People will tell you all sorts of things about pregnancy. I knew all about morning sickness, exhaustion, and the moodiness. I was ready to be repulsed by smells, to crave weird foods, and to need to take naps. I expected to cut back on caffeine and to miss red wine and to feel bloated and weird.
What I wasn’t expecting was the constant fear of miscarriage. To live for weeks expecting the baby not to stick. To feel anxious that one day I’d go to the bathroom and it would all be over.
Women, including many bloggers, talk about miscarriage more than they used to. I know there was time where these things were pretty hush hush. This is such a good thing. Aside from the many stories I’ve read from mommy bloggers, I’ve had a number of women I’m close with experience miscarriage. I’m thankful that miscarriages are talked about more openly, as it not only prepares you that it may happen but makes you feel less alone if it does.
That said, those stories I’d read over the years absolutely terrified me during my first trimester of pregnancy. They were constantly in my mind and contributed to a much higher anxiety level than I should have had. Because realistically, even if you find out super early (as I did), your chance of having a baby, not a miscarriage, is 70% or more (unverified internet statistic for miscarriage rate at 3.5 weeks, sounds about right though). Those are some pretty good odds!
But that chance of having a miscarriage was on my mind so often in the beginning. It kept me from fully feeling the excitement I should have felt, because I was guarding my heart in case this one didn’t stick. I didn’t delete my cycle tracking app, didn’t buy a single baby book. I was a little bit on edge all the time, not wanting to change a thing in my life in the event that we had no reason to (or that I’d jinx myself). I knew that percentage went down day by day. Each day I searched the internet for proof that today I could relax a little more than the day before.
I relaxed a bit after the first ultrasound at 6.5 weeks. We looked on that screen and saw a little grain of rice with a strong flicker in the middle. The heartbeat. 124 beats per minute. Baby perfection. Things had gone right.
And things did go right for us. My husband is currently bouncing around the living room holding our sweet baby boy. That’s the thing I hope many women remember. Most of the time, things do go right.
For me, the anxiety dissipated early in the second trimester and gave way to one of the happiest times of my life. And even though it may have added to my worries, I’m grateful for every honest story that was shared with me. I know there are women who are less alone because of that so I think if my unnecessary worry was an unintentional side effect, it’s so worth it for the good that honesty is doing for many women.
[Of note: I wrote much of this post during pregnancy but was still a little too superstitious to post it.]