After experiencing pregnancy or infant loss, it is natural to face a wide range of emotions if and when you do become pregnant again.
While there are many positive feelings that come with the news of expecting a new life, it is inevitable to grapple with some degree of worry, stress, and/or anxiety. The most common fear that keeps us up at night — will I lose the baby again?
Upon talking with mothers and fathers within this community, the number one fear that permeated through subsequent pregnancies was whether or not a loss would occur again. For some, the intense concern began to subside after the pregnancy progressed farther along than when the previous loss occurred. For others, they remained frightened up until the day their baby safely arrived.
Please do not allow anyone to diminish your fear, suggest that you are overreacting, or make you feel silly for thinking this way. Speaking from my own experience of multiple miscarriages that happened consecutively, unfortunately, once you have suffered one loss does not automatically mean that you are immune or exempt from having another. Yes, people will try to encourage and reassure you by saying the odds of that actually happening are low. However, sadly it does happen to some of us.
Your doctors can share exact statistics with you, but know if this does transpire, you are certainly not alone. At the time, you may feel like the only person you know that this has ever happened to. As you gradually (if and when you are ready) share your story, you might be surprised to find how many acquaintances, distant relatives, or friends of friends have endured a similar path.
Conversely, just because you have experienced a prior loss or multiple losses does not mean you will always reach the same outcome in future pregnancies. Countless mothers and fathers within this community have shared inspiring success stories that have provided hope and comfort to those of us struggling with fear. The paranoia of constantly checking for blood, fretting every time you have a weird pain, calling the doctor if the number of daily kicks does not add up, or holding your breath at each ultrasound appointment… all of this is normal. And all of this may result in a perfectly healthy, happy baby being born.
What is helping me cope with this incessant fear in my fourth pregnancy, after miscarrying during my second and third pregnancies, is hearing validation that the above thoughts and feelings do not make you a crazy person. They make you human. They make you a loving mother or father that just wants the very best for your unborn child. Please take heart – this fear is extremely common and those who care about you most will not pass judgment or downplay it – they will support you through it.
Photo credit: adapted from liquene | Flickr
What are some fears you had during your next pregnancy? Share in the comments.