March is Pregnancy After Loss Awareness Month, and while I consider myself truly blessed to be pregnant again after two miscarriages, this pregnancy has definitely taken its toll on me emotionally.
Whenever someone has asked me how my emotions have been during my pregnancy, I say it’s like a rollercoaster. Experiencing pregnancy after loss (especially after multiple losses) really messes with your ability to connect and trust that things are going to work out.
I’ve been documenting some of the things I’ve been experiencing over the course of the last 4 months to show that despite being fortunate enough to be pregnant again, it is far from sunshine and daisies.
How emotional it was stepping into BuyBuyBaby for the first time since my loss. I felt like a fraud, like I didn’t belong there, like I was entering the store prematurely.
The numb wall that came up when I told my family. I couldn’t feel the joy they were feeling, just numb. Before, I was afraid people wouldn’t be happy for me, that they would just be concerned. Now, I’m the one that can’t be happy for myself.
How uncomfortable it made me when anyone at my RE/OBGYN’s office congratulated me. I immediately thought to myself, “Don’t congratulate me yet.”
How to answer the question, “Is this your first?” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked that question, and it always leaves me speechless. Like how do you answer that after loss? Yes, if this baby makes it to term it’ll be my first. Or no, this is technically my third. But really though, how do you answer that?
How hard it is to share the news with friends who have experienced loss and/or currently experiencing infertility. Makes it even worse when they flat out stop talking to you.
All the emotions that engulf you leading up to each ultrasound. On the day of my 12-week ultrasound, I was so nervous and emotional that I almost missed the turn into my doctor’s office which caused me to get in a minor car accident. I was okay physically, the baby was totally fine, and no one got hurt, but BOY was I shaken up! Thank God Joshua was there waiting for me and handled everything.
When you start to feel fine and worry that things may not be okay even though it’s totally okay for you to feel fine! Both my previous miscarriages were “missed miscarriages” meaning my baby had stopped growing but I wasn’t experiencing any of the typical miscarriage symptoms. So when you start to feel fine you wonder if something is wrong. The symptoms become a blessing and a curse.
How in denial I was over my pregnancy symptoms. Bloody nose? Must be the weather. Feeling sick? Probably something I ate or I ate too much. Feeling tired? Working too hard. Have to pee more? It’s because I’m drinking a lot of water.
All the different ways I feel like I am jinxing myself. Telling people? Jinxed it. Taking weekly belly photos? Don’t do it, you’ll jinx it. Breaking out the maternity clothes, working on my registry, planning the nursery, any form of acknowledging this pregnancy feels like I am setting myself up for disappointment.
How hard it has been going to yoga. When I’m practicing, it forces me to be still and that’s when all the anxious feelings that I’ve been suppressing come up. In almost every class I’ve been to within the last 4 months I’ve cried at some point during my practice. There have been a few weeks where I’ve missed class either because of work or not feeling well. It was only this week that I realized perhaps on some level I’ve been avoiding going to yoga because it’s easier to distract myself from the stress and busyness of work than to be relaxed and still with my feelings.
That my relationship with God wouldn’t be instantly repaired. My relationship became strained around the time of my first loss, which was also around the same time of the 2016 election, and to be honest, I haven’t gone to church regularly since. I’ll admit, I was angry, and I still am. I couldn’t understand why God let this happen and pair that with the overall hypocrisy that this political climate has brought, the last thing I want to do is go to church. I read a book last year that helped me get through some of those feelings, but I still have a long way to go. And the thing is, despite being pregnant, I have a hard time trusting God right now because of what happened with the last two. It’s my own journey, and I’m working through it.
How paralyzing it was to decide if I wanted to know the gender early. My last loss was discovered when we went in for our 20-week gender scan. Everyone I know that is expecting around the same time as I have found out their gender, and they keep asking me when I will find out mine. I didn’t want to go to a separate place where their sole purpose is to celebrate the baby’s gender because I didn’t want them to be the ones delivering the bad news again.
How scary it is to not HEAR the heartbeat. When I went in for my heartbeat check appointment last week, I went in fully expecting to hear the heartbeat. After all, with my last pregnancy, I heard it clear as day at week 14 and week 16. I had no idea that it was normal to not hear it due to a variety of factors, one of which is the baby’s position. The tech was picking up a heartbeat on the doppler but we couldn’t hear it, which after an ultrasound showed it was because of baby being upside down and snuggled in the back. Even though I got to see my baby and its heartbeat and everything was FINE, I relived ALL of my previous trauma from the moment we didn’t hear anything on the doppler all the way to being transferred to the ultrasound room. It was awful, and it sucked out any joy I had seeing my baby.
How hard it is to plan for the future. A lot of my statements include the word “if” these days because I’m preparing for the very real possibility of things going wrong.
That there is nothing anyone can say or do that will truly bring me comfort and peace. Nothing. All of this is hard, harder than I thought it would be. So while I am “fine” and baby is “fine” I’m working through a TON of stuff emotionally.
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The Lovely Geek is a one-woman studio based in Sacramento, CA working with small businesses throughout the United States.
I hear you on so many of these things. After I had a missed miscarriage with my twins I had so much mental baggage that I didn’t even start to process until years later, but a big part of that was this overwhelming anxiety at every stage of my subsequent pregnancies.
I remember when I was about 12 weeks pregnant with Isabel, getting out of bed at 4am feeling like I needed to pee and making it a few steps across the room before I had a MASSIVE bleed and I broke down – it was terrifying and confusing and so many things hit me at once. Everything ended up fine, obviously, but it was crushing in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
I know from my experience that there’s not much I can say that will help until baby is lying safe and sound in your arms (and then different worries come!) but do know that what you’re feeling is expected and normal. I think of you often and wish you all the best as your pregnancy progresses.
OMG I can’t even imagine how I’d be if I experienced blood at any stage in the game. When it happened during my first I almost blacked out, and Joshua didn’t even know I was pregnant yet. That’s awful, and I’m so sorry you had to go through that.
Thank you for sharing your story and for having my back! ❤️
This. All of this is way I fear if we ever get pregnant again. This is going to sound weird but I have secondhand anxiety for you because of my own trauma. Do I contact her and ask her how she’s doing? No! Maybe she just wants to be left alone with her feelings, you’re intruding. Maybe I should start sewing a baby blanket for her? No, it would be your fault if she’s left with a reminder if anything may go wrong.
I feel for you and I pray that you find some peace. Omgosh, it is going to be hard to find it but I hope that when you’re holding your bundle of joy that you are able to look back and know that you had some peace ❤️.
It’s interesting you mention the secondhand anxiety because I was just reading an article about that yesterday. I know I definitely experienced that too which is why I felt SO much relief every time I found out that person made it to the next milestone.
Thank you for your support! I’m praying for you guys as well. ❤
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, anxieties and deep feelings. I can’t even truly imagine but I love you so very much and my support is unending. Love Dad.
Thanks and love you both! ❤️
Thank you for sharing your story. It really helps to reach a lot of people that are going through similar experiences than you. I’ve also tried to get pregnant and have not had success. I currently don’t have insurance to even go more into detail about what the problem is. My significant other thinks that it may be him. It’s hard to motivate him to even want to go get checked out. I’ve always wanted to be a mother since I was a little girl. I’m not entering my mid-thirties and fearing that I may never be a mother. I hope I’m wrong. All I can say is thank you for all that you are doing! I’ll keep reading your blog!
Oh Bree, I’m so sorry you’re experiencing all of this. It’s definitely been a long road to figuring out my fertility issues, and I can’t even imagine what that experience is like without the support of insurance. Everyone’s journey is different, and mine specifically has been related mainly to diet and wellness, something that couldn’t be figured out with insurance. I started seeing an amazing nutritionist and wellness expert who focuses on the holistic side shortly after my second loss, and I truly believe that my work with her has helped me with this 3rd pregnancy. She doesn’t do insurance and is very flexible with budget, so if it’s a route you’re interested in I highly recommend my gal, Dawna.