What We’re Really Saying about Pregnancy after Loss

By |2018-07-26T19:52:23+00:00July 26th, 2018|For Friends & Family, Pregnancy|0 Comments

We may not talk much about our pregnancy after loss, but there is a lot we have to say.

Congratulations. Your co-worker, friend, or loved one are pregnant after their loss. You were (hopefully) there to support them when they experienced the heartbreak of their loss and now you’re thrilled to be there for them in this subsequent pregnancy. There are a million questions that you want to ask them. You want to talk about the pregnancy and their feelings and their hopes and their dreams.

But, they don’t seem to have a lot to say.

Well, yes and no. They may do very little talking, but there is a lot to say about being pregnant after a loss.

Here’s what we’re really saying.

What we say: Yes, I’m excited.

What we’re really saying: Sure, I’m excited. I’m also terrified and confused and exhausted. It is possible that I’m feeling every feeling that’s ever been felt and it’s happening all at once. But, I’m going to say I’m excited because the fact that you’re asking me this questions means you don’t totally get it and I just don’t feel like explaining it right now because did I mention, I’m exhausted?

What we say: I’ve had a little morning sickness.

What we’re really saying: I’ve had a little morning sickness, but maybe it’s cramping. I hope I don’t start spotting. But, it’s okay. (Deep breath.) Lots of women spot. There’s the morning sickness again, but I feel like I was more nauseous in my last pregnancy. This feels different. Is more nausea better or worse? Hold on, I do feel like I’m going to throw up but maybe that’s just from all this anxiety.

What we say: I haven’t really bought anything yet.

What we’re really saying: I don’t really want to talk about baby clothes when I’m not sure if there will be a baby to wear them. I’m afraid to go shopping because I don’t want to come home to a room full of baby stuff with no baby. No, I don’t want you to buy me anything because I want to pick it out. It’s my baby. I want to shop for them, but I want to wait. Or maybe I don’t. What if this baby lives and I come home and there’s nothing? Should I fill a cart on Amazon and just check out after the baby is born? I hope 2-day shipping is enough time.

What we say: We’re going to find out the sex.

What we’re really saying: I know that I’m not supposed to care whether it’s a boy or a girl. I know I’m supposed to just want a healthy, living baby. But, I might care a little. That’s okay, right? I’m not sure if I want it to be the same sex as the baby I lost. If it’s the same then it will be like getting a second chance. If it’s different it could be a fresh start. What if I’m disappointed? I’ll feel so guilty. Whatever it is, people will just try to convince me that it’s a blessing. What if it doesn’t feel like a blessing right away? Do you get to care about things like this when you’re pregnant after a loss?

What we say: Yes, my appointment went well.

What we’re really saying: My appointment went well, but that was yesterday. The relief I was feeling after my appointment was gone by the time I finished dinner. I know you think that means everything is going to be okay, but everything was okay last time. Until it wasn’t okay. Then it got bad–really bad. I wonder if it’s going really badly right now. I haven’t felt the baby in a while. Yes, I know I felt them yesterday but maybe something happened overnight.  I wonder if the doctor will let me come back in today, just to check.

What we say: Thanks for asking.

What we’re really saying: Thank you so much for checking in on me. Thank you for loving me when I’m hard to love. I want to thank you for continuing to care when I don’t have much to offer in return. Thank you for remembering the baby (or babies) I’ve lost while looking forward to knowing the baby who’s on the way. Your support is everything. A million thank yous that I can’t find the words to say, but they are there. I hope you can hear what I’m really trying to say in those few words I’m sending back to you.

Photo by Ashton Mullins on Unsplash

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the Author:

Rachel Whalen
Rachel Whalen is a 32-year-old who lives and loves in the endlessly charming state of Vermont. She is a Kindergarten teacher, a wife to Mike, and a mother to Dorothy and Frances. The decision to become a mom was an easy one for Rachel, so she was devastated at just how difficult it was to achieve that dream. After two miscarriages, she became pregnant for a third time. Her third pregnancy went smoothly, until she was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia at 28 weeks. At 30 weeks, Rachel became incredibly ill and was informed that her daughter no longer had a heartbeat. After a very traumatic delivery, Dorothy Grace Helena Whalen was stillborn on February 22, 2016. In July of 2016, under careful supervision, Rachel became pregnant again. Although it was an incredibly anxiety-filled pregnancy, Rachel remained in good health, and on March 19, 2017, Frances Michele Whalen entered the world. Throughout this entire journey, Rachel found comfort in sharing her family's story on her blog, An Unexpected Family Outing. She also found solace while participating in various online communities for grief and loss, including PALS. While Rachel wishes that no parent ever know the pain of losing their child, she has made it her mission to share her story and let other parents know that they do not have to go through this journey alone.

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.