November 22, 2013

Dear Frannie Friday--Pregnancy After Loss

 (You caught me.  Old photos again.  I need to clean out my backlog ok?)

When I found out I was pregnant with this little babe, I was so excited.  I knew it was something my husband and I wanted, planned and were ready for.  But that didn't mean that my miscarriage five months prior wasn't in the back of my mind for a long time.  Part of going through a miscarriage is an innate fear and grieving that you did something to cause it or didn't do something to prevent it.  I was fortunate with my three other children in that I had completely "normal" and healthy pregnancies without complication.  I naively went through them without a worry that anything would go wrong.

 This time was different.  This time reality stared me in my face daily.  Suddenly, no twinge or cramp went unnoticed.  I obsessed over milestones.  I teetered between  feeling overwhelmed with love and protection over the growing baby and being afraid of getting too attached.  It was a very lonely, complicated, frustrating and confusing first trimester.  But I know I'm not the only one who's gone through this.  So here are my tips for surviving the first trimester after a loss.

1.  Don't obsess.  I'd say a good six weeks after finding out I was pregnant was spent scouring the internet like a lunatic going over statistics.  Was it likely that this could happen again if it just happened?  What are the odds?  What are the signs?  Well, here is my advice to you--don't.  For lack of a better cliche, you must learn to let go and let God.  I am not a religious person and this does not come from a religious standpoint, but basically you have to relax.  Realize that what will be will be and the best thing you can do is enjoy the present, hope for the future and don't stress over the past.  Otherwise, you can't enjoy the beauty that is your pregnancy--right now.  Nothing can or will prepare you for a miscarriage, but nothing can give you back the joy of your first few weeks of pregnancy either.

 2.  Make sure you have a doctor that you feel comfortable with.  This is soooooo important.  The doctor I was previously seeing wasn't willing to see me prior to eight weeks.  I found out I was pregnant at three weeks.  It seemed agonizing to wait for five weeks to find out everything was fine.  Granted it is standard for most doctor's offices to wait until you hit 8 weeks to see you, so it wasn't abnormal, but I wasn't comfortable with it.  So I called around.  And I found a place that would take me right away.  Three weeks later when I had some light spotting, they told me to come in right away for an ultrasound.  And then again four weeks later (both times turned out totally fine).  They have been super attentive and supportive.  And that is totally needed and appreciated when you're a nervous wreck.

 3.  Talk about it.  We've gone over this.  Miscarriage is scary, but often privatized and deemed inappropriate to talk about.  Which is fine if you want to keep it private.  But find someone that you can talk to about it with.  It helps.  And you need to take that stress off your plate.  It's best for you and for the baby.  A lot of people who have suffered a loss like to wait until at least the end of the first trimester to tell people.  That is fine.  But don't think you have to either.  If you want to tell people so you can have more support, that's fine too.  It's your call.

 4.  Do NOT use pregnancy site forums.  Yes, they are set up to be helpful and informative.  Yes, sometimes they are and some people find them to be.  I could, in fact, be alone in this opinion.  But seriously, these were the most anxiety-ridden media for me.  First of all, there are apparently some people who get on there just for the sake of rattling pregnant women (they're called "trolls" . . . I looked into it).  Secondly, some of what you read is truly tragic and horrific.  You could be having a great day and all of a sudden read about women thinking everything was fine and had a stillbirth out of nowhere or someone who had two kids and then had five miscarriages--the list goes on.  It's not that these women shouldn't be able to share their stories and it is not that their stories don't have merit for sympathy, but don't be a glutton for punishment.  Try to surround yourself with positive thoughts instead of negative "what might be's".

Do you have a question for Dear Frannie Friday?  Feel free to email me at

Teal Dress-gifted; Sequined Cardigan-gifted; Purple Flats-KMart; Earrings-Kohl's; Sunnies-Target

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