Having my first child at nineteen, the thought of miscarriage was nowhere on my radar. And so, when I became pregnant a couple years after having my son, I quickly took a photo of him holding the ultrasound and announced to the world that another baby was on its way.
Ten weeks later, that baby was delivered traumatically and I was devastated. A year later, I became pregnant again – this time only lasting six weeks. Although not as far along, this miscarriage was much more painful and prolonged. I never wanted to experience anything like it again.
At this point, the relationship I was in had been over for some time, and I officially ended things shortly after. I decided that another child wasn’t in the cards for me, and that I would spend my life devoted to the child I had.
Of course, this changed and I am now happily married with a baby girl on the way. I am four months pregnant and just beginning to allow myself to acknowledge that there is a growing baby inside of me.
Out of fear, I have kept my distance – trying not to get too excited or grow a connection that could be so quickly taken away.
I realized the other day, while meeting with our doula that I have never thought to talk to my growing baby, or at the very least say I love you. This is something I did automatically with my first pregnancy, and I watch my husband whisper to our growing baby daily.
I love this little person inside of me, and I want them to feel that as they enter this world. Living a life clouded with fear is not only detrimental to myself, but to my baby as well.
Up until this point, I have been implementing tools to make it through this scary time, without actually forming a connection. That – will be the work for my second trimester, and maybe that is how it should be. Maybe we need to just survive the fear and heartache at first, and then move into creating a loving atmosphere.
I will never know, but for this pregnancy, going through this process has felt necessary. In order to get through these first few months, when miscarriage was constantly on my mind, these are some tools that I found helpful.
Tell your close friends and family you are pregnant right away.
Do not hold it in! By letting it out and sharing with your support system, you will not only have these people by your side if you do miscarriage, but you will get used to talking about the baby as a permanent existence in your life. Speaking things into your reality is so very powerful, and the more you talk about this bundle of joy as if it is already here, the more likely it will be!
Visualize your body in your third trimester, and feel all of the feelings that come along with it.
I love to visualize myself fit and with a gigantic belly, walking around the gym. I have the green light to continue weightlifting from my doctor and it is my goal to transform these twenty pounds I gained into some sort of muscle! You may see yourself cuddled up on the couch with your loved one, resting a bowl of popcorn on your big belly – whatever works! Just remember to sit with the feelings that come up, whether positive or negative.
Allow yourself to envision the changes a new baby will bring.
Begin to think about the nursery, your life with this baby, or anything else that brings up positive feelings. I do recommend waiting until the second trimester to buy anything big though. I made this mistake with my third pregnancy, and the last trip I ever took to Babies R Us was to return the beautiful crib I had proudly bought a few weeks before.
Let it out, mama. It is so hard being pregnant again after such a huge loss, no matter how far along you were. You envisioned this baby, you bonded, you loved the tiny bean growing inside of you. You have every right to grieve, and allow this time of being pregnant to trigger the emotions that need to be let go of. Until now, you have most likely been holding them in. Pregnancy is an amazing time to allow old “stuff” to resurface. Just remember to practice self-care after these releases.
Acknowledge your partner’s feelings, and allow this period to bring you even closer.
Whether or not this baby is with the same person as your previous miscarriage, the person you are in a relationship with is going through something as well. Whether they are purely excited or terrified, or even unafraid to admit their fear, they need support as well. You can support each other and talk about your fears, excitements, etc. Bring all of it to the Light. It is only what is hidden away that can affect us.
Pregnancy after miscarriage is no easy feat, and we all deserve awards for what we go through on a daily basis for those first few months. Every pain brings fear, along with any small excitement. We are afraid to be pregnant, but also afraid to be happy about being pregnant! Try to remember the joy you are experiencing over everything else. And when things become too much to bear, practice finding the humor in the situation.
Life gives us what we need to grow. Living in fear is hiding from our growth. Practice leaning into what scares you and try to remember that you have survived everything else up until this point. You can take whatever life throws at you.