Updated: Sep 5, 2021
No one tells you how hard pregnancy after loss is going to be.
From the moment the word "PREGNANT” came up on my test - I just stared at it. I questioned whether or not it was real. I didn’t feel the same overjoyed excitement as with my first pregnancy. If anything, I felt relief. Relief that I was able to get pregnant again. Relief that I was getting a second chance. But the overwhelming feeling was fear.
Would it last? Would the same thing happen again? Could I survive another loss?
The first trimester was challenging for me. I felt all the traditional symptoms - sore boobs, exhaustion, nausea. While not fun, I welcomed them with open arms - because it was a GOOD sign. I was just so thankful to be pregnant, I didn’t care how crappy I felt. I overanalyzed every little ache and pain and questioned every time I felt semi-normal. Every morning when I woke up to pee, I would check my underwear for blood. I was constantly on edge. Nervous. Not letting myself believe that this was actually happening. Because I couldn’t handle getting attached and having my world come crashing down a second time.
Before every single appointment, I was terrified. I was so sure I was going to get bad news. Nervous of being told there was no heartbeat. Gone were the days of being excited before an ultrasound - giddy to see our baby jumping around up on the screen. Because this time I knew - things can always go wrong.
There have been so many times that I have envied women who haven’t experienced loss. I wonder how different their pregnancy experiences must be from mine. The excitement and joy they feel thinking of names & nursery themes, and browsing the baby section at Target. If only I could walk in their shoes for a day. If only I didn’t know what I know. But that isn’t my reality. That isn’t my story.
This fear stayed with me up until our anatomy scan. That is the BIG appointment - the most important one that checks to make sure all the major organs are developing properly and all the limbs are there. I thought, “if I can just make it to this appointment - maybe I can finally relax. Maybe it will finally sink in that this IS real.” I held my breath the entire scan. Everything seemed to be okay, but it wasn’t until the doctor walked in after it was over and told me we had a perfectly healthy baby that I was able to breathe.
But as with every appointment, the reassurance only lasted a few days. A week later, the fears crept back in. Was his heart beating? Was he growing? I have an anterior placenta so I was told it would take me longer to feel kicks so that also added to my anxiety. When should I start feeling kicks? Was that one or was it gas? Endless google searching at 11pm….stumbling across horror stories. This is my reality.
Pregnancy after loss is hard.
Currently, I am 22 weeks and I am now starting to feel movement! I have to say it is the coolest thing in the world. It kind of feels like an alien 😂 but knowing the movements are coming from him makes my heart so happy. I go to bed and wake up thanking God/the universe/every higher power there is that I am able to carry this sweet boy and experience a healthy pregnancy. I NEVER thought I would make it this far. And every single day, while a challenge, is a blessing.
I want to share some resources that have helped me the last 5 months in case you or someone you know is struggling with pregnancy after loss! It is perfectly normal to feel these feelings and to be struggling. It DOES NOT mean you aren’t grateful. It DOES NOT mean you don’t love your baby. It means you are human, and that you are honest. You are doing the best you can!
Find a doctor/network of doctors that make you feel HEARD. My doctors are incredibly understanding of how upsetting my miscarriage was and they know I am struggling with anxiety. They are available to answer any questions I have, and in my first trimester they let me come in for extra appointments and ultrasounds if I was feeling uneasy. Knowing they were in my corner made me feel so much better!!
Prioritize your mental health! There is NO SHAME in asking for help. I have been under the care of a psychiatrist during this pregnancy to ensure that I am in a good place mentally. I have regular check-ins with them to make sure I’m feeling good. This is so important! Your baby can feel your stress and anxiety - so do whatever you need to do to manage that!
Surround yourself with supportive people who get it. Lean on your family, friends, and online support groups. I have joined several Facebook groups for women who are pregnant following a miscarriage and it has been so helpful to chat with them and know that my feelings are valid. I also have followed social media accounts of women going through a pregnancy after loss, as well specific support pages (one is literally called @pregnancyafterlosssupport ) and that has also been such a game changer! An easy way to find people is through hashtags - some popular ones are #pregnancyafterloss, #lifeaftermiscarraige, #rainbowbaby, and #pregnancyaftermiscarriage
I hope you found this blog post helpful! If it resonated with you, please share! My mission is to help other women going through miscarriage and pregnancy after loss to not feel alone and to also break the stigma on miscarriage. The best way to do this is by talking about it and continuing to share my own story!
Sending love and light ✨
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Disclaimer: This blog does not serve as medical advice. Please consult your medical provider before starting a new fitness routine. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.