Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pregnancy After Miscarriage

As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, I was shocked when I had my miscarriage at 12 weeks in February. I have always heard one of the best indicators for future healthy pregnancies is previous healthy pregnancies and a flawless medical history, of which I had. Then the new reality of life after miscarriage came when I got pregnant again this past July. I knew it would be hard to go through another pregnancy following the miscarriage but I was not fully prepared for all the ways it has been hard. I have realized that over the past 15 weeks I have at times been nearly paralyzed by fear. I know this also goes back to me being a birth mother and relinquishing my firstborn to another family through adoption. I guess a second loss around becoming a parent has really triggered a lot of fear for me. I have tried to process this endlessly and I think I've come to the realization that my biggest fear is that I just don't know how much more loss I can bear. If this pregnancy does not last I wonder if I will have the strength and courage to keep trying. I also just want to know the outcome now, even if it's not the outcome I want. It has been a very long 15 weeks. Every first trimester has been the same for me. I start throwing up daily (usually multiple times) somewhere between weeks 5-8 and continue until 14-16 weeks. That part alone is very exhausting and draining. I don't feel like myself. I wake up dreading to get out of bed because I know I'm heading straight to the toilet. And the rest of the day is up in the air as far as whether or not I'll be able to eat and keep food down. I suppose the physical exhaustion has contributed to the emotional exhaustion. We know that is usually the case since we are holistic beings, of which each part affects the other. Pregnancy after miscarriage has looked like this for me:
  • Pregnancy test response: a pit in Eric and I's stomach. Of course we were excited but also felt hesitant to celebrate.
  • Hesitant to tell others: after the miscarriage I now realize you have to untell every person you tell. I have found myself trying to "hide" this pregnancy from a lot of people.
  • Hiding feels shame based: Somewhere deep down I somehow feel ashamed of my miscarriage. I know rationally speaking, I had no control of that. But somewhere in my heart it feels like a personal thing.
  • I despise the prodding of others to choose optimism: I am a realist. I choose reality. "Now come on, we're not going to think like that. Everything will be fine!" I'm not going to put myself at risk for being ignorant. Right or wrong, I try to prepare myself for either reality, which has naturally led me to holding back.
  • Holding back in embracing this pregnancy: I find myself not fully embracing this baby, even though I'm not proud to say that. I have listened to Selah's song "I Will Carry You" countless times b/c my heart is really to get to a place where I can say before God and this baby "you are mine to carry for this time. I embrace you today no matter what the outcome". Ironically enough, this is the best advice I received when I was pregnant with my firstborn. A critical moment of choosing to dive into my pregnancy regardless of the outcome (parenting vs. adoption) even though it felt like I was accepting more risk of pain if I chose adoption. Reality is I had much less regret b/c I knew I had fully embraced her both in utero and in the time I had with her at the hospital. I don't want to regret how I handle this.
  • Doctors appointments involve a lot of nerves and sweating: I will never forget how it felt to have the ultrasound tech not find a heartbeat on the screen back in February. I actually have had many dreams/nightmares that this will happen again. I am currently nervous about our 18 week ultrasound for fear of the baby not being alive and/or not growing right.
I think that about sums it up. In sharing this, it is both cathartic for me but I also hope that when we come across people in a similar situation as mine, that maybe we can be more empathic with each other. That's not to say family and friends have not been empathic. It's just a lot of times, we don't invite each other into our private thoughts. I recently had a conversation with a lady who had a similar experience and she shared that I may not feel overall relief until I deliver a healthy baby. I appreciated that feedback. It felt good to think that maybe I'm not alone in my craziness.

We have also decided to do a Baby Gender Reveal Party. We really want to embrace this baby boy or girl and thought this party would help us as we continue to move forward. So on Wednesday (assuming baby cooperates) the ultrasound tech will write baby's gender on a piece of paper and we will take it to a baker without looking. With friends on Friday night, we will all find out the gender together when we cut into a cake and it is either pink or blue inside. Stay tuned for pics ;)

Disclaimer: although it was not emphasized I do realize how blessed I am to be a normally healthy person (of which many people cannot say) and that I am also blessed to be able to conceive and to have carried successfully in the past.


anne said...

Thank you for this post, Priscilla. I am always so thankful for people who are honest and transparent. It feels like a gift that you would be willing to share your journey with the rest of us. I don't have any amazing words to offer, but just a reminder of what you probably already know - you are not alone! Praying for peace and joy for you today!!

The Gesuale's said...

Congratulations on your pregnancy! Believing for a full term healthy baby! Love you!

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