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Parents of lost babies and potential of all kinds: come here to share the technicolour, the vividness, the despair, the heart-broken-open, the compassion we learn for others, having been through this mess — and see it reflected back at you, acknowledged and understood.

Thanks to photographer Xin Li and to artist Stephanie Sicore for their respective illustrations and photos.

ttc | pregnancy | birth after loss > Mixed feelings about period

Hello everyone,

So I began to suspect maybe I was pregnant this cycle. It would be very early for me as this is still 3 months, almost 4, after my son's death.
But hubby and I have been very "active" this cycle because the intimacy helps us both as we grieve. So I had some very conflicting feelings. Part of me wants more time away from even thinking about being pregnant. I'm focusing on aspects of my life that bring me joy, things I can control, that make me feel good: working hard, going out and being with family, laughing and socializing, relaxing, starting to exercise...doing non pregnancy related activities and learning new hobbies. But it's always in the back of my mind. I ache to start a family. I yearn to have a living baby and raise him or her with love and care. At the same time, i really wanted more time to lose weight before getting pregnant again as I still have twenty pounds hanging on.

Anyway I started to feel faint and crampy before my period is due which is in four days. I also started having very vivid dreams, which I had before I knew I was pregnant last year. Part of me suspected I may be pregnant again so I felt excited. I was surprised at this. I felt excited, but also angry that I had to be thinking about even getting pregnant again (Riyad may have been our only child if he wasn't stillborn because we don't want a big family). But mostly excited. Now I am beginning to feel classic period symptoms such as irritability, bloating, breast pain, and my irritability is x 1000 because my grief intensifies around this time due to hormones. And frustration that I'm probably not pregnant!

So that's where I am...if I get my period (which most likely I will), I am frustrated, grieve extra hard, and oddly relieved. But if I DONT get my period, I will be excited, hopeful, still angry, and terrified! It's such a mixed bag.

Does anyone else feel this way, or did you when your loss was still recent?
February 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNada
I only tried much much later...
But yes, the symptoms feel the same. The months you are not are a disappointment, sad, angry, grieving... and if you are it is a mix of good and bad.
I always felt that sadness that IF... I would not be trying again.
It is a new guilt... will I love this one more(, if he lives)... do I love him less because I wish for my lost one still...
I dont thimk there is a right and wrong, good or bad. Whatever happens, you will always have the other side of the mirror, your own idea of the paralell universes where things went differently.
I think whatever happens this month will be good... or you'll have your own way of seeing a good side to it.
Peace to you and sanity too!

Marta
February 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarta
Marta, thank you for responding. I am glad you felt the same way and I'm not alone in this. This post-loss journey is so crazy making. You're right, we will always have the what-if in mind. I sometimes think of this life as being thrown into an alternate universe after my son died, and the correct timeline is where he's alive and I'm mothering him. I know no matter the outcome this month I can try to put a positive spin on it as well...that's really the only way to do it. We're in survival mode.
Wishing you peace as well and an uneventful remainder of your pregnancy :)
February 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNada
Hey Nada,

This was me the first month we ttc after our loss too, our situations are very different though as I had a cesarean section. We were told to wait a minimum of six months due to the surgery but jumped the gun and started ttc at 4. The first cycle we failed I wasn't surprised as I knew I wasn't physically ok still. The second month we failed I really lost it, almost to the point of insanity, reason being I conceived on the second cycle with our baby we lost and I guess reality just hit hard, another month of watching everyone else's happy ending, another milestone without hope etc. So we are in our third cycle of ttc and my feelings now are what you have just described, I have felt a shift within myself these last few weeks, I started back at work full time and feel I am gaining control over what I can again (finances, study, house) which is also hard to fathom, it seems as though life is back to what is was before we decided to start ttc in the first place.

I am aware that if I react to every failed cycle the way I did to last month, my mind and body won't cope and I will end up in a looney house, but I am aware of that and I think that's the first step in surviving this horrible chapter if ttc after loss. I know what you mean about how your body felt last time too, and that in itself plays tricks with you,

I know as well that if my first baby was here with me, I would not be ttc for a couple of years. I wish you all the luck in the world and please keep posting because I am in the same boat and it's nice to have company and understanding.
February 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterElla
Oh and it's Tilly's mum, my name is Ella Xx
February 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterElla
Ella / Tilly's mum,

Thank you for responding. It does make me feel less alone and gives me a little comfort that we are in this grief journey together, with similar thoughts, feelings and experiences. I hate this cycle because this was the time I got pregnant last year. Last year it was early February so I was so eager and hopeful it would happen around the same time. It's weird, our grief reactions just intensify once we find out we aren't pregnant. It really DOES make reality hit home in those instances. I had a negative pregnancy test today and I was already sad and thinking of a Riyad all day. That just made it feel worse.

BUT the shift as you said, does work to distract me from my grief for a short time most days. I'm enjoying things again more than I used to the last three months. Sometimes I feel like an awful person and just yearn to forget all of this, so I can feel like I'm living some semblance of a normal life again,a life without this reality that our babies passed away. But in the midst of all of this I am trying to cling to people I care about, things I care about doing, trying to stay afloat. It's getting a little easier to do that, but periods and the hormones that come with them can really put me in a slump!
February 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNada
When I first started trying again I was actually relieved a few times when I wasn't pregnant...... I don't think I was mentally ready to deal with the psychological pressure a rainbow pregnancy would bring! I finally got a sticky pregnancy 9 months after we lost Shelby and it took a lot of mental stamina to keep my thoughts in check. I understand where you are coming from. I hope you get your positive pregnancy test when your mind and body are ready x
February 27, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterShelby's Mum
Shelbys Mum, it's so confusing, the emotional back and forth. Sometimes I feel so brave and ready and actually excited about another try. I really enjoyed my pregnancy except for its horrible, awful ending. Other times I just want to relax a bit longer and get a grip on this new reality I'm in. I want to keep enjoying things I actually have control over. I know when I am pregnant I will be in for a terrifying experience. So yes, why not wait until I'm ready? The problem is I can't ever be sure I will truly be ready....and then I do think if I have a successful outcome in the future, it will provide some healing that not trying yet won't provide.

Waiting at least one more month is ok for me. I have more time to do the things I mentioned and take care of myself, physically. Exercising more than I have will definitely help me feel better about all of this too.
February 27, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNada
Update: fourth time unlucky. Hmm, I wasn't surprised, I don't feel insanity coming on, I'm glad I have a job to turn up to. I guess that means the 7 month milestone, my birthday, everyone else around me skipping their way through their days, another month without my daughter or renewed hope, somehow booooo doesn't quite fit this situation. Fuck you nature does.
February 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterElla
Ella,

I'm sorry. I hate this situation, I hate how it makes us feel every month when we get our periods. "Fuck you nature" is a great way to describe it. Wishing you a little peace and rest today.
February 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNada
Dear Nada, I feel the same way. It has been 4 months since my son passed away and I also started thinking about having a new hope in the middle of this miserable time that I have been having. I have had 3 periods so far and now I am waiting for my fourth. I also unofficially started TTC in spite of the fact that my doctor said I should wait 6 to 9 months after the emergency C-section I had. I feel anxious but I am also worried about a new pregnancy before the 6 months. I know I am getting this new period and it lets me feel "better". I do not know if you or some other moms felt that but with my first period I felt strange. I thought "now, it is ok to bleed, it is normal..."... The last two bleedings were heavy and painful, I do not know if that is normal but I am going to ask my ob-gyn on Friday. I wish you patience and the best for this time to TTC.
March 1, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMiguel Angel`s mom
Wow, reading these posts helps me feel at least like I'm not alone. My baby was still born at 23 weeks on 20 July. Similarly, I was convinced that I was pregnant this month, and was feeling a bit of hope finally. However when I took a test it was -Ve, and the relief I felt was unexpected. I feel so confused about things, and as I type after having a crappy day - probably made worse by pms- I am wondering whether I am supposed to have another baby and how can I possibly even consider it after the past few months.
September 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAnon