It was 6 months into my third pregnancy that I spotted blood. A rush of fear overcame me, and this place felt familiar. The last time I experienced fear like that was when my gynae said “something is definitely wrong” during my second pregnancy. That pregnancy ended in blood clots that same evening. It remains one of my greatest traumas. Miscarrying my baby and being unable to do anything to stop it. The only thing I could do was wait and hope that my body knows what it needs to do.
“Fortunately” like the administrator in the gynae’s office would say the morning after, my body did know what to do. It dispelled every inch of what would one day become a full-grown human. I did not need a dilation and cutterage (D&C), used to remove the tissue in my uterus. My uterus was clean.
I was no longer pregnant.
When I spotted that blood, I immediately became disoriented. I struggled to find my balance, clumsily leaning on the basin. After that tight grip, I looked into the mirror and said “no, not this again”, with tears in my eyes.
“Something is definitely wrong”, I thought to myself. thoughts came rushing into my head.
“This must be another miscarriage.”
“I did read that some women experience recurrent miscarriages.”
Those voices were so loud in my head.
I ran out of the bathroom looking for my phone. I could not remember where I had put it. I removed my cushions in an absolute panic looking for that damn phone. I needed to call someone.
I eventually find my phone, and instinct is telling me to call my husband, then conversations start happening in my head.
“Do you want to worry him right now?”
“Are you even sure that this is what’s wrong?”
“Wait, what if there’s nothing wrong?”
“Could there be another reason why you are spotting?”
Holding my phone and wondering about who to call gave me a moment of stillness, which was exactly what I needed in that panic.
That stillness led me to Whatsapp where I called a midwife I knew would help me navigate this. Sister Nonhlanhla knew that I had lost a baby. She understands my anxiety, so she was the perfect person to chat to.
She reassured me that some spotting is normal during pregnancy, and I should keep my eye out.
That made me breathe a little better, and bathroom visits following that one left me calmer as I noticed that the spotting did not continue since the last time I noticed it.
This was hands-down the hardest pregnancy I’ve carried to term between the two.
The atmosphere was reeking with loss. We had missed our first prenatal checkup in June. My father-in-law passed the same morning we were meant to attend. Two other deaths followed that one within a few weeks of each other.
When you are surrounded by loss and grief like how we were, it’s impossible for fear to not follow.
That was the source of my anxiety. I was fearing that we might miscarry this one like how we did the last one. That’s what needed my attention. I had to know how to manage emotions linked with fear.
II Timothy 1:7 became the voice I chose should be the loud voice in my head.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
Love doesn’t breed anxiety. Fear does.
This did not mean the voices that tell me the baby won’t make it stop. We just need to learn to lower the noise we least want to hear.
We choose to be grateful right now, knowing that fear is based on a future that hasn’t even happened, and that might happen far differently than how we think.
So, sis, next time pregnancy anxiety hits you, recognise that the fear of the unknown is trying to dictate how you should feel about a current situation.
Choose differently. Consistently.