How Pregnancy Is Different After Miscarriage
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In January, my husband and I had a miscarriage. (You can read about that experience here.) Then, in April, we found out that we were pregnant again after trying to conceive for one cycle. Though we felt INCREDIBLY lucky and excited, we knew immediately that pregnancy after
Below, I’m going to go over all the ways that pregnancy after miscarriage is different than any pregnancy prior to experiencing a loss.
#1 – Pregnancy Isn’t Carefree
When I think back to my first pregnancy with Graci, I often feel like I was so naive. Sure, I worried that I could miscarry – everyone worries about that! But, I had no idea what the pain of miscarriage was like. I was scared of it, but I didn’t know the thing that I was afraid of intimately. (Check out all the things that I feared during my first pregnancy here.)
However, this time around, I’ve met the enemy, so to speak. I know what miscarriage feels like and I know how it can flip your world upside down in a moment.
I can honestly say that there has not been a single moment of this new pregnancy that wasn’t tainted with the fear that this pregnancy would also result in a miscarriage. Not a single moment since I saw those two pink lines.
#2 – Every Symptom Will Be Meaningful
When you’re pregnant after a miscarriage, you’re hyper-aware of your body. Every single thing that you feel can feel like a sign of something. Most of the time, it isn’t, but you’re mind will wander.
During my first pregnancy, I had no idea what to expect. I had nothing to compare my experience to. Now, I’ve had one pregnancy that resulted in my daughter, Graci, and one pregnancy that ended in a heartbreaking loss. You better believe that I’m constantly comparing my symptoms to both of my previous pregnancies and worrying when the symptoms more closely align with my loss pregnancy.
#3 – I Correct Myself With “If” Rather Than “When”
When I talk about the coming months, I sometimes say things like, “when the baby is born…” or “when this baby is one…”
But then I correct myself and say instead, “if we are able to have this baby…” or “if this baby makes it, they’ll be one when…”
Pregnancy after miscarriage is like walking on eggshells with a gigantic question mark over your head.
During my pregnancy with Graci, I thought that I knew fear. In fact, I wrote an entire blog post about holding my breath until the second trimester when I thought we’d be guaranteed to have a baby. In that
This time, I’m not sure that I’ll ever get that relief until my baby is in my arms.
#4 – Going For OBGYN Appointments Brings Difficult Reminders
I used to bound into my OBGYN office with excitement. A little bit of fear, of course, but as I mentioned, the “fear” that I thought I had prior to my miscarriage was nothing compared to the fear I have now.
Our second pregnancy ended was the one that ended in miscarriage for us. When we went into the ultrasound, we weren’t expecting to see a baby with no heartbeat. (Read about our story here.) Even though I had experienced some weird intuition about the pregnancy, I had done such a good job of telling myself that I was being ridiculous, that the day of the appointment I was in a good mood and excited to take home new ultrasound photos of my growing baby.
Now, whenever we even go to the OBGYN office, I can feel my panic start to rise.
The very first time I had to pee in a cup for this new pregnancy at the very first appointment, I was reminded of that last doctor visit where they told me my baby no longer had a heartbeat and had stopped growing.
When I filled out the paperwork for prenatal care, I was reminded that I filled out the same forms for a baby I never got to meet.
Every single thing about our doctor’s office is a harsh reminder of that day.
#5 – You Feel Guilty For Upsetting Everyone Else If Things End Badly Again
This new pregnancy has been a rollercoaster. My HCG levels didn’t show the correct doubling pattern and the first ultrasound didn’t show a baby. The OBGYN nurse told us that there was no way that the pregnancy was viable on three different occasions.
Then, we went in for one final ultrasound before I stopped taking progesterone supplements, and we saw a heartbeat. We definitely aren’t out of the woods yet, and we left the last appointment with the diagnosis of “threatened miscarriage.”
During this rollercoaster, we had let our family know what was going on. With every update, I felt a little guilty for dragging them along on this ride. In some sense, I felt like I was being cruel by bringing people into my own personal nightmare.
After all, they had already seen us through one miscarriage, was it really fair to burden them with this?
I felt like we’d already used our “free pass” for support since it was a shock the first time, but now I was a woman who had a previous miscarriage.
Maybe I should be protecting everyone else around me by not telling them what was going on or that I was even pregnant at all?
I think it is this feeling that keeps a lot of couples silent about their struggle. They end up worrying too much about their loved ones.
Instead, a couple should be surrounded by their loved ones and be supported in their journey.
UPDATE 5/21/2019: We ended up losing this pregnancy as well. When we returned to the doctor the day after I posted this, there was no longer a heartbeat.
If you are pregnant after miscarriage, my thoughts are with you. People who have never gone through this journey have no idea what it is like to fear something that you know first-hand. I’m sending you all my love!