When trying for a baby, seeing those two lines on a pregnancy test can be one of the most amazing and emotional moments of your life. Whether it’s been a much anticipated pregnancy, planned with almost military precision, or something that caught you a little off-guard, those two lines show that things are about to change. Forever.
However, if you have been through this before, and experienced a pregnancy loss, your emotions may be a little more complicated than sheer elation alone. Nobody ever wants to think about what could go wrong, but if you have lived through a miscarriage before you will be only too well aware that one minute you can be planning a nursery, and the next you are grieving.
Trying to enjoy a new pregnancy under the weight of loss can be extremely difficult and emotionally draining. Every woman finds different things difficult to cope with, and will have their own reactions and ways of moving forward, but there are some issues that are more common than others.
Many women struggle to really embrace a new pregnancy as they, often unintentionally, distance themselves from what is happening. Fear that you may miscarry again can stop you from really wanting to believe that everything will be OK this time.
It is perfectly natural, and beating yourself up over your apparent lack of excitement or joy is not going to help matters. It is important that you take the time to grieve for your loss, and accept that it has happened. Trying to understand what happened and why can be a huge part of the healing process, especially if this can provide confidence that it may have been “one of those things” that is unlikely to happen again.
When it comes to miscarriage, guilt can take many forms. You may feel guilty that you miscarried in the first place, somehow feeling that your body intentionally let your baby down. This is not the case, and invariably you have no control whatsoever over what has happened to you at all. Miscarriage is often so hard to accept because there may be no concrete explanations for why it has happened. When there is no one thing to “blame”, women are at risk of internalising and finding fault with themselves, often apologising to partners for losing their baby.
Equally, you may feel guilty for feeling ready to move on and conceive again, almost as though you have forgotten your previous pregnancy and the baby that should have been. When you decide to have another baby is entirely up to you, and there is no right or wrong answer. The only important thing is that you feel ready – whether that be the next cycle, or you give yourself months before trying again. Having another baby does not mean you are forgetting about your previous pregnancy, or that it was insignificant.
Knowing that those two lines don’t automatically mean you will be holding a healthy baby in 9 months can make you feel terrified now that you know you are doing it again. Every twinge, ache, cramp and different sensation can have you checking miscarriage symptoms online and convincing yourself all is not well. That is perfectly normal, and may last weeks or even longer.
The important thing to remember is that no two pregnancies are the same. What happened to you last time, most likely won’t happen again. However, always talk to your midwife, friends and family about your concerns and seek advice where possible.
How did you feel when you found out you were expecting after a baby loss?