Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Anxiety: what is "normal"?

I'm not much of a worrier by nature.  Sure, like anyone, I worry about some things from time to time.  But by and large, I don't have a lot of anxiety or spend a lot of time dwelling on "what if"s.  It's just not my personality.

MM, on the other hand, is an inveterate worrier.  So as you can imagine, his worrying has been in overdrive since we found out I am pregnant.  I've tried to tell him that there will always be something to worry about, even once these babies are (we hope) born and healthy.  He still worries about every little thing.

In addition to the usual pregnancy-related nausea and exhaustion, I have been sick with a head cold for the past few days.  (If nothing else, it's been a good reminder that even though I thought I couldn't possibly feel worse, I could and do.)  I woke up yesterday with some unaccustomed pain in my lower abdomen and right flank and ended up going to the OB to get checked out.

The OB took a quick look at the babies on ultrasound and examined me.  She sent my urine for culture but basically concluded that I'd probably strained some muscles from coughing and sleeping in a strange bed over the weekend (we were out of town for a friend's wedding).  I ended up taking the rest of the day off work to rest and recuperate.

Last night, I slept a little better but had a really negative dream about this pregnancy.  I dreamed that when I went for my NT scan (which is scheduled for this coming Monday), both the babies hearts had stopped beating.  I don't know what put this thought into my subconscious mind, particularly when I'd just been at the doctor earlier in the day and seen them, beating hearts and all.  I certainly have no rational reason to believe that anything is going to go wrong.

I suppose a lot of pregnant women have similar dreams or concerns, and I'd guess for women who've gone through infertility, the percentage is even higher.  I guess a bit more anxiety than my norm, even if it only creeps out when I'm sleeping, is to be expected.

What do you think?


  1. First you are a seasoned infertile, so the worrying comes from all the anxiety of getting preggers, staying preggers, having the dream of motherhood actually come true.

    Secondly, you have two growing, so the pains you are getting might be because your body is growing faster to accomodate both bebes.

    Hang in there. It's all normal. I still have the death dreams that wake me in the night, and I am still afraid it will all go away.

  2. Yeah, I think I worry more now than I used to. I wouldn't label myself as a worry wart, (then or now) but there is certainly a heightened level of awareness. And I think in a way having been a part of this community for so long can work against us - i.e. knowing too much...

    Sorry about the head cold - I hate colds during the summer especially!

  3. Yucky yuck. My DH is not a worrier but he is an obsess-er. Currently he obsesses about my diet (that I'm not eating enough in general and not enough protein/veggies) even though I feel like I'm eating a lot. After all, I've gained 8 lbs because unlike you, I haven't had any MS. I think the way to re-frame their worry/anxiety is to use it as a reminder that they're engaged in our pregnancies and gently remind them that their actions affect how we feel and therefore how our babies ultimately feel.

    As for your anxiety, I can totally relate to those dreams. These are just things that work themselves in our heads at night. Try not to read too much into them and think they have anything to do with reality.

    I know all this is easier said than done! Good luck and take care of yourself!

    P.S. I have my NT scan scheduled for Thurs so I'm expecting my anxiety-filled dreams to start kicking in tonight! :)

  4. it is completely normal to feel worried...i wasn't convinced that i was even going to have a baby until after the 19w scan.

    how exciting for you to be having two babies!

  5. I'm sorry you have a cold ON TOP of nausea! No fun at all to be sick while pregnant! I think it's pretty normal to have some anxieties along the way, especially being in this uncharted territory of twin pregnancy! I'm sure the NT test will be fine! Those babies are healthy & growing perfectly! Feel better soon!

  6. Sorry, just seeing this now. As everyone else has said, the dream is totally normal. My theory is that after trying to get pg for so long, with disappointment month after month we become conditioned to expect the worst.


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