Thankfully I’ve never really been an anxious person, with the exception of a few times early in my career and of course getting to the airport in enough time to combat traffic, navigate check in and security only to arrive at the gate 3 hours before boarding. I think the part of pregnancy I was never expecting was the anxiety; "is baby ok?", "is that just spotting?", "should I have eaten that?", "has she moved as much as normal today?", "is the 19th percentile an ok size for her abdomen?" - it honestly never ends, it's been a constant monologue of thoughts about how she's doing in there. I don’t think I I’ll ever be able to go to the bathroom again without checking for blood.
Up until I started to feel her move, there was no real way of knowing if she was still ok, apart from seeing her move and hearing her heartbeat at the infrequent scans. I even went to my GP around the 17 week mark; I hadn't had any symptoms since early on in my pregnancy, I wasn't showing and it had been over five weeks since my last scan.
I know one of the worst things you can do is live in a constant anxious bubble, the thought of losing a child is horrific, let alone having to go through that pain. It really has been a mental battle to stay positive at times and feed happy thoughts down to the little one in my belly. It is getting easier as the weeks go by as I'm becoming more aware of her pattern of movements and I see my weight increasing on the scales each time I visit my midwife - which is another challenge in itself, having struggled with an unhealthy relationship with food through much of my late teens and into my twenties.
However, a new and unexpected twist is the size of her, some of her measurements are tracking on the low side and her weight has dropped off the midline it was so dutifully tracking along. I know the percentiles used are a wide range and there's always a margin of error, but in creeps the "what if?"
I've chatted to some of my pregnant friends about the constant anxiety, and they have all been the same. One friend of mine has found that yoga has helped in trying to connect with her little one. Another has been having frequent scans for medical reasons which have put her at ease. Regardless, they've all agreed that feeling baby's movements really has been the beginning of a better sense of security in their pregnancy.