On Fear During Pregnancy

I was going through my archives trying to clean them up and delete unfinished drafts when I came across this post.  It’s incomplete, which is – I’m assuming – why I never published it in the first place.  But it’s very interesting for me to look back on it in light of everything that has transpired.  I wrote it when I was around 8 weeks pregnant, 4-5 weeks before I miscarried Mara.  I had been reading through the book of Job, which made a substantial impression on me.  I’m a different person than I was then.  I was writing about dealing with what I thought was my worst fear.  Then it happened.  I think I should maybe print this out and forward it to my counselor.  It would give us plenty of discussion material!


I try very hard to feel the way other people think I should feel.

I do not state this truth with any pride.  In an early session, my counselor implied this was not good. That is quite possibly caused me some distress.

You see?  That’s why I pay her the big bucks.

I don’t fault the other people for this.  I know it’s not their fault because when they’re not around for consultation on how I should feel, I imagine what others might think I should feel and work hard to feel that way.

If I could bottle up some of this crazy and sell it, I’d be rich for sure!  😉

This has created dilemmas for me during this pregnancy.  I’m scared.  That’s a well-established fact for me at this point. However, when I tell people about my pregnancy, they usually meet me with one of three responses:

  1. They tell me my fear is understandable or they express fear themselves.
  2. They’re shocked.
  3. They tell me to trust God.

Each of these generates a touchy response in me, one that seems pretty automatic but I’m sure could be controlled if I challenged my underlying thoughts and beliefs.  I haven’t mastered that part of me yet, but I’m working on it.

When people respond in the first manner, it reinforces my fear.  I think, They “get” my fear on this issue?  That means my fear is real! As in I’m likely to miscarry!  Oh my gosh! I’m likely to miscarry!  I’m going to miscarry this baby! I thereby work myself into an impressive frenzy, and every time I feel my own feel welling up I reinforce it with these ideas.

Group two elicits a similar reaction.  They’re shocked?  Wow!  I guess this is really shocking!  And unlikely!  And if it’s unlikely to have happened in the first place, what are the chances I could actually carry this pregnancy to delivery?  I would guess “unlikely.”  Oh my gosh! It is unlikely I’m going to carry this baby to term.  I’m going to miscarry!  I’m going to miscarry this baby!

Group three would seem to be the most affirming, and the fact that it’s not belies my own psychological issues.  Theoretically, trusting God is the way to go, on this and most every other thing.  Yet I’m just not there.  I suppose it doesn’t help that I’m reading in Job right now and God is just… so… random.  Really, Job said it best, my feelings on this issue of trust:

You made me like a handcrafted piece of pottery—
and now are you going to smash me to pieces?
Don’t you remember how beautifully you worked my clay?
Will you reduce me now to a mud pie?
Oh, that marvel of conception as you stirred together
semen and ovum—
What a miracle of skin and bone,
muscle and brain!
You gave me life itself, and incredible love.
You watched and guarded every breath I took.

But you never told me about this part.
I should have known that there was more to it—
That if I so much as missed a step, you’d notice and pounce,
wouldn’t let me get by with a thing.
If I’m truly guilty, I’m doomed.
But if I’m innocent, it’s no better—I’m still doomed. (Job 10:8-15)

I know this isn’t the end of the story and I know there’s a greater point to Job.  But it doesn’t change the fundamental fact that God permitted Job to be wrecked.  Beyond belief.  For no apparent reason.  God never told Job that He wasn’t the one doing the destroying.  In fact, God answered Job with a challenge: “Where were you when I formed the world?”


So, yeah.  The whole “trust God” thing elicits a poor emotional response in me, too.  For reasons I should probably investigate a little further.

It does not help matters that:

  • I am in the middle of what is turning into a 36-hour panic attack
  • My nausea is basically non-existent today, a sudden change from the norm
  • I rented a doppler and can’t find the heartbeat (it would actually be unusual for an inexperienced person to find it via doppler this early; still, I panic)
  • I learned of a really lovely woman’s unexplained 15-week pregnancy loss
  • I’m just over 8 weeks and it seems like a lot of people learn at this point in pregnancy that they have unknowingly miscarried

I had a tearful conversation with Tahd tonight about how I feel like a colossal failure when he tells me I shouldn’t be afraid.  Actually, he walked into our room tonight and I told him I was really afraid and he chuckled at me.

Lead balloon?  Meet Tahd.

I try not to be afraid, but I am.  I just am.  Exacerbated by the fact that I apparently seek out confirmation that I should be afraid and use it to pump up my fear when it starts to wane.  Again, this isn’t anyone else’s problem.  When I force myself the think rationally I appreciate the affirmation and support given to me in each of these responses.  I just don’t think rationally that often.

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