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Will my anxiety ever ease?!

Hi everyone,

I’m new here, am nearly 14 weeks pregnant after my 5th cycle of IVF. I’ve had 2 previous missed miscarriages and feel terrified of the same happening again.

I thought once I was in the 2nd trimester and all my comparisons through my previous pregnancy’s were gone my anxiety would ease but it hasn’t, not even slightly.

My sickness which I’ve found really re assuring is now easing and I know this is the ‘norm’ but I’m struggling to now rationalise everything is still okay, that along with stopping medications is proving tough.

My hubby is really against private scan as we’ve had them in my previous pregnancy’s and both times been told those words no one wants to hear. Has anyone got any tips on how to manage pregnancy anxiety? It’d be much appreciated x

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Hi hunny I have no advice I'm afraid. I'm 3 weeks behind you and anxiously waiting for my scan next week, part of me doesn't want to go I don't want to hear those I'm so sorry words again. Stopping the medication was hard I thought it would all go wrong. I've had no sickness which I've told my husband I want as then I'd feel like things are progressing. Anyway your not alone in your anxiety I think it's always hard after IVF and miscarriage. I hope someone else has some suggestions. Look after yourself. Big hugs xx

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Thank you, it’s so hard isn’t after everything we go through to get pregnant and then still can’t ‘enjoy’ it. I hope the next few weeks go quickly until your scan xx

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Hi E_05 I only joined this forum recently so it’s really lovely to see a familiar name! Sorry to hear you are feeling so anxious, I don’t think I will ever forget the level of anxiety I felt during my pregnancy up until they handed my daughter to me. What you are feeling is normal, you have been through so much to get to where you are. There is no point in me saying ‘try to enjoy your pregnancy’ as when people said that to me it made me want to scream. The biggest thing that helped me was starting a pregnancy yoga class (YogaBellies) at 16 weeks. It was my saviour and an hour a week where I could focus on me and my baby in a calm and relaxing environment. I found the breathing techniques really calmed me when I felt the anxiety building. Would yoga be something you would consider? I’m here if you need anyone to chat to. Take care xx

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Thank you so much, that’s exactly how I feel when people say enjoy it or you’ll look back and regret it. Did you find you were able to ‘enjoy’ any of your pregnancy in the end?

The midwife has given me details of some groups that do sound like they’d be helpful to me but like you say there not until 16 weeks so I feel a bit stuck at the moment xx

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Morning, how are you feeling today? 💕

I would say once I reached the 24 week mark, I gradually started to feel a bit calmer each week. It helped to read how the baby was developing as each week passed and helped me to visualise her. Also, I know it’s not for everyone and I always thought I would wait to find out the gender, but at 16 weeks my husband and I found out we were having a girl. We just kept it between us and I found that helped make her real! Once I reached the third trimester, especially at about 28/30 weeks, I began to relax more and more but never fully. And I found it hard to talk to anyone about it, even my closest family and best friend, as they didn’t know how to help me or what to say. Your journey has been such a heartbreaking one and you have been tested to the limits so it is completely understandable to feel the way you do, just don’t let it consume you (which, looking back I feel I did). If it feels like it is getting too much and you spend all of your time in a state of panic, speak to your midwife. As others have said, ask her if you can go and see her weekly for a quick ‘listen in’, until you feel able to space the time out between visits. I also went for acupuncture regularly with the same lady who did my fertility acupuncture and always felt some reassurance when she told me my pulses were strong. For the Yoga, you can start from 8 weeks but I didn’t sign up until 16 weeks. Take a day at a time and like someone else said, set yourself small goals. So your 16 week appointment is your next one, then your 20 week scan. And remember every day that passes is a day closer to meeting your healthy baby. You’ve got this 💪🏻 xxx

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It’s a hard one I never had anxiety with my 2 full term pregnancies I didn’t know anyone that had a mc only successful pregnancies. But now after having 2 mc I totally understand it must be hard to let go and enjoy your pregnancy. But think to yourself your 14 weeks mc rates drop loads after 12w you’ve had 12w scan everything looks great and baby is doing well and everything will be fine and you’ll have your baby 26 weeks your nearly half way. Enjoy it xx

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Thank you and sorry to hear of your losses xx

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Hey, welcome to the forum! 😊

Can’t believe your almost 14 weeks already.

Afraid I haven’t got much advice, for me I felt anxious the entire time. I could never truly believe it was real. I think that’s the problem after so much heartache it’s hard to believe you can get a happy ending.

I did have a few private scans, I found them reassuring. More so after the 20 week scan when nhs do no more (unless necessary).

I was so unwell, my sickness stopped at 20 weeks and I was so glad to feel better but like you it also made me anxious (it’s very normal though, hormone levels are levelling out etc).

For me I think feeling baby move helped, I won’t say the anxiety left because it didn’t but as he got bigger and I felt him move quite regularly I did find it quite reassuring.

Try to enjoy the pregnancy as much as you can, it’s so scary how quick it goes by! Xxx

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Thank you, I know I feel shocked when I say 14 weeks - never thought we’d get through the first trimester. I think you’re right it’s like after so many disappointments I don’t want to feel happy and then have it ripped away again.

The hospital have said il get 3 extra scans after 20 weeks because it’s an IVF pregnancy - every hospital seems to have their own rules on that one 🤷🏼‍♀️

Hope you are both doing well xx

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It’s good that you’ll get the 3 extra scans, that will definitely help and once baby starts to move around I think that will help you feel a little less anxious too.

We’re doing well thank you 😊 xxx

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Hi. Not sure if I can really help with practical solutions but although I’ve not had as many setbacks as you (my little boy was luckily from my first cycle) I know what that anxiety feels like so didn’t want to read and not reply.

I always found the reassurance from a scan lasted about 2 weeks and then I’d be back to feeling anxious again. What I will say is, you know that relief that other people seem to get after their 12 week scan? I didn’t have that but I definitely felt more relaxed after my 20 week one, particularly after the time of ‘viability’ ie 24 weeks. I know that doesn’t help now but maybe gives you hope that things might feel better soon. Then you start feeling baby move which helps even more.

It’s a long time between those two scans. I found that seeing my midwife at 16 weeks helped break that time up. She listened to the heartbeat at my 16 week appointment which gave me that reassurance to tide me over until the next scan (I don’t know if they all listen at that appointment as I know it’s not always easy to find but mine did and it helped me to hear it).

I did find that writing things down helped as I always felt most worried at night when I was awake by myself so I just kept a bit of a diary which helped me to switch off from those thoughts after I’d written them down.

Keep planning nice things to do, (especially ones that you’ll struggle to do once baby arrives!) and for me it really was a case of taking each day at a time.

Sorry for the lack of practical advice but hope it can reassure you that things can get a bit easier as time goes on. The worry doesn’t go away but I definitely found that period from 20 weeks easier, at least until I got near the end and then found things like labour and birth to worry about instead 😂 And feel free to post here or PM if you ever feel like you just need someone to listen!

xx

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Great advice - I second the 16 week heartbeat check, it was blissful and I was on cloud 9 after that till like you say about 2 weeks later, then it was just 2 weeks till the 20 week scan. That viability marker was a big milestone too. Setting milestones and targets helps a lot x

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Thank you, it’s a relief to hear someone else say they didn’t get relief after 12 weeks. I keep thinking hopefully I reach 24 weeks and then it’ll feel easier because of the reasons you’ve said.

I’ve got a midwife appt at 16 weeks and she said she’ll listen in, I think I just feel a bit stuck at the moment. I had scans every 2 weeks during my first trimester as that’s when both my previous losses were but now I just feel like the hospital think everything should be fine. So hard that infertility robs us of any enjoyment xx

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Hello lovely- nice to see you over here. Wow 14 weeks! Fantastic. I think once you start to feel baby move the anxiety will ease - that’s how it was for me as they feel tangible and real then - then since my 20 week scan I’ve relaxed so much more; don’t get me wrong I won’t truly feel things are real, that this is happening, that baby is safe and well, until he/she is in my arms, but now at 28 weeks it feels like normal pregnancy frets than infertility ones. I do think you’ll be able to somewhat enjoy your pregnancy eventually, it will happen xx

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Thank you, I think I was being a bit naive thinking once I got past 12 weeks I’d feel more re assured when deep down I guess I’ve always been more focused on getting to 24 weeks. Glad to hear your pregnancy is progressing well, won’t be long now xx

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Don’t be shy at asking your midwife for little reassurance checks. She will most likely let you listen to heartbeat at 16 weeks and if you need the odd check before the 20 week scan again I’m sure she will oblige xx

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Yeah she has been really supportive so far, I think I just feel a bit stuck in these weeks as I had scans every 2 weeks through my first trimester and now it’s just the anxious waiting for 16 weeks xx

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I was the same so don’t worry, you’re not alone xx

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Thank you, definitely feeling less alone now was a bit of a mess last night xx

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I don't really have any advice other than to be really honest about the anxiety with your midwife. I also had 2 mmc before this pregnancy & my anxiety has been horrendous. I just cried at 16 weeks when I saw my midwife, she talked things through with me & listened to my baby's heartbeat. Like others,have said, once I felt baby move it got easier but I still panic now at 34 weeks sometimes. My 32 week growth scan showed his growth had slowed right down & I was terrified something was wrong then at the 34 week growth scan he had caught up again. I guess all we can do is take each day at a time... Time does go fairly quickly. X

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Thank you, I’ve got my 16 week appt booked in and I do plan on telling her how I’m feeling. I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes well, won’t be long now xx

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Oh, also what about getting one of those Doppler machine things that let you listen to the heartbeat regularly? My friend got one but she said you have to be careful not to overuse it otherwise you will drive yourself mad thinking all sorts of worrying thoughts about heart rate etc. Besides that, it may give you some comfort? Big hugs xx

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I was going to get one of them until I was told under strict instructions by 2 Midwife’s I wasn’t allowed. Apparently if you don’t know what you’re listening for you can actually hear your own heart beat or the placenta and later on in pregnancy that can cause problems xx

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You’re right - midwives are trained to use them and to know what they are hearing. I think there have sadly been quite a lot of cases with people listening with their own doppler and getting false reassurance in situations where they should have got immediate medical attention (ie reduced movements or just not feeling right etc).

Once you feel movements that’s the best way to monitor baby and hopefully you’ll start to get a bit of a bump soon as well if you haven’t already which can also be reassuring 😊 x

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Ohhh I had not realised that. Sorry for making the suggestion. I think one of those things would make me go mad anyway. Sorry, back to the "doing nice things that make you happy and relaxed" and mindfulness then xxx

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Aw don’t want to make you feel bad for the suggestion but just wanted to warn people of the risks of using them. I’m trained to listen to people’s chests with a stethoscope. Anyone could buy one of those too and hear exactly the same as what I hear but doesn’t mean they know what it means.

I remember when my midwife used to listen with the doppler - I could hear it but had no idea whether things were ok til she told me! xx

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I had exactly the same thoughts about a Doppler until I mentioned it to the midwife and then she told me so don’t worry, I think unless you know it’s a natural thing to suggest xx

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Thank you, my husband thinks I’m beginning to get a bit round 😂 I actually can’t wait to get a bump I’m hoping that’ll offer a bit of re assurance that baby is growing in a way to xx

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I’ve no advice but just know your not alone. I was a nightmare through my whole pregnancy after my miscarriage and it being my second IVF. I drove my poor hubby mad. I literally felt like a normal person and I found 12 weeks to 20 the worst as the baby doesn’t kick yet and just felt totally normal. I did have a gender scan at 16 weeks so that did help but the next day I was back worrying. I was naughty and bought a Doppler but I would never of relied on that to check baby was ok. Hopefully once the kicks start you’ll start to feel a bit better.

It’s horrible that having IVF etc makes enjoying a pregnancy really hard xx

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Thank you, it’s re assuring to hear others feeling the same around this time. I think that’s the problem you almost being to feel ‘normal’ whatever that is lol I’ve got a scan in 4 weeks it just feels like such a long wait xx

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What about getting a Doppler? I've had a missed misscarriage too and I'll be getting one in a few weeks, it's either that or stress or want weekly scans which we can't afford xxxxx

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Just seen someone mentioned a Doppler, ignore my post lol

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Hi. I was in a similar situation. We had 4 mmc which included a twin on the pregnancy and it was aftet our 5th round of ivf. I found weeks 12 to 20 some of the hardest randomly. I think it was a combo of people knowing and constantly asking questions and symtoms easing. I did find it easier when I started to feel movement but then you panic if it's too much/too little - you can't win!! I had to make a consists effort to enjoy it and you know what I really did. Anxiety increased again towards then end and I even when they handed me our little boy it still felt a bit unreal. What you are feeling is very normal. I can't promise one day all your anxiety will disappear as having been through what you have you aren't that naive. But you have fought hard for this and deserve your beautiful baby and every day you get through brings you a day closer to meeting them. Wishing you a healthy pregnancy. Xx

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Thank you, I already feel more re assured knowing others felt this. I think you’re right about people knowing and they all seem so excited which I find quite difficult, I can’t allow myself to get carried away with what might or might not be xx

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Controversial but I found using a Doppler helped with my anxiety. I was neurotic mess at the beginning of my pregnancy but I would say it got easier after the 20 week scan and I could feel baby moving although I still would freak out if I hadn’t felt baby move for a while. Cherry coke usually got her moving xx

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Thank you, I think now I know it might not be baby’s heartbeat I hear using a Doppler myself will just add to my anxiety. I’m going to speak to the midwife to see if I could go regularly for her to listen xx

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I found it easy to tell the difference between my hb baby’s hb and the placenta. Just takes a bit of time in the beginning. But I understand it could make some feel more anxious. Do what you feel is best for you. It does get easier xx

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Hey Hun. I haven't been on here for a while but remember you from previously.

I wanted to let you know that while things may not get easier anxiety wise (being honest as I really suffered during my pregnancy after 2 miscarriages and on my 5th round of IVF) it is natural to feel this way and please God everything goes well it will be so worth it. I write this while feeding my 7 week old twins 😍😍. I had anxiety before fertility issues and IVF which wasnt a great starting point. I'm here to chat anytime you want to....I'll send you my number if it helps? Xx

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Should have added that it got to the point near the end of my pregnancy I was in the maternity assessment unit almost every day for monitoring as I was so scared something would be wrong, you are not alone xx

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Thank you so much, I already feel less alone. I guess it’s acknowledging the anxiety and accepting in a way it’s okay to feel this way. Congratulations on your twins, that’s amazing news xx

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Thank you Hun. Message me anytime. I'll be thinking of you xx

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Definately. I always felt so alone around other pregnant ladies i.e. At the mau or my NCT class as they got there so easily and seemed to be so sure all would be okay (inside I was screaming 'what if something goes wrong') I honestly only enjoyed the middle 3 months as I had hyperemesis and was so scared of the first 12 weeks then once I got to 28 and found out I had a short cervix I took bed rest which allowed the anxiety to build. I would say don't put any pressure on yourself to enjoy your pregnancy, you've been through so much. It's great if you can but I also felt guilty I wasn't enjoying it, when I stopped worrying about what I should be feeling it was alot better. Xx

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Thank you that’s really helpful, I know what you mean about other pregnant ladies. My step sister announced she’s pregnant by accident and due 3 weeks before me - she’s so naive about it all and is planning a big gender reveal party, most worst nightmare! I just feel everyone in the family is comparing us when it’s not that simple at all as like you I’m screaming inside my baby might not survive xx

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I stopped worrying about miscarriage after my 12 week scan and even more so after 20 week one, however I now worry about whether or not the baby will be healthy when it's born. My paranoia stems from all the work we've been doing on our house and if I've inadvertently caused it any damage by breathing in harmful chemicals. I've cried a lot over it and have terrible guilt that I'm not looking after it properly. It's irrational, I know that, I was barely exposed to the fumes, but I think it's normal to worry. The pressure of being solely responsible for this tiny being is sometimes so overwhelming. I didn't feel sick at all so I can understand the paranoia that comes with feeling 'normal', but you are at the stage where symptoms should start to subside, which is a good thing 😁 I think you'll feel more reassured when you can start to feel the baby move. I hope your next scan comes round quickly. Xx

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Thank you, I’ve got 4 weeks to wait which feels like a life time! I know there’s always going to be something to worry about like you’ve said you now how new worries, I think after we go through so much to get pregnant it just feels so much more precious. I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes quickly xx

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Hello lovely. I’ve always been a worrier and I have been for counselling to help with this. It has helped my anxiety levels and has also helped me to accept this part of me. I don’t think there is ever a time when the worry gets less- as you start to feel baby, it gets reassuring but then there is all this stretching and tightening sometimes. Then baby arrives and a whole new set of worries come. I reflected that i did not want to look back on the pregnancy and think “I wish I enjoyed/appreciated it more” so I try to focus on that.

Hope I’m not sounding all doom and gloom - have you considered counselling? It’s good that you are sharing your concerns with your midwife. The Doppler is really not recommended- there is so much more to baby’s wellbeing that just a heartbeat (I’m a GP and use them at work but have never bought one for home).

Xx

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Thank you, I’ve been having CBT which I do find helps and I use a lot of the techniques but I just feel there’s nothing to give me the re assurance everything is okay especially with all the heartache we’ve had. I hope like a lot of people have said if we can get to 20 weeks I’ll begin to feel more re assured xx

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I have no advice, but just wanted to add to the others to say you’re not alone. I’m just coming up to 12 weeks and I’m really hoping that my anxiety eases (I’ve had two miscarriages) my midwife hasn’t been great about it, but I know there’s help out there when or if I need it. I’ve had one scan at 8(+5) but I’m terrified I’m going to get to the 12 week scan and find out I’ve had a missed miscarriage. It’s so hard trying to stay positive! I hope as you get further along your anxiety decreases. Once you get to about 16 or so weeks you’ll be able to feel the baby move so that might help too. Xx

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Thank you, wishing you lots of luck for your 12 week scan. I totally understand the fear of going for a scan, I’ve always asked them if they can just tell me quickly that there’s a heartbeat and then look around which I’ve found helpful xx

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20 week scan was a bit of a magic moment for me when I finally believed in my pregnancy. It helped that i had been feeling movement since 18 weeks. It also helped to tell people about my pregnancy as they all believed I would have a baby so I started to believe it too!

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Thank you, our family and close friends know but tbh I don’t get enjoyment from telling people. I think because last year we told people and then I had to tell them my baby had died, the thought of going through that again terrifies me.

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That’s totally understandable. I hope you get the same sense of relief from your 20 week scan as I did. The wait from my 13 wk scan to my 20 (19 actually) week scan was the hardest part I think.

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Hello, I’ve joined this forum some time ago. Nice to see you here :) Can’t believe you are 14 weeks now, yesss! Congratulations! For me, 20 week scan was kind of the rating point, but I still feel the stress some times. I believe this is normal for us after going through all this infertility pains and losss and ... I agree with Lizzie, telling people that you are pregnant can help as well. Once the world out there know it, it makes it more real for you and hopefully lower the level of stress xx

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Thank you, I know it still shocks me that I’m 14 weeks. I’m hoping if I can get to 20 weeks it’ll become more believable. We have told people but I don’t get enjoyment from it, last year we told people I was pregnant and then we had to tell them our baby had died so the thought of going through that again terrifies me x

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Hey lovely, totally empathise. 20 weeks here and still freak out about things but it’s got a lot better since my last scan and feeling baby move now.

I talked to my midwife and broke down about the anxiety I was feeling at 16 weeks.

It’s a limbo time between scans and not yet feeling movements or even looking pregnant (for me anyway)

I can say that it gets better, honestly. Take each day at a time xxx

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Oh and I’m an IVF mum to be too in case you don’t remember me from the Fertilty Network! Good to see you here :) xx

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Thank you, yeah I do remember you it’s lovely to see familiar names over here! I think that’s the problem I just feel stuck now, no more scans yet and the midwife can’t listen in for another 2 weeks it’s having to trust my body which doesn’t come easy 🙈 xx

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Totally understandable, it's been a tough road up to this point. I guess remembering that each pregnancy is different and somewhat trusting your body knows what to do is key, but defo not easy! I was still saying "If " I have a baby at 16 weeks still not believing that I would. I do believe it now, I have to! I hope the next 4 weeks go fast for you and I'm sure you will start to feel moments the closer you get and that is really reassuring. It's also normal to not feel anything until 23 weeks too so don't panic about that.

We're all here if you need to vent or share worries! xx

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That’s definitely what I keep trying to say this is a different pregnancy, I’m the say everything is is ‘if’ not when. Thank you, I already feel so much less alone now I’ve spoken out on here xx

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Do you think its excuse the phrase 'out of control anxiety'? You know too much worry, can't concentrate on anything else? If so could be a sign of perinatal depression. I found i was up and down in my pregnancy. Ended up having counselling which helped alot. Maybe something to consider?

We didn't announce till 20 weeks as i wasnt convinced it was going to work. Eventually at 28 weeks (think that's about when they tell you to start packing hospital bag!) I started getting ready buying things like cot etc.

The anxiety did subside. For me it's when i started feeling kicks x

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Thank you, I do have CBT which I find helps with techniques for coping. The trouble I’m having because of my history is being able to rationalise that everything is okay.

I will keep an eye on it but at the moment don’t think it’s for that bad, certain smells still make me nauseous which I take comfort from and am able to think in that moment it’s okay.

Sounds like a lot of people found it eased by the 20 week mark 🤞🏻xx

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My mum said when she visited me the day of the birth i looked shocked. I was still shocked it had happened and our little girl was actually here. Anxiety especially when you've been through a rough journey is normal. The counselling was good as just someone to talk it over with. You get priority being pregnant.

Think i also got distracted protecting the bump. I had a door at the airport security slammed into it at 18 weeks (i got really angry about that, to be honest they shouldn't be slamming doors on anyone so it was justified), supermarket trolleys are also at bump height, so dodging those became a necessity! Commuting into London with people pushing and shoving also an issue. I cried an umbrella and' herded' people away from a zone around my stomach!

And i just didn't like being around crowds at 8 months. Probably all anxiety related lol.

Have you stopped counting the days yet? Like 14+5? Then you count weeks and then you lose track of weeks, then oo oh babies going to be coming!

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That’s totally understandable that you got angry about the door, I would of to! I think I’m very protective, probably over careful about what il carry and I wouldn’t go to the fireworks at the weekend because of the crowds but like you say I think some of the crowds is just ‘normal’ anxiety to.

I still count the days when I think about it but I don’t automatically say I’m 14+2. I think because the baby’s bigger than my IVF dates so up until my dating scan I was never sure if I was saying I was further than I was xx

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