Late on a Sunday afternoon, my husband said to me “you should read this article on pregnancy anxiety – I think it will resonate with you”.
Now hang on a minute, I’m not even pregnant yet – how is this going to be relevant to me? Rowan Martin speaks of the intense paranoia she experienced during her pregnancy – after a “missed miscarriage” with her first pregnancy she became, understandably, anxious about what might happen to her baby when she was expecting again. Her fear took over and she became obsessed with monitoring her baby, even going to the extreme of taking more than 100 pregnancy tests within five weeks and spending nearly £2,000 on private clinics, just to check her baby was still growing.
Whilst my situation is not the same, there are certainly elements of Rowan’s story that I can empathise with, even during the process of trying to get pregnant. When things don’t go to plan, you feel like your body has let you down – how can you trust it again?
The doctors haven’t been able to identify any issues we might have with conceiving after numerous blood tests and scans, so technically everything should be working. Yet every month we used to find ourselves sitting in the doctor’s office between day 10-12 of my cycle, double checking my eggs and making sure one would mature and release on time. And every month, this would happen, we’d do our ‘homework’ as my doctor liked to call it, and then wait. But it was starting to feel like a waste of time.
After three years of trying to conceive, nearly two years of doctor’s appointments, one miscarriage and two failed IUI’s, I was fed up of taking Clomid and spending hundreds of dollars every month. We weren’t getting anywhere so I thought maybe if we just leave it to nature, it will work itself out. At the beginning of the year we decided to go it alone; I stopped taking Clomid and we stopped visiting the doctor.
We’ve saved a lot of money and it’s been much less stressful, but I have to admit four months later, the need to know what’s going on in my body is starting to kick in again.
My husband jokingly said to me the other day as we were talking about booking an appointment – “you’re obsessed with information about your ovaries.” The thing is I know my cycle is fine – I now have a period pretty much bang on every 29 days, the ovulation predictor tests confirm when I have my LH surge, and I notice when my mucus changes. But much like Rowan needed to check constantly on her pregnancy, I think it’s a common anxiety amongst women trying to conceive that we need to ‘check up’ on our bodies. It feels like a way of regaining control over something that is otherwise out of our power.
Thankfully I feel like over the last year I’ve been able to relax a bit more and don’t have the same concerns I once did about whether I would ever get pregnant – in large part because our miscarriage proved that we were actually able to conceive. But I can understand how it’s easy for women to doubt their bodies and develop anxiety when all they want is to see a positive line on a pregnancy test.
I’m pretty sure when we see the doctor tomorrow she will tell me that everything looks good, so I guess all we can do is wait.
You can read Rowan’s story here: