The birth of new anxieties

Photo by MeiTeng via SXC

Photo by MeiTeng via SXC

Yesterday Anthony and I decided to let the world know that we are having another baby. I am currently 14 weeks pregnant and very excited that we will be having another baby, but also completely terrified.

Discovering I was pregnant made me feel instantly nauseous, and it wasn’t from the morning sickness. I have previously talked about why having another baby is not a great idea but on seeing those two lines on a stick, new anxieties emerged that I hadn’t even considered.

I am more anxious this time around than the first time. I knew when I was pregnant with Aidan that not all babies are healthy but I didn’t really think it would happen to me.

In layman’s terms, Aidan’s disease is the result of vital mitochondria going missing when the cells were multiplying. When exactly this happened in his development is something we don’t know. So for the first few weeks when the cells were turning into an embryo, I spent a lot of time wondering if they were multiplying okay in there.

Even though I was a first time mum when I was pregnant with Aidan, I was pretty relaxed. While I cut out soft cheeses, I still had the odd glass of wine. The rational part of me knows it sounds crazy but the irrational (guilty) me wonders if I did something wrong during the pregnancy. Could it be the cleaning products I used, the shampoo, the deodorant?

I never realised the effect Aidan’s disease had on me and the guilt I have been carrying around until now. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this. No matter what science tells us, I’m sure every mother of a disabled child feels a twinge of guilt and wonders what they did so wrong. The anxiety around this pregnancy is overwhelming and I’m terrified of damaging this little baby too.

Thankfully I have a fantastic counsellor who has and continues to help me work through these anxieties and remind me to be rational or at least teach me to breathe!

Not surprisingly, mother guilt has also played a big factor in my life over the last few weeks. I had only known I was pregnant for a few days when Aidan’s feeding tube needed to be replaced. This procedure is done through fluoroscopy (a type of x-ray), meaning due to the pregnancy I could not go in the room with him when he was having it done. Waiting outside was heartbreaking when all I really wanted to do was be in there to hold his hand like I always do. Fortunately, Aidan had his daddy with him but I still felt guilty.

The hardest thing, and I’m pretty sure most mums feel this at some point, is not being able to play with Aidan as much as I used to because for the first trimester I was tired and nauseous all the time. I felt I was already putting this baby ahead of Aidan, and that’s the last thing I ever wanted to do. Thankfully, I am starting to get my energy back and the morning sickness was so mild that it didn’t last long.

A friend recently likened my life to being in a storm at sea. There is calm sailing some of the time and then great crashing waves at other times and we wonder if we’ll survive it. I’m desperately hoping for some more calm seas over the coming months and lots more one on one time with Aidan.


3 thoughts on “The birth of new anxieties

  1. Congratulations to you both. I can’t imagine the roller coaster of emotions that you’ve both been on. Thinking of you and sending you a big hug from Brisbane.

  2. Kylie, I love reading your blog, you are such a brilliant writer! Again congratulations on your baby news I was so thrilled when I read it last night. Take it easy on yourself, that mother guilt will be there forever. Love from Paul and myself x

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