If you lose your baby before the 23rd week of pregnancy, the medical term for your loss, is miscarriage. NHS statistics state that 1 in 5 of us will experience this at one point or another, other sources quote 1 in 4. When it’s happening to you, knowing the fact that many of your friends, cousins or sisters have gone through a similar journey, might make you feel a little less isolated. For me, it was cold comfort. It made me feel, that it wasn’t my place to make a big deal out of things, because so many women go through this every day and get on with it….I know that was my problem, but that’s how it felt.
Anyway, as they so often say, time and a boisterous toddler, meant that I was able to move beyond my feelings of grief for what might have been and focus on the future. When the hubby and I found out that we were pregnant again, quite soon after our previous bad news, I don’t think I was truly prepared for how much the loss of our second baby, would impact how I would feel about becoming pregnant again.
In comparison to first time around, the first half of my pregnancy was pretty angst ridden. We were entitled to an extra scan because of what had happened before and we found out we were 8 weeks down the line. It was a relief to have not found out as early as we did with the first two, but the four weeks wait before the next scan seemed to last an eternity. On reflection, I know that my rapidly changing body and cocktail of hormones, that come with doing the amazing job of growing a baby played a big role in my mood. But if you’d have said that to me at the time, I would have verbally assaulted you. I was hyper sensitive and extremely worried about how I would deal with things, if i lost another baby. Aside from exploding at my husband and younger sister occasionally, on the whole, I kept my feelings to myself.
When the 12 week scan came and went, I expected to feel a lot better. It certainly felt like a weight off my shoulders, when we were able to tell people, not many people, mind you, just a few. Keeping it a secret felt like preparing for the worst – which we were and this added to the stress. The lightness and excitement I wanted to feel, weren’t there and I just wasn’t connecting with this pregnancy in the way I expected. Yes, there was a lot going on with work, I was going for a promotion (which I got btw) and I was already being a Mum to a tearaway 2 year old, but it was more than that, I simply wasn’t enjoying it, as much as I wanted too.
Fortunately, the big turning point for me was reaching the 20 week scan, aside from the fact I was massive and people had started noticing, it definitely made it feel more real. Knowing that we had got so far and my body and baby were doing everything they should do, was comforting. The other game changer, was I also started thinking about the birth. I had had a home birth for my first, so everyone naturally assumed that I would go that way again, but my confidence, wasn’t there. However, seeing our baby on the screen and finding out that ‘it’ was a she, gave me the little ‘something, something’ I had been yearning for and I finally committed to going down the home birth route again. And that made such a difference!
It meant that I had to prepare, something that I’d been dragging my feet on. And as soon as I started listening to my birth affirmations, reading everything I could get my hands on and practicing the breathing and visualization techniques that had served me so well, first time around. Things changed. I knew that to give myself any chance of creating a really great birth, I had to relax and get in the ‘zone’ emotionally, otherwise there would be no hope. Thinking about it, it wasn’t the home birth that was the biggest motivator, it was about making sure I gave myself the best foundation to create a positive experience, that was most important.
It was during this preparation that I was reminded of how bloody amazing, we as pregnant women are. And for the first time, I was able to really enjoy and engage with what was going on, with my body and this oh so magnificent creation. Time, preparation and hypnobirthing gave me my mojo back and it was lush. FYI I did get the lovely homebirth I wanted…But that’s another story.
So, back to where this post began, if you’ve had a miscarriage or miscarriages that are stopping you from enjoying your current pregnancy, know that it’s totally normal to experience a certain level of anxiety. However, there are things that you can do, to help reduce those feelings when the time is right.
- Whether you fell pregnant soon after a miscarriage or years ago, make sure that you have made your peace or said goodbye properly to the baby you lost.
- Talk about how you’re feeling with your partner or understanding friend or family member.
- Seek out relaxation techniques that help you to switch off from negative thinking.
- If you find yourself highly emotional or anxious a disproportionate amount of time, speak to an expert.
As always I love to hear your thoughts or your experiences. What did you do to help you move past your loss and enjoy your present, or what are you doing now?