15 Things I Need My Partner to Know During Our Pregnancy after Loss

Photo credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/cheriejphotos/

Photo credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/cheriejphotos/

1. I’m scared, like really, really scared. I know now that things can go wrong and not every pregnancy has a happy ending. I really, really, really don’t want lightning to strike twice, but I’m afraid it will.

2. I need your support now more than ever. You’re the only one who has been through this with me. So you’re the only one who gets it like I do and because of that I need your support more than anyone else’s.

3. I’m confused because I’m happy and joyful while full of grief and sadness all at the same time on top of fluctuating hormones, yes I’m a mess and I need you to say that’s okay.

4. PAL is hard. I have PTSD and anxiety, some days I get depressed and everyday I’m pregnant I’m reliving my trauma on top of having the normal pregnancy stresses. Some say the closer I get to D – day (delivery that is), I’ll feel better. Some say it gets worse, but I want you to know that there is no easy day for me right now.

5. I still miss the baby we lost. This one doesn’t replace him/her. It actually makes all of this more difficult and painful.

6. I sometimes have trouble bonding with baby. I’m scared to attach to him or her because I don’t want my heart to get broken again. I sometimes catch myself creating a suit of armor around my heart as a way of protecting me from the pain that comes from loving and losing. I want you to know I don’t want to be this way, it just happens from time to time as I try to protect myself from the fear of future heartache.

7. I’m afraid I won’t love this baby as much as our other one. I love our other child so much. My heartaches for him/her every day and because I yearn for our baby that is deceased with so much love I worry that there won’t be enough love in my heart for our next one.

8. Sometimes I don’t want to have sex as I worry that it might hurt the baby even though the doctor has reassured us this is not true.

9. I don’t know how to handle this. I just don’t. Pregnancy may not be new to me, but pregnancy after loss is. And it’s just as new to me as much as it is to you. There is no road map, no right or wrong way to handle this balance of grief and joy. There is just messiness and beauty all smashed together during these nine months and I don’t have the answers.

10. Please be patient with me as I’m emotionally fragile, more fragile than I’ve ever been. I’m super sensitive because my world was turned upside down when our baby died and our hopes and dreams died along with our child. My strength is all used up by the end of the day and my emotions are the hardest thing to keep in check. I hope you understand.

11. I have a hard time trusting my body as I feel like it has failed me before and I don’t know how to believe in it now. I don’t know how to trust my body or life. Life seems more unpredictable and fragile now and that scares me as I venture into carrying a new life inside of me again.

12. I’m hopeful and grateful. I’m hopeful that this baby is born ALIVE and healthy and lives a long beautiful life. I’m also grateful that we were able to get pregnant again as I know many in our situation can’t and I’m grateful for our baby that died. I know life is hard without him/her but I’m glad he/she was here for a little while.

13. I just want pregnancy to be over with AND for it to be frozen in this moment forever all at the same time. I want life, our baby’s life, to be a sure thing, guaranteed. I’m not trying to wish away this pregnancy. I just want to hold my breathing baby in my arms so I can be reassured everything will be okay this time.

14. I want so badly to bring this baby safely into the world for you, for me, for our baby that died, for our healing, for us and there is a lot of pressure on me because I want it so bad. I don’t want to feel like I let you down again even though I know I never did.

15. I love you and I need you to love me and this baby unconditionally. Because that is the only way I believe we will get through these nine months, by holding onto each other in hopes of someday soon holding onto our breathing baby.

Extra:
16. I know if I had to I could do this without you, but I don’t want to. Pregnancy after loss is hard, but it’s easier to get through each day with you by my side.

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About the Author:

Lindsey Henke
Lindsey Henke is the founder and Executive Director of Pregnancy After Loss Support, writer, clinical social worker, wife, and most importantly a mother to two beautiful daughters and one sweet-cheeked baby boy. Tragically, her oldest daughter, Nora was stillborn after a healthy full-term pregnancy in December of 2012. Since then, she has turned to writing on her blog, Still Breathing. Lindsey was featured as Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine’s Knocked Up Blogger during her pregnancy with her second daughter, Zoe, who was born healthy and alive in March of 2014. Her writing about life after loss has been featured on Still Standing Magazine, Listen to Your Mother, Scary Mommy, Healthline, Postpartum Progress, and The New York Times. Lindsey can be reached by email.

6 Comments

  1. laura June 23, 2014 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    so true, what you wrote is exactly to the T what I felt and experienced. I had my baby 3.5 months ago and I still can’t believe how much I love and miss the one I lost. He/she is ever present and now when I hold my little girl and feel the overwhelming love that I have for her it make my heart sting for the one I didn’t get to hold. My entire pregnancy was a struggle emotionally but I’m so thankful that this time I get to hold and cherish my girl.

  2. A.M.M October 7, 2014 at 2:02 am - Reply

    I needed this so much right now. My husband and I are the proud parents of two boys with an 8 year age gap. We lost a set of twins at 9 weeks a few years back and lost a little boy at 14 weeks this year. I swore off ever being pregnant again after our last loss. After each DNC I was told all results showed anything wrong on my side of things….. then why. What have I done in this life or a past life to suffer such horrible loss and pain? Well my wonderful husband knows me better than I know myself these days and knew my longing to be a mommy went beyond our two boys. We started trying again in May and over the weekend we found out we are expecting again. I had always thought I would be a wreck, crying just a ball of tears and feelings.But I wasn’t it got this instant feeling of peace the minute I saw the test turn positive. I have walked around for the past few days with my losses on my mind and something in my gut telling me to be happy and let go. I feel almost guilty to be this happy right now. I have nothing but endless love for my babies lost and will forever bare their mark but want this one so so incredibly bad! I am like the comment above. I do not trust my body because of the loss. How do I get to this point ?

  3. Johanna October 7, 2014 at 5:42 am - Reply

    My Grief is not over….I feel less of a woman because I can not have a baby to share our love. Infertility is my new norm. I always smile when I think of how beautiful our daughter was, and how my fulfillment of seeing her laughing in your arms, will never happen.

  4. Kari October 8, 2014 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    I found out that I was pregnant 4 years ago with my 1st child. I lost that baby and 2 others over the next 2 years. Then I found out I was pregnant Christmas of 2011 and I now have a healthy 2 year old that is the LOVE of my life. I went through a lot of tears and fears when I found out that I was pregnant with her and felt everyday “when am I going to loss this one”. And I didn’t. The guilt I felt after I lost the other 3 babies because of my body not doing something right was horrible. I now look at my daughter and know I lost those babies for a reason. GOD doesn’t give us things that we cannot handle and he has a plan for all of us. He makes all of us stronger everyday by the things he makes us go through.

  5. Monica July 5, 2015 at 11:59 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this. I plan on sharing it with my spouse so he will get a better understanding of what I am going through. This said everything that I am currently feeling. We are experiencing our fourth pregnancy after two losses. I am terrified as to what will happen and just hoping and praying that I don’t have to experience heartache again. My last loss was horrible. 10 weeks along and assured by the doctor we were at such low chances of a miscarriage. Saw the baby bouncing and happy on the ultrasound for my body to lose them the next day. I am not pregnant almost 3 months after this loss and feeling so many emotions. I just want to be able to feel that excitement and joy that I was able to feel in first pregnancy. I think the only thing I would add to this list is the anxiety that is felt with every strange cramp or trip the bathroom. I have to hold my breath each time I wipe in hopes that there is no blood present. Prayers to anyone who is reading this and going through a similar situation.

  6. Amelia February 23, 2016 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    I’m sat reading this in tears, currently 21 weeks pregnant with our rainbow after losing our first son, Freddie at 39 weeks.
    This has totally hit the nail on the head for me, it’s exactly how I feel in such simple but accurate words.
    Thank you for writing this so perfectly.

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