Guilt

Published May 29, 2012 by swanfreddie

I feel pregnant with Evie after what seemed like an eternity of trying. In reality it was only a few months. I knew I was pregnant before I took the test. I’d heard alot of people saying that you will just know when your pregnant, your body changes, but until you feel it, it’s hard to understand what they mean.
I didn’t want to get too excited until I had done a test though. I remember standing in the bathroom of our apartment with my partner not daring to look at the stick. But it was positive & we were both ridiculously excited. We decided not to tell anybody until we had been for our first scan. To be sure all was ok.
I remember not long after finding out I was on my hands & knees cleaning the kitchen floor. But I was being really careful not to over do it, I was pregnant, I couldn’t scrub the floor properly & risk bouncing the baby around to much.
From then on I was so careful with everything, I avoided lifting anything, I ate the right foods, I stayed fit and just did everything I could to protect my little baby growing in my tummy.  I was constantly down the doctors if I felt any little niggle or pain and spent alot of the time I was pregnant panicking that something might be wrong with the baby. I took tablets during the pregnancy to make sure I was getting all the vitamins I needed, they cost a fortune but I wanted to do everything possible to make sure the baby was healthy. I went on my maternity leave 12 weeks before Evie was due & spent most of the time relaxing in bed watching daytime tv doing as little as possible. We lived with my partners parents before Evie was born so I had no housework to do, no food shopping or bills to worry about. I just did everything I could to ensure this baby was safe & I saw it as my job grow this perfect child.

And perfect she was. She was ridiculously gorgeous. I was the proudest mum in the world.

I fell pregnant again 4/5 months after Evie was born. This pregnancy was very different. For a start Evie was still a baby so I couldn’t avoid carrying things. She was very reluctant to be left on her own so I spent alot of time carrying her around with me, it was hard towards then end of the pregnancy to carry a 12 month old baby whilst being 8 months pregnant.
We were also in the middle of moving house. There was lots of boxes to be carried & emptied. If I wasn’t carrying Evie I was carrying household items & trying to make this new house in to a home. There was alot going on in life so the healthy diet I had when I was pregnant with Evie disappeared & was replaced with fast food. I didn’t bother taking any vitamin tablets & I was just generally so much more relaxed about being pregnant the 2nd time around. It never crossed my mind that anything I was doing would harm Freddie. The scans had been fine so there was no reason to worry.

But all wasn’t actually well & Freddie was born with an undiagnosed syndrome causing him to have complex health needs. He was still incredible perfect to me though, despite the doctors listing off all his ‘dysmorphic features’
But this was when the guilt started. Is this my fault? Did I do damage to Freddie when I was carrying a big weight like Evie or one of the many boxes around? Was my bad lifestyle to blame? Was it something I did?  Is it because I didn’t bother taking the vitamin tablets? Did I not look after that precious baby growing in my tummy well enough? Did I not protect him?
The fact that the doctors have no idea what is wrong with Freddie makes it play on my mind even more. If they could tell me he had this or that syndrome then that would ease my mind a bit. It would mean that actually it wasn’t my fault. But they can’t. They don’t know whats to blame. The guilt I feel thinking that it could be me is constantly lingering in the back of my mind, niggling away at me.

I despise seeing anyone who is pregnant with a child smoking or drinking. Sadly it’s something I see quite often. Particularly when we are at a hospital appointment at the childrens unit, there will always be one mum to be outside smoking whilst heavily pregnant. I feel like shouting at them to stop & think before they potentially harm their child. The guilt will live on in you forever. The baby inside you is the most precious thing in the world. It’s your job to protect it and keep it safe.
Looking back I wish maybe I hadn’t lifted them boxes, I wish that I did think more & had eaten a healthier diet. It may not have made any difference what so ever but at least the guilt wouldn’t be there.

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7 comments on “Guilt

  • I’ve often felt like that about my pregnancy with Samuel but then it hits me his condition is genetic, it’s preset. My eggs were already affected and no matter what I did during my pregnancy, which was a super healthy & perfect pregnancy, Sam’s condition was a done deal. I feel enormous guilt though that I gave him this bloody awful condition. There is a constant ache in my gut & my heart. It is so incredibly unfair that there are these pregnant women smoking, eating badly and really not taking care of themselves during pregnancy but then they end up having big healthy babies! I’m no doctor but I doubt a bit of heavy lifting etc made any difference to your pregnancy and although easy to say you must try to go easy on yourself. Try and move on from it as I must do too. X

  • My first child was born with a genetic disorder and although we have the benefit of a diagnosis/ label we have no idea and the doctors have no idea of why it happened – I have spent years feeling guilty that it happened because I wasn’t happy initially when I found out I was pregnant with her – it has eaten away at me for a long time, but in my sensible head I know it’s not the reason why it happened – something went wrong very early and a bit of genetic material was lost and that’s that. But over time we have moved on from that guilt and you will too xx.

  • Feeling guilty is a natural thing although I do not think you have anything to feel guilty about with regards to Freddie – It is also a very negative emotion. But this does not mean I do not understand how you feel. Because the word genetic somehow implies that it could be heredatory I had a spell of worrying and feeling guilty after my granddaughter was born undiagnosed incase it was anything that I had passed on from my side of the family. I was adopted as a child and although I made contact with my birth mother some years ago I still do not know my natural families medical history. I mention this only to highlight the fact that guilt can take many forms but the outcome is the same, nothing can be changed by it, the clock cannot be put back. As human beings controlled by emotions we find it hard to accept that things just happen, we seem to need something or someone to blame even if that sometimes means we blame ourselves. Carrying a heavy child etc., whilst pregnant at worst could cause a miscarriage in early pregnancy but not a genetic disorder – you have nothing to fear xx

  • I have struggled with this over and over again. I worked myself into the ground while pregnant with Lawrence, ate fast food because I was exhausted, had a glass of wine a week, ate all the cheeses and got fat. So different to my first pregnancy. I was in total denial about being pregnant I think because we had lost two babies in between.

    I tell myself often that his condition is genetic but because we don’t really know I still blame myself. I even wonder if it’s because DH and I weren’t in prime health when we conceived him, did we cause something to happen at conception that wouldn’t otherwise have happened if we were both a stone lighter or didn’t drink wine with dinner?

    So hard, when we don’t have a diagnosis, to avoid worrying like this. We look to every possibility as to what could have caused our child’s condition, even if it means senselessly blaming ourselves.

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