Fight Fear with Love: What To Do When You’re Pregnant After a Miscarriage
The pregnancy test comes back positive, and rather than jumping for joy like before, you smile a little, but worry a lot. How do you celebrate your new pregnancy when you feel so scared of losing your baby again?
It’s normal for women who have suffered miscarriages to have mixed feelings about being pregnant again. The loss of a child is traumatizing, and whether you lost your child two months or eight months into the pregnancy, the loss is real. So, what happens when you want to get pregnant after a miscarriage? Deciding to try again doesn’t happen overnight–you need to take all the time you need to heal. But when you do decide, having another child after suffering a miscarriage doesn’t mean that you’re forgetting what happened, or that it’s sure that you’ll lose your child again.
5 Tips to handle the anxiety of getting pregnant after a miscarriage
But even with this assurance, the fear, unfortunately, will probably still be there, lurking around with every week that your baby grows inside you. How do you handle your pregnancy with this mindset? Learn from these moms who were able to have their “rainbow baby” (a term used to call a child born after a miscarriage), and a mom who has suffered two miscarriages, but stays hopeful to carry her own rainbow baby some day.
Time your announcement
Some women can’t hide their excitement of becoming a mom a few days after missing a period, but for some moms who have suffered a miscarriage, they have learned to err on the cautious side, since who would want to add disappointment and sadness from others if a child was ever lost again? Monica shares, “My husband and I were very happy, but we felt like we had to curb our excitement. Unlike before, we did not announce until I was well over 3 months pregnant, just to protect ourselves and our family who were also heartbroken when the miscarriage happened.”
Turn your fear into being proactive
When Abi* saw those two pink lines, she was ecstatic. “But I was also equally scared,” Abi adds. “I didn’t think i could handle another miscarriage. As a new precaution, I immediately got tested for APAS (Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome, wherein the immune system creates antibodies that make blood clots in the veins and arteries). And I turned out positive for one category. I looked for a specialist— a perinatologist who handles high-risk pregnancies. She connected me with an immunologist who managed my APAS.”
Monica adds that she strictly followed the do’s and don’ts of pregnancy as well. “I adopted the mindset of erring on the side of caution always. Even if people told me that a cup of coffee a day will not hurt, I did not allow myself that cup as I read that caffeine contributes to early contractions. We had a re-do of our Honeymoon scheduled during my 1st few weeks and we were heading to Italy, where we had arranged a wine tasting, even if there was another lady there that told me a glass or sip won’t hurt, I still did not taste the wine.”
Listen to your body
While not all miscarriages may be due to specific reasons, listen to your body. If you feel that there’s something off, head to a specialist to explain your symptoms. That fear might be telling you something. If it comes out that your fear is unfounded, perhaps your specialist will be able to help soothe your worries by answering your questions, and giving you tips on how to have a healthy pregnancy.
Adopt this Mantra: What will be, will be
Whether you believe in God or any higher power, remember this: What is meant for you will always be for you, no matter what. It might take more work compared to others, you might have experienced losses, but when a child is meant to be in your life, he or she will come.
Monica shares, “The biggest motivator I had to manage the fear, believe it or not, was remembering Beyonce’s film. She was my college hero, and I was reminding myself that she was doing a full on dance rehearsal while pregnant with Blue Ivy. Her OB said to her that if that baby was meant to be born, no matter what she did, it will live. Our bodies are strong and miraculous and if that baby is meant to live, it will all unfold according to plan, so just try your best to enjoy the pregnancy and gear up for what comes next after delivery.”
Take it one day at a time
Nine months sounds like a long time for a woman to be pregnant, so imagine how long that feels to a pregnant woman who suffered a miscarriage before—she probably can’t wait until she gives birth and holds her baby in her arms!
The daily routines, like peeing or eating, becomes laced with fear for some women, because of their traumatic experience of losing a child. Mary Grace shares, I felt so scared the first eight weeks that I barely showered. I felt like the bleeding in the shower will happen all over again. Throughout the pregnancy, I always felt scared wiping myself after urinating because I always had spotting.”
These everyday moments that remind you of traumatic experiences may rob you of the happy moments that are happening your pregnancy right now—seeing your baby in the ultrasound, seeing a heartbeat, that first kick. Rather than projecting to the future and worrying about not being able to carry your child to full term, focus on today. Focus on what you need right now, on making good choices for you and your baby to thrive. Do your best one day at a time, and let the future take care of itself.
A miscarriage can be traumatic and discourage you from trying for another baby. However, if you do find yourself pregnant after a miscarriage, take a deep breath and take care of yourself. Over worrying about what happened in the past will only add to your stress over these 9 months – stress you don’t need!