I’m Nine Weeks Pregnant And I Refuse To Live In The ‘I Might Miscarry’ Zone

miscarryI never really experienced a stress-free pregnancy.  I was always jealous of the women who hadn’t had the experience of a scare – or a loss.  I envied the way that they moved through their pregnancies, blissfully unaware that Mother Nature was a total bitch that could take it all away at any moment.

After an early miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy, and a miscarriage the day before my 12-week ultrasound – when I finally became pregnant again I was beyond terrified.

My doctor, in an attempt to ease my mind, offered ultrasounds every two weeks for the first three months of my pregnancy.  I wouldn’t recommend this.  The ritual that was supposed to be relaxing me was actually making me a nervous wreck.  On each visit I would look away from the screen, convinced that I wouldn’t see the flickering light that indicated a tiny, beating heart.  Each time, it would be there.  Look, there it is, the doctor would beam.  Yeah, for now, I would think.

After the bi-monthly ultrasounds came to end, I purchased an at-home fetal heart rate monitor.  Daily, I snuck into our bedroom to perform this ritual.  I say “snuck” because my husband had no idea that this was something I was doing every day.  I’m pretty sure he thought it was something I did every couple of weeks – the few times a month I would summon him to join me.  I don’t know why I hid this from him.  Maybe because I knew it was obsessive.  Maybe because I didn’t want him to know how worried I was.  Or maybe just because I didn’t want him to think I was a total freak.

I spent hours on baby boards analyzing how women were feeling and acting.  I didn’t have any morning sickness.  This would normally be a reason to rejoice, but for me it was an indication that something was definitely wrong.  Why was I feeling so good when all of these other ladies were complaining constantly?

When women would share the ways in which they told their friends and families that they were pregnant, I would think, too early!  You’re going to regret that.  Daily, I would cynically judge their joy – thinking they were too naive to understand that they weren’t in the clear.  When I stumbled upon an “I’m out” or “Trigger Warning” post – which indicated that someone had miscarried – I would avoid it as if just looking at the words would manifest the same horrible outcome for me.

I studied every weekly explanation of “how your baby is growing” that was offered on just about every pregnancy site on the Internet.  At any moment, I could tell you which fruit my growing fetus most closely resembled and the ways in which all of his organs were developing.

Does this sound fun, at all?  It wasn’t.  It was an effing nightmare.

You can reach this post's author, Maria Guido, on twitter.
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    • Sasoura

      Thank you for this. I spent my 37 weeks terrified of miscarrying after being told i was infertile then being told the test must be wrong, then being told there were twins “but don’t get too attached to the idea”, losing a twin and being on all sorts of hormones for the first 12 weeks. i didn’t tell anyone i was pregnant till after that 12 week point, refused to find out the sex of the baby or nest or even wash onsies because i “didn’t want to get too attached to the idea” and really relaxed for the first time when he was in my arms screaming. i kept everything at arms length in an effort to protect myself, and it was miserable. I wish you the best of luck and even more, i wish for you no anxiety, fear, or trepidation.

    • Lindsay Cross

      Such an amazing piece Maria. Again. And really inspiring for those of us who have experienced loss in the past. Congratulations!

    • katydid

      congratulations and good luck! I was the opposite of your experience, all three times getting pregnant was very easy and i have been lucky to never experience a miscarriage, but the pregnancies were incredibly rough. first i got pre-eclampsia, then cholestasis twice, and my third child was in hte nicu for a week because i had to go early. Even with all the pregnancy complications, i tried to always tell myself the baby was going to be fine (and avoided the bad message boards) I hope you can relax and enjoy this pregnancy!

      • star

        omg i hope i dnt have one very scared

    • http://www.facebook.com/houde.veronique Véronique Houde

      Good for you for wanting to enjoy the pregnancy :) The baby and you will be so much happier for it! Great article

    • meteor_echo

      Congratulations and good luck! :)

    • http://twitter.com/bossmomonline Portia Mount

      Maria, congratulations and bravo! I have a three year old son and recently had two miscarriages in a row this past summer. It’s hell and frankly can mess with your head for future pregnancies if you let it. Each pregnancy left me feeling more anxious and depleted than the last (I’ve had three miscarriages in total) and it was hard to be happy because I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. I am trying again to get pregnant (this time with fertility, um, management) and have vowed this time around to just relax and enjoy being pregnant and what will be will be. It’s doubtful I’ll tell people until I feel like I’m totally “in the clear” but I am committed to not driving myself crazy and just appreciate the blessing for what it is. Wishing you a happy and healthy pregnancy.

    • Byrd

      Congrats! I did not enjoy my pregnancy. Two threatened miscarriages in the first tri then bed-rest through the 3rd tri! Ready for another one but TERRIFIED!

    • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Guerrilla Mom

      Thanks for all of the kind words of encouragement, ladies :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carmen-Finnigan/841528248 Carmen Finnigan

      I am glad for you. I had a loss and am trying again. I think I am going to be a nervous wreck. I will bookmark your article and try to relax.

    • kirsten compitello

      This kind of news is worth sharing whenever you’re comfortable sharing it, whether that’s immediately or after awhile… it’s what’s going on with you, so talk away. I almost lost mine in the second trimester, so while it’s very rare, there’s never a “from now on life is all sunshine” moment.

      That said, 1). your articles are always awesome and I kinda want to be friends with you, and 2). I’m sure your pregnancy will be happy and healthy. Good luck!

      • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Guerrilla Mom

        Aww- thank you so much!

    • Michelle

      Thank you so much for this. I suffered a miscarriage a few months ago, and now I’m trying again. I am charting, and doing the acupuncture thing, and I’m terrified to go through the experience of miscarrying again. This article was a really good reminder to me to relax, and to not let my fears consume me.

    • http://twitter.com/MommyGearest Andrea

      As someone who’s had five pregnancies resulting in two (perfect, amazing) babies, I have lived in that miscarriage zone. And it sucks. Congrats on the new babe and we all look forward to seeing his/her beautiful photo in a few months. :)

    • Julie

      My first (and only) pregnancy came about the same way your current one did. A little less careful than we should have been. But I was very excited when I found out. And also, that same day I took the test, I started bleeding. They never really found out what caused it- some sort of hemorrhage- and I now have a perfectly happy, healthy 7 month old little girl. I went twice to the emergency room early in the pregnancy due to excessive bleeding. I spent the entire 42 weeks of my pregnancy in the same state of panic that you describe right down to knowing how to compare the fetus to a fruit. I’ve never experienced a miscarriage, but I know the fear of expecting it to happen. I’m so happy for you that you get to do it all over again in a more positive light! I’ve already vowed that if I do have another child, I’m going to go easier on myself as well.

    • Jennifer

      Fortunately I have’t had any pregnancy losses so my fear isn’t there. I announced my pregnancies early, I figured that if someting happened I would need all the suport I could get anyway.
      I am halfway through pregnancy #3 now and have noticed that with each pregnancy I have worried less and less about my diet and whether I drank 2 or 3 sodas today. As this is my last kid I am going to enjoy this time, and also be thankful that my kid #3 I don’t have everybody offering me ” helpful” advice!
      I wish you good luck this time and applaud you for not spending each moment worrying. Enjoy this special time. :)

    • Ashley W.

      This was a WONDERFUL article! So sorry for the past pain you had to endure, but I think you’re handling this pregnancy in the most healthy way you can. Congratulations to you, your husband and son!!!

    • lyzl

      Good luck! I love your attitude!

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    • madeline

      I’ve currently got a lime-sized foetus inside me and I’m in exactly the place you mention above, driving myself crazy with fears of miscarriage. I’m glad to hear I’m not alone. I know that freaking out about it all is not helping but I’m not sure how to switch the worry off! Any tips would be much appreciated… Thanks for this post though, it’s nice to know I’m not totally crazy and that other’s have been through a similar thing.

    • Rebecca

      First off, I love your articles. You are very even-handed in your treatment of topics, not whiny, and, generally speaking, you write very well!

      Second, I am having the opposite situation as you are. Thankfully I have never had a miscarriage (of which I am aware), but with my first pregnancy, I didn’t worry at all. I think I was just in denial that it was happening, even though it was planned, and everything went smoothly. I have a happy, healthy 22-month-old son, and I’m almost 15 weeks pregnant with my second baby, also planned. This time I have been a basket case about everything! I considered buying a fetal doppler, but like you said with the every two weeks of ultrasounds, I thought it might drive me crazy. (Considering that the heartbeat was hard to find during my 12-week appointment – though it was strong – I might never have found it on my own and driven myself completely insane.) My morning sickness went away after I recovered from a 24-hour stomach bug, so I was convinced that I had gotten too dehydrated and lost the baby because my pregnancy symptoms were suddenly so light. I didn’t realize that I was 9 weeks along, which is pretty much where early pregnancy symptoms start to subside for the lucky ones, and I basically forgot that I had felt more or less fine from that point forward in my first pregnancy, too. (For the record, the breast tenderness that I was convinced had disappeared is still here, almost in full force.)

      I think that this time I am much more “in the loop” as to what can go wrong with pregnancy and during L&D, so I am secretly convinced that something is going to go wrong because I have read about it and made myself horribly sad doing so. However, I am trying very hard to relax and go with the flow, since I can’t do anything if something does go wrong at this point. It is completely out of my hands, or my OB’s, for that matter. Additionally, when I get to the point of viability, (1) I should be able to feel the baby moving around plenty, which is reassuring, and (2) if I don’t, or if something else goes wrong, then I’ll seek medical attention, and hopefully all will be well in the long run.

      Anyway, thank you for your article, because it put things in perspective for me. I wish you the best with your pregnancy!

    • Freela

      I think you’ll thank yourself for this later on. I had a miscarriage with my first child and discovered some underlying health issues with my reproductive system at the same time. My next pregnancy I spent feeling absolutely terrified. My next pregnancy actually was high risk and I was, again, completely stressed out and frightened (and on bedrest for ages, which gave me more time to agonize about how stressed out and frightened I was!) After that I decided I never wanted to go through that again, and regretted how I had not enjoyed my pregnancies due to my overwhelming anxiety. About two years later, it turned out we were not done having children- much to my surprise. I made a real effort to enjoy that last pregnancy, reminding myself that worrying would not change the outcome, and that whether the pregnancy was successful or not, I would never regret enjoying it for however long it lasted. I’m very thankful to have had that ‘bonus’ pregnancy to enjoy, and to go out on a high note as far as pregnancy goes. Wishing you a happy and healthy nine months!