For some women and their partners, pregnancy is a time of immense anxiety - not necessarily a time of joy. If a woman has experienced problems or miscarriages in previous pregnancies, this anxiety is often heightened. Many women think if they could just make it past the point of their last miscarriage or complication, then everything will be fine. The reality is, the anxiety often persists or increases until the baby is born; because of this, there is no celebrating, planning – or hoping – until that moment.
I was impressed with a recent essay in the Facts & Arguments section of the Globe & Mail that touches on this very issue. A couple - having had a normal pregnancy followed by three miscarriages - clearly go through an enormous amount of distress during their fifth pregnancy. Like many couples in their situation, they avoid thinking about the pregnancy or talking about it with each other, with their family, or with their friends in case it doesn’t work out. The author writes, “The most difficult thing my husband and I faced was the question of taking that leap again, to trust well beyond our control.”
Couples who have suffered repeated miscarriages often bend over backwards to make sure they do everything right to protect their unborn baby; when a miscarriage happens again, it just doesn’t seem fair. But fairness has nothing to do with it. Apart from eating right, not smoking or drinking and regularly exercising, women unfortunately have very little control over what happens during their pregnancy. Take ownership of the things you can control, and know that whatever happens with your pregnancy, you did all that you could.
In this case, the story had a happy ending with the birth of a healthy baby. The stress and the anxiety can often feel overwhelming, but as the author concludes, “the joy is always worth the fight.”