Tag Archives: pregnancy after loss

Continuing the Conversation

I want to keep sharing other people’s stories or articles from around the internet this year, so here are three new posts to share.

Couple shares their infertility struggles to encourage others trying to conceive

Beautiful story of the Brattons who had waited ten years before they were able to have their son. And now they encourage others who are waiting. This is part of what the community is all about.

Why Miscarriages Should Be in All Sex Ed Lesson Plans

Yes. This is what I’ve been saying for years, and I’m glad there are bigger voices advocating for this, too.

These Miscarriage Empathy Cards Break Down The Taboo Of Pregnancy Loss

These are great cards for those going through pregnancy loss. In addition to listening and supporting friends through loss, these cards say appropriate things for the situation, in my opinion.

If you have never experienced pregnancy loss or infertility, I can guarantee there is someone in your life who has.  While the above stories may not be the same experiences for everyone, they can definitely open that window to more understanding and empathy for what everyone goes through.  And for those of you who are in the midst of these unknowns or losses, you are not alone.  May these words uplift and encourage you today.

Do you have any posts or articles that have touched you or compelled you to share?

Continuing the Conversation

I want to keep sharing other people’s stories or articles from around the internet this year, so here are three new posts to share.

Families mourning pregnancy and infant loss hit with costly bills

Something I don’t see discussed as often is the actual financial cost of pregnancy loss. CBS news did a story on this, and I’m glad to see people speaking up about it. Not just the hospital bills, but at least in my case, we also had cremation bills as well.

Infertility: Other people’s pregnancies

This is a great article written for women going through pregnancy loss. A lot of great advice.

What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Secondary Infertility

Another great article on Huffington Personal that shares a journey with secondary infertility. Any time I find a story like this, it’s a definite must-share. I know that someone who may read this may also relate to her story.

If you have never experienced pregnancy loss or infertility, I can guarantee there is someone in your life who has.  While the above stories may not be the same experiences for everyone, they can definitely open that window to more understanding and empathy for what everyone goes through.  And for those of you who are in the midst of these unknowns or losses, you are not alone.  May these words uplift and encourage you today.

Do you have any posts or articles that have touched you or compelled you to share?

When Are You Having Another?

It felt like every week I was at the grocery store. I would pull into a cashier’s lane, load my groceries on the conveyor belt, and pull my cart towards the end. One look at my precious boy’s face, and I got all the coos and oohs and aahs. “What pretty eyes.” “He’s so sweet.” “He’s so cute.” “He’s so good.”

And then the next question inevitably came. “When are you going to have another?”

Even though the question came every week, it still caught me off guard. It took me five years to bring this little boy home. Through unknowns and losses. Getting pregnant, for me, is a gamble. It’s going face first into massive unknowns. It’s a huge leap of literal faith to get to the other side of a pregnancy.

And they are asking me to do it again.

Of course, they don’t know my story. Sometimes, I give them a TL;DR version, impressing upon the fact that it’s scary for me to get pregnant. It doesn’t mean I won’t do it again. It just means that there are a lot of steps between here and there.

Sometimes, that helps. And sometimes it just fuels more uncomfortable questions while I’m trying to type in my member rewards number and pay for my groceries. They are asking me to do something I have little to no control over. But pregnancy isn’t talked about that way. It’s talked about like “if you stare at your husband too long, you get pregnant,” and “if you get pregnant, you have a baby.” When it doesn’t work that way for a lot of women. At. All.

I wouldn’t walk away so annoyed if I didn’t know that there were other things to talk about in the world. Weather. Groceries I’m buying. Even how old my son is or what our plans are for the weekend. Fun trivia facts. I might even delve into politics and religion if it meant avoiding the baby talk.

Actually, most of the time, I’m not annoyed. I know that our culture has made it okay for women to be asked about their reproductive decisions, and that it’s okay to make judgment calls on these decisions. Even though these really aren’t okay, it’s hard to make a big ship turn around quickly.

That’s why I keep writing about this. Because our culture has made these questions and comments common, it can feel isolating when you can’t answer them with the common answers and reactions. But you aren’t alone. And maybe one day, one interaction at a time, we might change the conversation. Even in the grocery line.

Continuing the Conversation

I want to keep sharing other people’s stories or articles from around the internet this year, so here are three new posts to share.

Women Are Demanding Miscarriages be Part of School’s Sex Education Curriculum

This is happening in Scotland after an outcry that a miscarriage depicted on a TV show wasn’t realistic. And it was actually the outcry that was misinformed. Personally, I would love there to be more of a conversation about miscarriages and pregnancy loss in the sex education curriculum. Even when I took a class in high school on child development from the womb to toddler age, loss was not even discussed.

We Need To Talk About Men And Miscarriage

While I don’t think there is a whole lot of conversation around pregnancy loss to begin with, there is even less about how men deal with the loss. I know my husband grieves our losses, too, and I appreciate studies and articles like this one.

MEN USE THESE 4 METAPHORS TO DESCRIBE MISCARRIAGE

Going along with the above article, this one in particular focuses on how men perceive their role in a pregnancy loss – as a rock, guard, repairman, or secondary character. And that these particular roles show the fact the men feel they have to put their grief and feelings aside for their partner. And how that needs to change.

If you have never experienced pregnancy loss or infertility, I can guarantee there is someone in your life who has.  While the above stories may not be the same experiences for everyone, they can definitely open that window to more understanding and empathy for what everyone goes through.  And for those of you who are in the midst of these unknowns or losses, you are not alone.  May these words uplift and encourage you today.

Do you have any posts or articles that have touched you or compelled you to share?

Continuing the Conversation

I want to keep sharing other people’s stories or articles from around the internet this year, so here are three new posts to share.

‘Why I kept quiet about my infertility for five years’

Kayleigh Evans and her husband had been trying to get pregnant for three years when she decided to record small video blogs in secret. After a full five years of waiting, she finally got pregnant with their two month old son. And now she has created a compilation of these videos to share with others what it’s like to go through infertility.

7 Tips for Keeping Your Relationship Strong When Dealing With Infertility

Some really good insight into keeping your relationship healthy when you are dealing with either infertility or pregnancy loss. A lot of it is on different ways communication can help and hurt.

Woman shocked by friend’s incredibly ‘cruel’ comment after her miscarriage

This was an article about an anonymous post on Reddit. Unfortunately, this kind of conversation happens so much more often than most people realize. But I wanted to share it so that anyone who experiences things like this know that they aren’t alone (and anyone who says things like this might stop saying it).

If you have never experienced pregnancy loss or infertility, I can guarantee there is someone in your life who has.  While the above stories may not be the same experiences for everyone, they can definitely open that window to more understanding and empathy for what everyone goes through.  And for those of you who are in the midst of these unknowns or losses, you are not alone.  May these words uplift and encourage you today.

Do you have any posts or articles that have touched you or compelled you to share?

Continuing the Conversation

I want to keep sharing other people’s stories or articles from around the internet this year, so here are three new posts to share.

How Infertility and Depression Made Me Reconsider My Parenting Dream

This is a beautiful, personal article about the reasons why Stephanie Auteri decided not having another child after dealing with over three years of infertility, an IUI, and finally having her little girl. Following the birth of her daughter, her depression became unmanageable without medication. It is well written and a reminder that we all have the right to respect for our family decisions.

Do you silently worry that your miscarriage was your fault?

Another really great post. I think every woman goes through this line of thinking after a miscarriage. I know I did. Some of the questions that this author listed were the same ones I asked myself. And it doesn’t help that there are so many different opinions on what a healthy pregnancy should look like (outside of the advice of my doctor, that is). This article has some good, helpful insight.

Pregnancy After Miscarriage: Why I Can’t Shake the Fear of Another Pregnancy Loss

Oh my goodness, this seems to be the week for articles to come out that hit so close to home. The first sentence of this article actually articulates the feelings I had at 8 months. And it was so much easier to write about it or do a video instead of talking about it in person. It’s why I didn’t have a baby shower before he was born. So, so good. Please read!

If you have never experienced pregnancy loss or infertility, I can guarantee there is someone in your life who has.  While the above stories may not be the same experiences for everyone, they can definitely open that window to more understanding and empathy for what everyone goes through.  And for those of you who are in the midst of these unknowns or losses, you are not alone.  May these words uplift and encourage you today.

Do you have any posts or articles that have touched you or compelled you to share?

Some A’s for the Q’s

The past few months since our son was born, I’ve gotten a couple questions asked that I thought would be good to address on here as well.  Having a child after pregnancy loss tends to color the world just a little bit differently, and seemingly innocuous questions may end up being more awkward than intended.  So, here’s my perspective.

Is this your first?  

I have gotten this question at the pharmacy, Wal-mart, walking on the trails, at the car service place.  Just about everywhere.  It comes up right after “Oh, he’s so cute!”  And it’s usually a stranger who doesn’t know my story.

Even people who do know my story refer to Sam as my firstborn which is a weird conundrum.  Because he’s technically not.  I literally gave birth to two precious girls in the hospital.  But they were stillborn.

I know this has been a problem for several pregnancy loss moms because this comes up on the forums at least once every 6 months.  We want to honor our children who passed away, but somehow, it’s controversial to do so.  And awkward.  And we don’t want the other person to feel bad for asking such a simple question.

Basically, I say, “I had two stillbirths before having this one” and leave it at that.  Sometimes it opens up the most beautiful conversations, sometimes it doesn’t.  But that’s okay.  (I know that for some moms this is really hard to talk about, especially around anniversaries.  So if you don’t mention your other kids sometimes, that’s okay too.)

Are you going to have more children?

I was dumbfounded the first time this topic was brought up because I hadn’t even physically recovered from having my son yet!

The short answer is not right now.  We are still figuring out this little boy.  I’m still dealing with postpartum anxiety.  We are taking this life day by day, enjoying the good moments and surviving and learning from the bad ones.

Even if we go other routes to add children to our family, like adoption, nothing is easy and nothing is guaranteed.  And all of it is emotional.  And there is so much more processing and working through my emotions that I need to do.

Do I want my son to have a sibling on this earth (in addition to his two sisters in heaven)?  Yes.  Do I know how or when that will happen?  No.  But I can confidently say not today.

If you get pregnant again, will it be high risk?

So, again, short answer, yes.  Even if I never had pregnancy losses, I am now in the Advanced Maternal Age category, so they would all be a high risk anyway.

But I realize that the question is really, “Is it over?

And the answer is no.  This last pregnancy gave no answers to why I lost my two daughters.  Perhaps it is a gender thing, but it may not be.  The reality is that it could still go either way.  It is another reason I need to spend some time getting emotionally ready if we do decide to try again for another baby.

Of course, these are my answers to these questions.  Other moms could have different answers.  And my answers could change in the future.  I know that these questions come from a place of love, but be careful how you ask and be ready for the mom not to answer.  And I would also suggest not asking complete strangers these questions, but instead just tell them they have a beautiful baby and that they are a beautiful mom.  That’s really the best thing you could do.

My Experience with PostPartum Anxiety

I waited five long years.  Through miscarriage and stillbirth, I finally gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy.  I crossed the finish line.

Or so I had thought.

When I reached that finish line, I looked up and saw I had several more laps to go.  And, guys, I was exhausted.  Emotionally.  Physically.  Mentally.  Not even considering the following weeks of sleep deprivation and hormonal letdown.  Anxiety was still present.

But I chalked it up to the baby blues.  I waited until the hormones leveled out more or less.  Michael took the night shift so I could get more sleep.  Even after that, I still had those nights when those thoughts wouldn’t leave me.  The thought that wouldn’t let me sleep.

“Your baby is going to die tonight.”

It was terrifying.  I would be up every hour checking on the baby, even if I woke him up.  And we knew that this wasn’t sustainable.  Even during the daytime naps, I was constantly checking to see if he was breathing.  In those moments, it was as if he knew because he always seemed to kick or sigh in his sleep when I looked over at him.

There were other issues as well.  I didn’t trust my intuition.  I was convinced that I was going to hurt him in some way.  Was I feeding him enough?  If his head fell forward or fell backward unexpectedly, was I forever damaging him?  I felt like he was safer in other people’s arms than in my own.  And I wasn’t bonding with him at all.

So, I talked to my therapist.  She told me that all of these things were quite common in a lot of pregnancies.  Bonding with the baby wasn’t going to be instantaneous, just like falling in love with someone happens slowly over time.  However, my PTSD from losing my girls was definitely playing a part, and after I talked to my OB, I got some medication to help.

And it has helped.  It doesn’t make everything perfect, but it quiets the thoughts and gives me a chance to learn to trust my gut.  And I’m bonding with the little guy more and more each day.

There is this pressure to enjoy motherhood.  To soak up every second of every day because it goes by so fast.  And because I have waited so long for these moments, the pressure feels even greater to appreciate every second.  I love my son.  And I look forward to the snuggles every day.  I even think some of his cries are adorable (and when he sticks out that lip, I just want to snuggle him).

But I have to take care of myself.  I need to make sure I’m as healthy as I can be so that I can take care of him.  Post-partum anxiety is real and nothing to be ashamed of.  And it’s not forever, so for now, I will just take each day as it comes, giving myself grace, and be grateful for the support and love that surrounds me.