Every time I was sitting in front of doctors office going through ultrasound results and not understanding some parameters, I would be ending up crying thinking something is wrong again. It was very turbulent and I wished so much that somebody had warned me somehow on how stressful it would be. But then, I knew I would choose to go through it no matter what. Pregnancy after loss is extremely difficult but it helped to have my thoughts sorted out in advance, to be prepared somehow for whatever was coming and to find a way to deal with myself and the unknown. It’s easy to talk about it retrospectively. But I wrote down some things that helped me to deal with the anxiety I had, to not just go through this pregnancy but also to find ways to enjoy myself, my new body and the small one.
Do all the tests possible before next pregnancy
Yes. After loss of Aurora, and the autopsy that had not specified what exactly was the cause, we tried to get the answers “why” from several places but no one seemed to wanted to use their name next to some assumptions.
The last thing I had in my mind was that I needed to do some extra tests. This suggestion was actually supposed to come from my gynaecologist, but did not. In my case it was genetic tests that were done in the middle of pregnancy, that showed that I have a genetic mutation related to thrombophilia, not a direct cause of it though. This was discovered in 5th month of my pregnancy, which caused me additional stress. the fact that they discovered so late, the fact that not much is known about it and the sleepless nights of thinking how to convince doctors to go for preventive therapy and if it was already too late. Here where I was, even though the doctors were super nice, they didn’t have much of preventive approach. My blood tests were okay and If they didn’t find anything concrete, they didn’t see obvious reason to put me on the preventive therapy. So, I had to be a bit pushy to get it.
You will find this also quite common. You will have to push doctors to make an extra step. I think I did right, as towards the end of pregnancy my blood flow to placenta was not optimal. This indeed was one of the reasons for earlier delivery.
Also, when asking the head doctor what tests I should do for the future pregnancies, he was the first one openly saying that what happened to Aurora was most probably related to this genetic mutation I have.
So, do your tests. I can imagine this can cause much more stress with trying to get pregnant after everything, but at least I would always choose to know and to prevent if possible rather than go with a flow.
Recently, on Tommy’s there was a list of recommended tests published that were related to miscarriages. Those are thyroid gland control, genetic tests for blood clothing, transvaginal pelvic ultrasound, chromosome analysis and parental compatibility. Make sure your body is ready to handle the pregnancy.
Make sure you are at peace
Now, it’s impossible to get over your loss and feel like nothing happened and completely be ready for the next pregnancy. However, setting up your mindset, your body and your heart for the next baby will help you a lot to go through it.
To deal with trauma to me it helped a lot that I talked about Aurora, about my feelings, that I wrote, and that we did so many things for her. To honour her existence, to remember her, to make her present in our lives forever. This kept me sane and calm. I knew and I know she is here, in some way.
The moment I found out I was pregnant again, I started some inner self talk. I said to myself that this baby is not Aurora, that it is another human I can look forward to meet. I started saying to myself that if I give all the attention and all the love to this baby, Aurora won’t be neglected and I should not feel bad about loving this baby as much as I can. I had to be aware of all the scenarios somehow, everything can go perfectly smooth, but everything can go wrong again and I had to be ready for it, from the beginning. I had to convince myself to stay in the present as much as possible, and to take it day by day.
Do not be afraid
When starting to try again or finding out that you are pregnant after loss, whether you know the cause of previous loss(es) or not, it will be difficult to have your mind clear of fear what if it happens again. The fear is completely reasonable, we don’t know what is happening inside our womb. It is a complete lie that mom knows. If you ask moms who lost their babies – they did not know something was wrong. They might feel differently, might sense something, but they never knew nor they could imagine something could go that wrong.
I must say I probably was afraid too much as this pregnancy in the end went completely okay without any major complications. However, I am not sure if it would go like this without all the prevention, thoughts, and extra check ups.
I let my fear be my guide. My senses were so alarmed that I would be woken up during the night when my baby would hiccup or when I would not feel the movements somehow. My focus was all on my baby (not something my fiancé was fond of so much). It helped me to stay awake, to stay aware, but I tried not to allow fears to take over. I knew I cannot control everything. I did what I could, doctors were doing everything they could, the rest was depending on nature and luck – and I was believing.
Do more of things you like during pregnancy
It will be very long 9 months, yet very short when you will be looking back. I worked most of the pregnancy and I tried to keep myself busy with some hobbies. It was extremely difficult with Covid measures all around, but I think in the end I did well. I painted, I drew, I learned some things, I read a lot. I kept my mind busy. I kept my diary on all the changes, all the baby milestones and kept a photo diary of my belly.
Keep stress at minimum
When I would feel that I was having too much, or I when I was not able to sleep either from the growing belly or fears that would swim out from my subconscious during the night, in the morning I would put the happy music on and I would dance in my bathroom. I would put my headphones on, and I find the best playlist, when I would not be able to handle anymore.
Tears were quite present, after or during doctors visit, there were a lot of mood swings too. But I didn’t allow myself to cry a lot. I didn’t allow myself to stress too much. I knew that was the worst I could do for the baby, so I was very motivated to pull myself quickly together. I also had a very good support in my partner and my family.
Talk to your partner
It’s two of you who have experienced the loss, the trauma. It’s two of you who are having same fears but expressing them probably differently. Talk about your fears. Bond with the belly. Let yourself dream about this new person you will be carrying. Don’t let your fears disconnect you. Don’t turn the whole pregnancy into waiting. Both of you, you need to remind yourself that these are only 9 months, and you should enjoy your pregnancy regardless of all risk.
In the end, I know it’s easy to say these things. I was not able to compose one full sentence about how I felt from how much my mind was dull. It was not easy to go through this second pregnancy and I will probably need some time before my next one. However, these things I wrote about really helped me to push through.
The main things that kept me motivated so much were my love for my baby and the thought of meeting that small hairy head. I kept my focus only on that, on seeing once again a new human that grew inside me. Every morning and evening I would talk to my belly about how much I love it, and I hoped with all my heart he could feel it.
There are no words to describe how happy, proud and relieved you will feel once you see your small one.
Just keep healing and keep believing!