Pregnancy After Loss: Overcoming Anxiety

If you regularly read this blog, then you may remember that I suffered through my second miscarriage back in June. Well, six weeks later I got the surprise of my life: a positive pregnancy test!

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Even though I was thrilled to once again be expecting, I emotionally did not feel ready. I was still trying to process through the loss of one child when I suddenly found myself carrying another. The first ultrasound I had only confirmed my anxiety over this new pregnancy. First I was told it looked like baby was ectopic. I was sent to a Maternal Fetal Specialist to confirm. They determined the pregnancy was not ectopic, but couldn’t find a heartbeat. I explained that I don’t have regular cycles and that I might not be as far along as they were thinking I should be. I was told to come back in a week for another ultrasound.

So there I was. Pregnant with my rainbow baby, but still very much in the middle of the storm. A week passed, and I went back for another ultrasound. I was prepared for the worst. Instead what I saw was a steady, rhythmic heartbeat. The ultrasound tech congratulated me and adjusted my due date based on baby’s measurements.

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But it doesn’t make it easier. Now almost 10 weeks pregnant with a growing baby bump and morning sickness I still have moments of anxiety and worry. It’s difficult to embrace the pregnancy; to allow myself to think about or plan for another baby. And that in turn makes it even more emotional. Because I want to be excited. I want to plan out the nursery and look at car seats and pick a name. And I know I’ll get there eventually. So for now I’ll just fake it til I make it and continue to pray over this little one.

I am also recognizing what is causing me the most anxiety and trying to do what I can to alleviate it. First, the curriculum I had been using for Gunnar just wasn’t working for either of us. I emotionally was not at a place to fight every day over a curriculum neither of us was enjoying. So I put it away and found a new curriculum that works perfectly for us both.

Secondly, I have a lot of anxiety surrounding the hospital and staff. Nothing against them personally, but after an emotionally hard labor with Iris, and then a confirmed miscarriage, followed by a threatened miscarriage, the thought of continuing prenatal care there brought up too many negative emotions. I know it logically doesn’t make sense. I know they are a wonderful team who I respect and trust. But I also know I can’t ignore my heart. I can’t ignore the anxiety I feel, even if it doesn’t make sense to anyone else. For that reason, we are planning to move forward with a homebirth. This decision is one that has brought about such a peace to my heart. I’m a big believer in giving birth where you feel most safe and that birth is not just physical, but also mental and spiritual. Giving birth at home allows me to safely focus on all three areas throughout pregnancy and labor.

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Finally, I am thankful for my friends who take time to listen to me. To those who are empathetic to my emotions and pray encouragement over me. The clouds are beginnning to part, and I can see glimmers of sunlight peeking through.

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