Pregnancy After Stillbirth or Miscarriage
Coping with Pregnancy after Pregnancy Loss
My first born son was stillborn. I gave birth to him only hours after multiple ultrasounds indicated he no longer had a heartbeat. The hospital room was cold, my mind was hazy and to this day it still feels like a bad dream. I wanted more than anything to be a mother, but after losing my baby my fear of another pregnancy was almost unbearable.
Four months after I gave birth, I found myself pregnant again, and although it was a very stressful experience at times, it ended up being a positive experience. I have a two beautiful children and a new outlook on life that was given to me from my first pregnancy.
Dealing with the Fear of it Happening Again
Getting through a pregnancy after a stillbirth or a miscarriage is no easy task but there are ways to cope that I learned along the way.
1. Rent a Fetal Doppler. For many people hearing their baby’s heartbeat every couple of days is very reassuring. If I didn’t have a doppler during my second pregnancy I may have called my doctor almost daily with fears that something was wrong. Just being able to be reassured by hearing my baby's heartbeat was an excellent feeling and it calmed me every time. Ask your doctor before renting one and make sure you are at least twelve weeks along before attempting to locate your babies heartbeat, before that usually the heartbeat isn’t strong enough to be heard. Below is a great link for renting dopplers, it’s a easy simple process and having one will bring your peace of mind.
2. Write a journal. I had so many fears and emotions about my second pregnancy that I didn’t know how to deal with them all. Writing them down really did help. Writing is therapeutic
3. Join a support group. Whether it is online (i.e. babycenter.com) or in person, a support group is essential. There is nothing that can compare to talking to other women that have walked in your shoes. The stories of successful pregnancies will also be very comforting to hear.
4. Get a compasionate doctor. It was very important to me to have a doctor who didn’t mind getting a million phone calls and questions from me. A doctor who understands your past and is sensitive to your fears is very helpful during a stressful pregnancy. Find the right doctor for you and feel free to bombard them with your fears and questions. That is their job and any doctor who understands will be happy to help.
5. Give yourself a break. You are going to be emotional and you are going to be stressed, so don’t beat yourself up for it. When you start to worry try calling a friend or a family member or write in your journal.
6. Read a book. Get your mind off of your pregnancy by getting into a good book or watching a movie. It does help to not think about your pregnancy for awhile, so keep your mind busy and try to enjoy life while you are pregnant.
7. Remember not all pregnancies are the same. It does help to know that most pregnancies after stillbirth or miscarriage are successful and that just because something went wrong in your last pregnancy does not mean it will happen again.
Don't Forget to Treat Yourself Good
Most importantly take care of yourself. Eat right, follow your doctor’s advice, exercise and love this child with all your heart. Even though losing my son was unbelievably painful, he helped make me who I am today. I am a better mother to my children because of him, I appreciate life a little more because of him and I am a more grateful person because of him. If you are reading this and you are pregnant or plan on being pregnant after a stillbirth or miscarriage I wish you a very uneventful, healthy and wonderful pregnancy
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