MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information
PREGNANCY AFTER MISCARRIAGE
I have had 14 pregnancies in my life, 9 were miscarriages between 8 and 20 weeks gestation, 5 of were birthed as full term babies, well and healthy. My last 2 babies were born at home. I understand the feeling of loss, depression, and the tears that accompany the loss of a baby, no matter how far along the pregnancy may be. It takes courage and determination to keep trying to have a baby, if one is wanted. In some cases, a miscarriage can be a relief, too, depending on the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy and the miscarriage. There are no guarantees that you will end up with a happy ending at the end of nine months down the road. You may worry throughout your pregnancy if you will actually end up with a healthy baby in your arms this time around.
The first thing you need to consider when you are planning a subsequent pregnancy is whether or not you are ready to start trying to conceive again. You will need to consider, not only your physical readiness for another pregnancy, but also your emotional readiness. This can be an emotional roller coaster ride for many women. Some of the factors that you need to consider are:
- Have you had the opportunity to work through your grief about the baby who died?
- Is your partner supportive about your decision to start trying again?
- Are you able to cope if you were to have trouble conceiving or if you were to experience another miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death?
- Are you able to cope with the stress of a subsequent pregnancy? This may be a major consideration if your next pregnancy is likely to be classified as high risk.
- Do you really want another baby? Or what you really want is the baby who died.
You may feel a burning desire to become pregnant again right away so that you will have something to look forward to (a reason to be happy again). Or you may find that you want to give yourself a bit more time with the grief process before you jump into another pregnancy.
You may feel strongly that you would like to allow some time to pass before you conceive again to honor the due date for the baby you lost or the anniversary of your baby's death, or any other milestones you may wish to remember.
KEEPING YOUR SANITY
In all seriousness, getting pregnant again will not make all your problems or feelings of loss go away. Chances are, it will make a whole new set of problems appear in your near future. These are some emotional tips that may help you survive and deal with the highs and lows of pregnancy after a loss.
- Be prepared to experience a full spectrum of different emotions when the pregnancy test shows positive. This may include everything from joy at being pregnant again to fear that something will go wrong again. You may feel like you are betraying your baby you lost by moving on with your life.
- Gather your support team around you. Surround yourself with people who are ready to support you during the stressful months ahead. You might consider joining a pregnancy-loss support group with face-to-face contact, if you have one available in your community. You may also consider joining an on-line support group, if this is more available and desirable. At the very least, you should arrange for a friend or a family member to join you during the prenatal visits by your midwife. Obtain a midwife or health care provider that will be very supportive and will listen to your concerns and offer extra time to discuss your concerns or worries. If you choose to have medical testing done, such as ultrasounds or amniocentesis, have your supportive friend, family member or your midwife accompany you to the appointment as some extra support. Make sure your health care provider or midwife will understand that you will need the extra reassurance, and perhaps some extra prenatal visits, to help with your support. If you do not get the extra support from your caregiver, think about making a change of caregivers.
- Find out as much as you can about the cause of your previous loss and what, if anything, you can do to prevent the problem from recurring this time around. The more education you have about the medical aspects of your pregnancy, the more in control you will feel. You may be considered high risk, depending on the cause of pregnancy loss, and need care by specialist such as a perinatologist. You may have a problem with hormone imbalances that are needed to maintain a pregnancy or have scarring from abortions, D&C's or other issues that need to be evaluated.
- Be sure to take life and the pregnancy day by day, hour by hour, if you need to do so. Do not focus on the "40 weeks", but keep it in the present and focus on the next milestone to be achieved, such as making it to the end of the first trimester, passing the point at which you lost your previous baby, and so forth. You may feel that you are holding your breath and taking life by each moment to moment, afraid to let your guard down. Try not to let every internal twinge or sensation signal a rush of adrenaline with a surge of fear or panic.
In place of focusing on all the things that could go wrong, try to remain positive about your chances of giving birth to a healthy baby this time around. The majority of couples who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death go on to give birth to healthy babies the next time around. If you do, you will soon put aside the agony you experienced along the sometimes bumpy road to becoming a mother. Having a healthy baby after a previous miscarriage can be the greatest relief for the loss by giving you a sense of accomplishment, completion, satisfaction, and joy.
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Miscarriage
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Miscarriage, Habitual
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Intrauterine Fetal Demise
Having-A-Baby.com: Miscarriage, Stillbirth, Infant Death
Trying Again: A Guide to Pregnancy After Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss - by Ann Douglas, et al.
Pregnancy After A Loss - by Carol Cirulli Lanham.
Empty Cradle, Broken Heart - by Deborah L. Davis.
Preventing Miscarriage - by Jonathan Scher, Carol Dix.
Silent Sorrow - by Ingrid Kohn, et al.
Miscarriage - by Lynn Friedman, Irene Daria.
Mommy, Please Don't Cry - by Linda Deymaz, Sabrina Smith.
Getting Pregnant & Staying Pregnant - by Diana Raab, et al.
Miscarriage - by Marie Allen, Shelly Marks.
Help, Comfort and Hope After Losing Your Baby in Pregnancy or the First Year - by Hannah Lothrop.
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information Index
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information & Survival Tips
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Healing Baths For Colds
Using Essential Oils
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RELATED MOONDRAGON HEALTH LINKS & INFORMATION
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