We’ve had about thirteen weeks to be sitting with this idea of being pregnant after Micah & Judah…sometimes it feels similar to our first pregnancy. Sometimes it feels much different.
I told someone we were pregnant a few weeks ago; I don’t remember where we were, but they asked, “So is this your first?” Again, a tough question. No, it’s not. But again, do I need to get into all of that with you? So I think I paused awkwardly and long enough that they knew something was up, and I briefly shared that we had lost two boys halfway through our previous pregnancy. And I think they wished they had just not asked.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I think our anxiety and nerves will increase dramatically as we approach the 19th and 20th weeks, which is when we lost Judah & Micah last fall. And I’m sure there is a lot more that I should be aware of, being pregnant again after losing children.
So have any of you gotten pregnant after losing children? Or perhaps after a miscarriage?
What was it like for you? What did you experience that surprised you? Shocked you? Depressed you? I’d love to know your thoughts on this as we continue on this journey.
I know a little of that awkward pause. My wife and I experienced several miscarriages before our first child was born, a couple between the first and second and none between second and third (by then we had a medical support strategy in place from the beginning).
During our first pregnancy, I remember the twice weekly scans, and the panic when they went weekly, and the further panic when they went fortnightly. By the time we reached 12 weeks we had had almost as many scans. 12-20 weeks was hard. Each day the weight of expected loss bore heavily. 12 weeks didn’t seem like a safe milestone, so we held off and didn’t tell anyone until we hit 20 weeks. At some point we crossed a tipping point, and started to own the idea that this time it might work out. I am now blessed with 3 children, and my have started to tell my eldest (she is nearly 7) the story of seeing my her grow day by day, week by week. Those are precious moments. People just assume that because I have children everything must have been fine. When I have the energy, I will find a way to gently challenge, when I don’t, I find myself letting these moments slide by.
Anyway, enough of me. I just want to let you know that I hold you and Sarah in my thoughts and prayers as you continue this journey.
grace and peace
We lost two after having two healthy children: miscarriage at 14 wks. and ectopic pregnancy at 12 wks. After losing a tube, I was so fearful it would be difficult to get pregnant. “Not to worry!” my doc said. He explained the amazing nature of the body that the one fallopian tube will actually move from one ovary to another to catch the egg. Fascinating how our bodies will adjust when needed!!
So when we became pregnant again after a short time, I needed to know EVERYTHING about the baby. I was high risk with this child as my uterus was pretty beat up by this point (2 c-sections, 2 surgeries), and this was our last shot. With the first two children we didn’t want to find out the gender. Well, 20 weeks couldn’t come fast enough to know the gender THIS time. I counted the toes and fingers, I examined the size of all four chambers. I couldn’t get enough of him moving around and evading the “camera”. I asked more questions than ever before. Of course, this was 12 years ago at a time we only got ONE sono picture the entire pregnancy.
I think the most surprising part for me was the anger I felt. I would see other pregnant women complaining, drinking, and smoking, and I couldn’t imagine why they could not put the baby first. Clearly I had not integrated the grief and loss into my daily functioning life. I am surprised it took so much longer than I thought to work through the brokenness. I thought our son’s presence in our life would make that go away. But it didn’t.
I wish we had reached out to others earlier, but we didn’t know where to go. I wish we had remembered the lost babies in some way, but we were never encouraged to do so. I wish grief and loss were part of our daily conversations, but Debbie Downers quickly get “uninvited”.
What depressed me was the isolation I felt. I don’t know how much was me and how much was others. It was probably a combination of both. After losing two, I felt like others didn’t want to get too close to the situation…you know, just in case there was more loss.
What shocked me was the call to ministry that surfaced when this baby was five. At this time in my life I could see the God’s gift in the midst of the chaos. I could hear the message that I needed to share my story and encourage others to do so, as well. The laboring in brokenness birthed a different kind of life in me.
Oh, Adam. I don’t usually post on my kids’ friends sites, but this is a subject near and dear to my heart. If I could just sit down with you and Sarah … I know the age difference is quite a bit,but I would share with you what it was like for us to lose our first chld … 8 days AFTER he was born. The grief was unbelievable. All I had ever wanted really, was to be a Mom. When I became pregnant again, I was a mixed bag of feelings – overjoyed at the prospect of another child, terrified that what happened the first time would happen again. When I gave birth to our daughter, I couldn’t forget the timeline of the first birth … that on the day we were to go home, 3days later, the same thing would happen. This was a feeling that never left me in my 2 subsequent pregnancies and I will say, after the loss of our first son, the dr’s monitored me very closely.. However, God was faithful to hear my prayers and we became the parents of 1 more daughter and a son … how blessed we are! So, if I could say anything, it would be to take one day at a time and be thankful. You will NEVER forget Micah and Judah … you always remember the day they were born … and when they went to Heaven, and that’s as it should be. But God WILL bless you both in ways you can never imagine today … and know, that I understand your feelings and emotions. Praying for you and Sarah! 🙂
When Cari was pregnant with Ethan it was 6 or 7 months after we miscarried, I was pretty terrified. But at the same time I felt like this time it was going to be different. Nevertheless i felt like i was holding my breath for 9 months. When Cari got pregnant the first time, I went and bought a little stuffed tiger from the U-Store in Princeton. A few days later we found out we lost the baby I felt really dumb for getting that thing. So with during Ethan’s pregnancy i didn’t buy anything until she was like 8 months old. I was reluctant to make it official because i didn’t want it taken away again. Don’t get me wrong i was super happy, super scared, but also somehow i knew this one would work out.
Three years and two kids later (held my breath with Isabella too) I have appreciated life all the more, the gifts given to me, and the tragedies that have been part of my story. I understand that sometimes there is just tragedy alongside miracles. That’s the truth of things. I remember that every night when Ethan HAS to sleep with that stuffed Tiger.
Since you asked for advice, I’ll share this from my hospice and hospital work. When you have loss in your life, it’s part of your life. This is not your first child, and when others ask it’s a great time to continue to heal. If you aren’t comfortable sharing, then you should have a pre-scripted answer. But others, who aren’t close, don’t need to know any more than “No. We lost our twins in the middle of their pregnancy.” Then, if they are uncomfortable, it is their issue. (And of course you can change the sentence). The point is, you honor this life and the boys by recognizing who they are and the place they have in your family.
So I hope that helps work through the situation you’re in. And if you have further questions, ask.
Just recently stumbled across your blog and haven’t read through it all, but I have to say that a pregnancy after a loss is just terrifying. I lost my first pregnancy due to “missed miscarriage” at about 9 weeks, then went on to become pregnant with twins. Needless to say, it was a very anxiety-ridden pregnancy, which I have blogged about. Well, I lost one of my twins at 37 weeks. There are just no guarantees, at any gestation. I don’t mean to upset or worry you, just to assure you that it is completely normal and rational to have worry. Pregnancy is very risky business, no matter what the situation.
I agree so much with what Rob said. Any time someone asks, it is an upportunity for healing. Their potential moment of discomfort is NOTHING compared to a lifetime of living without your child.
Best wishes to you and your family.
Kevin I says
We got pregnant almost immediately after our miscarriage, and I know for me the anxiety ramped up, but on the other side all the selfish, petty parts of the process for me (“oh no I’m losing my freedom, identity etc.”) were replaced with a deep gratitude and appreciation for every stage. So the worry stuck until we passed those all important milestones of health and viability, but after that it made me more prepared to receive our daughter in the proper way.
You may not remember me, but we went to seminary together. I think I was a year below you. I have been checking in on your blog to see how things have been going and am so glad to see you are expecting again! I miscarried at the 3 month mark two May’s ago. I searched for reasons why this was to be a part of my life and then last September we were asked to take in two foster children. After months of prayer, I took it as a sign from God that this was meant to be and we took them in. One was a mentally retarded 13 year old and her 5 month old baby also with special needs (sexual abuse is a large problem on the Micronesian island I live on). What I thought would be a healing journey was incredibly difficult. They were absolute joys, but it was hard to watch a mother struggle with her new role that she didn’t want while I wished for nothing more. Last month, the court decided to seperate them due to the mother’s inability to learn certain skills to keep her baby safe without support. Watching her lose her baby added yet another confusing layer for me. Both children moved on to permanent placements last month. I feel as if I have made all the right choices but have the emptiness of all the wrong ones. I am now 21 weeks pregnant. We only recently started telling people so that we could focus our energy on the girls and their transition while wrapping our brains around the conflicting feelings of being pregnant again. I don’t know when life got so heartbreaking and complicated. I focus on living in the moment now, trying not to worry too much about the girls and enjoying this amazing pregnancy! What a journey. I wish you the best in yours!
I came across your blog and want to tell you how sorry I am for your loss. My husband and I lost triplets at 19 weeks gestation due to complications. On March 12, 2009 our daughter Alexa was born and lived for one minute. Two days later I developed an infection and had to induce. On March 14 our son Jayden was born and lived for 5 hours and our daughter Lilia was still born. I was rushed into surgery and I almost died, doctors said that I would probably never be able to have another baby. My husband and I refused to give up and six months later we did Invitro and found out that we were pregnant. I had a blood clot and bled for the first 3 months of the pregnancy and the doctors told us that we were going to lose the baby. After many prayers the blood clot was gone. When I was 21 weeks pregnant my cervix began shrinking and the doctors told us that our baby would be born premature and probably not survive. After 4 months on complete bedrest and 3 days before my due date our son Jace was born on June 2, 2010 weighing 8 pounds 11 ounces. He was healthy and he is our miracle. I know how hard it is to lose children and then get pregnant again and have fears. I know that putting my trust and faith in God helped me through those times when I would get fearful. I stayed positive even when things were not going well. People ask me all the time if this is my first baby and I always tell them no that he is my fourth child and his triplet siblings are in heaven and one day we will see them. Praying for you and hope everything goes well. We are getting ready to try Invitro again in a few months and no matter what happens we are putting our faith and trust in God. My husband wrote a blog about our journey and also made videos in memory of our triplets.
Some incredible stories here, wow – thank you all for sharing and may you feel the Lord’s nearness.
First, a belated congratulations Adam! I haven’t been able to keep up with social media this summer but this news is great.
Our story is that after six years of going through infertility and years of treatments, we finally got pregnant only to miscarry. Of course, it was devastating. To add to the grief, it happened the same year my wife lost her brother in a motor cycle accident. There were other things going on (ministry, personal frustrations, etc.), but I really remember that being the first time in my life when I felt cursed. Not so much by God, but I just felt cursed. It’s crazy when you are in a season of life like that because I didn’t see any light at the end of this tunnel.
Three years later, we would adopt our first child, then nine months after that, my wife took a pregnancy test. I do remember feeling pretty tense but I think I did calm down during the third trimester. It turns out that Susan expecting again (this time with a baby girl!) and while I do pray against the “anything can happen”, I’m also trying to enjoy this time of anticipation.
I’ll be keeping Sarah, you and this little one in prayer. Grace and peace to you.