Some pregnancies are complicated. Sometimes from the very beginning, as early as the first three months, a problem is detected that hampers the baby’s development.
Obstetricians, who are experts in the complications that may arise during pregnancy, often admit that they do not know how to deal with the emotional side of complicated or difficult pregnancies. Frequently they unnecessarily encourage hasty decisions in such delicate matters as whether or not to go ahead with a complicated pregnancy. In other instances, professional continuity fails and the woman or couple find they see a different professional at each consultation, with the added suffering that this creates.
These are often very complex emotional situations. It can be difficult to feel both an increasing bond with the baby in the womb and at the same time concern or fear for the baby’s future or for one’s own health.
Some people think it is better “not to get too attached to the baby” or “not to get your hopes up” in case the pregnancy does not end well.
Some mothers who have experienced very difficult pregnancies have told how feeling very connected to the baby growing inside them was what gave them the most strength in very adverse situations. Even mothers who lost their babies have said that, despite everything, they enjoyed the pregnancy, the wonder of feeling their baby inside their womb, and that it was having been able to enjoy that connection fully that helped them through the hidden grief of gestational or perinatal loss.
If the baby is unwell, feeling and knowing that you are loved will always help you to cope with adversity.
It is therefore important to find support and ways to connect with the unborn child even – or especially – when the pregnancy becomes complicated.
In such situations it may help to:
Give yourself plenty of time before making decisions. Haste is invariably a bad idea. Often the rush is brought about more by the fear of the professionals, from their struggle to support in difficult moments than from the clinical situation of the baby.
Focus on the present, on the here and now. Take time to listen to your body and observe the changes produced by pregnancy. Take care of yourself as much as possible. Difficult situations sometimes present us with an opportunity to live unconditional love to the full, even if you have to say goodbye because death comes.
Trust and prepare for the moment you meet your baby who is already so dear to you, even if it will be a time of farewell.
Being pregnant with a baby that is not developing well can be very difficult and painful, but it can also be an opportunity to come to terms with the mystery and fragility of life.