Pregnancy After a Loss
Last July (2017) we lost our first sweet baby, Morgan Tayler, to a severe sickness at me being 8 months pregnant. You can read about his journey here. This however is how I dealt with my next pregnancy after that loss.
In December of 2017 we found out that we were expecting yet again. Happiness, anxiety, fearfulness all took over my body. What if something happens to this baby? Would I be able to handle that? Is it a boy or a girl? Will we bring this baby home with us? Is this baby healthy? Should I lock myself inside our home away from harm for 9 months? All these questions arose when the doctor told me at my yearly check up that I was pregnant. I did have a hunkering that I was before this appointment so it was not a complete surprise.
During the time when I found out, my husband was away for the week. I texted him to let him know the exciting but scary news and went on with my day full of fear and anxiety for this little nugget. I had to go home and finish packing for our big road trip across the county for the Christmas season. I had to pack for myself, my husband and our two dogs, one who happened to be a 4 month old puppy at the time.
Fast forward through Christmas, we had only told one person while at my husband’s hometown and that was his Papa (grandpa) because rumor has it he’s a great secret keeper, and of course our photographer who took our pictures while we were there knew as well. Together, husband and I went to our first of many doctors appointments when we got back. The doctor reviewed my file, asked a thousand questions about our previous pregnancy then did the ultrasound. After what felt like an hour she said that baby’s heart rate was strong and normal and was growing the way it should be.
I wanted to be seen by my doctors who had delivered Morgan, which is about an hour away from our home without traffic. If you’ve ever been to Southern California you know there is ALWAYS traffic unless it is 2am and I don’t think they take appointments at 2am. Luckily, I was able to be transferred to that doctor and that hospital for my entire pregnancy and delivery.
Every doctors appointment I had (most of them walking in alone due to husband’s work schedule) I drove minimum of an hour full of anxiety and my heart racing. Was this baby going to be alive when I got there? Is this baby healthy? Is this baby growing? Each time when I arrived I was told my heart rate was too high, yours would be too if you had been through what I had been through. And each time my doctor would come in as happy as always and immediately find baby’s heart to tell me that baby was fine then we would proceed to talk about anything and everything under the moon.
Weeks go by and we found out that we were having another boy! How exciting for us to be able to have another son in our lives. But, here we go again week after week driving to the doctor full of anxiety. I could be driving and feel baby boy kicking and still be full of anxiety that he wasn’t okay.
I would stay up late every night just to feel him kick and move to make sure he was okay. Every day make sure that he moved so many times every hour every day. It was mentally and physically exhausting on my body. But every night and every day he would kick and move as to say don’t worry mama we got this!
9 months went by so slowly and yet so quickly and eventually came 39 weeks when we had our induction date, where we got to meet our baby boy! (birth story coming soon)
How did I deal with all the anxiety and stress of being pregnant you may wonder? Well, I am glad you asked, even if you didn’t I was going to tell you anyway. Note, I am not a doctor or medical professional, what works for me may not work for the next person who has anxiety.
There is no “getting over” anxiety, as a person who has anxiety on a daily basis I know this to be so true. Again, what works for me may not work for the you and I am no way a medical professional.
However, with that said I strive to be a positive person and have a positive outlook on life with that comes daily affirmations pregnant or not. So, during my entire pregnancy every morning and every night I would say “I am growing a healthy, happy baby.” “Labor, delivery and recovery will be quick, easy and virtually pain free.” Along with say these I visualize what that looked like for me. I pictured myself holding a healthy and happy baby in my arms, I saw myself in the hospital after labor and delivery being as pain free as possible. I saw me and our baby at home recovering quickly, being healthy and happy. Guess what? I received a healthy, happy baby, I did not need pain pills after my delivery., labor is another story for another time. My recovery was quick and easy and again no pain medications even though I had an extremely bad tear, again another story for another time.
I also enjoy praying along with my daily affirmations to help bring my anxiety down. I pray “Lord, please come into my life and walk with me while I am anxious today. Please show me and guide me in the direction you would like me to go. Please take my anxious heart and fill it with your love, allowing me to lean on you in my time of need and always. Amen”
Lastly, what I would do was 30 minutes to an hour before I had to leave for my doctors appointments I would defuse a combination of essential oils, pray and say my daily affirmations. The combination that I used was from Young Living: stress away, lavender and cedar wood 2 drops each. That mixture along with the other two listed above would bring my heart rate down tremendously.
At the end of the 39 weeks and 1 day we were blessed with a happy, healthy baby boy who I cannot get enough of. Being pregnant after any loss is extremely hard, never assume that a pregnancy is easy for someone. You do not know everyone’s stories, backgrounds or what they have been through. Be kind to all and love one another. Until next time stay positive.