Please be OK in there, little one...
April 22, 2013 4:56 PM   Subscribe

I'm just about 8 weeks pregnant (very much on purpose) for the first time. Physically, I feel almost normal - symptoms have been extremely mild and fleeting. The combination of worry, gratitude, disbelief and excitement is overwhelming. How did you navigate this uncertain yet sweet time?

-I'm 27. Excellent health. Married to a wonderful man who will be a spectacular father. We have been planning for this baby for years. Family is as supportive as they could possibly be.
-I have been feeling pretty darn good. A little tired, but none of the crushing fatigue I was warned of. No nausea. Other symptoms are mild and transient.
-I am a biologist, and I have driven myself crazy for weeks reading through thousands of scientific papers on miscarriage risk factors, embryology, and so on. I am definitely not lacking for information. (Favorite embryonic development resource!)

1. While I'm deeply grateful to be pregnant, and beyond excited to have the chance to introduce a new person to oceans, forests, great children's literature, The Beatles, my family and so much else, I'm pretty terrified of losing the baby. I find that my grief-avoidance strategy is to force myself not to feel happy about this pregnancy, and replace all my excitement with a grimly realistic "wait and see" attitude. While it's probably healthy to maintain an awareness of the fragility of life at this stage, my coping strategy is painful. How did you deal with this?

2. As mentioned, I have almost no symptoms. For the most part, I feel truly grateful for every morning that I wake up feeling just fine. However, despite 4 positive tests and the only missed period of my life (not to mention the intentionally unprotected, properly-timed sex), a small part of me is still in disbelief. To be perfectly honest, I am a little bit afraid that when I go for my first ultrasound next week, the nurse will give me a bewildered look and announce that I was never pregnant. I mean, not really. Well, a little. Did any of you have a relatively asymptomatic first trimester? Did you feel this way? How did you cope? (Additionally, how did you cope with anxiety about missed miscarriage?)

3. How did you enjoy your pregnancy early on, given all the risks? Is there anything you wish you had done differently? What helped you relax amid the uncertainty?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (25 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
I had three pregnancies, all of which had entirely asymptomatic first trimesters, except for being slightly tired.

One of those pregnancies resulted in miscarriage. I spotted starting at six or seven weeks all the way through to the miscarriage that was discovered at 13 or 14 weeks.

It was much more believable abd easier to be excited after the first ultrasound, which for me was pretty early - 10 or 11 weeks I think.

If you can, stop driving yourself nuts with reading. Make sure you trust your doctor and go with what they say. If you don't trust them get another doctor.

If you really can't stop being afraid, you might talk to a counselor/therapist about it. Tell your ob - they will be able to recommend someone for just this type if thing.

Pregnancy is a wild, crazy thing. Congrats, good luck, and try to relax :)
posted by dpx.mfx at 5:04 PM on April 22, 2013

I had symptoms of possible miscarriage with my first child. Freaked me right out, for about a week. But then things settled down nicely.

Lots of people don't get morning sickness, fwiw. I did but I didn't really start noticing much of it till...well, right about where you are right now.

My recommendation is to put down the medical books for awhile. Easier said than done, really, but you are young, healthy, and the odds are ever in your favor. ;-)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:06 PM on April 22, 2013

Every pregnancy is different. For my first pregnancy, I did not have any "symptoms" and actually took a second pregnancy test about a week later just to check. As the pregnancy progressed, I gradually relaxed. Everything turned out fine!

At a certain point I realized that this stage is the first part of parenthood. Because much of parenthood is out of your hands, really. You do your part, you do your best, and see how things play out. This holds true post-pregancy- your emotions about your child's well-being will be with your for the rest of your, and their, lives.

Have you talked to your husband about your feelings? It can be very helpful to approach this as a team, and hear how your partner is feeling about this, and how your coping mechanisms may be affecting him as well.
posted by ambrosia at 5:10 PM on April 22, 2013 [4 favorites]

I was only nauseated and exhausted from about 8 weeks on in both pregnancies. For the second one, I found out I was pregnant ridiculously, a full 10 days before I expected my period, so waiting for the nausea and fatigue to come along made me crazy, because I was certain that something was wrong because I DIDN'T feel crappy. Both times everything turned out fine, and I just put one to bed and the other is sitting here watching Wallace and Grommit. I'm probably not the only woman who checked the toilet paper for blood every time I went to the bathroom for my entire pregnancy.

I think these days we almost have too much info at our fingertips and its easy to find people to tell you stories about the terrible time they or their friends or relatives has getting or staying pregnant. When, in fact, those tend to be the outliers.

I know its hard to make it from appointment to appointment to hear the heartbeat and hopefully see the little bean on sonogram, but that's just the way it is. Try not to drive yourself crazy with every twinge or cramp, but if you just must know that the cramp you just felt isn't a miscarriage, that's why you have an OB on call. Believe me, you're not the first anxious pregnant woman they've spoken with that day.
posted by Mimzy at 5:18 PM on April 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

I had the same asymptomatic first trimester, especially with my first pregnancy. I would kind of recommend that you stop reading so much about miscarriage, but of course, everyone has different coping strategies. I just know that reading too much information can make me anxious, which isn't really helpful.

For me, I think things felt a lot better after that first doctor visit. Hopefully they will for you too! A cautiously optimistic congratulations to you :).
posted by freezer cake at 5:19 PM on April 22, 2013

I didn't feel pregnant until I was most of the way through the second trimester. Feeling the baby moving was how I started to feel pregnant.

I struggled with infertility and I understand how distressing the early pregnancy time can be. What you really need to do is either distract yourself until the ultrasound or ask your doctor's office if there are any openings for an earlier ultrasound. As a scientist, I'm sure you've read that the odds of miscarriage drop precipitously once you've seen a heartbeat on ultrasound from 8 weeks onward. So when you get the ultrasound done and all is well, logically most of your fears should be assuaged. (of course for most people, there are still worries that you can't logic yourself out of, but it is certainly very reassuring). Some people rent Dopplers for home use so that they can reassure themselves, but I wouldn't recommend this. It can end up causing more anxiety if you cannot find the heartbeat using the Doppler, even though the heartbeat is actually there, due to technique.

My two best tips for you are:

1. Try your hardest not to google or read about miscarriage, but know that if you do, thinking about or reading about miscarriage do not cause miscarriage to happen. If it happens, it happens, but it won't be because you have a bad attitude or you drank a cup of coffee or whatever. It won't be your fault. Know that. And most likely, it will not happen.

2. You will not believe you are really having a baby until you are holding the baby in your arms. Even when they are letting you wheel out of the hospital with it, you will feel like someone might run up and say this is all a mistake, we can't let you take that baby home. Feeling that way is normal! I was hooked up to the Pitocin for an induction and I still could hardly believe that a baby was going to come out of me. And yet here she is rocking next to me in her swing chair. Best of luck to you. If you need to talk, I'd recommend the forums at AltDotLife.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 5:21 PM on April 22, 2013 [5 favorites]

I think that's why so many people paint nurseries and knit little hats, to distract themselves. Assuming you're doing all the normal sensible things, there's nothing you can do to affect this pregnancy either way. Can you consciously 'let go' of your worry? Do you have a cheerful, reassuring midwife/obstetrician to cheer you up?
posted by Kaleidoscope at 5:21 PM on April 22, 2013

My doctor had told me 8 weeks was the "safe zone". Congrats on that! Completely anecdotal answer to your question: pretty asymptomatic pregnancy here throughout. I had a belly and a couple foot cramps--that's it. I didn't start showing until my sixth or seventh month. I was going through some crazy stress, so much that I was having heart palpitations and chest pains frequently. Every time I went to my appointment, I thought for sure that they would tell me something was wrong with me or Baby.

As healthy young women, our bodies can handle more than someone would think. At one point, I was accidentally elbowed in the stomach HARD. I had X-rays and was on a prescription of Vicodin before I found out I was pregnant. I could name literally dozens of instances where I bungled up, but really, what it comes down to is our bodies and babies are surprisingly resilient. The Internet SEVERELY overestimates the dangers to a pregnant woman, and it creates a lot of fear. Eat healthy, exercise moderately, take good care of yourself, go to doctors appointments, and then you are doing everything in your power for anything you can control.

CBT has taught me something wonderful: what-if thoughts are just that--thoughts. More frequent what-if thoughts are not an indicator of an increased likelihood of disaster. We have to accept that the thoughts are there, and they are not necessarily an indicator of reality. But if our awareness is so focused on these thoughts, it gets narrower and narrower, and makes one possible scenario a primary thought. What you can do is notice that your worrying, and notice it as just that: worry. Not reality, not the only thing that could happen, not the most likely thing that could happen.

Congrats on your pregnancy!
posted by andariel at 5:41 PM on April 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

With my first pregnancy, I not only had a fairly asymptomatic first trimester, but I also had an anterior placenta, which meant that I didn't feel movement until about 20 weeks along - after my only ultrasound. As a tall, not-slim lady, I didn't really show until after that point. I also wasn't using the Doppler, and with the other stuff going on, that meant not even my midwives heard a heartbeat (with the fetoscope) until mid-second trimester. Because of ALL this, and having gotten knocked up on the first shot, I was pretty sure I was imagining things.

At the 20 week ultrasound, my partner joked, "Now do you believe you're pregnant?" I totally was! A baby even came out!

With subsequent pregnancies (one miscarriage, one 29 weeks along) I knew I was pregnant before taking a test. Bodies are weird, man. I think the first time, you don't really know how what to expect, so it can feel pretend for a long time.
posted by linettasky at 6:31 PM on April 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yeah, not having the "normal symptoms" is...normal. Every single woman and every pregnancy for that woman is totally different. I never had morning sickness, I was never really tired, I never had the aches/pains/heartburn, whatever. My mom was the same way so maybe there's a genetic thing?

I will +n the folks suggesting that you stop reading about the scary scenarios (if possible) and that things will feel so different when you see that little egg yolk of yours in the first ultrasound.
posted by bibbit at 6:38 PM on April 22, 2013

I had four pregnancies total and have two children. My first two pregnancies ended in miscarriage, neither of which was even remotely indicated from my symptoms. By the third pregnancy, I was fit to be tied, especially when I had bleeding issues. My coping mechanism at that point was to know - absolutely know - that no matter what happened, I would be ok and I would have a child. It may not be this time around, but I would.

The third time was the charm, baby stuck and I am now trying to figure out how to get him to poop in the potty.

Best of luck to you.
posted by Leezie at 6:58 PM on April 22, 2013

I didn't really believe I would stay pregnant (no nausea, few other symptoms) until I realized my formerly unimpressive ass had become a noticeably curvy boo-tay.

Yes, it's ridiculous, but so much of pregnancy is. You will feel movement before long, but quite honestly, it probably won't feel really real until the baby is out and you realize, oh shit, they're really going to let me be responsible for keeping this kid alive.

And that's ok. Early pregnancy is a weird floaty in-between sort of time. Some days you are perfectly fine and others it feels like a bizarre dream. Once the kid is kicking you awake all night, you will mostly be too tired and focused on the finish line to spend a lot of energy on worry. You just have to hunker down, try to quiet your mind, and wait for things to progress.
posted by emjaybee at 7:22 PM on April 22, 2013

Your first pregnancy is the longest nine months of your life.

I was honestly pretty panicked about miscarrying until I felt the baby move, and I remained relatively freaked out until, well, the baby was born. I checked the survival statistics literally every week and my anxiety fell gradually, little by little, as the statistics improved every week.

At one of my early appointments, when I had had some spotting and was EXTRA freaking out, the nurse was asking me questions and I was anxiously answering them and she said, really judgmentally and accusingly, "Most pregnant women are really EXCITED to be pregnant. You don't even seem happy!" If she'd been two feet closer to me I might have punched her in the face.

I honestly did not enjoy being pregnant. I was physically miserable the entire pregnancy, and I was super-anxious about everything. It's okay if it's not a wonderful, magical time in your life! It's okay if this is just nine months of something you have to get through (in your case, anxiety and fear) to get to the good part. The only part I really enjoyed was when I was so gigantic that people would light up when I came in a room because, squee! pregnant lady! (I did not enjoy being gigantic, just the reaction it provoked.) I enjoyed other people being excited for me. But the thing is, as miserable as the entire experience was, I did it a second time on purpose. And that time was miserable too! But the payoff is totally worth the anxiety and misery. I hope you can relax and enjoy it more, but if it turns out you never do, that is okay.

The one thing that did help me relax a little was reminding myself that there was an end date. It was only nine months. You can put up with ANYTHING for nine months. Though it feels like forever, it actually isn't -- it's only nine months.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:56 PM on April 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

Most miscarriages are genetic in origin, and there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop them from occurring. Whether or not that is a help to you, I can't say ( it has been both a help and a curse to me, so I know both sides.). So it's a boon that you feel good! Don't feel bad because you are feeling good!

But i hear you on the anxiety. i have been pregnant four times, one successfully to term. and i was sick as a dog with nausea and food aversions for a every damn one. It means nothing in terms of the health of the fetus. It's just your reaction to hormones.

As for anxiety, call your drs and ask to go in early. Tell them why. If they treat you poorly bc of that, get new drs. Mine were extremely accommodating, even before and during that first loss, which sadly, can be treated as " no big deal" because miscarriages are so common. a good team of drs can help assuage the anxiety by letting you come in earlier than standard, and doing a transvag ultrasound.

My history has turned me into a pessimist when it comes to pregnancy, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing (though does lead to me yelling at people on Facebook who announce their pregnancies at like 4 weeks.) regardless, take my suggestions with a heavy dose of salt.

For me, every preg is a series of hurdles to overcome. with every pregnancy, I got ultrasounds at nearly every visit in the first tri. I have seen the heartbeat for every pregnancy but one. (1st pregnancy lost at 9 weeks after seeing the heartbeat, via "natural miscarriage". Second, successful to term. Third lost at 13 weeks after the first tri screening with bad results and a cvs, via d&c. Fourth, missed miscarriage at first drs visit, d&c. Genetic counseling where it was confirmed nothing wrong, just shitty luck) While its a good sign, it's not the end all be all, and relying on it for assurance could be more painful for you in the long run.

My solution to getting through the fears, and passing the hurdles (or failing to pass the hurdles) set by previous failed pregnancies is to steel myself for shitty news and get reassurance from the drs whenever possible. I am a firm believer in not going wide with news until later, but its also worthwhile to tell someone else not your partner or your parents, someone you can "untell" if need be, so you can talk about your anxiety, concerns, etc.

Modern medicine is a wonderful wonderful thing and they can do wonders with technology. Avail yourself of it. I am currently on my fifth pregnancy, barely out of the first tri, but past all the previous hurdles and confirmed with good results on the magical non invasive maternit21 blood test (tests for trisomys and can tell sex from a blood draw. It's a magic, fancy anxiety reducing blood test)

Even still, the whole thing doesn't feel real yet, and as I said to the drs the last visit, I will not stop worrying about this until I am actually holding a baby in my arms. But until then the tests have taken anxiety from a 10 to a 3, which is a hell of a lot easier to live with.
posted by kumquatmay at 8:01 PM on April 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

At this time of pregnancy, "congratulations" doesn't feel quite right to me - I felt like I would have been happier to hear "Welcome!" or something else that acknowledged I was only on the beginning of a path that could go a myriad of directions. So, welcome!

1. I went through a similar process during my own pregnancy. While tempted to give it another go, this attempt at summary is honest and not overly edited. I'm not sure if looking at it this way will be helpful to you, but it became such a comfort to me, and is still how I soothe so many of my parental anxieties about things I have no control over. Essentially: be happy, for even a temporary visitor will appreciate being suffused by your happiness. There's loads of other good advice/perspective in that thread, too. And lots of us were serious about welcoming anyone else in this position to MeMail us, so I'll reiterate that.

2. I had a similar experience here, too. From what I read, this is super normal, especially in the first trimester. I came to believe it's a well-trod survival strategy that we can indulge or curtail to degrees, depending on comfort level and appropriateness. I've had missed miscarriages before, but they were also unidentified pregnancies...I had to accept that the schedule for doctor's visits would detect the change soon enough, if my body showed no other signs and I couldn't pick anything up myself. It was definitely a conscious decision to just not fret and dwell on it. It involved a lot of redirection in the beginning.

3. The comment I linked in #1 gives most of the answer to this, except for what I would have done differently. My situation was different from you in the partner support department, so that was one thing I would have changed, if I could have: enlisted the support and understanding of a loving partner to enjoy the process with me and talk me down if I got too worried. Aside from the bathos, I'd have dreamed up a fun/memorable photo series to start recording the development - one that would still be appropriate if it became a loving memorial rather than the tracking of a complete pregnancy. Definitely would have had more pedicures. And far more swimming. Maybe would have hand-written the note to my Little Spark, instead of having it in electronic form only.

I'm sending wishes of relaxation and enjoyment to you. Hoping you'll be able to release the unknown and embrace the now. No matter how far this particular Spark proceeds in its journey with you, it is in a place of love. I hope you're able to let yourself feel that, too.
posted by batmonkey at 8:21 PM on April 22, 2013 [4 favorites]

My first pregnancy ended in a missed miscarriage, when there was no heartbeat at my first ultrasound. Now, 13 1/2 months later, I am 36 weeks pregnant with a baby boy. With this pregnancy I never had the first trimester exhaustion, and didn't have any nausea until after about 9 weeks (though it lasted until 25 weeks!). Like earlier commenters are saying, that sort of thing is so variable that you really can't use it as a metric.

One of the mantras that goes around an online miscarriage support group I belong to is "Right now I am pregnant and love my baby." Don't let your fear rob you of the excitement and joy of your first pregnancy. I was so nervous my first pregnancy and, had a really hard time getting excited about my second pregnancy. It wasn't until I started telling people and they were so happy that I couldn't help being excited too. I know the common advice is to wait until after 12 weeks when you're "safe" but it helped me to tell a few close friends earlier than that. The right people will help you celebrate now and support you if things go wrong.
posted by apricot at 8:21 PM on April 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

I had a short chemical pregnancy and then a couple months later a real one that resulted in a real live baby who just went to sleep for night (I hope). I was a little disbelieving and worried throughout my whole pregnancy. But I also had a very easy-going pregnancy. Hardly any nausea, tiredness that came and went as things progressed. Completely worry-free actually. It was annoying how nonchalant my docs were because things were so on-target and uncomplicated.

I exercised throughout, ate pretty much whatever I wanted and slept as much as possible. I had a very healthy and robust baby girl right on my due date. It's frustrating when you keep expecting something, anything, really wacky to happen and nothing does. Just take each day as it comes. Look forward to the milestones and try to put your house in order -- your relationship, sock some money away, clean out the garage and closets if it's something you've been meaning to do. Do any projects now that it will annoy you if they aren't done for a year (or more) after baby comes. Eat well. Put things in your cupboard that are healthy snacks. Drink water. Rest when you're tired. And cross your fingers! It'll fly by.

Best of luck and congratulations!
posted by amanda at 8:55 PM on April 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

YMMV, but I found more knowledge helped me feel better about miscarrying, especially knowing what would happen, how tests worked, etc. It's a Schrodinger's pregnancy in the early stage when you can have very few symptoms, and the symptoms overlap so widely. It's like crossing a rope bridge across a chasm that most people don't even see - you have to keep putting one foot ahead of another and not look down too often.

Schedule the ultrasound earlier if you can. I have had good doctors willing to do weekly/fortnightly ultrasounds for me in the first and second trimester.

You can also buy a home fetal doppler monitor which is very reassuring. It takes practice and they don't pick up a heartbeat reliably until about 10-12 weeks, but they are much more affordable than daily ultrasounds!
posted by viggorlijah at 9:27 PM on April 22, 2013

Hoo boy, I remember being around 8 weeks and being almost upset about the fact that I had no morning sickness. I didn't feel pregnant at all! And the following week, I was nauseated 24/7 and wondering why the hell I wanted some morning sickness to feel like it was really happening. Because I was miserable. Also so tired I fell into bed straight after work every day.

I did do the "don't get attached until after the first trimester" thing, and only started thinking that maybe this whole thing would really work out after the 12- week mark.

And, yeah, I still had a sense of unreality about the pregnancy up through and including delivery and the first few days after my son was born. It's really a pretty crazy head trip all around.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:28 PM on April 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

My first pregnancy was difficult and I was on bed rest for four months with weekly perinatal visits. My little chicken had a two vessel cord and was falling off the charts for growth. It was terrifying, but the weekly ultrasounds were reassuring - I could see her in there and hear her heart beat.

My second pregnancy was a complete surprise - I didn't even know I was pregnant until I was already 12 weeks! No symptoms, no nuthin'! That pregnancy was harder because, since it was normal, I only had two ultrasounds the entire time. Monthly doctors visits felt too far apart to reassure me that the baby was still OK.

1) I stopped reading about all the things that could go wrong, full stop.

2) Like I said above, the second one was completely asymptomatic for the entire first trimester. I don't think symptom checking is reliable in pregnancy - each gestation is just too different.

3)For the first one I didn't have that stress in the beginning, but in the home stretch. I did a lot of avoidance - read trashy novels and watched crap TV. I was on bed rest so I had a lot of time and my trick was to just let myself think about having a successful outcome. Every time I started thinking negatively I'd pick up a distraction - a game, a magazine, the phone to call a friend - anything to change my brain's direction.

Best of Luck!! Sleep now while you still have the chance!!
posted by PorcineWithMe at 9:31 PM on April 22, 2013

I'm pregnant with our second, and for me, the first trimester was pretty asymptomatic until about 8 weeks (nausea). But, you might be a lucky one and not have to deal with much morning sickness. It did feel pretty abstract for me, until I felt movement (16 weeks or so).

As a biologist, maybe you can look at the anxiety around the risk of miscarriage like I did. I was worried at times, but knew if I did lose the baby, it was because something was wrong & it was nature's/biology's way of dealing with it.

I know its easier said than done, but its important to relax and keep anxiety levels to a minimum. For me, I went through a very stressful event during my pregnancy (death of a loved one), and I managed my stress for the baby's sake. I imagined surrounding the baby in a protective cocoon or bubble, protected from the stress of the outside world or circumstances. I knew if I stayed calm and managed my emotions, it would also be keeping the baby calm and hopefully healthy.
posted by hazel at 9:33 PM on April 22, 2013

I had very similar worries to yours in the early part of my pregnancy. I dealt with it by thinking about where this train of thought is heading. Here's the thing: it will never end. You think this is just about having an early miscarriage. But you get to the point where the miscarriage risk drops, and then you start worrying about a late miscarriage. Or a congenital defect. Or something else. The possible things you could worry about will just keep going, even after the child is born and even after the child has grown up. The next thing you know you'll be freaking out when your 21-year-old daughter wants to take a taxi at 5 am. This is a permanent feature of caring about someone: that person could die. So you might want to think about what will help you cope with this fear and uncertainty, because it's a part of parenting that is hard to avoid.

What worked best for me was to get a good support system in place, talk through my fears with people I cared about, and to focus on the positives of each stage. For example, you now know that you can get pregnant and carry a pregnancy through to at least 8 weeks. If you do miscarry, that would be so sad, but because you already know that you can get pregnant for this long, the odds are good that you could have a child from another pregnancy.

Distractions also help.
posted by medusa at 10:40 PM on April 22, 2013 [9 favorites]

Ugh, it's the hardest part of pregnancy for sure! I was lucky that my OB scheduled ultrasounds in the 7th week for all of his patients, so I didn't have to wait too long to find out that I was, indeed, pregnant.

During my first ultrasound, the technician asked me if I had been having morning sickness. I hadn't had any, and so I thought that was her way of telling me there was no baby. (The screen was turned away from me.)

Actually, she was asking because I had three babies in there, not one.

So try not to panic. Or if you do, worry about having triplets. ;)
posted by pyjammy at 10:00 AM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Update from the OP:
Thank you so much, everyone. Your kindness means a lot to me. I'm really glad I'm not the only one who can hardly believe there's a baby in there!

It has been a real comfort to focus on the fact that I have already given this baby as much good care and tender regard as I possibly can, which is very sweet, whether he or she survives or not.

The odds are looking good, though! We finally had an ultrasound today. There is indeed a real, live baby in there (although i'm still I'm not sure I QUITE believe it!), measuring right on track at 9 weeks with a strong heartbeat. He or she has grown limbs and everything. It was awesome!!
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:00 PM on April 29, 2013 [5 favorites]

I was the OP. I've now reached 15 weeks and the baby is still alive - HOORAY! I could listen to that heartbeat all day. Although I never experienced any nausea (not yet anyway!), I was extremely tired from about 9-11 weeks, so that's at least one proper symptom. Now I'm back to feeling totally normal, except that I'm running a bit more slowly than usual and none of my pants fit. All the screening tests, on both me and the baby, have come back looking great (and it's a CUTE little bugger), so it seems I'm just fantastically lucky.

Here's what has helped me relax over the past weeks:
-Writing a little letter to the baby about how happy I am to welcome him/her to the world
-Making sure that my husband knows that it doesn't help me for him to keep his worries to himself. I think he thought he shouldn't bring up any of his own worries because I was already a bit overwhelmed by my own, but actually I just felt more alone if he didn't talk about his feelings. Generally our communication has been really good and I really enjoy the sweet little aimless conversations about the baby.
-Appreciating the effort I have been putting in to taking great care of myself. I've tried to be happy when I carefully select all my fruits and vegetables, exercise daily, meditate, and so on, rather than entertain thoughts about whether I'm doing enough.
-When I find myself worrying about the future, I constantly remind myself that I cannot possibly know what will happen, and no amount of research or obsession will tell me what's in *my* future. I think it helped to really tell myself that the constant search for certainty was flat-out futile, in addition to stressful. This is obvious, but I needed to be reminded.
-Time. Time helped. Obviously pregnancy is never a sure thing, but loss is much less likely as time goes on, and although initially the statistics didn't make me feel much better, I do feel reassured now that that significantly fewer than 1% of pregnancies at this stage are lost.
posted by Cygnet at 6:27 PM on June 10, 2013 [3 favorites]

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