Miscarriage, diagnosis, stillbirth, birth trauma, medical complications.....all of these can take the innocence of future pregnancies and definitely increase parental anxiety.
Often it is the case that after a loss or complication at any stage of the journey to parenthood, the parent can lose that sense of innocence. The mind now knows that ‘bad things’ can happen because they sadly have! You’ve grieved a baby, you’ve had a birth trauma, your baby received a diagnosis, you’ve been in hospital with them….you saw this occur before so therefore there’s a possibility it can happen again right? You lose that innocent and calm thinking that all will be fine.
Often what happened will not happen again; a miscarriage, another diagnosis; but again you’ve been through the pain of it before and when those two lines appear again how can you not assume the worst?
This is the body’s response to trauma, its’ way of telling you to be careful, to protect yourself from the pain you felt before but often even with all the advice medically that it really will be ok the body continues to remember and protect. It’s normal to experience anxiety after a loss or complication of any kind but there are lots of things you can do to reduce the intensity of thoughts and increase your control over these powerful and very real emotions.
Try telling your story. Tell someone what happened and how you felt. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, write it down. Using a journal is a great way to tell your story without feeling too conscious of being listened to.
The other thing you can do is try grounding exercises; these are exercises to activate the thinking part of your brain when you’re feeling anxious and reduce the intensity of the physical symptoms experienced. Examples of these are all on the website; link in bio. There is also a course there that is really helpful on trauma that might be useful if you’re feeling very anxious or traumatized by your journey to parenthood.
The innocence may be lost but you still have the power to equip yourself with all the tools to enjoy every moment of parenthood (I say every moment but you know what I mean 😉)