There is a special kind of anxiety that comes when a woman has experienced a miscarriage and then conceives again. She feels that any moment, this precious being could be ripped from her. There would be no warning. Nothing she could do to stop it. All over again.
I know this anxiety well, and I fought against it every day of my second pregnancy. I thought that having a successful pregnancy and birth with a healthy child would cure me of this anxiety in future pregnancies. Alas, I sit here, in the early stages of the first trimester feeling the same feelings of dread, doubt, and terror. So I have begun the process of centering my mind on positivity and manifesting peace in my heart and home. These are some of my ideas, and I hope they’ll help you deal with anxiety during pregnancy too.
1. Mantras on the Bathroom Mirror
I looked up some pregnancy affirmations and wrote down one on each mirror in my home. This can be such a helpful mindfulness practice, because you see these encouragements every time you walk into that space. It reminds you to breathe in calm and exhale anxiety.
2. Pregnancy Altar
I heard a birth story in which a woman describes her experience with two consecutive miscarriages and her process of trying to cope through a pregnancy after that. On the day of the week when her pregnancy would advance to the next week, she would place some special memento up on the same shelf as a reminder that she and this little one had made it through another week together. It also served as a collection of memories to ground her and help her feel connected to her babe. I only have one week collected so far, and I decided to pin my pregnancy test to the wall as a visual reminder that a scientific test has proclaimed the reality of my pregnancy. Next to it, I have pinned a simple sign that reads “This week has been precious.”
3. Watercolor Journal
Find a watercolor sketch book. Buy water color paints and brushes. Find markers that won’t bleed under the influence of water. Get creative. This is one of the most nurturing practices I’ve had, not just during pregnancy. I highly recommend you try it, or adapt it to work for the art medium of your choice. Ideas: poetry journal that you hand write with calligraphy, scrapbook each week, bullet journal, va isual journal that you tape in tickets or flower petals or whatever inspires you day by day.
4. Meditate / Yoga
One of my favorite ways to connect to my body and ease the aches during pregnancy is through yoga. I found this wonderful youtube channel that really spoke to me when I was pregnant with Moira, and I plan to use it this pregnancy too. If you’d rather get out of the house and get into a studio, there are a few prenatal yoga options around town.
I also highly recommend you find a meditation practice. My favorite has come to me through a platform called Expectful. I have their app, and I love that they have meditations for every phase of a woman’s life: trying to conceive, different trimesters, post partum, and loss. They have categories for mind, body, emotional health, as well as couples’ meditations.
5. Tell Someone
Anyone. As many or as little people as you want. Get someone in on the secret with you besides your partner. There is no such thing as “out of the woods” when it comes to miscarriage and pregnancy loss. It is painful and terrible and so incredibly sad to go through a miscarriage; it is worse to do it without support. Here’s a small collection of online communities and pages dedicated to shedding light on miscarriage and pregnancy after loss. I have found so much solace in their company.
You can do this. Your body is capable and beautiful. Your mind is your tool. Your baby is your companion. Take it week by week. One day at a time.