There are so many mixed emotions when experiencing pregnancy after loss.
I don’t feel I can get excited… I love this baby, but I don’t want to get attached… Should I keep this a secret until I know everything thing is okay?… Will the same thing happen this time too?
All of those thoughts are very real, in fact, there’s probably more I’m not thinking of right now. These are ones I’ve personally thought of and felt throughout my years of pregnancy after loss. I’m currently 28 weeks pregnant with my eighth pregnancy. I have four babies in Heaven, three on Earth, and Lord-willing I’ll be welcoming another baby at the end of April 2020. I’ve delivered a stillborn baby, carried another who was “incompatible with life”, and experienced two early miscarriages.
Allowing Yourself to Get Excited About This Pregnancy After Loss
If you’re like me, your initial reaction is to get excited. I mean, finally, you get another shot at this parenting thing… but then the reminder of the baby(s) you’ve lost comes quickly to slap you in the face. You immediately feel the need to guard your heart… but then you feel this baby deserves to be loved just like the one(s) you had before.
I want to say just focus on the here and now. You have a lively baby growing inside of you! Focus on that positive…. which is a good thing to do, but… I have learned that is easier said than done. Especially if your previous pregnancies ended in the first trimester.
I’ve noticed I actually have the most fear and anxiety in the early weeks.
- It’s too early to feel my baby
- It’s VERY hit-or-miss if I can hear a heartbeat on my home doppler
- If I’ve had a good day without tiredness or nausea, does that mean my progesterone is dropping and I’m losing this baby?
- Any little odd feeling sends me to the bathroom to check if everything is “OK”
Should You Get Attached to this New Baby
The short answer: YES! You should get attached to the new baby of a pregnancy after loss… But we know that is easier said than done.
My first pregnancy ended as a stillbirth at 29.5 weeks. When I got pregnant again, it was easy for me to be excited about a new pregnancy. I didn’t have any of the first-trimester anxiety. My thinking was the loss of my first baby was a fluke. Everyone told me every pregnancy and baby are different. I reminded myself of this fact and was able to allow myself to get attached.
I thought about this new baby all-the-time. Knowing what it felt like to lose a baby during pregnancy actually helped me fall deeper in love with the new one I was carrying. I didn’t know what it was like to lose a baby early on in pregnancy. The first-trimester fears were not something I could relate to… yet.
But, the more babies I lost the harder it was to get attached. A wall guarding my heart was built in the blink of an eye and it was actually very easy for me to keep the news of another baby a secret. Slowly, from one milestone to the next, that wall would weaken and I was able to expose my heart to love another baby… even with the looming thought that I might not get to meet the baby I was carrying.
When Should I Tell People About a Pregnancy After Loss?
It’s pretty common for people to wait till after the first trimester to share the news of another baby.
For years I didn’t have this tendency… Since my first baby was stillborn at 29.5 weeks, the thought of waiting until I was “in the clear” just didn’t work for me. It wasn’t until later, after I had a miscarriage at 7 weeks and then another at 5 weeks, that I waited until I had some sort of confirmation that things were going well. At first, I’d just share the news with my small circle of people, and then make some sort of public announcement after the first trimester.
Everyone’s experiences are different- which can shape the way we think and react. There really is no one right way to go about when to tell people.
If anything, depending on your circumstances, be prepared for people to not jump up and down with excitement. Especially if you’ve had multiple pregnancy losses, people may respond with a lot of caution and questions. This is OK.
It can be disappointing to not have the reaction you want but just remember- if those closest to you are reacting slowly it’s because they love you, they don’t want to see you get hurt again. They are also guarding their own hearts because seeing you lose a baby (or babies) has hurt them too.
What if I Experience Another Pregnancy Loss?
I have had this question run through my mind more times than I can count. The reality of this happening to me in the past has been very real. I’ve never felt like I was ever in the clear until after my baby was born and we were both adjusting well after birth. This fear or question I have is something I’ve asked myself multiple times a day through my first trimester and becomes less of a concern the more I feel my baby moving.
This can be so hard to overcome. Even on this eighth pregnancy, I struggled with this. I created some scripture affirmation cards to help cope with the fear of “what if” and made them free for other expecting moms, or really anyone struggling with fear and anxiety.
Scripture Affirmation Cards for Pregnancy After Loss
Finding the Words to Take All Your Worries Away
I WISH I had the words that would take all your worries away. Unfortunately, I don’t. It is my hope that if you are currently walking through a pregnancy after loss you found this post relatable. You aren’t alone, I get you and your concerns are very real. Life isn’t always easy and I’m sorry you’ve found yourself walking this scary, uncertain road.
Try to look at the positives of getting to mother another child. You may still have hard times, but that’s OK. Each day is one day closer to meeting your sweet baby.
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