I am well into my 2nd Trimester! It’s crazy to say out loud that I am already 17 weeks pregnant! The time is going so fast… in one week my pregnancy will already be halfway over! So excited to be one step closer to meeting this little one and getting to hold him or her in my arms!
The last month has been rough! My anxiety has increased. There are a lot of triggers for me right now. I am really paranoid about food. I am constantly worried that I am going to eat something that I don’t know is harmful during pregnancy and that it will hurt the baby or cause me to miscarry. Did you know right now there is a Salmonella outbreak in at least 35 known states and that the CDC has no clue what the source of food is?! I feel like I can’t eat a single item of food without looking it up first to make sure it’s on the “safe list”. Even if it’s on the safe list, that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen to carry Listeria, Salmonella, or some other dangerous bacteria. Navigating food during pregnancy is exhausting to me! Just tonight, we took our girls to get ice cream at Dairy Queen and the thought of me getting food poisoning from an improperly cleaned soft serve machine crossed my mind. I wish I could just eat some dang ice cream (or any food for that matter) without wondering if I’m going to get sick and pass the food-borne illness onto my baby. My morning sickness is still sticking around. Anytime my nausea kicks in, I have to seriously ask myself “Is this morning sickness or did I eat something I shouldn’t have?”
I’m also really bothered by chemicals and fumes. It sounds so silly when I write it down and reread it… Pregnant women should be bothered by chemical fumes… It’s not recommended for anyone to sit and huff paints and other fumes. My husband has been painting various different items the last week or so. It’s not like he paints inside in common sitting areas, it’s always been outdoors, in our garage, or in our sub-basement. But slowly afterwards, I can start to smell the fumes wafting into the house and I start to freak! The other day I made us all eat outside for lunch where the fumes weren’t as concentrated and then afterwards I made us all leave to go shopping so I wasn’t sitting in a house full of fumes. While my husband understands, he is also the rational one and knows that I get myself worked up over things that are really small or not concerning at all. Majority of the time, he could not smell any paint and I could swear the smell was lingering. My neighbor just recently had the exterior of his house painted. I needed to get the mail from the communal mailbox, which required walking past said neighbor’s house. I made myself cross onto the other side of the street (going out of my way) just to avoid being close to his house and the paint fumes.
I think the difference between these being normal concerns and these being blown out of proportion concerns is shown by just how paranoid I get. I obsess over situations like these! I let it worry me till my stomach hurts and I start to feel physically ill. I’ve recently admitted to myself that I am definitely experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I went through something very traumatic during pregnancy. How could I be expected to not have a high degree of anxiety when pregnant again? You hear about veterans who have PTSD attacks randomly after their service. I feel like I am a veteran who has just been thrown back into the full on war zone again. It’s not just a one or 2 days randomly here and there where I am experiencing flashbacks. It’s a constant flood of reminders that no pregnancy is a safe guarantee. Pregnancy After Loss is living 9 months of life knowing that your baby could die, just like your other baby did. That’s a terrifying and cruel realization. Makes it nearly impossible to enjoy what is suppose to be a time filled with joy and happiness.
My biggest worry is that something will be wrong with this baby. I am worried that we will go in for my growth and anatomy scan and that the doctor will find something that is genetically wrong with our baby. I think a lot of my fears are rooted within the fact that I am always prepared for the worse, to the point where I am waiting and expecting bad things to always happen to me. I have my next ultrasound in 1.5 weeks… it’s the big one! My 19-week growth and anatomy scan. The one where we learn our baby’s gender! I remember with Adelaide and Emilia being so exciting for this ultrasound! It never crossed my mind that the scan would reveal a genetic disorder or anything along those lines. I always looked toward this ultrasound as specifically being the gender reveal ultrasound and in a way I always took it as a given that the baby would be healthy. Before loss, we are all naive and don’t imagine that bad things will happen to us. All I can think of right now is “What will I do if this baby isn’t healthy?” I honestly don’t care what this baby is…. boy or girl…. I just pray that it is healthy! Either way it is loved! I’ve loved it since the moment I found out I was pregnant. But a mother never stops worrying about her babies and the worries clearly start well before our babies are even born.
This afternoon I had my first 2nd Trimester OB appointment. Everything went perfect! It was really low key and uneventful. Which – for a pregnancy after loss appointment – is a pretty fantastic visit! Baby’s heartbeat was easy to find and rang in at a strong 150 bpm! This was exactly what I needed for my confidence. After three appointments with three really great heartbeat readings, it gave me courage to put trust into this pregnancy. Things are going really well so far and the baby seems to be growing, as made evident by the bump photos! I know I’ll never let my guard down completely, but I needed an appointment like today to reassure me to enjoy these moments. I don’t want to waste away this pregnancy (my very last pregnancy) worrying over things that never warranted a reason to be worried in the first place.