Many women who deal with infertility also have to deal with miscarriages during their journey to motherhood. If you're pregnant after dealing with a combination of fertility problems and at least one prior miscarriage, you're likely facing a variety of emotions, from guilt to worry to excitement.
If You're Feeling Guilty...
Although you've successfully gotten pregnant, you're likely also still mourning the loss of your previous pregnancies. Many women who've experienced miscarriages feel guilt during subsequent pregnancies. They feel like they shouldn't be excited for the new pregnancy because it dishonors the memories of the previous pregnancies.
When you find yourself having these feelings, it helps to talk to the babies you previously lost, whether it be in a journal or aloud.
Talking to the babies that you lost might feel silly at first, but it can help you hold on to your inherent connection to them. Express your love for them, your memories of your short time with them, and share details of your new pregnancy with them. Allow yourself to acknowledge that those are your babies, even if they're no longer living. Making the babies feel like part of your family can help you come back to celebrating the new pregnancy peacefully.
If You're Feeling Scared...
Even the healthiest of pregnancies can be nerve-wracking. However, when you've already experienced loss, there are days that every small twinge makes you feel frightened that you're about to have another miscarriage. It's especially common for women to feel frightened when they're approaching the time in pregnancy that they experienced their previous loss.
You'll need to be open with your partner and your OB about these fears and emotions. Your OB can be especially helpful, especially if he or she is experienced in working with mothers with fertility problems.
Although he or she won't be able to take away the emotional pain, he or she can help you get to the root of the physical sensations that are scaring you. Is it the stretching of the uterus? Is it gas pains? How often are you feeling kicks? Answering these questions can help remind you that you're currently experiencing a healthy pregnancy, even if you had previous losses.
If You're Feeling Shame...
Shame often comes on when talking about your pregnancy with others who don't know about your losses. Someone asking the simple question, "Is this your first?" can cause a whole slew of negative emotions in your mind. If you say, "Yes," to avoid discussing your losses, you feel like you're not honoring your other babies. If you say, "No," you subject yourself to personal questions you might not want to answer.
Coming up with a non-confrontational statement can appease others without bringing on more questions for you to answer. For example, "This is our first baby, but it's not our first pregnancy. I hope you understand if I don't have the time to discuss our previous pregnancies," is open and honest without causing you pain.
All pregnancies should be celebrated, but this can be unspeakably difficult for women who have had previous miscarriages. If you're experiencing these feelings, understand that it's normal but also take steps to help yourself feel better. If you're feeling guilt, fear, or shame, find ways to get yourself to a place of honesty and happiness, loving the babies who are living and have passed away.
If necessary, work with a trusted infertility clinic, such as Contemporary Health Care for Women, to ensure even further support through future pregnancies.
During my first pregnancy, I spent a lot of time pushing pillows behind my back trying to find comfort. As the size of the baby grew, so did my discomfort. By the time she was born, I was more than ready to give birth. When I found out I was pregnant again, I was determined that I would not suffer through the same discomforts. I started researching ways to ease the symptoms of pregnancy, including back pain. I created this blog to help other expectant moms find remedies to deal with those symptoms that can be emotionally and physically draining.