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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 > July pregnancy thread

Hello beautiful mamas, 
I know there's a few out there on this journey so here's a new monthly thread for you :) I hope you are all well. 
If you're new to these, this is a thread for anyone currently pregnant (or in need of a window into the challenges of pregnancy after child loss). I lost Maia in 2014 to a concealed placental abruption during labour at 39 weeks. She died two days later in our arms. My son Mirko arrived in June last year after a very challenging pregnancy. The threads in glow were particularly useful to me so I start these threads every now and then when it gets quiet just in case anyone needs the space and support. I'm always here to listen and hold virtual hands. 

Do feel free to post whatever you want to share, what's up this week, mixed feelings, appointments, anything that might help with your sanity! 
Sending love to all
July 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGaby
Thanks for starting a new thread! I find it very helpful to occasionally offload here.

I'm 9 weeks pregnant, due for a scan on Monday. More importantly, they'll be taking bloods to search for the presence of the mutation that was the cause of my daughter's death, a year and nine months ago. They'll do a repeat round one week later just to be sure, so it will be at least a few weeks before I know the results.

I'm in some sort of limbo - partly desperately hopeful, partly detached, feeling this pregnancy is not really here. Deep breaths...
July 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAna
Thank you Gaby for starting the thread.
Ana I hope your scan goes well.and your blood work comes. Acknowledgments negative for any mutation. I am sorry about your previous loss. I know how it feels to almost be impartial towards this pregnancy. Until I could feel my baby move around and till I could no longer deny physically that I was pregnant it didn't feel real. It is very real now 27 weeks in.

Now I'm just obsessed with movement. Especially at night. I can't fall asleep without feeling him move. Everytime I get up to pee I have to feel him move and in the morning g before getting up same thing g. The worry is very much there all the time....
It's unfair that we have had to go through this.

Monday will be great see that little nugget of yours.
July 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterStill0517
Help! I'm 22 weeks along and my boss and I are meeting tomorrow to discuss my maternity leave. I only work there 1.5 days a week. I work for a small business, have no benefits, and my boss and I are the only people who can do what we do. He works elsewhere one of the days I work there. Anyway, I thought this wouldn't be too bad so I procrastinated thinking up what I want to say until tonight, the night before the meeting. And I just can't do it. I have ideas for pre-expected induction, like working half days for the last three weeks. I have no idea about what I should ask for for after. Will my baby even be alive this time? If I'm induced at 37 weeks will she need me longer than if I were to give birth at 40 weeks? A 6 week maternity leave would almost be like a three week leave in that sense. Will there be a NICU stay?

I really like my job and they really like me but they essentially would have to shut down the office one day a week for the weeks I'm on leave because my either my boss or I have to be there for the entire office to be able to be open (four other employees). I don't want to force them to be off of work those days either. And I put the office through all of this a year ago when I took maternity/bereavement leave. I almost just want to quit and stay home. We don't need the money. I do know quitting would be awful for my career and my overall sanity. I have two LC and working part-time has been a nice balance for me.

For what it's worth I work at another office one day a week and I'm on leave there from 28 weeks to approximately 10 weeks post expected induction. Big company though, there are four of us who do what I do so it's not hard for others to pick up my slack.
July 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMom2htb
And.... I'm signing off from here :(

There was a heartbeat at 8 weeks, an 1.5 cm embryo, but yesterday, at 9.5 weeks, no heartbeat. Now I have to prepare for the miscarriage (while still feeling completely pregnant), collect tissue for testing, and wait a few months to hear what they found. This sucks big time.
July 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAna
Oh Ana....I'm so sorry. Sending you a big big hug. This sucks so much.
July 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAB
Dear Ana...
I am so sorry!
I remember feeling that it was such a "waste of time"... what stupid bodies we have that still keep acting like we are pregnant!. I hope it goes really quickly, and that in no time you are in your next normal cycle and get back here right away!
Be brave, be gentle with yourself!
much love

Dear mom2htb, I don't think there is a big difference between 37 and 38w.
The normal mums with normal pregnancies often have babies that soon and they come out "normal" too. They are essentially fullterm... I know is difficult to not stress about what can go wrong, but You never know the future, yet you hope and plan for the best (even if sometimes it seems you can't)
Some good vibes going your way to relax you in your meeting!
Good luck!

All the best positiveness and calm soothing vibes to all you dears, to face another month!
Marta
July 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarta
Discussing maternity leave with my boss was easier than anticipated and he offered three weeks more leave than I had anticipated.

Ana, I am so sorry for your loss. My first "rainbow" pregnancy ended in a miscarriage at 6 weeks. I somehow thought I'd be immune from another loss happening. I had fought so hard to stay hopeful those weeks. It is quite unfair that you are experiencing this. Us baby loss moms should get to have a respite from bad things happening. Again, I'm so sorry.
July 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMom2htb
I am so sorry Ana! Please be gentle to yourself and I hope you'll go through this with a minimum physical impact (I know the emotional one is outside of control). Thinking of you!
July 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterElise's mom
Ana - I am sorry to hear. My first "rainbow" pregnancy was a blighted ovum, no baby just a fertilaized egg and my body thought it was pregnant for 12 weeks. It is so hard and so unfair. I wish you strength these coming days and weeks ahead of you.

Mom2htb Sound like your employer is understanding with your situation and glad the conversation went smoothly. My boss asked me when i told her I was pregnant when I was going off, she wanted me off right away and was surprised I stayed as long as I did through my pregnancy. I have been off for a while now, and she is totally supportive of wheneer I want to come back is when it will happen. I dont agree with your 6 weeks of mat leave, that is rubbish to say the least. Im glad you got a few more weeks off. They are going to be starting 18 month mat leaves here in canada.
July 12, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterstill0517
Hi ladies,

Apologies for the silence, I have had a few challenging weeks between work, grief, and gallbladder surgery.

Ana, if you are still reading here, I'm so sorry you're going through this. I hope the physical side of things is as smooth as possible. We'll be here for you when you are ready and the universe stops screwing with our hearts.

Mom2htb, glad the mat leave talk went well. I understand the guilt of putting extra pressure on colleagues because of our circumstances but that's the way it is, sadly. It's not your fault they can't hire temporary cover and it's not your fault you need time off. I don't know how laws are where you are but if you are allowed more time off, then use as much as you need. It's more important to feel we've done right by our family than work. They should have a plan for cover for maternity, that's not your responsibility. Like I said, I sympathise as I'm quite similar but I'm learning to manage it better as it is, in the grand scheme of things, not that important. And we do need my income! Not sure if I'm making sense.

Still0517, go Canada!! :) I get a year, mostly unpaid and I requested additional unpaid leave so I could be home until Mirko is 14 months. It's coming up next month and I'm dreading it.

How's the rest of the group doing?
Sending love to all
July 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGaby
Does anyone have any pro tips on reducing the number of times that you find yourself at a medical appointment with someone who doesn't know your story? We had to change care provider after our OB left our insurance network, so I had called the new OB's office in advance and told my story and specifically asked that they make sure it was passed on to the doctors. We had our first ultrasound yesterday (so far so good), but it began with the doctor walking in and, as I'm lying there half-naked in the stirrups, congratulating me on my first pregnancy. It's not really the time that I wanted to be launching into telling our story again. She then wondered why my blood pressure was high. I asked her to please make sure that this didn't happen again, check our medical file, and pass on our story to the rest of the practice so they knew the context. In her post-visit summary notes on my file she told her colleagues DO NOT TALK ABOUT THE PREVIOUS PREGNANCY. Sigh. No, please talk about my daughter, just realize that she died.

It has happened multiple times in various medical contexts despite whatever efforts I have made to try to get someone to pass on a message or to read my medical file in advance. I guess this is just how it is (and I'm very grateful that everything went well), but I needed a rant.
July 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterK West
K West, I'm sorry that sucks. I found during my rainbow pregnancy, that I had to chew people out. I had to say "no, this is not my first and if you had looked at the file carefully, you would have seen that. I expect you to spend a few minutes looking at my file before you walk in. I expect you to remember my history so I don't have to go through the traumatizing story repeatedly. If that means you have to put this info in big red letters on my file, then that's what you should do. I expect more compassionate care after everything I've been through." I only had to do this twice I think but after that, they were actually wonderful. When I went in for a checkup the week of my daughter's loss they said "we know that this is the week your daughter died. We get that you're scared. We're reporting to the insurance that you're having some symptoms and that we're doing an ultrasound d even though we normally wouldn't." It makes me cry to think of their kindness but i did have to chew them out...sending you some courage.
July 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAB
Thanks AB. I got pretty cranky with them, so hopefully that will get the message noted. Sounds like you experienced some real compassion (once they engaged their brains), which is exactly what you deserved.
July 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterK West
Oh Ana, I am so sorry. Sending you a big hug!
July 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterArav's Mom
k west. I had to have the nurses at the hoispital put a sign on my folder too. I felt bad for the nurse for not knowing and for those who are triaged around me with their first babies when the nurse asked if this was my first when I went to the hospital the other day for an apt with my ob.

she felt horrible not knowing, not her fault, I just asked her to politly put something on the chart so that it isnt awkward for anyone, and I dont want to freak out any moms around me. I know I shouldnt worry about others around me, but I am also very private and dont want to hear people tlaking about me and my babys.

On another note. I am obsessed with movement right now. At night I cant go back to sleep without feelin ghim a few times, get up in the morning same thing, if i havent felt him move cause he is probably sleeping, Im all over the sweet treats and juice to get him going, and I dont think this will go away. I am thinking I am getting worse with it as the days go by. Everytime he kicks I look at the clock so that I know the last time I felt him move. I felt like such a failure when my ob asked me when there was no heartbeat when the last tine I had felt her move was and I did not have a response for her,

anyone have any suggestions for this??

on a positive note we had an us last week and he is looking good, measureing big which is not a surprise. we start weekly us in two weeks. crazy to think in less than 8 weeks I will have this baby boy in my arms, the prize after this wicked ride.
July 26, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterstill0517
Thanks still0517. You're a better person than I - the last thing I worry about is how other expectant moms feel! I'm obviously not yet in a position to help with advice on movement, but I wondered if it's actually a problem? If you're still able to get back to sleep, and you're functioning in your day, maybe it's ok that you're a little obsessed with monitoring movement. It makes total sense given what you've been through. Maybe you can just let yourself do whatever crazy things you need to do in order to get through these last 8 weeks.
July 27, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterK West
still0517 — about the movement: I agree with K West. When Arav died they also asked me when I had last felt him move and I wasn't sure. So in the following pregnancy (which resulted in a now eight-weeks-old healthy baby) I was a bit obsessed with movement, too. I did the same thing: In the morning I waited until I felt her before I got up, at night I waited before going back to sleep. During the day I checked the time or did a kick count here and there (apart from the routine one in the evening). I went to triage once and had them do an extra NST on another occasion. Nobody in either instance lost one negative word about it. They encouraged me to come back anytime I felt I needed to. Anyway, I don't think that making sure your baby moves regularly is crazy. I actually think they should advise everyone to do that. Good luck!
July 27, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterArav's Mom
Hi ladies,

Great to see some chatter and support!

K West, so sorry about the communication breakdown. Hopefully it's sorted now. In the UK we carry actual paper notes with us to all appointments (?!) so it's easy enough to add stickers to the front page. I used some from Sands (charity) on my front page and added stickers to anything else that I thought could help. I currently have a sticker on my son's children health record (where vaccines and checkups get recorded).

Still0517, I'm with you on kick counting. I do know the last time Maia kicked but it still didn't save her. So for my son's rather than number of kicks and general feeling of pattern I actually recorded the kicks on my phone. I got a simple counter app that adds a timestamp with each record. So I could easily check when was the last kick and how often they had been that day if I needed it. It helped me 'relax' as I didn't have to hold the information in my brain, if that makes sense. I didn't record kicks overnight, just checked he kicked every time I turned (and woke up) in bed. Incidentally, he's a terrible sleeper :) not sure if it's payback from all the poking and prodding....

Hang in there, ladies, you are doing it....
Hugs to all
July 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGaby