVE! Love & strength to you and your bean/pea/nut/thing. x

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