Tag: Miscarriage

My Two Pregnancy Plans

By: Grace Cross
Twitter

When a person finds out that they are pregnant, ideally you get very excited and start to plan life with your little one. You get to plan a nursery, get excited about having a new baby in the family and so much more. But for a parent who has lost a child and gets pregnant again, the joy of being pregnant can also come with a lot of fears. When I lost my baby to an ectopic pregnancy, I knew my thoughts on having another baby would be much more cautious and careful and have their own fears. That is why, unlike other Mothers, I have two pregnancy plans.

Having a miscarriage or an ecoptic pregnancy is not your fault. It is said that in an ectopic pregnancy case that you’re at a higher risk if you drink, do drugs or have lived a lifestyle that can be deemed unhealthy. I never did any of these things, but like millions of women around the world, I had lost my baby at eight weeks and had to have my right fallopian tube removed along with my baby. We were all going to die and there was no other choice. My heart bled as the doctor let me know my baby was dead and I would die if they did not preform this life saving surgery. Coupled with me internally bleeding, they had to act fast. And in a moment, I was no longer a Mom to two.

Most women who have a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy do get pregnant again. These babies are usually called “rainbow babies” or the babies that you have after you have lost a baby previously. If I do get pregnant again, to protect my baby and my heart, I have to have two pregnancy plans.

My pregnancy plan may not look like  other pregnancy plans. A woman may decide that she is going to have a certain exercise regime, she may in some countries decide whether to have a c-section or a vaginal birth. She may have a doula or a midwife. She may decide to give birth in a hospital or at home. My plan is a lot different but many women have similar plans. My first pregnancy plan is if my baby survives. My chances of having a second ectopic pregnancy are increased, so my pregnancy plan is to make it past 6 weeks of pregnancy. As soon as I have a confirmed pregnancy, my doctor immediately refers me to an ”emergency ultra sound”. Once the baby is confirmed to be safe, I can breathe a sigh of relief and continue cautiously throughout my pregnancy. This is plan one.

My second pregnancy plan begins if a doctor says that something is wrong. If I have another ectopic pregnancy or a miscarriage or if my baby is in any type of distress. My plan looks a little something like this:

  1. Take all measures to help baby survive/thrive
  2. If the baby has passed away, prepare myself for surgery.
  3. Prepare family for my physical rehabilitation (it takes a month or two to physically become strong again).
  4. Make sure that my partner and child have a good support system around them as they will be hurting as well.
  5. To make sure that I ask for help. From family that I can depend on. I asked a lot of family members for help the first time who were not going to be there like I needed. I know now who I can ask to help me with needs that they can provide. I know I can count on my dear friends. One of them actually owns this blog
  6. To seek help.
  7. To know that I don’t have to get over this, but I can get through this.
  8. To send love to my baby.

I know that many families have been through still birth, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and other forms of loss. It can be early on or very late. I know that I belong to a group of people who never wanted to be in this group, but show so much love and support for one another. I know that there are so many strong women and men and children who show love and support in these dark times.

I would love to be that carefree mom as I was in my first pregnancy, which went without problem, but if I go through another pregnancy, it will be more cautious, it will be more careful. I will worry, though everyone will assure me not to, I love them for loving me but I am human and I will. I hope for that result that I get to the birth stage, go through the pain of labour and I can breathe a sigh of relief that my next little one is safely in my arms. I in that moment, rejoice that I have become a Mother to my rainbow baby.

When Is It The Right Time To Announce A Pregnancy?

We have all heard of the three month mark to announce a pregnancy to all and it has been the norm in most families. But is it really the norm? If so, what is the reason behind this norm?

I started to ask myself these questions when this topic came up in one of my discussions with one of my best friends, Grace. We started talking about why each one of us held onto our pregnancy announcement until the three month mark. Both of our reasons where very similar such as it was the norm, this was a comfortable time for us to share and another reason was the fear of miscarrying.

This was one of the main reasons that I did not disclose my pregnancy to my family and friends until I reached the three month mark as I feared that I would endure the pain from my first miscarriage. I did share the news with my immediate family who were sworn to not tell a single soul (sounds silly but they were great sports about it). I only shared my birth announcement on social media which shocked a few people on my friend list as they did not know I was even pregnant. I did all this with the fear of miscarrying.

I get it when people withhold the information until they feel that it is a safe time to tell people and I support their decision. I also support those who are so excited about the news and want to share with everyone that they love earlier than the three month mark. I always tell my friends that it is YOUR news to share and do it when the time is right for YOU.

Here are some thoughts that came to mind as I wrote this piece. If everyone shared the news before the three month mark and a woman miscarried wouldn’t that mean there would be more support for her? Maybe the women who miscarried wouldn’t feel ashamed due to the loving support that she could get from family and friends? Maybe this would be a great start to combat the issue and stigma around miscarriages. I am not saying to put your baby news on the 6 o’clock news but it is perfectly ok to share it with people that you want to share it with.

Whatever you decide to do, just know that by sharing before the three month mark doesn’t mean that there is anything to be ashamed of if you do miscarry.

So when is it the best time to announce your pregnancy? I say it is when you feel comfortable in sharing it. So what will I do if I expect another child? Not sure yet but I know that if I share the news it is because I am comfortable in sharing and the reason to withhold it won’t be due to fear.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

 

Dealing with Loss

At one time or another, we all deal with loss in our lives. It never is easy but part of the circle of life. But what happens when the loss has not entered the world yet? I am talking about a miscarriage. Almost seems like a taboo topic and something that many women try to avoid talking about. But there is no shame in talking about it as it is more common than many people think and it can happen to anyone. I know as it happened to me and many women in my family.

Four years ago, I thought life was great turning 30 as I had a good job, health and marriage and was looking forward to the next chapter of our lives as we were planning for a baby. So when I got the news that I was pregnant at the end of November we were thrilled and had to contain our excitement as we wanted to wait a bit before telling our family. As the weeks went by, I started to feel sick and felt a little off. Without going into the fine details, I miscarried on Christmas Day. This was about 5 to 6 weeks into the pregnancy and we were devastated! We were completely heartbroken and didn’t know what to do. The worse part is that no one even knew I was pregnant so I didn’t even know how to proceed with the overwhelming emotions.

We managed to tell a few close family members who tried their best to comfort us which I understand now that it must have been hard for them. I felt lost, ashamed, guilt, confused, hurt, anger, and sadness. I didn’t understand why it happened to me and started to overthink on why it happened. Of course by doing this, it only made matters worse as I started to feel depressed and I managed to hide it from everyone. However, the emotional distress was making me feel sick all the time and it came to the point that I just couldn’t continue like this as it wasn’t good for me or my husband. I decided I should start to talk to people who have experienced the same type of loss, which helped me realize that everything I was feeling was normal. By talking, it helped me realize that I shouldn’t feel ashamed for what had happened as many women have experienced a miscarriage and it wasn’t my fault. I think that was very important for me as I was feeling that it was my fault and kept playing in my head over and over on what I should have done differently to prevent it. For example, I thought that maybe I should have relaxed more or thought maybe I picked up a heavy box so it was all my fault. But it couldn’t have been prevented and there was nothing I could do. Once I started to accept the miscarriage, is when I started to feel better and started becoming me again. It took some time for me to heal but I did and I think it has made me a stronger person.

Here are a few things that I can suggest to anyone who has experienced a miscarriage and to those who know someone who has. Please note that these are suggestions based on my own personal experience and could be different for someone else. Everyone grieves differently and we need to respect and not judge it.

Talk About It

Talking about the miscarriage is important in the healing process and if you know someone who has gone through a miscarriage, then they can be a great person to start with. Also don’t forget your partner as they may be feeling the same way you are about the loss. My husband and I did a lot of talking as we both took it very hard since we have been trying for awhile so being there for each other was very helpful in the process of healing. If you dont know anyone then I suggest a great network that you can outreach to in Ontario which is the Parent and Infant Loss Network. To learn more about them, visit http://pailnetwork.ca. I have heard amazing things about them and I wish I knew they existed when it happen to me.

Stay Positive

Staying positive is always the hardest thing to do as we naturally think of all the negative. What worked for me personally, was that I would tell myself, “this means that my body is working and I can have a baby. My time will come and everything will work out.” Find your positive and stick with it. Think positive and positive things will happen!

Not Your Fault

A miscarriage is not your fault and there is nothing you can physically do to really prevent it (Of course, it is important to eat healthy and stay healthy during the pregnancy). There is no need to re-play the moments in your head as that will only make you feel sick and it won’t accomplish anything. Miscarriages happen to many women and studies say that it is more common now since we have the technology to detect pregnancy much earlier than in earlier years.

Relaxing

Important to find things that you love to do and do them. Find activities that help relax you and keep you busy. I found keeping myself busy in a healthy way by doing things I loved made me feel happy and realize what life has to offer. We actually planned a trip to Walt Disney World for our 5 year wedding anniversary which had been a childhood dream of mine and it was just what we needed. But of course, no need to spend that sort of money. Do what you can financially and love.

A loss is a loss

Many people do not know what to say or how to react, especially if they have never experienced it. We had a few people who told us that it was just the beginning stages of the pregnancy so it was nothing and not to worry about it. However, that would hurt us more because a loss is a loss. The beginning, the middle or the end makes no difference as it is still a loss. Don’t let people undervalue what you are feeling and know that they are trying to help but are not sure how to. For those in the comforting side, that is what you do – comfort. Ask the person what you can do to help them in their difficult time and just lend a listening ear.

Fast Forward To Today

Three years after our miscarriage, we were successful in getting pregnant again and now we have a 10 month old baby girl, Nikki. Good things happen to those that wait and she was worth the wait! We found the light at the end of the dark tunnel and you can too!

– Momma Braga