Is it normal to have anxiety about getting pregnant after a miscarriage?
Of course these emotions are to be expected after going through a devastating loss. There are many factors that can contribute to these feelings like, will I lose this baby, will the baby or myself be healthy, can I even conceive again?
Because these emotions and feelings can remain lingering, it is hard to know when is the right time to try again. Every person and every experience is different which makes this answer unique. This decision affects both people in the relationship and both need to be mentally and emotionally in agreement. For some, this could take months or years to process while others it could take a few weeks. Eventually, once the feelings subside it could be time to try again. Or if devastating enough, you don’t have to try again and that is okay too.
Hard though it might be, try to remember that what lies ahead on your journey to conceive is different from what came before, and losing one pregnancy in no way means that you’ll lose another.
While trying for our ‘rainbow’ baby I remember the fear of wanting to try again. I had miscarried in November of 2021 and we decided we wanted to try again in the following year. A few months into the new year I found out I was pregnant. I remember panicking because I had no idea what to do at that moment or how to feel. At one point I felt guilty for getting pregnant again so soon and that others would look down on me for it. I knew immediately that I wanted a new doctor because of the trauma I went through with my previous pregnancy. I was hesitant to tell anyone and even my husband was full of big emotions he didn’t know how to express. I was scared to make an appointment because I knew I would have to get an ultrasound alone due to COVID restrictions that were still mandated at the new doctors office. I knew this needed to be done though to ensure we were both healthy. I remember sitting there in the waiting room in full panic and my heart racing because I had to do this alone and I was afraid of hearing horrific news. As the pregnancy progressed it became easier for me to relax and enjoy having a baby. I was able to talk about my fears and anxiety to my husband but also to my friends who have experienced their own losses. My children were able to feel excitement for the baby and helped us prepare for the arrival. It was not an easy journey and some days I struggled with anxiety and sad thoughts. But at the end of the journey, I was so happy and relieved to hold our healthy and beautiful baby girl.
So how do you handle this anxiety?
To handle fear in the moment, one tactic worth trying when your concerns start to take over is to mentally bring yourself to the present. That can mean doing something as simple as reciting a mantra to yourself, such as, “In this moment, I am pregnant. This much I know,” or, “As far as I know, everything is going smoothly.” Anxiety often manifests as “what if” questions and this type of mantra can help ground you if you feel yourself start to go down a bad mental path.
Keep in mind, too, that if it triggers you and makes you feel anxious during your visits when you go to the same doctor whom you saw during your miscarriage, it’s okay to look for a new one.
During the new pregnancy allow yourself to enjoy things like a positive ultrasound or big kicks. Celebrate the milestones of making it to a new week or trimester and break the pregnancy down so it doesn’t feel overwhelming. Make new memories or even incorporate the previous loss if you feel this will help you ease feelings.
And, of course, if you feel like you can’t handle the stress on your own or by talking through it with your support network, it’s a good idea to seek out counseling. Click ‘schedule an appointment’ today to schedule a free 15 minute consultation.