As we travel the journey of recurrent pregnancy loss, I have often thought of how my emotions cross into the realm of PTSD. Working in mental health, I know all too well about the flashbacks, hypervigilance, nightmares, and numbing fear that those who suffered traumatic events now deal with. War, abuse, witnessing a murder: all horrific precipitating events. I would never be like that. But I am. With every subsequent pregnancy, each ultrasound paralyzes me taking my breath away until a heartbeat is found. Due dates, loss dates, birth dates, test dates, death dates are all ominous as they approach with a fear looming that the same fate will return. I often awake from bad dreams of loss, the babies that never were, and the complications that have vanquished my life. While my day-to-day functioning remains fairly intact, these PTSD-like symptoms sneak in overwhelmingly.
As I follow many bloggers at different stages of pregnancy loss, infertility treatments, and pregnancies, I often wonder how many of us can relate to each other on this level. Sadly, I would venture a guess: all of us.
As this blog post by an OB nurse demonstrates, PTSD-like symptoms lurk anywhere at any stage of having a baby. Bringing a child into the world is one of the most important things we can do as human beings, so it only makes sense that when it doesn’t go harmoniously, we achieve the opposite effect.