Pregnancy After Loss (And Infertility)

November 5, 2019

By Sanda Rathamone


Baby #2
13 weeks - 10/18/19
 
"If God answers your prayers, He is increasing your faith, if He delays, He is increasing your patience. If He doesn't answer, He has something better for you."

We found out in late August that we are expecting, and boy was it an unexpected surprise! Yet, days before we got the "big fat positive," there was that "feeling" that I couldn't quite brush off, while at the same time, didn't want to get any hopes up. After all, hope became my biggest pain.

Three years of unexplained secondary infertility (after stillbirth) held me in this place of distrust in my body and hopeless that we would conceive again. I was consumed with every day thoughts about TTC that I came to a point where all I could do was surrender my dream of having a living baby. My heavy heart needed rest. I had forgotten how to live life without obsessing, stuck in my desires, riding this never-ending cycle of despair.

Related Read: "White Flag"

Soon after "letting go," it was like a magnet to answering my prayer. I have read similar stories of women who had somehow miraculously got pregnant the moment they decided to stop worrying or planning. I have had a couple fellow baby loss moms (who are TTC) ask me what I did differently or if I had changed anything. All I could say was this cliché advice of "letting go and letting God."
 
I didn't eat healthier, I didn't try acupuncture, I didn't lose weight or got on a workout routine, I didn't go through fertility treatments or tried supplements. I just... let it go... it became a burden too heavy to carry. I decided to focus on my building my career because it was all I had; my dreams of having a family were crushed to beyond a pulp, it became dust.
 
And then, one day, everything changed. Dust turned into life.
 
But, while I had given up hope, my husband still had his - I held onto hope for so long.  Almost a week before we knew, I felt sick and told my husband of how something didn't feel right. He touched my belly and suggested maybe there was a baby "in there." To protect my heart, I didn't think it was possible; there were too many times I thought "I was." I spent days trying so hard not to fancy the idea of pregnancy because I was afraid that the "letting go and letting God" wouldn't work; that I would grieve and cry for weeks after finding out that these "symptoms" were nothing, but false ideas that I had fed myself.

The night before the morning test, I asked God to send me a sign:

"Please send me a sign that I am pregnant. Any sign. And if I am not pregnant, it's okay. Just please, send me a sign."


I woke up that morning from a strange dream. I dreamt of a man who spoke in my mother's native language. He had asked me to do him a favor, to help him "wash the dishes," while in his arms were a sleeping baby girl. He was alone and looked as if he was in desperate need of help.

When I took the test, I realized that the dream was indeed, a sign that I had asked for. And that man, he had wanted me to wash away my past, to cleanse my soul, to begin a new life...

I wish I could say that what I felt were happiness and joy from seeing my hands hold a positive pregnancy test. I waited a long time for this very moment and the only words I could describe how I felt were shock and disbelief. I had prepared myself for another disappointment (it was what I knew how to do after loss). So, when what I saw wasn't what I had expected (which was the usual), I just froze. My heart stopped, I couldn't blink, and I didn't know what to do.

There was no jumping for joy, no fist pump and "YEEESSSSSS!," no "OMFG, I'M PREGNANT!!!!" There was, however, "Oh. I'm pregnant. Really? Is this for real??" And then, tears of joy - along with sadness, fear, exhaustion, confusion.

And that's the thing about pregnancy after loss:

Is it ever safe to express joy and excitement, to share the news with friends and family, to celebrate a new budding life, to prepare for a future?? When will it be okay to fully accept the pregnancy, to welcome the baby with open arms? Will we ever stop worrying about the chance of another loss? Will the same thing happen to this baby?
 
I have asked other moms for advice on pregnancy after loss and one of them struck out to me:
"Take it one day at a time."
We don't know what will happen tomorrow or days from now, but today, I am pregnant, I am carrying this baby, and that is something to be grateful for. We waited years for this.
 
Our Little Rainbow
Due April 22, 2020

With love,

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