Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Fear of Pregnancy

I know, I know. Every woman fears pregnancy, labour, and motherhood to some degree. The thing is, my head and body don't work like most peoples, and from the research I've done, my fear approaches from a different angle.

Most women's fears are eased by the concept of doctors and the hospital being involved. But I am terrified of anything to do with the medical profession, and that is basically where this problem stems from.

And it is a problem. We've been wanting to start a family for a while now, and every 6 months we put it off again. And that's happened several times. We really were going to start trying... well, this month. But it looks like my head is going to get in the way again.

And yes, we do still have years ahead of us in which to start a family. But we always said we'd at least be trying by the time Mr is 30, and he's nearly 31. We're hoping to start a business up in the next couple of years, and I would really like us to have made it through one pregnancy without having to deal with work too. My mental health means that even if Mr recovered physically, I would need him at home to care for me, and it almost makes sense to let that happen whilst he is still physically rather ill.

But will having a baby around take up so much of our energy that it would stop us from recovering further? I know that's a risk we're willing to take.

So, what do I actually fear?

I fear doctors appointments. Getting Mr to phone up for an appointment, the anxiety leading up to one, going to the doctors, sitting there, waiting, talking... It is incredibly difficult for me.

I fear possibly having to stop my dihydrocodeine, especially as the weeks progress. Dihydro allows me to cope a little better.

I fear hospital appointments - leaving the house, the anxiety leading up to it, travelling, waiting, talking. Not knowing what is happening. Not being understood. They will just assume I'm healthy and normal. Not suffering from ME, depression, anxiety, and fear of them. My last appointment triggered suicidal depression again.

I fear not being understood. People not understanding how my body reacts to things. It's fine, we can just do a biopsy! Err... It's ok, you can have anaesthetic! No I can't, that will make me ill. Oh...

I fear antidepressants. I'm considering them because my mental health hasn't been great, but I don't know how they'll mix with pregnancy.

I fear my body shape changing, and not feeling sexy.

I fear more fatigue, more aches, more pain in my body. My back pain worsening... please no. I'm still suffering from itching, and I swear the steroid creams are causing more issues than they're helping.

I fear the fact that I can't exercise, and I can't always eat healthy.

I fear my body not being strong enough to cope.

I fear anything going wrong that could put me in hospital - I cannot go in to hospital. I don't trust them. I don't feel safe. They wouldn't let Mr stay and I cannot be on my own.

I fear having to be in hospital for the birth, or being rushed there. I can't. I would refuse it...

I fear having a lot of doctors/nurses/midwives around me. Looking at me. Forcing things. Not respecting me. Abusing me.

I want a home water birth, though I don't know how I access that. I know I will be judged for it. I really want to go private - especially to a birthing centre with a water bath, and where Mr can stay with me 24/7. But we're disabled - we don't have the money for that.

I fear tears. Stitches. Prolapses.

I fear ME relapsing, though I know Mr will help me through anything.

I fear the benefits people ever saying to us - well you can look after a child, why can't you work?

I fear being judged for starting a family whilst living on benefits.

I fear not being able to have sex for a while after labour. I need sex. My mental health deteriorates without it.

I fear not being able to lose weight afterwards.

I fear being too touch senstive to breast feed.

I fear my depression becoming worse - during and after. Especially as it is directly affected by fatigue. I fear this affecting my relationship with the baby.

I fear that becoming more educated about it all will just make my anxiety worse, because it's all so medical related.

I fear being in my own head.

Now, what I don't fear.

I don't fear Mr ever leaving me.

I don't fear labour in and of itself, because I know Mr will be with me. I just fear my body's strength, or lack of.

I don't fear Mr being affected by my body changing.

I don't fear being a mother.

I don't fear a baby being seriously ill, as I know we can deal with that.

I don't fear it having a negative affect on our sex life, we can deal with that.

I don't fear having a baby inside of me - that's so exciting!

I do want to be pregnant, it's just the depression, the anxiety, the medical profession... :(

I know God will not allow anything to happen which we can't handle. I know everything will be ok. But I'm just too scared.

We've decided to just see how things go. Not actively try, but not try not to, either. Just place it in God's hands, and trust it will happen when the time is right.

The difficulty is, that this feels a form of infertility to me. I do not feel able to have children - it's just due to mental health reasons, rather than physical reasons. I feel grief over this. And I feel inadequate - woman's bodies are built for this, and yet I can't do it? I feel so inadequate. I can deal with most women's fears, because I know me and Mr can get through anything. What I can't deal with is the stuff most women take for granted - the NHS.