Strong as a Mother- Tips for Navigating Pregnancy After Loss

 

amantha

 

6 weeks after my miscarriage, I had a positive pregnancy test. To say I was shocked, would be an understatement. I hadn’t even had a period, since my loss, and honestly it was the last thing on my mind. But I was of course excited. I had the pregnancy confirmed by my midwife, and told family and a few close friends.

Because it what moms do, I went about life as fairly normal. I started getting sick around 6 weeks and while it was miserable to be puking while chasing around a toddler, it was a welcome reminder that my body was indeed pregnant.

When December came, a very dear friend of mine, reached out and introduced me to a wonderful organization called SHARE. Share is a national program, that provides support to families whose lives are touched by the tragic death of a baby through pregnancy loss, stillbirth or in the first few months of life. In my area, the group meets once a month to talk through and support one another. They also do a special service at Christmas, which my friend was thoughtful enough to invite me too.

As I said in my previous post, I didn’t really take much time at all to process or grieve my pregnancy loss. I really didn’t *think* that it had affected me that much. I continued saying things like, “it was so early”, “i didn’t feel pregnant”, maybe it was just a chemical pregnancy”. And I didn’t share the loss with anyone but my close family. So, while I was honored to be invited to the service, and I thought I would enjoy it, I didn’t expect the wave of emotion that came over me. I didn’t realize how much hurt I had been holding in. The service was simple, some music and readings., but healing and inspirational.

I felt safe to let go, to finally admit that I was hurting. To acknowledge the little spirit that I lost. As part of the service, they gave all the families a charm, something physical to remember their babies by. My husband and I each keep the charms in our wallets, and its a sweet reminder and acknowledgment of our baby.

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I now choose to talk openly about my pregnancy loss. I realize how important it is to talk about this. 1 in 4 moms have experienced pregnancy or infant loss. That is far too many to just pretend like nothing happened. It is good to acknowledge those babies, they were real and mean something to those families. I will forever be grateful to my friend, for reaching out to me and I hope to be able to do the same for other mothers.

So as my pregnancy progressed, I was able to finally have that first real prenatal visit. To see and hear a little heartbeat, and to know that things were going well. At 13 weeks, I had my second ultrasound, and it was so reassuring. But at 15 weeks, a switch flipped. I felt nervous and anxious. All day every day, I was worried I was loosing my baby. It was all I could think about. I reached out on social media, and got some great tips . I would like to share with you what worked for me. I realize these may not work for everyone, or align with everyone’s beliefs, but I share them in hopes of another mama reading this and finding peace.

 

Fetal heart rate monitor…..another friend, and fellow loss mama, was kind enough to let me borrow hers. Every morning, Kallen and I would find the baby’s heartbeat and listen to it. It was always so reassuring to hear that little gallop and Kal learned to love it too. Even after I could feel movement, he would still as to “hear the baby” almost daily

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Affirmations….. As I shared before, affirmations are something that really help me with anxiety. I would repeat things like

“My body is accepting my baby and I will protect it”

“I trust that my body knows what to do”

“I have an amazing support system. When I ask for help, I receive help”

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Prayer…..this was a huge one for me. I have a very firm belief that I have a heavenly father who loves me and who has a plan for me. I would have conversations with him daily, to please keep me and my baby healthy and to help me to understand that he has a plan for me. It was hard to give up that control, and put my trust in him. But I felt so very comforted, and am forever grateful for the knowledge and testimony that I have

Taking time for me.….Recognizing when I needed a minute to process feelings, and sharing that with my husband was huge. Sometimes just 5 minutes by myself to say a little prayer and repeat my affirmations without a toddler hanging on my leg, made all the difference. I also took a bath almost every night….not only did it ease my sore, tired, achey body, but also my mind. I used essential oils like lavender, wild orange, and ylang ylang, as well as deep breathing to help calm myself down.

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A little ice cream now and then, didn’t hurt at all either

 

Once I started feeling movement, my anxiety eased up a ton. There were definitely still moments, and I used these techniques throughout my entire pregnancy. But feeling movement is probably my favorite part of pregnancy. Not only because it is absolutely amazing to know that you are creating life, but it is a constant reminder that your little one is doing okay.

And today, I have my sweet little Cora. She is my rainbow, the reminder that we made it through that storm. I believe in Eternal Families, and that one day, I will get to meet that sweet spirit that was too perfect for this life. And that I will get a chance to be a mother. But for now, I carry them in my heart, and like my 2 other babies, they are always with me.

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To any other mama in this club, the club that no one wants to be a part of, I want to say this…

You are not alone. You are 1 in 4. Chances are someone in your moms group, or a mom you see at the gym, maybe even someone on your block, is in this club too. And maybe they need someone too, but they are scared. Reach out, find a local share group or if you prefer, a Facebook group or blog. Talk to other mamas who have been there, they will hold you in the hard moments, lift you up when you feel like you can’t stand, and celebrate the little victories with you.

If you have not experienced a loss, and you are wonder what can you do or what do you say to a mama that has….You don’t have to say anything. Just be there. Hug her, and love her, and support her. When she wants to talk listen, and when she doesn’t don’t push her. Let her talk about her baby, and acknowledge them.

This is why we need our mama tribes and mama villages.

My ear is always open, and my shoulder always available, to any mama who needs to lean on it. Please reach out to me, if you feel you have no one else.

My one and only hope sharing this story and this series, is that other mamas get some support or peace from it.

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13 thoughts on “Strong as a Mother- Tips for Navigating Pregnancy After Loss

  1. I am so sorry that you had to deal with a loss. Thank you for sharing your story! Strong mamas like you are helping to “normalize” talking about the strong emotions involved in all things motherhood

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  2. I admire your strength, for being able to openly share this now. I’m sorry for your loss. I may not relate, but I can feel the pain and couldn’t imagine how that feels. I can almost feel all of my insides just drop, my heart racing.. it breaks my heart that this kind of stuff happens. But I’m glad that you were able to join SHARE to help you process what you didn’t want to..because the truth is, for every hurt can only heal if we allow it to come out. It hurts, and I’m certain it breaks your heart still, and I couldn’t take that away for you. Hope you’re well. xoxo –https://imommy.co

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  3. So sorry to hear that you had a loss 😦 I can not even imagine how difficult that would be. Thank you for sharing your story!

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  4. Dealing with a loss is so tough.. I had a miscarriage last year and it took me quite some time to talk about it, but was liberating once I did.

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  5. Wow this is such a beautiful post. The while I myself have not suffered the loss of a baby, I have several friends who have and I know it’s one of the more difficult things they’ve had to deal with. This post is a great way for you to commiserate with those who have had a similar loss and educate those of us who haven’t. *hugs*

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  6. As I get older and meet more and more people, I realize how lucky I am to have giving birth to my 3 children, and never had to have the heartache. Thank you so much for sharing your story and being strong for others.

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  7. I never personally experienced a miscarriage, but I suffer from extreme anxiety and using prayer and affirmations helped me SO much during my pregnancy as well. I’m so sorry for your loss, you are such a strong mama. ❤

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