Pregnancy after loss is hard. So very hard.
But if you can get yourself past the fear of losing another child, it can also be one of the most joyful experiences of your life, as it should be.
To the mom who has a baby in heaven, my heart aches alongside you. Our babies will never be forgotten. They are loved and cherished, always.
But pregnancy after loss has a tendency to rob you of the joy you would normally feel upon finding out you’re pregnant, again. And I don’t want that for you. I pray that your heart is held by a hand much stronger than your own, that your anxiety is calmed, and that your fear is washed away.
The 1st trimester is the danger zone, and it is filled with tons of emotions.
So I have some 1st trimester tips for you.
These are 4 things that helped me get through my 1st trimester of pregnancy after loss with only a little bit of anxiety, but honestly that’s to be expected of any mom, right?
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1. Pray. I prayed a lot because that has always been one way that I can feel immediate peace. Those first few weeks of the 1st trimester are the hardest because you just don’t know. Part of you wonders if it’s all a fluke, part of you is certain that the ultrasound will show that something is wrong with your baby. With all of that uncertainty, the only thing you can do is pray.
I am coming to you today, asking for peace within my heart. You have granted me the gift that I have prayed fervently for, but my heart is anxious. I am wracked with worry and fear. Take this burden from me, Lord. Protect me from more heartache. Give me your peace that passes all understanding. Place your Almighty hand on my baby. Keep my baby safe. Grant my baby a healthy body so that he/she can walk and jump and skip and play one day soon. I vow to raise this baby up in the Lord, so that he/she may further your kingdom. You are a mighty and merciful God, and I know that you are actively working for my GOOD. I surrender my baby to you, Lord.
2. Surrender. Let’s face it. At the end of the day, you have zero control over this pregnancy and the health of your baby. You can either let this be an incredible burden on your shoulders or a Holy comfort. I encourage you to let it be a comfort. Know that you know that you know that the all-powerful God of the universe is taking care of you and your baby. He is actively working for the good of those who love him (that means YOU!). The very best thing any mother can do for her child is surrender him/her over to the Lord. It’s best to start that process – because it is a process – now, rather than later. To read about my own journey through surrender, click here.
3. Talk about it. We were never meant to go through this life alone. We especially weren’t meant to go through hard times alone. If you’re feeling anxious, worried, or fearful, talk to someone about it. The worst thing you can do is internalize your fears, and let them take over your entire being. Stress is the last thing your body needs right now. Talk to your husband. He, of all people, should know exactly what you’re going through. After all, he lost a child too. I’m willing to bet he has his own set of fears as well. Talk to your mom, your friend, a fellow angel mama, your Dr., anyone! Just please please please don’t hold your feelings in. Allow yourself to process them and move through them.
4. Purchase a fetal doppler. Having a fetal doppler at home and being able to listen to the baby’s heartbeat whenever I wanted was huge for me. It still is, really. But I feel like I should add a disclaimer here because a fetal doppler also has the power to amp up your anxiety tenfold if for some reason you can’t find the baby’s heartbeat. There are probably a hundred reasons why you might not be able to find the heartbeat at home, and most have absolutely nothing to do with the actual well-being of your child. For this reason, I would suggest talking to your Dr about it first. In my opinion, if your Dr has been able to find the heartbeat with a doppler, you probably will be able to also. I wouldn’t start trying to find one until about 9 weeks because up until then, your baby is just too small and too hidden to be picked up by a doppler. The doppler I purchased from Amazon is no longer available, but there is a very similar one (same style, different brand) pictured below. I watched youtube videos on how to position the thingy (I think it’s actually called a “probe”, but that word just really doesn’t sit well with me, so I’m gonna call it a “thingy” LOL).
Fair warning: it sometimes takes awhile to find the heartbeat. Be patient. Even the slightest movement could make you lose it. Also, don’t confuse your heartbeat with the baby’s. The baby’s will be much quicker than yours, and sound like a horse galloping
One more anxiety calming statistic for you angel mamas out there… I came across this graph shortly after my first OB appointment. It shows the percentage rates of miscarriage week by week. At the time, I had already seen my baby on an ultrasound and was about 10 weeks along, meaning I had a <1% chance of miscarrying. Obviously, take this information with a grain of salt because I don’t have a lot of research to back it up, but I hope it at least helps calm your anxious heart.
This picture was borrowed from Easy Baby Life, who lists her informational resources at the link below.