Anxiety and My New Best Friend

Sonoline B Home Doppler

I’m 15 weeks along today and finally feeling like hyperemesis has released me from its death grip.  That’s not to say I feel 100% better, because I don’t.  I’m still hooked up to my life lines – the IV and Zofran pump.  But I’m actually keeping some food and drinks down and I’ve had some really good days.

Here’s the thing about good days, though:  They scare the ever-loving crap out of me.  For me, pregnancy = extreme sickness.  So if I’m not feeling that extreme sickness, my first thought is, “Oh my God, I’ve lost the baby.”  It’s awful, but I’m not the only one who does it.  From what I’ve read, it’s a very common reaction from other HG sufferers.  Now that I know what that kind of loss feels like, the fear is even worse.  On a normal day, I feel mild anxiety about losing this baby.  On a bad day, it’s all I can think about.  And on a good HG day, I basically convince myself that this pregnancy is over and I’ll never have a baby to bring home.

Up to this point I’ve been having weekly doctor appointments and that’s helped keep that anxiety somewhat controlled.  Now, it’s been almost two weeks since my last appointment and I’m constantly on the verge of having a major freak out.  I thought I would be ok waiting that long, but there’s something comforting about being in the office, being checked on by nurses and my doctor, and listening to the baby on the doppler.  It’s the only time I have someone else confirm – Yes, everything is still OK.  I think I’ve felt the baby move – just an occasional, tiny thump – but it’s nothing I can confirm and it’s definitely not consistent enough to offer any kind of reassurance.

So what should I do as a pregnant woman with near constant anxiety about the losing the baby?  I get a home doppler.  I bought it when I was around ten weeks.  I wasn’t able to find the baby’s heart beat until I was over 12 weeks.  I’m not sure how I didn’t go crazy in those two silent weeks, but I managed.  Now when I’m having that extreme anxiety about whether or not there is still a baby in there, I can pull out the doppler and track down the heart beat.  It’s a magical sound.  Fortunately, I’ve been able to limit my use to a couple of times a week, but just knowing I have the option is a great relief.

Another perk of the doppler?  Derek.  Whenever I get it out, he says, “Hear baby’s heart beat!”  It’s hard not to start sobbing every time he says it.  He was so much younger when I was pregnant with Hannah and he was never really aware of what was happening.  We talked about “the baby” but he didn’t seem to grasp the idea completely.  This time it’s totally different.  Even when we were still trying to get pregnant, he was noticing babies everywhere.  He’d fascinated with them.  So now when we talk about “our baby” he seems to understand a bit better.  When he sees a picture of the ultrasound, he gets excited and says, “Baby!”  He’ll lift my tummy and say, “Baby in mommy’s tummy.”  When we ask him if he wants a baby brother or a baby sister, he says, “Sister!”  Again, it breaks my heart.  He already has a baby sister, he just never got to know her.

I’ll admit, part of me is hesitant to talk to him about it so openly.  I can’t help but worry about what we would do if we lost this baby, too. How can we explain it to him?  How will he react?  It’s hard to find a balance between wanting him to be excited and included, and worrying about the “What ifs.”  I guess, in the end, we’ve decided to approach it in a positive way.  We have to assume this baby will come home with us and that Derek will have a living brother or sister.

The alternative is just too painful to comprehend.

5 thoughts on “Anxiety and My New Best Friend

  1. Do you like your Sonoline B Doppler? My husband and I want one…we just don’t know what kind to get. Is it hard to get the heartbeat? I’m a bit overweight so if it’s hard for someone slimmer, I don’t think I’ll put myself through the stress haha

    • I was frustrated with it at first, but it was just because it was hard for me to find the heartbeat. I read that typically you can find it between 10-12 weeks, but I think 10 weeks is a little unusual and unrealistic. I found it around 12 weeks. I’m not sure if your size will make a big difference or not. I’m very thin but I had difficulty at first because I have a tilted uterus. Now I can find it very easily. I probably would have been better off just waiting to get the doppler at 12 weeks.
      If you want to get one but you’re worried about the anxiety, then it might not be worth it. My mom thought I was crazy to have one because she thought it would cause me too much stress. For some people, it does cause anxiety. For me, it’s more reassuring. You could consider waiting until you’re around 14 weeks, or whenever your doctor can find the baby’s heartbeat easily with the doppler in their office. That way you know it can be found and you have a better idea of where to look.

      • Hi Heather! I am so glad I found your blog! This is my second time with HG, and technically my third time being pregnant (God took our last baby back when I was 6 weeks along). Like you, I am terrified if I don’t feel any kicks or if I am not suffering from HG so much because for me HG=a healthy living baby. My 5 yr old son is so excited and sings the baby lullabies and talks to the baby through my tummy. He keeps on referring to the baby as a he, so we’ll see in another two weeks whether he gets a baby brother or sister! He has always wanted a sibling, and is obsessed with babies! He knew we were having a baby the last time too, and then when the baby was taken back to Heaven, we explained it to him. He was 4 yrs old at the time, and it surprised me that he felt the same emotions I did, he was mad at God for taking the baby back, but understood that God and Granddaddy are taking care of the baby in Heaven (I lost my grandfather last year, the same time I had the miscarriage). It is never easy, and I will always grieve my unborn baby but hopefully this time we get to bring the baby home with us on Earth. :)

  2. You are doing so good, Heather! The proof is in your son’s excitement! He sees this as a happy time, so whatever negativity you may feel at times, it hasn’t rubbed off on Derek! Enjoy this time, especially now that you’re feeling a bit better, and cherish these moments that he lifts your shirt and encourage Derek to sing to the baby! It goes by so fast! <3

  3. I’m glad the Doppler is comforting :) Our oldest son was 2 and a half when we lost our daughter at 34 weeks. You mentioned that your son does have a sister, he just didn’t get to know her. Our oldest son is now 8 and knows all about his lost sister because he would ask us questions and we told him everything we could-like she was feisty because she kicked so much, or she had dark hair like mommy’s (and we showed him the pictures we took at the hospital). From what I see, our son knows his sister now almost as well as we do. Don’t worry, regardless of if you have a boy or girl this time, Hannah is your son’s sister and he can know her through you. *hugs*

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