24%… 1 in 4… numbers that always echo through my mind, this is how many go through a loss whether it’s miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, or something else. Twice now I’ve been through the heartbreak of a miscarriage. I have now been blessed with two rainbow baby pregnancies, we are due with our second this October. I recently learned that after you have one miscarriage, the probability of another does jump up from that. Not comforting news to me. I’ve been worried, overwhelmed, and anxious. As well as overjoyed, and so excited for this little one. There isn’t a day though that goes by where I am not terrified. I am constantly thinking about my yet to be born child. There will always be that sense of concern and apprehension. I will never truly enjoy being pregnant. There are concerns and emotions that are to be expected, and totally normally with a pregnancy after a loss. I’ve been doing my best this pregnancy to find myself in a better mind set.
It is okay to count. I’ve counted down the days til I could take a pregnancy test, and then counted down the minutes waiting for the results. I’ve counted down the days til the second trimester, when I felt like I was in a more safe place to share the news with everyone. I am still counting down every single day until this little one arrives. I’ve counted the number of kicks that happen in an hour since they have become much more regular. I will always be doing this because I find it your little kicks, and movements comforting and a reminder that you are there.
I’ve accepted that it is okay to not enjoy being pregnant. I don’t think I will ever enjoy being pregnant. I will never be without the emotions connected to having experienced a miscarriage. At the beginning of this pregnancy I feared becoming attached to the baby because I was so worried that we were just going to lose the baby. There are days where I am an emotional wreck and all consumed by worry and doubt. Eventually I came around and decided to go through each day with a positive mindset.
Be positive and celebrate. After seeing my little one on the ultrasound screen, it all became much more real. You are mine, no matter how long you are with us. You are my baby. While my heart may remain a bit more guarded during my pregnancies, I am celebrating my little one. I am also doing my best to remain as positive as possible. We celebrated getting to 12 weeks along. We have bought special little outfits just for you after we found out at 20 weeks that we are expecting another sweet, precious little girl. I am making preparations for your arrival, such as figuring out what we would like your nursery to look like. I have photos from your ultrasounds saved to me phone.
Talking to the doctor. I’ve been much more open and honest to my doctor about my pregnancy this time, more so than I was with my first born daughter. I have learned that I need to ask more questions, and share more about how I am feeling. I want my doctor to understand where I am coming from… my hopes and my fears. If I have a concern that comes up I will not be hesitating to either go in to my doctor, or head into the hospital to check on you. I would rather know you are okay, than to be filled with terror. My doctor is a key part in making sure you and I are both doing okay, some extra attention may be needed.
Confiding in others. This pregnancy I have shared with others more about how I am doing, and feeling. It’s easy to simply answer the question of “How are you?” with a “Oh, I’m doing good.” but does that really provide my friends and family with an honest answer? It’s better to be completely authentic about how I am doing. This provides an opportunity for other to ask more questions, especially for those who I know are praying for me and the baby on a daily basis. It’s also helped those around me to be a better support team, and source of encouragement. While my heart is still broken from the two miscarriages, being forward about things lets others know they need to be gentle and understanding around me at times. It’s also provided an open door for others to come to me if they are going through a similar situation. With others who have been through similar situations I have found so much healing and strength, those who have not been through the same sometimes find it much harder to be supportive. Which is okay, it is a very difficult thing to comprehend. Through all of this, I have learned that I cannot be silent about it all.
Guarding my own heart. This pregnancy I knew I needed to take time for me, to help myself from becoming overwhelmed by the stresses that can come about from a pregnancy after a loss. If I need some time to myself, I know that it is okay to ask others help out with my toddler. My husband has been an incredible source of support, and understanding. Some evenings I just need to slip away with a cup of tea, and a book, or to relax in a bubble bath. I refuse to feel guilty for taking time for me, otherwise I know all too well that I may find myself facing too much stress, and possibly depression. I need to keep myself accountable for what I need, and all of the above things have made a huge difference this pregnancy.
Getting to the positive pregnancy test, through the first trimester, through the whole pregnancy, and through labour are all miraculous. I know that getting through those first twelve weeks, and even just past the first positive pregnancy test does not mean one will be getting to bring home a baby at the end of a pregnancy, to love and take care of and hold in ones arms. One may only get to know what being pregnant, and the hope for a child, is like for a few short weeks. It is something we really have no control over, its why I consider each pregnancy a miracle. If you are in the same place as me, go easy on yourself. Do your best to take care of yourself and be gentle with your heart, you will figure out exactly what your needs are through a rainbow pregnancy.