Pregnancy news, 08/02/17
It’s normal to have some level of anxiety or stress in pregnancy. But for mums that have previously experienced a loss, pregnancy can be a particularly anxious time and can feel far from the serene or happy experience that most women wish for.
Pregnant blogger Anna Whitehouse or ‘Mother Pukka’ has written openly about her experience of baby loss in the past. She recently opened up about the anxiety she’s been suffering in her current pregnancy with a candid Instagram post. She wrote:
‘I was night-before-Christmas excited about our gender scan yesterday. I felt good. All is good. Legs? Good. Brain? Good. Spinal cord? In position. But it made me realise how small the Pukka bean is; the size of a little hedgehog but without the spiky armour. It made me realise that at 21 weeks I'm only halfway there and that fear of loss still lurks gloomily behind the ultrasound machine. I still check for blood in my undercrackers at every loo visit, I Google 'my baby isn't moving' every other day. I dream of losing this one in a supermarket carpark; I still remember the five beans that didn't make it. So while I wanted to holler from the rooftops today that this one has a wanger or a 'Regina' (according to Mae), I can't. Because I can't believe it until I see it; until that dark bundle of X-Rayed parts becomes a pinky wailing human whole #babylossawareness#motherpukka This post is dedicated to @dear_orla whose relentless positivity has kept me chuntering along through some darker hours.’
We admire Anna for speaking out about her experience and want to reassure mums-to-be in her position that they are not alone.
Our midwife Anna explains:
'How do you move into a new pregnancy without bringing the loss or losses of previous pregnancies with you? Grief is a complicated process that can creep up on you unawares at any moment.
Women call us at Tommy’s all the time and we have the privilege of having the time to listen to their story. Sometimes they are pregnant again, other times they want to be but are too emotionally exhausted to consider another pregnancy.
Often they will say they are not strong enough or their anxiety levels are so high they could not cope with another miscarriage.
When you’re pregnant again after a loss, anxiety can override feelings of pleasure or excitement about the future pregnancy. Lots of women wonder how can you make plans or dare to hope if it is going to go wrong again. It is holding a living, breathing little newborn that helps to heal and restore faith in your body.
I know that Anna’s feeling about her baby will resonate with many Mums out there it is so courageous for her to speak out it makes women feel less isolated.'
Your tummy will deflate and the swelling will ease, and whilst your body may not be the way it once was, it will always be your baby's first home. There's something beautiful about that, and that is something beautiful about YOU.
Things I wish I had known when I was pregnant about...unwanted advice. People generally mean well, but at the end of the day, you and your partner (if you have one) are the only ones who get to decide how to raise your baby.