Having a miscarriage is a pretty horrible experience. All your hope, excitement, and even fears, are dashed for the new life that was growing inside of you. And it is because of the horribleness of the experience, that you wonder if you should ever try to get pregnant again because of the fear that this horrible event may happen again. You don’t want another loss. Pregnancy after miscarriage is a scary endeavor.
I had two very subsequent, short pregnancies that resulted in miscarriages in the 4th week of gestation, followed immediately by a pregnancy terminated in miscarriage at 7 weeks gestation. I had three back-to-back miscarriages. The last one was the hardest, as it seemed to be the bright ray of hope during a very difficult time for my family.
We had also told my family at Thanksgiving that I was 5 weeks pregnant. And then I miscarried two weeks later. At 7 weeks pregnant I had begun to feel pregnant, with some bloating, gas, fatigue, and had received a real estimated due date of July 24, 2012, as we had even met with a doctor. And this miscarriage came with painful cramps, way worse bleeding than a regular period, and a passing of what I believe was the fetus. With every swipe, I was saddened to know it represented what wasn’t to be.
So, the thought of having to go through that all again was haunting. Needless to say, we took several months off from our baby making endeavors (plus, life was a bit complicated at the time). We ended up conceiving again in July of 2012, shortly before the due date of our last miscarried pregnancy. And I felt a little selfish to be pregnant again before that baby would have been born. Or if not selfish, a little sad that we weren’t welcoming a child then, but only just beginning a new pregnancy for a “replacement” to that previous one.
While such a statement is not true, as I do remember the miscarriages, and the lives that were very short-lived, it can be how one can feel getting pregnant again after miscarriage. It can also, unfortunately, be a statement many unknowing friends and family members can make to help you feel better after your loss. But, a loss is a loss is a loss. There is no replacing that unique combination of chromosomes and genes and DNA. Another child will bless your life for sure, but it will never be that child you lost.
READ: How to Cope With a Miscarriage if you need help mourning your loss.
Thankfully this new pregnancy did not end in miscarriage, but a healthy, 9.5 lb baby boy, 22″ long, born via VBAC at 41 weeks 6 days gestation. He is an amazing child who wins the heart of just about every woman in sight with his big blue eyes and long dark lashes, and adorable smile. We are so glad he’s a part of our family. I’m sure the children we miscarried would have also been amazing. But, it just wasn’t meant to be. We know it was God’s will, and we understand that perhaps it just wasn’t the right time to be adding on to our family.
But, having personally gone through a miscarriage, I am also now blessed with that firsthand understanding of heartache of miscarriage, and can relate to a large amount of women in a way I could not have before. At the time of my losses, I also felt an out pouring of love from so many women who had also suffered through miscarriages, some many, many times over. Many offered advice as to what may be causing them (low counts of certain hormones, for instance). And I am thankful that I chose to share to transparent with the world, and share my rare emotions and feeling here on my blog.
The thing about having one miscarriage, is that you always fear another, no matter if you go on to have a successful birth and healthy child afterward.
I am pregnant again. And even though I successfully had a pregnancy after miscarriage, resulting in my adorable 21 month old son, I have a lot of fear of miscarrying again with this pregnancy, even now still at 11 weeks gestation (in part because we haven’t seen the doctor yet – next week). The thing is that this new pregnancy is almost exactly like my last miscarried pregnancy. The due date is only two days different. We again told people we were pregnant at Thanksgiving when my husband “accidentally” told our friends that he was thankful for family, and for addition (he’s a mathematician). The women of course said, “WHAT? Are you pregnant Katelyn?” And the answer is yes. I am pregnant.
But, part of me is still almost waiting to see spotting, to see red, the next time I go to the bathroom. The fear is still real, and still there. But, nothing has happened: all indicators are good that everything is healthy and normal in this new pregnancy (as far as I can tell), with a steadily growing abdomen, indigestion, aversion to food, and serious fatigue. Nothing is indicating that this pregnancy will terminate. But, I still haven’t heard that beautiful, fast little heart beat at the doctor’s office. I still haven’t seen my child (or children?) on the grainy black and white ultrasound machine.
Even after I do visit the doctor next week, I may still have this fear. I do think about how I could miscarry again, even when past that 12 or 13 week mark. I am not guaranteed that once past the first trimester, that high-risk of miscarrying zone, that my baby will make it full-term or that my baby will be born alive.
Pregnancy is a risky business with many unknowns. And you put yourself, your life, on the line in the hopes of a beautiful, healthy child. But, it doesn’t always work out like we hope, like we pray, like we desire, in one way or another.
But, I truly believe we are given trials and difficulties for a reason. And that pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood are worth the fear, the questions, the doubt, and the unknowns. God is with you. And though we don’t always understand why we sometimes don’t get to meet our child, or why we have a child who isn’t healthy, or why we only have them for a short period of time, I believe there’s a reason, if we but seek God’s will to know it. Sometimes the answer will manifest itself years later, or perhaps never fully answer itself in this life, but there is a reason.
I will continue to pray that this baby growing inside of me will be able to meet me and his or her siblings, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. I hope that I won’t have a miscarriage (ever) again. But, I know that whatever does happen, it’s in God’s hand. And I will accept what He gives.
Ultimately, I know that I should never let fear decide whether I choose to submit myself to pregnancy again, because even if I do end up having multiple miscarriages, I am still doing my part to fulfill God’s will and plan for my family – to bear children, to raise a family, to be a mother. And I believe that choosing to accept any difficulties, pain, and grief will result in untold blessings from heaven, and perhaps even a chance to raise these unborn children in the afterlife. I choose not to fear, but to hope that all good things, like pregnancy and motherhood, are a blessing to me and those I love if I choose to embrace and accept them, no matter how they may unfold.
God is in control. Have hope that good will come from your faith to try again after a miscarriage.
If you have experienced a miscarriage, how has it affected your subsequent pregnancies or desire to conceive again?
Be sure to read my follow-up post on coping with miscarriage if you need help processing your loss.