Can you be frightened of miscarriage and excited at the same time?

I met a wonderful woman at the hairdresser’s today. We got chatting  and it turns out her daughter is 10 weeks pregnant. 10 weeks pregnant with miscarriage on her mind.

The pregnancy is happy news but her daughter has miscarried twice before and is pregnant for the third time.

Grandma-to-be said that things were different this time. Her daughter was very ill (with a stomach bug) during her first pregnancy and the second time the baby’s heartbeat was weak from the start. Round three and at 10 weeks she was still frightened of miscarriage but the babe’s heartbeat is sure and strong and Mama-to-be is well.

They are “trying not to be too excited” she said. And this new acquaintance and I chimed in, perfectly timed, “cautiously optimistic” we said together.

Frightened of miscarriage

Trying not to get excited

I’ve so been there.

I spent both of my pregnancies trying to stay in the cautiously optimistic zone. You’re excited, but you don’t want to let yourself get too excited. Just in case. Just in case it all goes wrong. Just in case being too excited will jinx it.

Cautious optimism seems like a good middle ground. You’re letting the universe know you’re excited but not overly so. It’s like the right amount excitement may affect the outcome somehow. And maybe if you refrain from too much excitement you may just protect yourself from too much heartbreak.

This is my first pregnancy but I’m so afraid of miscarriage I feel like I just can’t get excited. I hate when anyone talks about the baby. I think I’m afraid to think too far ahead it case it all goes wrong.
– Mia

We had our 12 week ultrasound on Tuesday and the OB said the baby is healthy. The thing is we’ve miscarried before, and I just don’t want to get too excited. Getting my hopes up feels too risky. Having said that after each doctor’s appointment, test result and ultrasound I can’t help but let a little bit of excitement creep in.
– Jemma

Feeling frightened of miscarriage

I had a very small taste of the fear and sadness with my second pregnancy when I landed in “threatened miscarriage” territory.

Frightened of miscarriage

I intermittently bled up until about 5 months I think. I can’t really remember the specifics now (even though it was only 18 months ago). I do vividly remember the feeling of fear, especially before 12 weeks. I was so frightened of miscarrying. Terrified. Every time I saw some blood I panicked. And then cried and panicked some more. It was awful.

And I am certain my small taste of fear and sadness doesn’t even remotely compare to the devastation and loss that comes with an actual miscarriage.

I’ve watched my friends and work mates feel the fear and some have experienced pregnancy loss.

Feeling a bit frightened or concerned about something going wrong is natural. You’re not imagining things, or blowing things out of proportion  or being unreasonable. Miscarriage happens and it sucks.

We are complex beings

The good thing about fear and excitement is that they aren’t mutually exclusive. Experiencing one doesn’t mean you can’t experience the other at exactly the same time. We are complex beings after all.

The thing is, containing your excitement doesn’t change anything. It just isn’t how it works. I knew that. And so does this woman and her daughter.

The universe doesn’t mind how excited you get and your heart will break just as much,  regardless of how much excitement you let in or express.

So even if you’re cautiously optimistic on the outside, let your heart be excited. Feel the joy and the wonder and the anticipation fully. You’re entitled to that. You might just have to make room for excitement and fear at the same time.

Want to know more about the signs and causes of miscarriage?

If you liked our article Can you be frightened of miscarriage and excited at the same time, you may also be interested in: The signs of miscarriage you need to know about.