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The First Trimester of a Mentally Unbalanced Woman

Hello everyone (or maybe no one),

Unlike the majority of women who may not even know they are pregnant until a month or even months after becoming pregnant, I knew at 2 weeks. While this may seem like a relief to some for me it just meant a lot more opportunities for my anxiety to flare up every day. I purchased the special pregnancy tests that tell you how many weeks you are and I took test after test to continue to check my HCG levels were rising. I had a bit of bleeding the third week and called my fertility doctor in a panic, begging for him to let me come in for an early ultrasound and blood test. He was so patient and immediately invited me in for an early morning appointment to be able to see the baby and test to see how normal all of my levels were.

He later assured me that my results were completely in range and that sometimes the progesterone he had prescribed to me can actually cause bleeding. I was slightly shocked and enraged by this information and it did little to comfort me. It seemed completely counterproductive to me because how would I ever know whether it was the medicine or the baby, but he encouraged me to keep taking it as it would help to make sure the baby was implanted properly and would continue to grow into a healthy fetus. I was reluctant as my anxiety already felt out of control and I could feel a panic attack building there in his office. How would I ever feel safe knowing this could easily happen again and I would have no way of knowing whether it was something to not worry about or to get checked out. My doctor told me I could contact him at any time and discuss my symptoms and he would direct me with what to do.

I went back home feeling better and hoping that this would not occur again. Although I was trying to keep up a positive attitude as I knew stress would only contribute to the risk of something happening. That being said I woke up many times during the night freaking out over minor cramps in my back or over a simple stomach ache. I would immediately run to the bathroom and wipe scared to death to look and see the telltale sign of red on the toilet paper. Thankfully it wasn’t until I was 8 weeks into the pregnancy that this happened again. It was an unordinary day and I had not even been feeling any cramps or issues but went to the bathroom and I had looked as it had become rather routine expecting to see nothing there. I was absolutely gutted. I let out a cry immediately and my mother ran in from hearing my sob, unfortunately being calm is not her strong suit and instead of offering me any comfort, she reaffirmed my fears. I contacted my doctor and he said to go get it checked out. I was no longer being seen by him because I needed to find an OBGYN so I went to a local private clinic that had an appointment available the next day. Again I was reassured that everything was perfectly fine, but it did little to ease my fears.

At this appointment, I was able to hear the baby’s heartbeat for the very first time. My mother had come with me and as she looked at the screen and heard the little thumps of their racing heart she let out a shrill squawk of excitement and relief. Soon tears were glistening in her eyes and she looked at me to see if I was having the same reaction. I felt like a monster at this moment because I was not feeling anything. I had an emptiness inside of me that made me feel like the worst human being on earth. Here was this little person inside of me and they were a part of me, but yet I felt empty. I didn’t want to cry from joy because even though I was beyond relieved that everything was alright, I was also panicked. Here was this life inside of me growing stronger each day and soon it would be out in the world and would rely on me for everything. I guess you could say I was having a bit of cold feet. Which also didn’t make any sense to me, I had chosen this, I had wished for this baby and prayed for this baby every day for years basically and now that they were here and it was real it seemed to be all too much. I smiled at my mom and the OBGYN because what else was I going to do at this moment, but after leaving I went home and cried. I want to reiterate it is not that I don’t already love my baby because I do, I am just so scared that I am going to mess them up as I have my own life so many times before.

I would like to tell you that my first trimester got better but honestly, it was a SHIT SHOW! When I wasn’t worrying about miscarrying I was dealing with nausea that made me have an aversion to just about everything. I couldn't even eat off of our plates because they had a floral smell that made me want to projectile vomit. I was so tired that I was often canceling classes because I could not keep my eyes open for more than an hour at a time. I was constantly dizzy and feeling as if my head was floating away from my body, and I had the worst back cramps that made period cramps feel like a walk in the park. Also, my caffeine consumption had been cut in half and this was not exactly making me a fun person to be around. I thank god my parents were so patient and accommodating with me during this time. Although I did hear one too many times for my liking how I was drinking too much coffee, not eating healthy enough, or that I needed to go out on a walk despite not being able to even get out of a chair without feeling faint.

My mother is also an avid researcher so she also kept sending me articles that I guess she found to be reassuring, but I found them to be more like horror stories or the stuff of nightmares. Articles about how any coffee consumption could raise the risk of stillbirth, how sleeping on your back could cut off blood supply to the baby, how being overweight could lead to diabetes for my baby later in life. I know she found them to be helpful and wanted to make me aware of all the information but all it served to do was make me feel scared shitless. As someone who expects and also fears the worst I also had not told anyone else about my pregnancy. Sadly my parents were the only ones I could rely on to talk about any fears I may have, and as you can probably tell they didn't help all that much. My mental health issues also became an increasing worry for me because if I showed them any sign of depression or feeling even a bit down in the dumps they would go into helicopter mode and I wouldn’t be left alone for a second. This meant most of the time I was alone with my own thoughts going over every possible scenario in my head, the longer this went on the more the happy thoughts seemed to deteriorate into the stuff of nightmares and I tried to think about the baby less and less.

12 weeks in I had my next scan and my first blood test, the blood test was sent to me in Hungarian and none of it was explained so this led to a fun guessing game while trying to translate the results. Not my finest moment because in my own interpretation I had determined I may be suffering from blood cancer as my white blood cells were high and my red blood cells were extremely low. Of course, again the running theme here being my anxiety playing with my mind. Immediately at my appointment my new OBGYN assured me that everything was fine. I simply had anemia, which was super common in pregnancy. I was prescribed some iron pills and sent on my way. No other instances occurred and soon I was out of the tormented nightmare that was my first trimester.

To read more about my pregnancy journey, as I am well into my second trimester now please subscribe. Also, I would love to hear from all of you what your first trimester was like or if you are still in yours any fears you may have.

Signing off until next time,

The Mental Millennial Mom


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