on the right side of the image, a woman with brown hair in a gray long sleeve shirt and light blue jeans hugging her knees, looking down in anxiety

When You Feel Scared to TTC and Be Pregnant Again

Too many of our community members, here at Ruvelle, have been waved off by providers that they’re being “anxious”. They’re told to “just relax” because “everything is fine”. However, nearly all of our community members at Ruvelle have lived experiences that counters this minimizing advice. 

In previous pregnancies they tried to get their providers’ attention because they could feel something was wrong. They raised alarms, asked for additional appointments and monitoring, only to be waved off because test results were “normal” or because it was “too early” for such a symptom to arise. Essentially, their lived experience was ignored

It’s not anxiety.

The mistrust in the medical system, compounded with having experienced some of the most difficult, heartbreaking things on their family-building journey, has not left them feeling anxious. The worries they feel about their future pregnancy is not anxiety. This is a fear of a past lived experience repeating itself.

There’s a difference between being anxious about what could happen in your future pregnancy and being scared about the past repeating itself. The distinction lies in the difference between anxiety and traumatic stress.

Why is this distinction important?

Primarily, this distinction is important because traumatic stress does not respond to anxiety management techniques. Traumatic stress is when your body was unable to complete the threat cycle so your  body functions as if that threat is still affecting you, to this day, at this very moment.

Neuro-endo-immune dysregulation that happens when we live with the fear from traumatic stress impacts reproductive and pregnancy health. Research has tied it to increased risk of hormone imbalance, inflammation, preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, preterm contractions, gestational diabetes , low birthweight babies & even preterm delivery. (See Pregnancy Brain for deeper explanation of physiology & citations.)

This is why supporting neuro-endo-immune health before and during pregnancy is so important. Not only is it a powerful way to add to your prenatal care to reduce risk of pregnancy complications, but it has shown it can even help protect against postpartum mood disorders.

An important question to ask yourself

When your medical providers, loved ones, or even the community have repeatedly sent you messages to “calm down” or “just be positive”, it’s very easy to internalize the minimization for yourself. You begin to doubt your reality, question if you’re being too negative. 

However, at Ruvelle, we encourage our community members to ask themselves a very important question to combat this self minimization:

How does my fear make perfect sense given what I’ve been through?

We encourage you to dive deep and really show yourself how much evidence there is that your fear of TTC or being pregnant after what you’ve been through is fully justified. Of course justified doesn’t mean that we live with that fear or accept that there’s nothing we can do about it.

But the first step is in removing the judgment about your fear of a future pregnancy or pregnancy after loss, preterm birth, or complications. The first step is in fully and completely owning what how you feel makes perfect sense. For guidance on how to do this, we encourage you to work through the 28-day guided Body Language Journal.

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