29 weeks + 6 days pregnant
The kinds of worries I brushed off in my last pregnancy consume me with absolute terror in this one. I think some of that fear is linked to the fact that I was never given a definitive cause as to why Nieve died. I question abosolutely everything, always wondering if I’ll solve the mystery.
I second guess everything. I check and double check things I thought I already knew. I’m skeptical of everything, even what the doctors and midwives tell me because the truth is I don’t really trust anyone to keep this baby safe.
I spend copious amounts of time online doing ‘research’. I’m well aware that the Internet is an unreliable source of information. It’s overloaded with professional looking websites which contain misleading information and unfounded ‘facts’ that are often inaccurate and fear inducing. But I’m a victim of the modern day culture of “Googling” for information and I’m always hungry for reassurances.
After Nieve died I was left absolutely clueless and bereft as to why we’d lost her. Nobody gave us any inclination as to why she had died and I was encouraged to wait for the post mortem results. I was so confused, terrified and bursting with questions. With a three month wait til the results of the post mortem, I literally spent hours and hours pouring over facts, figures and statistics. It was like trying to piece together a complex jigsaw puzzle with three quarters of the pieces missing.
I was desperate for insight and when my bereavement midwife would visit, I would reel off the hundreds and hundreds of questions spinning round in my head. But it felt like a giant game of snakes and ladders where I made no progress at all and just kept being put back to the start.
I spent hours online researching absolutely every aspect of stillbirth. I expected to have that lightbulb moment where I read something that reasonated with me but it never came and so the questions, and the research never stopped.
What I’ve found is that still so little is known about stillbirth and that’s incredibly difficult to swallow. If doctors don’t know, how can I know? And if I don’t know why it happened, how can ensure I don’t repeat a behaviour, a habit or a choice that would lead to it happening again?
This has given me a sense of utter paranoia in this pregnancy. I wish I could be put in bubble wrap for nine months, or hibernate until it’s time for Sprocket to be born. Instead I have to face each day taking tentative steps on uncertain ground and questioning absolutely everything.
Last night I took a look back over my Google search history throughout this pregnancy, and it tells the tale of paranoia and anguish. Here’s a summary of my queries and never ending concerns throughout my pregnancy so far;
What are the odds of ectopic pregnancy?
Can lifting during early pregnancy cause miscarriage?
What are the odds of miscarriage after a heartbeat is detected?
What are the odds of miscarriage by week?
Normal fetal length day by day
What should discharge be like in pregnancy?
What is the chance of a missed miscarriage?
Is sickness suddenly easing a sign of miscarriage?
Sickness suddenly worsening in pregnancy
Can I take Paracetamol in early pregnancy?
Can I use a hot water bottle in pregnancy?
Why does my estimated due date keep changing?
Does my cat pose a risk to me while pregnant?
Is it ok to measure 2 days behind?
Infections that can affect pregnancy
Morning sickness worse at 12 weeks
Missed miscarriage experiences
Can having a stomach bug harm the baby?
Is stomach ache a sign of labour?
Is clexane safe in pregnancy?
What are the symptoms of strep b?
What are the odds of Down syndrome?
What are the odds of pataus syndrome?
Will a cold sore affect my pregnancy?
What are the odds of a second trimester loss?
When did you first feel your baby move?
Can I lie on my back in pregnancy?
Abdominal pain in pregnancy
What is the miscarriage probability at 14 weeks?
Rash on cheeks in pregnancy
What are the chances of recurrent stillbirth?
What are the symptoms of Cholestasis?
What are the symptoms of pupps?
Itchy rash on thumb in pregnancy
What are the symptoms of OC?
Stomach ache 17 weeks pregnant
Second trimester spotting
What are the signs of a late miscarriage?
Ongoing brown discharge in pregnancy
Can athlete’s foot harm my baby?
Not feeling movements yet 17 weeks
18 weeks and period like cramping
How common is it to get bad news at the 20 week scan?
How much weight should I put on each week in pregnancy?
Is yellow discharge normal during pregnancy?
How can I monitor my babies movements?
How much tuna can I eat in pregnancy?
Sharp stabbing pain in left side
How can I safely treat athlete’s foot in pregnancy?
Is it safe to use tea tree oil in pregnancy?
Will placental abruption show up on an ultrasound?
What is Discharge like in the second trimester?
What does the mucus plug look like?
Can you lose the mucus plug at 22 weeks?
What happens if you lose the mucus plug?
Does the mucus plug regenerate?
Can I eat anchovies while pregnant?
Can caneston be used during pregnancy?
What are the causes of Leg cramp during pregnancy?
What are the symptoms of deep vein thrombosis?
Pain in the centre of bump
Will stretching or reaching during pregnancy harm the baby?
Does an active baby in utero mean anything post birth?
Can there be too much fetal movement?
What are the signs of fetal distress?
Why does my baby go quiet after dinner?
Are there warning signs before stillbirth?
Baby movements feel weaker
Can I eat chorizo in pregnancy?
Is Vicks vapour rub safe in pregnancy?
Why do babies have quiet days in the womb?
Bleeding gums during pregnancy
Does IUGR happen suddenly?
How common is gestational diabetes?
What are the symptoms of gestational diabetes?
Is gestational diabetes harmful to the baby?
Can heart rate detect fetal distress?
Frequent baby hiccups during pregnancy
Is hiccups an indication of cord problems?
What are the signs of umbilical cord problems?
What are the signs of umbilical cord compression?
Will cord issues show up in an ultrasound?
What are the signs of placental failure in pregnancy?
Can I eat quiche during pregnancy?
Can the whooping cough vaccine cause stillbirth?
Can lying down compress the umbilical cord?
Can undercooked cake make you sick?
What are the odds of premature birth?
What are the odds of baby survival by week?
Tiny speck of blood in discharge during pregnancy
Spotting in pregnancy linked to the placenta?
Symptomless uti in pregnancy
Can a uti harm the baby?
What does a normal fetal CTG look like?
What does an abonormal fetal CTG look like? …
…to be continued…
It’s quite a list. What strikes me is that when I looked back through my internet search history, pregnancy ‘research’ occupies about 80% of my online activity. There’s the odd search for recipes or song lyrics but mostly it’s dominated by my obsession over analysing, clarifying, checking.
It tells the story of the fears and worries I live with day in, day out. It tells the story of heavy strain, sleepless nights and anxiety-ridden days. It tells the story of someone living on tenterhooks, unable to relax. It’s like I took in a huge breath the day I became pregnant and I won’t be able to exhale again fully until the baby is here safely.
I’m not entirely sure the fear and paranoia will evaporate the day Sprocket enters the world. For many women this is where their anxiety truly begins and I anticipate that my search history may soon be filled with paranoid queries about newborn babies.
A friend of mine told me it’s easier when you can see them. I know I’ll relish the chance to be able to seek a second opinion, to share the burden of the responsibility I feel. Until then ‘Doctor Google’ remains my best friend, but also my worst enemy.