Having Morbid Thoughts - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 08-29-2005, 05:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, let me start by saying that I'm feeling really good pregnant wise and feeling rather confident about my upcoming birthing. As most of you know I'm having my second homebirth. My first pg was rather uneventful, just had a lot of depression (not like suicidal depression but more like the overwhelmed-I'm-gonna-be-a-mother-but-I'm-not-quite-sure-I'm-ready-to-grow-up-that-much-yet kind). Did really well through my 30 hour labor, only started to doubt in transition (all five hours of it) because it took so long and I was exhausted. I was never worried about the birth during my pg. My biggest worry was that something would be wrong with the baby because I had partied a little too hardy that first month and a half when I didn't realize I was pg. :
Anyway, within 3 or 4 months of Willem being born, two other moms I knew who attempted homebirths and had stillbirths (one knew the baby had passed before she went into labor). It hit me rather hard, especially because the one was a friend who I completely rejected and could not see or talk to after my birth because I was long lost in the world of hormones and postpartum depression and she really intruded on my privacy on her first visit to bring us food a couple of days after Willem was born... and I felt guilty about after my ppd had passed. We talked a little before she went into labor but I didn't see her for 3 months after her baby died because she went out of state to be with her family.
So I don't know if those women losing their babies so soon after I had mine (who I really didn't *want* in a ppd sense) had anything to do with how I am feeling this time. I really want this baby. I really love my first baby. I'm not depressed like I was last time, I'm in a very different place in my life. Stress is handled much better this time around. I feel stronger and more able bodied this time. I feel like I have more of a support team for labor etc this time. I'm closer to family this time (all in laws, but that's okay).
Maybe it's that this time I'm a little wiser to the whole process. Sure, I knew what *could* have gone wrong last time... in the labor or development of the baby. There are just a whole lot more what ifs I have this time. Maybe I feel this way because I'm relatively relaxed and stress free (about 80-85%) and my mind wants something to obsess about.
I don't really know why I'm posting this. Maybe someone out there is experiencing something similar. Maybe someone has some advice about how to deal with it/ change the energy. Maybe I just need to hear that it's normal and I don't need to worry about having weird and morbid thoughts about the baby or the birth.
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#2 of 17 Old 08-29-2005, 10:21 AM
 
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Hey sweetie I can see exactly where your coming from & I believe that if I were in your situation I would prob be having the same thoughts. We're on that final road to having our babies & as the time gets closer all those little fears that we carry deep down low come right out to haunt us.

I had a hospital birth last time. I did not have the best experience when birthing my daughter. I didnt realize how bad I was scared of hospitals & babies until we went for our hospital tour last week & ever since Ive been pretty much having panic attacks & thinking the worst.

We did an exercise last night in our Birthing Within class maybe you can try it just to help you relax a little & put it aside as much as you can.

Close your eyes & think of your worst fear during labor or birth. Get a mental image of what that fear is & think of it really close...then start seeing that image get further & further & further away until you cant see it anymore. We also drew a picture of our fears & discussed them a little. Then put that fear to bed sort of speak.

I would also try talking to the baby alot & consentrate on your bond together & talk about alot of positive happy things with the baby so your mind will think in more a positive setting even if only while your talking at first & then hopefully gradually go more that direction.

Sorry to write a book...your going to do great & I think your thoughts are normal
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#3 of 17 Old 08-29-2005, 11:06 AM
 
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Willemsmamma, thanks for posting. I, too, am having "morbid" thoughts and am not sure at all what to do with them.

And thank you Carrie for the exercise in dealing with these fears...I was trying to just stuff my fears down and not acknowledge them at all and certainly couldn't voice most of them. That exercise will really help me.

Christa
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#4 of 17 Old 08-29-2005, 11:14 AM
 
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I'm so sorry you are feeling this way. I've actually spoken with my social worker about it (for me, the morbidity manifests itself in dreams about Sam being electrocuted. Go figure) and she says it is incredibly normal for expectant moms to think this way, especially as it gets closer to delivery. i remember that before Sam was born, I was terrified that he would be born still. I had no reason to think that, but it haunted me and would make me cry for no reason. Now I just try to assure myself that the thoughts are normal, but also to think positively because we have no reason to think anything will actually be wrong, and we are all making the choices to have the best, safest births that we can within our power and our situations.

I have a spirit guide who I also turn to when I am feeling scared. I don't know if she is real or not, but she is the same guide as she was the last time, i think she may have just changed locations a bit because her setting doesn't seem to be as rustic as it was with Sam. Just being able to think about her - and by defintion, all of the other women who will be birthing with us, many in very different circumstances than we will - makes me feel reassured that things are going right.

My social worker also told me about a study that they did at Harvard between people with OCD and new and expectant parents. The level of oxytocin in new and expectant parents and people with OCD are nearly identical - which means that at the time we are having our babies, we are obsessive/compulsive. So these thoughts, these things that we fear and try to reconcile etc are things that we sort of need to do to take care of ourselves and our babies.

Thinking of you.
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#5 of 17 Old 08-29-2005, 01:23 PM
 
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im in a similar place.. with elwynn i had no thoughts of anything going wrong. i loved him from the moment i knew i was pregnant, but i never foubted that i would hold him snuggle him..i felt soooo bonded with him. we had a homebirth and though lots of people around me were a bit worried i felt so confidant in my decission.. and everything went well and i had my baby in my arms, the day after christmas!

this time, i also have been having those thoughts of what if something happens. my worst fear being baby being born still or dying very young. i think part \of it is that i Know how much i love my son, and so i cant fathom my life without 2 or 3 or 4 babies... and i know how lucky i am to have one healthy child and to have had the birth i wanted.. i also have heard a lot of stories lately of people i know in my community who have has still births or had babies die soon after birth and i must admit part of me wants an ultrasound and hospital birth just to know that *nothing* could go wrong.. im not so much worried about having a baby with a dissability. my brother has downs syndrome and he is a great person. my mom nursed him and loved him and id do the same. my worst fear is having empty arms.. though i know i wouldnt have empty arms because i will always have elwynn, right?

but i also think that its normal to think these things. i also really really wanted this baby. with elwynn it was kinda a surprise. a surprise that i wanted very much, but when you want something as much as we want these 2nd babies, its hard not to be scared that we might not get it, you know?

i havnt talked to my midwife about these fears, because i feel silly feeling this way sometimes. i havnt really told anyone actually, except you mdc mommas now.

you are not alone in this momma!

 

 

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#6 of 17 Old 08-29-2005, 06:49 PM
 
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Well, I'm glad to know I'm not a weirdo- I was going to post about my fears. It sounds like it's a common thing as the end of pregnancy approaches- thanks for all the advice and suggestions so far.

Like willemsmama said, I do feel well preg.- wise, and very confident about the birth, and generally not overly stressed out. I keep worrying that my water is going to break soon or I'll have a preemie who I won't be able to hold and nurse and I'll have no one to take care of my ds if the baby is in the nicu. One of our friends had preemie twins and one died, and she's being going though heck trying to be at the nicu 24/7 with the remaining twin and get the staff to respect her wishes- I think that has a lot to do with it- too close to home.

Samsmama- funny but not funny about worrying about electrocution- I am like that with worrying that ds will drown- not in the tub or pool, but I wake up sweating with nightmares that he will fall into a frozen lake or into the ocean and I will watch him drown. I am so nervous b/c we are going on vacation next mo. which involves a ferry ride, and I am already seeing visions of him falling over the rails. I really want to get a toddler harness just for my own peace of mind, but dh won't agree. I already have OCD tendencies so pregnancy and having kids to worry about makes it soooo much worse!
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#7 of 17 Old 08-29-2005, 07:34 PM
 
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I am not consumed with worry - I am not a big worrier generally - but I am very afraid of my baby being born either way too premature and being unable to nurse or having galactosemia and I wouldn't be able to nurse her at all... or having to have a c-section. I know it is wrong on some level but I would feel like a failure if I couldn't give birth vaginally or breastfeed (or worse, both). It's awful because I know feelings like that are unfair not only to me but to women for whom that's happened but I don't know how to get over them. But it would be a horrible feeling knowing that if I didn't live in the here and now that my baby (or even me) wouldn't have survived.

Postpartum doula & certified breastfeeding educator, mama to an amazing girl (11/05) and a wee little boy (3/13).

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#8 of 17 Old 08-29-2005, 09:33 PM
 
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Not a normal worrier here either but I'm consumed by worry this time. I wanted a homebirth and fought DH to have one now I'm questioning everything (it doesn't help that my one gf here in FL is so anal, by-the-books, had one child and thinks she's the pg/L&D guru ) I find myself really having to deflect all of her negativity which shouldn't lead me to question my decisions but I have to admit, it's nagging me now...
On the flip side my best friend from home in Philly lost her baby to prematurity and was a textbook traditional pg with a premie birth.

Thank goodness for the love and support on this board. Even if I'm not posting but lurking it's a good "grounding" and helps me center my rational thoughts.
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#9 of 17 Old 08-29-2005, 11:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So after I posted here at, what, 4am this morning I copied and pasted most of what I wrote onto an email to my midwives. And they both emailed me back and told me all good things. They totally agreed that it is normal to feel this way. I really don't see any basis for where these thoughts are coming from except for, like i posted earlier, knowing those women whose babies died and now it seems like I keep hearing about babies dying. A woman here on MDC beat me (at the TP) to the cutest pair of newborn longies with butterflies on them... just saw that her baby died in utero due to a blood clot in the cord. See what I mean.... it's not like I'm searching for morbidity in my thoughts, it's stuff that's actually happening.

Anyone into synchronicity? I'm wondering if there is some messege here for me... maybe that birth is every bit a part of living the human experience as is death.

I've been reading the birth stories in Ina May Gaskins new book and they've been positive reinforcement for what I have been hearing/feeling lately. I guess I just need to up the positive, maybe like write little affirmations on little post it notes and put them up all over the house. Think I'll try that this week.

Anyhoo, thanks all for being honest, it really does make me feel a whole lot better!
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#10 of 17 Old 08-30-2005, 01:18 AM
 
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When I was 5 months pregnant with Alex, my dad died- and at his funeral, someone told me that it was a life for a life. It took me months to get to grips with that.
What I think she meant- but couldn't find the words for- is that there's a balance in nature. Sometimes, it doesn't make sense.
Unlike most MDC mamas, I don't have my still-born daughters name in my sig. There's a number of reasons for this- partly that we don't talk about her often with Alex and Isaac- and partly that for me to do so here would feel as if I were being dishonest with them- for my daughter was taken from me. This was wrong and unfair- yet out of her death came Isaac, who was conceived, accidentally, whilst she should still have been inside me and whilst I was out of my mind with grief. I can mourn what might have been- and I think everyone here knows how I yearn for a daughter - but my grief is also a big part of my joy, and my joy is a big part of my grief, and both are more intense because of it.
I have great admiration for Gossamer, and for the other mamas who can talk so openly about the babies they can no longer physically carry- but that hasn't been the right path for me. Because out of Rowan's death came Isaac's birth- and in the darkest time of year, when little grows in the earth, the new lives growing inside us are going to be born.
I think that the changing seasons are one of the reasons why I'm reflecting so deeply on this- but then, part of it is also me centring down emotionally for birth. Both are OK.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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#11 of 17 Old 08-30-2005, 10:36 AM
 
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I also worry a lot about if my baby will be born alive. A week after ds was born my dhs sister lost a baby. A month after dd was born my brother and his wife lost a baby. Throughout this pregnancy I have wondered if it is my turn to lose a baby.
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#12 of 17 Old 08-30-2005, 11:21 AM
 
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I think birth and death are so closely linked that whenever one is about to give birth, death naturally seeps into the picture. There is a whole thread on this subject in the UC forum. I will see if I can find the link for it. I personally don't think it is morbid to think about the death of our babies, I think it is healthy and normal. Our society is so afraid of death, but the death rate in AMerica is 100%. We will all die at some point. Our babies will die at some point. Our hope and prayer is that they die after we do, but that is not always the case. I think talking about these thoughts and feelings brings them into the light and makes them less taboo and scary.
I am still not willing to say the I am bringing this baby home. I always say that if we are lucky enough, we will bring this baby home.
Gossamer

Before you were conceived, I wanted you. Before you were born I loved you. Before you were a minute old, I would have died for you. That is the miracle of life. ~Maureen Hawkins~
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#13 of 17 Old 08-30-2005, 12:24 PM
 
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While I'm not consumed with fear, it is there for sure. At this point, I worry about cord accidents. The baby moves around so much I just have visions of the cord getting knotted or tangled.

I think with each baby I have become more and more worried about something happening. Only because a) I know more and b) I figure I'm hedging my bets. I've had 4 healthy babies, I'm not promised a 5th.
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#14 of 17 Old 08-30-2005, 02:14 PM
 
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flapjack, your post was so lovely. i was almost in tears.. i wonder sometimes if i would be able to talk so openly if something like that happened in my life, and i have to think that i wouldnt. it would be my story, but one that i'd only share in special times and places. these angel babies are so special, why they come to us is a mystery, but ive seen enuff people touched by them, only to have them move on to another world makes me believe that there is a reason for them. they have something to teach that only they can, and then when they are finnished they move on, like all of us. it is so tragic that life can be so short, but any life is beautiful. death is such a mystery and such a fear in so many ways, but like other posters have said, im not that afraid of death, for myself anyways,..but for some reason the thoght of a life so short makes my heart ache. and i suppose that i do have an angel baby in some sense, because when i was 19 i got pregnant and i wanted that baby so much, but my boyfriend did not and my life was so crazy and i decided for the baby and for myself that when the time was right we would be together, and i believe that baby had elwynn's spirit. and now he is in my life.. but i think of that baby a lot, and wonder what my life would be like if i had a 6 year old.. and i think maybe i wouldnt have my baby elwynn and that i may not be pregnant now and things just make sense, like you flapjack, with your little son..

williesmomma, i think its great that you talked to your midwives about your fears. thats so much what they are here for.. maybe ill talk to mine as well.. but somehow just talking about it here with you woman makes my fears lessesn.. because life and death and so intertwines, and no one can live without dying.

 

 

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#15 of 17 Old 08-30-2005, 05:55 PM
 
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Wow, this post is so timely.

I woke up last night from the worst nightmare I have ever had. In the dream I was bleeding and passing clots, now, at 27 + weeks, and I went to the hospital and they looked at the baby on the ultrasound and it was making strangling faces and they could not find a heartbeat. In the dream I screamed and screamed and screamed and then I woke up.

I have felt really off all day.

Reading all of these posts, knowing that I am entirely normal, that we are all starting to have these fears, makes me feel so much better. Thank you to the OP for bringing it up - and thank you to all of the women who posted such wonderful moving thoughts.

Birth sure is crazy - creating life is the most wonderful terrifying thing I have ever done.



-Sarah

Sarah photosmile2.gif, 29 - married and entirely love.gif with DH geek.gif. Mama to our one and only amazing Adeline joy.gif 11.05  Forever holding 4 brokenheart.gifs .
 
 
 
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#16 of 17 Old 08-31-2005, 01:05 AM
 
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Add me to the list of mamas with morbid thoughts.

Thank you all for talking so openly about it. I feel like the more I learn though, the worse it gets. The last thing I want is for anything bad to happen to my baby, but to resound what you guys have all said, none of us are guaranteed our baby.

I had my 28 week MW appt. today and she had to go over with me a list of things that could happen before or during the birth including hemorrage, transfer, and stillbirth. I even said, "That really makes me sad to think about." and she agreed, and recommended fetal kick counts and I said, "So it can just happen at anytime, to anyone?" and she was like "Yes. And sometimes for no reason at all." I was left feeling a bit worse and heavier with worry about it.

I feel silly for thinking that my thoughts and that conversation along with watching so many mamas here grieve their losses, could be a prediction that it will happen to me. But I still think it sometimes.

Other than that, I have had a good pregnancy, lots of movement, and good looking ultrasounds. I just won't totally believe it until I am holding her and feeling her be alive. I wish I could get over this mental block!

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#17 of 17 Old 08-31-2005, 01:53 AM
 
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I don't really think that it's morbid. I think it's healthy and normal for pregnant women to be thinking all these things. Actually, I was reading "Birthing From Within" last night and the author quotes Dr. Louis Mehl as saying, "Worry is the work of pregnancy." And I think that this is for the most part true! I don't think it's "negative thinking" to confront fears of death or loss or unexpected outcomes--I think it's actually an inherent part of the process for most women, whether we acknowledge it or not. This doesn't however make it any easier or more pleasant!

This was really brought home to me recently by my friend's loss of her baby and her subsequent hysterectomy and medical crisis. (Which I posted a thread about.) But even before, I have been feeling to a certain degree that if nothing else life as I know it is ending, and that I need to be prepared for any eventuality. For example, I have felt a real need to "get my affairs in order". In addition to the cuddly sweet "nesting" urge to buy diapers and little blankies for the baby, is the impulse to really prepare, basically, for death or disaster or the unknown. I have been very seriously thinking about pulling together a will and a living will and life insurance and a durable medical power of attorney. We are preparing financially for me to not have to work if possible, doing some contingency planning in that respect (home equity line of credit, etc.) So the financial and practical and emotional aspects are all adding up to me feeling like, as the song says, "It's the end of the world as we know it." Also, I think that as my due date gets nearer and the baby gets closer to being "done" and being a separate person that I have been growing to know and love and anticipate and increasingly want, my fear of loss increases. (Not that I ever DIDN'T want this baby, but obviously before getting pregnant I wanted "a" baby and now I want "this" baby, and that's a big difference!) I have felt good in this pregnancy and don't have any real major concerns based on any objective data--I feel like I and the baby are healthy and strong and will be fine. But as the clock ticks down to that time it feels like a sort of deadline that I need to beat to get everything done! And that includes confronting and dealing with that other stuff. For me, planning for the worst sometimes actually helps me relax and expect the best!
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