Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Miscarriage: Subsequent Pregnancy

Tomorrow's group is on subsequent pregnancy, so in honour, I thought I would post another of my older writings...

Pregnancy - a time of joy and anticipation for many parents. Subsequent pregnancy, after experiencing one or more losses, is more often a time of fear and anxiety. Making it past that magic number - 7, 10, 14, 20 weeks - seems to be an impossible eternity.

Every symptom analyzed - are my breasts tender enough? Am I nauseous enough? Do I still FEEL pregnant? Bathroom visits fraught with fear - will I see blood this time? For some, it means bed rest until the danger time has passed. Others take many trips to our doctor for weekly blood levels and reassurance.

Friends and family, assuring us it can't happen again, seem naive and insensitive to our apprehensions. Commitment to this pregnancy, and bonding to this new fetus can be difficult. Some parents deny their pregnancy outright, until it becomes less tentative.

When our special baby is finally born - health, safe and complete - we may still have important grief work to do. As much as this baby is desired and welcome, it is not the baby (or babies) we lost. The reality of a live, full-term baby is a strong reminder of just what has been lost. Intermingled with the joy and happiness, can be feelings of relief, disappointment, jealousy and unexpected anger.

This baby is not a replacement for those lost, but a special child in his or her own right. Working through our grief by reading related literature, talking with our partner and/or close friends and family, attending a support group (if available) and sharing with others who have experienced such loss(es) is best done before attempting a subsequent pregnancy. This enables us to connect with the new baby with greater ease, renewed strength and better understanding.


sitisarah said...

I lost my baby at 8 weeks two years ago. I already have 5 kids. But that doesn't mean I don't love this one. I saw the ultrasound. She (or he) already had tiny stubs for fingers and toes. But we couldn't find the heartbeat. I was alone in the room. My husb was at work. He was busy. Acted like he didn't care. I cried after I talked to him on the public phone. He sounded so distant and cold. When I was going thru what had to be done with the Dr, I cried softly. Maybe they all thought since this was my 6th child, it didn't matter. BUT IT DID. I m still not over it.

Anonymous said...

I've had 1 stillborn (21 weeks)and 1 miscarriage (about 4 weeks) and am barely just pregnant again. I don't really know how to feel. There was nothing wrong with the first one. Labs and chromosome studies all came back normal. The second one was too early to tell. Needless to say, I'm very anxious and am trying not to count my chickens, so to speak. So, to say the least, I've been there.