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I think its surprised me; the complex feelings when falling pregnant again after having lost a baby.

It makes sense that it would be complex, but I didn’t expect it.

It is hard to make sense of those complex feelings when you are in them, so hopefully this helps someone.

From the first moment you know you are pregnant, even if it was planned and longed for, seeing those 2 lines on the pregnancy test can feel conflicting. First feeling Joy, followed immediately by anxiety. Joy that you are pregnant, fear that you will lose it. It is exhausting carrying those conflicting feelings simultaneously in your mind and heart.

Attending Ultrasound scans can feel very vulnerable. Especially if it was via ultrasound that you discovered something was wrong last time. Holding your breathe until a heartbeat is confirmed and assessment is reassuring.

Checking the toilet paper for blood at every bathroom break. That extra vaginal discharge can make you feel like you need to be constantly checking that you aren’t bleeding. Your heart stilling each time you feel a little ‘wet’ on your underwear.

Worrying about every pain/discomfort, even though its mild and probably just bloating, it is hard to not worry.

Worrying about the lack of symptoms…does that mean something is wrong? If I am not vomiting, if I am not tired, if my breasts aren’t that tender, if I am not needing to pee all the time, is something wrong, should I be worried?… all you can do is wait and it is hard.

Overthinking the way you live… if you move less, eat different, work less, relax more, take different supplements, avoid certain products, avoid certain experiences…will it make a difference? You have likely googled these things to see if they increase harm to your baby. Could you have avoided losing your last baby? Do you have any control at all?

It can seem like your brain is wired to worry about losing the baby more than it was wired to be happy about the pregnancy. And in some ways, I think that is true. Your brain is trying to protect you and it is trying to protect your baby. It thinks it is helping by alerting you to all these potential threats and preparing you for the worst. Bless that maternal brain of yours! But it may not feel like it is serving you right now.

I remember entering a dating scan having already planned how I will respond should I discover I have lost my baby again. Playing it out in my head, I had a pathway and a script ready. So, instead of spending mental energy in those early weeks decorating the nursery in my head or looking through baby names I was rehearsing how to break the tragic news to my family that we lost the baby again. 

It is difficult, not wanting to attach too much to this baby, not to hope too much for it. But then also feeling guilty if you don’t feel like you are loving on it enough. Being unsure of who I should tell that I am pregnant. Just in case I must retract the information if I lose the baby. But also, knowing I might want the support of people who know.

How long do I wait to tell work?

How long do I wait to book into a maternity care service?

How long can I pretend there isn’t a life in my body, just because I worry that at any second that life may cease to live.

At what point will I be able to relax and trust that everything is ok?

12-week threshold?

18-week scan?

24-week threshold where my baby is considered viable enough for life saving treatment should it be required?

Then you face the birth.

And perhaps depending on the birthing experience of the baby you lost, this can feel tangled in anxiety also. Those deep seeded fears of loss, worry that your body doesn’t know how to do this, inability to trust your body.

You might feel triggered by medical assistance if that reminds you of your last experience. You might feel scared being at home if that was your last experience.

If the birth of your lost baby was induced, you might feel triggered if induction is mentioned again.

You might not even realise your body is feeling triggered and why. You just know you are scared, anxious, resistant. The lack of conversation around how having had previous loss might affect your next experience of birth only leads you to presume you should be fine, you should not be effected, it shouldn’t make an impact. But it can, it does, of course it would.

You are not weak. Your brain is trying to keep you safe. Pregnancy after loss can be complex.

For some, they can recover and move on with little to no disruption. But if that was not your experience, if you found pregnancy after loss difficult, I hope you can be validated in why. I hope you can see why it makes sense that you would. You are not alone in feeling that way.

When you feel you have carried death inside you, it can change you profoundly. Of course it will.

Big love to you and all those complex feelings. I really hope that you can find the support you need, so you do not feel alone in that headspace.

-Rachel- xxx

If you are looking for further Support.

My Forever Loved Wall is a space I have created for this purpose.

I have a link to various organisations as well as more of my own writings on the subject.

I also have a space where you can inscribe your lost baby on our Forever Loved Wall, if that serves you, so that we may remember the existence of that little life with you.



Author Rachel

I am Mum to 3 little ones, aged 6,3 and almost 1, Wife to my high school crush, Midwife at our local hospital and Creator of 'Out of the Nest'. I hope more than anything to do all these things well and maybe empower and encourage others along the way. Though its quite the juggling act, and balls do drop ALOT, so I am happy to talk about that too. xx

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