PTSD

I woke up this morning feeling pretty shitty. My head felt hazy and my body felt exhausted. I routinely check my email as I lay in bed and I opened an email from ‘what to expect: termination for medical reasons.’ This is basically a forum from the app about woman discussing their TFMR and some their pregnancy after their loss. Sometimes I read them, sometimes I can’t. The first and only one I read today was from a woman who terminated due to trisomy 13. She discussed her decision and how that decisions came from love. She would absorb the pain her son would of felt by mourning his loss forever. Naturally, as I approached the end of the post, I was drenched in tears. I miss my daughter. I am upset that next week I won’t welcome her into this world, instead she is just a memory. I am in tears because I feel like I am still mourning her loss while carrying her sibling. It’s not that I don’t love the baby inside me, but I feel disconnected. I’m scared to let myself become attached. How could I handle it if I lost this one too? 

I am scheduled for a CVS (chorionic villus sampling) on Friday. I am having mixed feelings about the procedure. I will be exactly 10 weeks and the risks scare me. What if it causes me to miscarry a healthy baby? What would the CVS have been for? Nothing. What if we find horroring results and I have to TFMR again? How will I survive the grief? 

In my previous pregnancy I was able to have a CVS transabdominally. I’d much prefer this method because there is less of a risk of miscarrying. Can I advocate for this? In anyone’s experience with a CVS’ were you given a choice? 

A relief 

Baby’s heart rate was good and baby was right on track! 

I was recommended for a chorionic villus sampling (CVS) given my history. This will give us the genetics of the baby. This will be done next week. I intend to be a wreck from the procedure to the day we get our results (hopefully everything is normal!) 

Fingers crossed for a healthy baby!

First scan= overwhelming anxiety 

I have my first scan this morning. I feel sick to my stomach with anxiety. I am terrified, but I am also excited. I am excited for the hope of good news (a heartbeat and growth on track!). I am naturally terrified as I am well aware of everything that can go wrong in a pregnancy. After experiencing pregnancy losses, your head goes to dark places. You start believing that the bad is more prevalent than the good. Essentially, you’re totally robbed of your innocence. I keep trying to assure myself: I’ve have morning sickness day and night, sore boobs, exhaustion and moodiness. All pregnancy symptoms. I have had no alarming symptoms (spotting like I had with the last two pregnancies). So this should indicate that everything should be okay. 

I know regardless of the outcome, I can’t control anything. Regardless of the outcome, I will survive. Regardless of the outcome, I will persevere. 

Pregnancy feels like a hangover that I am so grateful for

I am 8w2d. I feel like I have a preptual hangover that, at times, graduates to feel like the flu. I couldn’t be more grateful. I welcome all unpleasant symptoms as long as they bring me a healthy baby. 

So far, I haven’t had any spotting. A symptom that was present in my last two pregnancies. The first pregnancy ended at 5 weeks, so that’s not a very good comparison. During my second pregnancy I had spotting between weeks 7-9. I feel very fortunate. I understand that regardless of not spotting and having pregnancy symptoms galore doesn’t mean healthy, but I am trying everything to stay positive. I have to be positive…

I have my first prenatal visit this week. I am praying for a heartbeat and bracing myself for severe anxiety. I am confident that the whole visit will be a trigger, even though I am going to a different practice. 

Statistics are on my side right? Ha says anyone who has experienced pregnancy loss… But I can hope! 

My pregnancy after my loss

Its been a couple weeks…

Full disclosure: I’m pregnant.

Last week we went with my parents and my sister and her boyfriend to New Paltz, NY for the week.  For the past three years we have found a house in a rural area surrounded by mountains, farms and quaint towns to explore for a week out of the summer. We soak up quality time and are usually very active; hiking, biking, walking. As we were approaching the day of departure, I also realized that my period was due two days into the vacation.  Instead of packing the one pregnancy test I had left and waiting, I purchased a box of tampons.  I was trying not to jinx myself. As we were on our way up north, I realized I did not have any PMS symptoms. I was not moody, I did not have an interest in sex, and my boobs were not sore (they usually ache prior to my period). I immediately shrugged it off. I am not getting my hopes up. I will wait until I am a week late, if I am late… On day two of the trip, the day my period was due, nothing came.  I still thought I might of miscalculated the timing of ovulation, so I again told myself to stop.  I had some wine. I felt sick. My stomach was in knots. I thought it was a fluke.  I decided to stick with sparking water.  I could do without the wine…just in case.  My husband sensed my anxiety about this and purchased pregnancy tests.  Sweet man. I told him to hide the tests.  I wasn’t testing unless I was a week late and I didn’t feel I was ready in the event it was negative.  The week carried on. Symptoms of my period were no where in sight. After a hike on Thursday I bombarded my husband while he was showering and declared that I was going to pee on a stick. Poor man is a bit squeamish and insisted he was fully in the shower before I drop trou. I peed. In seconds the perpendicular line appeared showing a very distinct positive sign.  I am pregnant. ‘Well, it’s definitely positive.’ A very characteristic ‘yay’ sung from behind the shower curtain. I showed him the pee stick like it was a trophy and said ‘we’ll see.’

I am six weeks tomorrow. I have decided not to go to the doctor until I am between 8-10 weeks. From our prior pregnancy, we know we are not carriers of anything.  I know if I go to the doctor now my blood will be taken to check my betas followed by another blood test 48 hours later. In the past this has caused great anxiety. This is also how I found out I was miscarrying my first. I decided that the information will not be able to change anything and/or provide any medical intervention in the event that the blood test determines that this pregnancy is not viable. Therefore, I will wait.  I will wait to go. When I go for the first time, I want to be able to see the baby, heartbeat and all.  Fingers crossed.

That is very weird to put into writing after what I have been through. It does not carry the same emotion as it once did.  I don’t feel this overwhelming, engulfing sense of joy, I just feel terrified. Almost detached.  While we were trying, I would frequently day dream about what pregnancy again would feel like while trying to remember what it felt like when I was pregnant last. I figured it would feel remarkable and exciting, I was wrong. To be honest, I don’t feel any different. I thought that once I became pregnant my mind would fill up on thoughts of pregnancy, but it hasn’t. When I a pregnant or baby thought enters my mind, I shrug it off almost immediately, I rarely let myself entertain it. I need to protect myself.  If I don’t give it much thought, then I’ll be okay in the event the worst happens, right? I just can’t get too excited yet…

Please don’t misunderstand, I am ecstatic to be pregnant and grateful that it happened rather quickly. I by no means meant to convey otherwise. I am just terrified, anxious, and apprehensive. But I will persevere.

pregnancy after loss bill of rights

This is beautifully articulated. I think it’s crucial to remember these points and honor them for anyone experiencing pregnancy after loss.

losing beckett james...

read this a few days ago in a pregnancy after loss newsletter and wanted to share:

PregnancyAfterLossBillofRights

1) I have the right to grieve my child or children that have died and/or the previous pregnancies I have lost. I have the right to be sad about my loss(es) during my current pregnancy.

2) I have the right to be scared, anxious and afraid. I already know what it is like to lose. I know how it feels to have the “It will never happen to me” actually happen to me. I have already had the worst happen, and I know it could happen again. Please don’t diminish my reality by diminishing my fears.

3) I have the right to receive support. I need it now more than ever. Especially from my family, friends, other bereaved and PAL moms, mental health providers, and my pregnancy care team.

4) I have the right…

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