Pregnancy Fears: It Happened to My Sisters, It Will Happen to Me…

Welcome to the February 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Fears

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and wisdom about parenting fears.

 

Pregnancy Fears

We all have pregnancy fears, it is just the beginning of the worry that we live with as parents. Some fears come from reading too much on the internet, some come from listening to insensitive acquaintances and some are based on the difficulties that our family members have had. 

Pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding have often come with complications in my family. It has been a widely discussed and worried over theme.

They have all had some difficulties.

My mother had two daughters then had two miscarriages. It took her eight years to become pregnant with me and she needed the help of fertility drugs. She also had a c-section with me. Conversely, I was the only child she was able to breastfeed.

My aunt (my father’s sister) had two miscarriages and an Ectopic Pregnancy resulting in the loss of a Fallopian tube. She did have two healthy sons, thankfully.

My oldest sister had a healthy baby but had to have a Cesarean section and could not breastfeed her baby. I am not saying one caused the other just that those were the two difficulties she had. She had a miscarriage later as well.

My other older sister had three miscarriages, one being in her second trimester. She did have two healthy babies but had to have a Cesarean for both. She had such a traumatic and unsuccessful time trying to breastfeed her first baby that she decided to not put herself and her second through that and used formula from birth.

As I am the youngest, I have grown up seeing and hearing about these complications. By the time I was married I was sure I would be beset with the same problems and was very stressed and worried about it.

It happened to my sisters, it will happen to me…

I was sure I would have a miscarriage as EVERY woman in my family had. I had resigned myself to that fact. The problem with worrying about something like this is that it does no good. It puts stress on your mind and body and DOES NOT help.

Seven weeks into my first pregnancy, I started to bleed. I went to the emergency room and left after several hours without seeing a doctor. I was so sure I was destined to have a miscarriage that I decided to cope with it at home without seeing a doctor. It ended up being an Ectopic pregnancy and I almost lost my life. 

If I had been proactive instead of resigned, I would have talked to my aunt about her Tubal pregnancy and would have been prepared for the signs instead of passing it off as a miscarriage.

When I became pregnant again everything went well but then I began to worry about the birth and later breastfeeding.

In this instance I was proactive. I knew what difficulties there could be because of my sisters’ experiences and was determined to find a way around them.

I read as much as possible about having a natural childbirth. I even hired a doula to help me give birth. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to make it there for my birth.

I was able to have two vaginal deliveries for my two boys. I did have an epidural and pitocin for both. Not as natural as I wanted but I avoided a c-section and was very happy about that.

Breastfeeding was so very important to me. It had been my goal to breastfeed my children throughout my life. Again, I researched as much as I could about the Booby Traps that women face when trying to breastfeed and the different ways to overcome the issues that could arise. I talked to friends who breastfed while I was pregnant with my first baby. I read online articles and bought breastfeeding books.

All the research paid off. I successfully breastfed both of my sons for 14 months without having to rely on formula at all. It was not all peaches and cream at first though. My first son could not latch well and I had a lot of pain. From one of the friends I talked to while pregnant I got the tip to use a nipple shield and it work perfectly for me. I used the shield for the entire 14 months and it was worth it.

If you have a family or even personal history of pregnancy complications, it is inevitable to worry and be afraid. The goal of this post is to encourage you to be strong in your fear, face the issues you are afraid of and try to prepare for them. Preparedness may ease your fears and help overcome anything that arises. 

 
Do you have a family history of pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding difficulties?
 

 

How did you deal with your fears?
 
 



Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

 
  • When Parents’ Fears Escalate — If we didn’t self-doubt, we probably wouldn’t care enough about our children to struggle with understanding them. But how do we overcome self-doubt? Read advice from Laurie Hollman, Ph.D., guest posting today at Natural Parents Network.
  • What ifs of addiction — After seeing how addictions of adult children is badly hurting a family close to her heart, Hannah at HannahandHorn shares her fears for her own child.
  • Sharing My Joy — Kellie at Our Mindful Life shares her fear that others think she is judgmental because she makes alternative choices for her own family.
  • Building My Tribe Fearlessly — A meteorite hit Jaye Anne at Tribal Mama’s family when she was seven years old. Read the story, how she feels about that now, and how she is building her tribe fearlessly.
  • Fear: Realized — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen shares how her fear of car accidents was realized and how she hopes to be able to use her efforts to overcome the remaining fears to help her children overcome their own.
  • I’m a Negligent Helicopter Parent — For Issa Waters at LoveLiveGrow, the line between helicopter parenting and negligent parenting is not so cut and dried.
  • My Greatest Fear For My Child — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama admits that she has struggled with not allowing her fears to control her and how the reality of this was blown wide open when she became a mother.
  • Proactive Steps to Calm Parenting Fears — Every parent has certain fears related to dangerous situations, That Mama Gretchen shares ways she is preparing herself and her children for emergencies.
  • Homeschooling Fears – Will My Children Regret Being Homeschooled? — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares an interview with her now-adult children that answers a question she had throughout their homeschooling.
  • An Uneasy Truce — Homeschooler and recent convert to unschooling, Tam at tinsenpup shares just a few of the things she tries to keep in mind when fear and insecurity begin to take hold.
  • Fearing the worst, expecting the best — Tarana at Sand In My Toes writes about fears that come with parenting, and why we must overcome them.
  • Can I be the parent I want to be? — Amanda at Postilius confronts her struggle to peacefully parent a preschooler
  • Out of Mind, Out of Fear — How does Jorje of Momma Jorje deal with her pretty steep, long-term fears regarding her son’s future?
  • I Don’t Homeschool to Manage My Kids’ Transcripts — One of Dionna at Code Name: Mama’s fears of parenting is that she will get so caught up in the monotony, the details of homeschooling, the minutiae of everyday life, the routine of taking care of a household – that she will forget to actually be present in the moment with her children.
  • Beware! Single Mom Camping — Erica at ChildOrganics shares her first adventures as a single mom. She laughed, she cried, she faced her fears.
  • Parenting Fears And Reality Checks — Luschka from Diary of a First Child shares her three biggest fears as a parent – that most parents share – looks at the reality behind these fears, and offers a few suggestions for enjoying parenting.
  • Parenting fear : to kill a pink rabbit…Mother Goutte tells us the story of a pink rabbit that disappeared, came back, and became the symbol of her worst parenting fear…
  • Roamingsustainablemum considers whether allowing your children freedom to explore the world safely is harder now than in the past.
  • Meeting my parenting fears head-on — Lauren at Hobo Mama had many fears before she became a parent. Learn how they all came true — and weren’t anywhere near as scary as she’d thought.
  • Don’t fear the tears — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger worried that letting her children cry when going to sleep was tantamount to the dreaded parenting moniker, CIO. She discusses what actually happened after those teary nights, and how she hopes these lessons can carry forward to future parenting opportunities.
  • Will I Still be a Good Mom? — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot worries about her mothering skills now that breastfeeding is no longer the top priority.
  • Pregnancy Fears: It Happened to My Sisters, It Will Happen to Me… — Kristen at Country Fit Family discusses the difficulties with pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding that the women in her family have had and how she overcame them.
  • Fears — Meegs at A New Day talks about how her fears before parenting led to a better understanding of herself and her desires for her daughter.
 

Comments

  1. I actually had a miscarriage back in September. After having had two pregnancies without much issue (in fact I had both at home), this was quite unexpected for me. Now that I have gone through that though, I agree being proactive and is imperative. We are hoping to have one more still and the “fear” of miscarrying definitely holds me back a bit still.

    Thank you for sharing your story and suggestions.

  2. That is a lot of fear of family history to overcome! I’m sorry about your ectopic pregnancy, but I’m glad you had your two vaginal births and were able to breastfeed for so long — sounds like your preparations paid off! I had a miscarriage with my first pregnancy — my mother hadn’t had any, but I found out my only aunt and both my grandmothers had had several. I then went on to have two successful pregnancies, though, so that was a relief.

  3. I had a hard time breastfeeding, and it ended up being a nightmare since I had to go back to work. Pregnancy and childbirth is scary yet the most beautiful thing that I’ve ever done. I actually host a parenting link up every Tuesday that this story would be perfect for. #SITSBlogging

  4. I was terrified of giving birth, so much so, that I really did not want to read ANYTHING. It really can get you worked up with worry! Having my son was easy but I read about how difficult breast feeding could be and thought that it was nonsense… until I had a really terrible time getting started with my son. We got it to work, though. I’m still not sure if I had prepared a little more for everything if I would be more or less freaked out. #SITSBlogging

    • Yes, there is that aspect. When I was first pregnant I did not read anything having to do with miscarriage because I didn’t want the worry or negative thoughts. When I had the ectopic pregnancy, I kicked myself for not being more prepared. But, it is impossible to be prepared for EVERYTHING. So maybe the goal should be to cover our bases with knowledge but look towards that knowledge with strength not fear.

  5. Sometimes fear works in the opposite way and spurs us sort of into being overcompensatory. Speaking for myself. I think though that this is an interesting story because I work with a lot of bloggers who have had miscarriages and fertility issues and I know many of them really end up feeling so shortchanged in some ways because they never are able to fully believe the pregnancy will be sustainable. They feel fear throughout the entire pregnancy. That’s tremendously sad in many ways I think because this should be an opportunity to be happy and stress free and simply enjoying the planning of family. It is still heartbreaking to me that 1 in 6 couple struggle with infertility and that people have so many fertility concerns and issues. It is impossible to be prepared for everything. You have a healthy family now so I am happy that this had a good ending but I am also sorry you had to go through that. I wonder how many people have ectopic pregnancies? I hear a lot of this actually.

  6. I am so glad you shared this! It will surely help many women through difficult fearful times. Pam England says “worry is the work of pregnancy,” which I think means researching as you did. You really did your homework during these pregnancies with clear goals. And it paid off. I hope many, many others will be inspired by your story.

  7. I’m glad you were able to reach your goals with your sons. I attempted to breastfeed my first, but I wasn’t set on it and we left the hospital using formula. I was determined to nurse my second and did so, with the help of a nipple shield for 6 weeks. I also used a nipple shield for 8 weeks with my son. We’ve made it 13 weeks so far and I hope to make it to at least 8 months, but we’ll see what happens.

  8. I had a hard time breast feeding when my sister did not… I guess I felt the same way as you, my sister did it so I can too, but it was not easy. I got better when my second came along I was much more experienced!!

    • First hand experience is the best there is. You can know what worked for you and what did not. But then you have the issue of babies sometimes being sooo different from each other.

  9. I had two miscarriages (one before each live birth). I also had two C-sections & had so much trouble trying to breastfeed my first child that I didn’t even try with my second, but as far as I know, there are no history of pregnancy difficulties in my extended family, but being proactive is always best. #SITSBlogging

    • That is also the issue sometimes. It may be harder to find advice when no one else in your immediate family had difficulties. Did you find you had a good support system anyway?

  10. Wow – your family has had more than its share of complications! I agree that it can be very comforting to feel prepared for pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. I also wanted to make sure that I felt balanced – I didn’t want “preparedness” to turn into fear. There are so many good books and websites out there that manage to bring that balance. After my incredibly rough birth with my son, I read Mind Over Labor and Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and felt so much more prepared – and less fearful – with my daughter.

    • Thank you for letting us know of the books that helped you. Hopefully others who are worried will read them during their pregnancies and find help as well.

  11. My mother never admitted to having any miscarriages although there was some sort of traumatic event that led her and my father to stop after 3 children. I know they wanted 4 but I don’t know what really made them change their mind. I stressed so much about breastfeeding – my grandmother “couldn’t” and my mother wanted to make sure we would take a bottle if for some reason she wouldn’t be around and we needed to eat so she supplemented which, naturally, harmed her supply. I wish that my mom would have been more open to discussion her pregnancies and breast feeding stories so I would have been more aware of family history.

    • It is too bad she would not share her experiences. I find it helps empower everyone when problems are discussed and advice given. Or just having someone listen to our fears.

  12. I’m so glad you were able to overcome your fears and have successful pregnancies and breastfeeding relationships! My first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, as did my third. My first successful pregnancy was scary. But with the second miscarriage, I knew my body could carry healthy babies and I was able to conceive again without much anxiety.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Pregnancy Fears: It Happened to My Sisters, It Will Happen to Me… — Kristen at Country Fit Family discusses the difficulties with pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding that the women in her family have had and how she overcame them. […]

  2. […] Pregnancy Fears: It Happened to My Sisters, It Will Happen to Me… — Kristen at Country Fit Family discusses the difficulties with pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding that the women in her family have had and how she overcame them. […]

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