15 Things Babyloss Parents Do When They Get Pregnant Again

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15 Things Babyloss Parents Do When They

I stared at the pregnancy test in disbelief. It was a digital one, so there wasn’t even a need to figure out if there was a second line or not. Just one word that I thought I would never again describe me.

Pregnant.

At that point in time, we had a three-and-a-half-year-old daughter, and had experienced three pregnancy losses since she was a year old – our daughter Naomi at 18 weeks, baby Kyria at 8 weeks, and baby Jordan at 4 weeks, followed by a whole year of nothing. I had finally accepted that I would forever be the mother of an only child – and now I was staring at my future.

Maybe.

Or maybe not. Because I had no guarantee that this pregnancy would turn out any differently than my previous three.

That knowledge haunted me for the next nine months – some of the most anxious, joyful, exciting, terrifying, confusing months of my life, until my son was born, alive and well. During that time, I met a lot of other PAL (pregnant after loss) moms who were experiencing the same wild mix of emotions and discovered to my relief that in spite of feeling like I was going crazy, I was actually quite normal.

Emotions Babyloss Parents Feel After Finding Out They Are Pregnant Again

If you have ever been pregnant after a loss, perhaps you can relate to this list of things babyloss parents do when they get pregnant:

  1. Cry. Because you have another chance. Because you’re scared. Because you’re happy. Because you still miss your other baby. Because you’re hormonal. Because you’re normal.
  2. Pray. Because you realize you have no more control over this pregnancy than you did over the one where your baby died, but God does, and you desperately want this baby to live.
  3. Worry. About if this baby will live. About if your sudden lack of morning sickness is bad news. About whether or not the baby has moved enough. About what you ate or drank before you knew you were pregnant. About the one-in-four statistics for pregnancy loss and you know at least three other pregnant women, so what if you’re the one, again?
  4. Count the days to the next milestone, the next appointment, the next time you get to hear the heartbeat so that you can relax, at least for a moment.
  5. Consider, in some situations, that if your first baby had lived, this rainbow baby might not be here. And then stop thinking about that because it is just too hard to wrap your mind around.
  6. Decide whether to tell people early (to have support in case the baby dies, to celebrate every minute that you have, etc.) or to hide from the world so you can avoid all of the questions and advice givers.
  7. Think carefully about how to answer the question, “Is this your first?”, especially if you don’t have other living children yet.
  8. Grieve, because you haven’t forgotten your child in Heaven, but it seems like everyone else has. Because joy feels like a betrayal of your child in Heaven. Because you miss your other baby but want this one, too.
  9. Feel guilty for any negative, complaining thought whatsoever, whether it is an achy back or trouble sleeping or swollen feet or disappointment with your baby’s gender because you said that all you wanted was a healthy baby so why are you complaining?
  10. Hesitate to decorate the nursery or buy anything but the most minimal of baby gear until you know that he or she is coming home with you. And what you do buy, you make sure you can return it, just in case. Same for maternity clothes.
  11. Feel proud of yourself if you actually removed the tags and washed a few sets of clothes before your due date.
  12. Remember what season it was in your first pregnancy when you were at the stage that you are now.
  13. Wonder what kind of older sibling your baby in Heaven would have been.
  14. Have two birth plans in your head, one if the baby lives and one if he doesn’t. Because if you plan for it this time, maybe it won’t happen.
  15. Exhale when your living baby is born and cries for the first time. Go ahead. You’ve been holding your breath for the last nine months at least.

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Resources Available to Help You Through Pregnancy After Loss of Baby

If you are pregnant after loss, or have been, does any of this resonate in your heart? The journey of pregnancy after loss can feel like a long and lonely one, fraught with worry and tension. But it doesn’t have to be. There are some wonderful resources designed for those who are expecting after loss, both in print and online. There is also local support here in the greater Columbia area, both for loss and for the journey of PAL, through Naomi’s Circle, a ministry that my husband and I began to reach out to parents of babies in Heaven.

The list above? Totally normal. But with the support of others, you can go beyond normal and learn to enjoy this time of preparing to meet your new baby, even while you remember the one you are still missing and will never forget.

Books
Expecting with Hope by Teske Drake
Celebrating Pregnancy Again by Franchesca Cox
Expecting a Rainbow Journal by Stephanie Dyer with Beyond Words Designs
Rainbows and Redemption, edited by Melissa Cummings and Kristi Bothur – free e-book devotional written by ten PAL women who understand the journey

Online
Pregnancy After Loss Support – website and blog for pregnancy after loss
Hannah’s Prayer PAL forum – one of many forums in the Hannah’s Prayer ministry for women dealing with fertility issues
Naomi’s Circle – PAL resources  – list of resources, both in print and online

Local
Naomi’s Circle – monthly support (online and in-person) for both loss and PAL

Similar Articles of Interest
20 Things That Babyloss Moms Do That Feel Crazy But Aren’t
10 More Things Babyloss Parents Do That Feel Impossible But Aren’t

What helped you when you were pregnant after a loss? Share in the comments!

 

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Kristi is a pastor’s wife, mother, writer, and former public school teacher for English for Speakers of Other Languages. She grew up all over the United States as an Air Force brat, but moved to Columbia in the 1990s to attend Columbia International University, and has called the Midlands “home” ever since. Her days are kept full with the antics and activities of her children, homeschooling through Classical Conversations, participating in MOPS and church activities, writing, and leading her Columbia-based pregnancy loss ministry, Naomi’s Circle. Kristi is a contributing editor for “Rainbows and Redemption: Encouragement for the Journey of Pregnancy After Loss” (www.rainbowsandredemption.weebly.com) and a co-author (with the lovely Alexa) of “Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother“ (sunshineafterstorm.us). She shares her thoughts about parenting, loss, cloth diapers, homeschooling, babywearing, and how to integrate faith and life on her blog, This Side of Heaven (www.thissideofheaven.weebly.com).

27 COMMENTS

  1. This was so nice to read my daughter lost her baby at 36 weeks just woke up one morning and that was it ! She realized Presleigh hadn’t been moving that morning which was not normal so she went to hospital to get help and it was too late! They called it a true knot in the cord! One year later we are about to have our rainbow baby boy! Her due date is the days she layed her daughter to rest one year later!! I wish we could have read this article sooner

  2. This is so true, I had my son and after him had 4 losses in the space of 2 years. I then had nothing from the end of 2012 to 2016 and thanks to Clomid i got pregnant again and sadly lost this little bundle just before I reached 12 weeks. We had given up and when i went to my consultant to talk about next steps i found out i was expecting my little girl (we nicknamed Skittle) the whole way through the pregnancy i was absolutely petrified and was up at the hospital what seemed like every 5 minutes. Shortly after having her i found out i am pregnant again (another major surprise) we are just 2 weeks away from meeting our 3rd and i am still finding myself worrying about every little thing and movement. I don’t think it ever goes away the fear, the pain, the stress. It has made me appreciate each day with each of my kids here and the movement of my next one too.

  3. I needed this. I just lost my daughter at 36 weeks and 4 days. We have a four year old but I’m scared for when we try again. Planning a funeral for my child is so hard.

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