Thoughts On Having a New Baby (After Two Losses)

pregnancy after loss coping and dealing

Pregnancy After Loss: Coping and Dealing

I think back to how wonderfully naive I was while pregnant with my two boys.  I didn’t worry about much as I had no reason to.  Pregnancy after any sort of loss changes you.  I keep thinking I’ll feel better after certain milestones but I honestly don’t think I will feel any sort of relief until this baby is in my arms.  That’s also how I felt in relation to sharing the news–I even waited a long time to share with loved ones.  I kept thinking, “I’ll them after this appointment or after this date.”

I thought I would feel somewhat relieved after sharing the news on instagram last night. But instead, it made me terribly anxious.  I already wake up in the middle of the night with pregnancy insomnia (and I’m not normally a light sleeper) and last night it was bad.  I regretted sharing and started playing out all the worst case scenarios in my head. Which as you know, never ends well for your psyche.  Don’t get it twisted, Of COURSE, I am excited to have another baby–it’s what I’ve wanted the past couple years!

But if I’m honest, I’m also terrified because I can’t believe it’s happening and have spent the majority of this pregnancy a little detached as it’s a way of coping with the loss(es) I’ve experienced. 

Losing a baby shakes you to your core and uncovers so many feelings of doubt, inadequacy, and guilt.  Even if that doesn’t make any sense to someone who hasn’t experienced it, those feelings have consumed me since I saw that positive pregnancy test in February. 

My kids are very excited for a sibling but also had a hard time dealing with the loss last fall. (They don’t know about my earlier loss in 2018.)  I had been putting off telling them until I felt comfortable (hint: that may never happen but my oldest figured it out as my stomach grew. So it forced me to tell them around 20 weeks.) They still talk about the baby sister they never met. And want to make sure this new sibling will be ok.  It’s heartbreaking but I also encourage them to talk about their feelings openly rather than keep them in. They don’t fully understand why these things happen (I mean, neither do I). And I don’t want to be the kind of family that sweeps uncomfortable topics under the rug–even if it’s hard for me, too.

To throw a wrench into plans, this pregnancy is also high risk–ironically, it’s totally unrelated to what happened last the fall but it keeps me on further edge.  It means lots of monitoring and ultrasounds–I basically have been going to the OBGYN every two weeks. And when you throw in a global pandemic,  you’ve got a lot to process!  (My high risk-ness is due to the fact that I am RH negative and some time during the last pregnancy I became allo-sensitized which means my body produces antibodies that could harm the baby.

The Rhogam shot that I’ve had in the past no longer works on me. 

So far, so good and my antibody levels have been low and stable, but it could change at any time.  I have lots of monitoring, which does give me some peace of mind.  My husband has positive blood, my kids have positive blood, and this baby also has positive blood)

Did I just unload on you or what?  But again, this isn’t your typical, “we’re having a baby!!!” post, even though I wish that was the case.  That sense of innocence we once had is now gone.  But from the bottom of my heart, thank you for all the wonderful well wishes last night; I’m completely overwhelmed by your kind words and I haven’t even started to go through my DMs.  Sometimes I can’t believe the level of support you all give me and I’m so grateful for it.  I want you to know that even the tough things I share on here are extremely cathartic for me.  I know I’m not alone in what I’ve gone through and if you have gone or are going through something similar, just know that I stand with you on so many fronts. 

Where there is loss, there is love

It’s something so many of us know all too well and as humans will ultimately experience some day.  Thank you for following along on my journey and allowing me to share these sensitive topics with you; I’m sure it’s easier to hear about all the good times and cute clothes. b=But as you know that we’re all much more complex than that.

Lots of love to you all. x

Other posts that might be helpful:

My First Loss

My Second Loss

Losing My Dad

  • Tears are streaming down my face as I read your post. I could not be happier for this announcement. My twins were born last Fall after four losses and the mental and emotional experience of that pregnancy was overwhelming. I had the most amazing OB who let me come in weekly for ultrasounds to see those beautiful beating hearts so maybe it’s the silver lining to a high risk pregnancy to be so closely monitored. I admire your strength and appreciate your openness about everything you’ve experienced. Sending so much love to your beautiful family!

  • Congratulations!! Pregnancy after loss is just as you said – painful, scary, detached…and that’s ok and totally expected. I now have a beautiful 7mo old son after many losses and a high-risk pregnancy as well. One thing that helped me so much was to write out pregnancy affirmations on slips of paper and pull one out to read and reread each day. Those mantras became like a meditation in the midst of so much anxiety and unknown. You will get through this, and how lucky and loved this babe will be! Sending love.

  • I could not be happier and more hopeful for you and your family! I love what you said about wanting your boys to be comfortable talking about their feelings – it is something that does not come naturally to me and as a mom I want my son (and hopefully more kiddos in the future) to be able to talk openly about tough things. Thank you for sharing your insight and story. Thinking of you!

  • Congratulations Anna! So happy and hopeful for you. I’ve been a long time fan and been reading your blog for ages, even before you got married! I appreciate your honesty and transparency with sensitive heart wrenching topics as well as the more light hearted fashion related posts. You are a strong and amazing woman! Remember, you were made for this moment! Wishing you a safe, healthy, and happy pregnancy. I will keep you and your family in my prayers!

  • I have tears reading your story – I’ve been there myself and every appointment every ultrasound was full of anxiety. Sending lots of love in these next few months to you! ❤️

  • Congratulations. After 2 losses and a scary high risk pregnancy, I can relate to all your feelings. I felt detached even after delivery. I think you’re always waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under you once again. But a healthy baby is the best gift for starting to heal. Sending love.

  • Dear Anna, all the best to you! I cannot even imagine what you are going through. Just know that you have a lot of support and love from your ‘virtual’ friends. We are all sending very positive thoughts for you and your family.

    xx
    iza

  • Anna, I am feeling hopeful and happy for you and your family. My heart made a little jump of joy when I saw your announcement on Instagram earlier. I can’t imagine or understand what you are feeling, but please know that I’m sending you all my thoughts, love and support for everything that is to come ♥

  • I remember the day after my stillbirth I went racing to your blog, knowing that you had walked a similar path. I clung to your words, furiously scrolled back into your feed to find the moment in time that I knew now would hit different. Anna I remember your story, I remember your babies and while I’m still deep in the depths of my own grief and loss I am overflowing with joy for you. There is no greater loss, losing your baby changes you in a way that no other loss can. Thank you for shedding light on the shadows of being a mother. On how delicate and hard it is to bring life into the world. Thank you mostly for helping me feel a little less alone. I’m not religious but you better believe I’ll add this sweet babe to my list of prayers, hoping they get to stay earthside. Wrapping you in love, and holding your heart. One day at a time, sending this baby a ton of love from across the country.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss, Meredith. The loss is so profound and it’s a bit of a taboo subject, for some reason or another. Sending you lots of love and hope–and some prayers, too! x

  • This is my first time on your blog, and this is the absolute first time I have ever left a comment on any blog…but your story resonated very deeply with me. Sharing your story takes courage, especially during such a raw and vulnerable time. I have experienced pregnancy losses (5), and also blessed with two children who are now 13 and 10. My pattern of loss/birth was 2 losses,1 birth, 3 loses, 2nd birth. I know, every well, the feelings of mourning, fear of attachment, worry, anxiety, that you are living with. These are heavy burdens. If there is one helpful thing I can offer is to encourage you to find and never let go of Hope. Believe in Hope. Find that ray and hold on to it. It will see you through, even in the darkest moments. May peace in your heart.

  • Anna – So many congratulations and good vibes to you. <3 Wishing you all the best from a fellow expecting-a-rainbow-baby-mom (due end of November). Being pregnant is not easy with continued pandemic restrictions. Hope you are in good care!

  • The sharing forum I have read, the content is very practical, it gives me a lot of useful information, I like the content of your article very well. I hope you will have many new posts to share with readers.

  • Hi Anna. I didn’t actually read your post… because I’m in a similar boat as you, and I am afraid it would set me off. I’ve had 2 miscarriages in the past year. But I’m not yet pregnant again. We are doing some fertility treatments, if those don’t work we may be done. We do already have a son, and I am so, so appreciative of him… but still. It’s tough.

    Anyway, just want to say that I am genuinely happy for you. It looks like you are at 25 weeks now (at the time I’m commenting) so you’re in the home stretch! You give me hope that good things can happen. Thanks 🙂

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