Women that have suffered a loss from stillbirth have successfully gotten pregnant again. But every woman and situation is different, and though some women may welcome a pregnancy after a stillbirth, or pregnancy loss, others, though happy, may be scared still from the trauma from the previous pregnancy loss. There is no wrong reaction, and it is normal for a woman to be scared as a reaction to being pregnant after a loss. It is natural to be scared and pregnant after a stillbirth.
What you can do
There are some things that you can do to help allay your fears a bit. It is natural you feel to be scared and pregnant after a stillbirth and have these feelings, but try to remember not to let them overtake or overwhelm you.
First and foremost, you must try and separate your anxieties from the previous experience with actual medical scares. This is easier said than done for sure, so how can you tell them apart? One way to help this is asking or having a conversation with your doctor about what could have possibly caused your previous pregnancy loss and if possible, how to avoid those for this pregnancy. There are some pregnancy losses that do not have rhyme or reason though so it would be more productive to ask about what possible preventive measures you can take to avoid another possible loss.
Sharing your feelings
Just thinking about this may probably get you understandably anxious. There are a lot of unsure aspects of this situation and you may feel helpless and overwhelmed. Again this is normal, but you should look at professionals to help you. Try to ease your anxiety by focusing on the happy parts of your situation. Look for possible support within your family and friends. Possibly joining a network of moms that are in the same situation is also good to have, as they may have ideas on how you can help yourself. Express your feelings and thoughts in a safe space. This includes expressing your fears too.
To some this may also seem overwhelming and 40 weeks is a long time. It is a good idea to keep thinking about your new pregnancy journey one day at a time. Do not think too far ahead than just one day ahead. Try to think one step at a time, and one activity at a time. If you feel like you cannot cope, ask for professional help. There are professionals that can help you with exercises and ways to help you get through your thoughts and feelings.
Resting is necessary
Make sure you get ample rest. Again this may be easier said than done, but you do need to rest, especially since you are pregnant again. You need to be able to get yourself and your body ready for your pregnancy and the months ahead.
Brace yourself with some conversations that you do not want to have. Some people may still question or ask you about your pregnancy loss. Try to find ways on how you want to answer these questions, or let them know that you are not in the headspace to answer. Saying you would like to focus your energies on your present pregnancy usually helps cut the conversation short and refocuses on the positive rather than the negative. Try and remember that most people are only asking out of concern and not because they want to make you feel worse.
Just do what feels right for you
If and when you feel comfortable enough, try to think about your birth. Know that there may be feelings that sprout up during this delivery that you may not be expecting. There may be feelings of guilt or discomfort once you have given birth, and though this is normal, knowing about it beforehand will enable you to deal with it better, should it arise. This birth and delivery experience will be completely different because of what you have experienced in the prior pregnancy.
Just remember that during this time, every woman copes differently. Being scared after finding out you are pregnant after a stillbirth can be overwhelming. Take your time and work through your feelings and thoughts which will help you cope with both your loss, and anticipate the coming bundle of joy. So long as you are not harming yourself or your child, you do what it takes to make your current pregnancy one that you can enjoy. Try to keep busy during this time, and focus on the good rather than the bad. Try to be productive and prepare for your baby. Try to enjoy the pregnancy as best you can, as this can be part of the healing process for you too.
A new chapter
In as much as you will undoubtedly want to honor the loss of your child, being pregnant again may be confusing and scary, but try to look at it from a different perspective and know that you are not disrespecting the memory of the child you lost with the one you will gain. We hope you have the best pregnancy journey this time around!
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