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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 > Head spinning

Hello dear parents at glow,

I lost my first (a little girl, Nina) just over a year ago. We had a TFMR at 18.5 weeks when they found multiple anomalies that were not compatible with life. It's been a long, sucky year trying to grapple with what happened while simultaneously diving head first back into fertility treatments to try to get pregnant again. I am just over 19 weeks pregnant with a little boy and our anatomy scan (and an extra fetal cardiac scan) are next week. I have been followed closely (ultrasounds every 2 weeks) and as of last week my OB said I could feel confident going into the anatomy scans because all looked well (he has no signs of the same issues as Nina) but somehow I still feel myself spiralling into a state of panic. I am having trouble sleeping, I'm obsessed with every little twinge and pain/trying to feel him move, and I keep having recurring day dreams about getting horrific news at the scans.

I know this is all further complicated by the fact that the timeline of these 2 pregnancies are so close (his due date is just one week later than hers). This summer is feeling like a weird dejavu. Her birth/death anniversary was on July 19 and there I was missing her like crazy while feeling our new baby squirming around. I so badly want to feel confident that everything could work out this time but it is just so damn hard.

I don't know how I am going to make it to/through the scans in one piece. Any words of wisdom? Advice? if only I could have a big stiff drink!

July 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterA.K
A.K it's so tough isn't it!! I also had a TFMR at 20 weeks. We fell pregnant with our rainbow 9 months later. The only thing that got me through was focussing on the next step, the next milestone, the next appointment...... trying to keep breathing and distracting myself from the hamster wheel of thoughts about everything that could go wrong. It is mentally EXHAUSTING!!! I get it! Have you got a Doppler? that helped save me when I didn't feel movement for a while (I had an anterior placenta so movement was sketchy until around 25 weeks). But they aren't for everyone, some people don't like them- it helped me a lot.

Are you seeing someone (counsellor, therapist, psychologist, support group)? It helped for me just to get my thoughts out at a specific time and try not to spin out on them in between those designated times. As in I allowed myself that one hour a week or fortnight or whatever to spew out everything that was worrying me and in between those times I tried to just let the thoughts go. Tough!!!!!! Do you meditate/do yoga/mindfulness? They could be helpful? I totally understand and have been in your shoes and I know how tiring trying to keep your brain under control is.

I'm crossing everything that your scans are boring and normal and perfect. xxx
July 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterShelby's Mum
A.K., I haven't been on in a while, so I didn't see your post until just now. I am not sure whether you already had the scans (since you said they were next week). If they already happened, I hope that your anatomy scan and fetal echocardiogram went well.

I can completely relate to your experience. I learned of complications in my first pregnancy during my anatomy scan (at about 20 weeks). She died at 22 weeks. I scheduled an appointment to terminate the pregancy and signed all the paperwork, but then I learned that she had already died naturally inside of me. Based on LMP, my second pregnancy originally had the exact same due date as my daughter (the following year), but after the initial ultrasounds, the date was changed and the due dates were 10 days apart. I also had ultrasounds approximately every 2 weeks during my second pregnancy. I had several SCHs early on, but nothing they were horribly concerned about early on, but I still found myself panicking as we got closer to the anatomy scan. My son lived. There were some complications in the pregnancy later on that seem to be similar to what we experienced with Ruby, but to a lesser extent. His anatomy scan went well. I was still scared, but I was also somewhat relieved. I hope that is your experience!

I spent a lot of time talking to my therapist and husband about my worries. I used a doppler (that was kindly mailed to me by a fellow loss-mom from this site) pretty much every day for reassurance until I could feel movement consistently (which was later due to my anterior placenta, just like with Shelby's Mum). I spent a good deal of time crying and letting myself worry because I know that pretending I am alright only makes me feel worse in the long run. I visited my daughter's grave and spoke to her about taking care of her baby sibling if something happened (which makes no sense because I am atheist and I don't believe in life after death, but apparently my grief doesn't know that). I also went out and bought a few items for the new baby. At that point, I hadn't really gotten anything for him. I worried that, if he lived, he would have nothing because I would have been too worried about him dying to prepare for him to live. And I worried that, if he died, I would have nothing to hold to remember him by. Buying something for him helped me remember that he was not Ruby, which was sad, but also meant that he might live.

Again, I hope your scans went well! You will be on my mind.
August 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRuby's Mom
Shelby's Mum and Ruby's Mom,

Thank you very much for your thoughtful responses and wise advice. I am very sorry you lost your sweet girls, Shelby and Ruby. A TFMR is just such a horrendously shitty thing to have to go through. More than a year on I still can hardly believe it even happened.

My scans are in 2 days. I do have a Doppler and have been using it pretty regularly since 11 weeks. Like you Ruby's Mom, I had SCHs early on (with some scary bleeds) in this and my first pregnancy so I bought a Doppler to check for myself the baby was still alive after each bleeding episode. It has been invaluable!

I have started feeling pretty regular kicks in the last week too, which certainly helps. Sometimes I catch myself worrying about the scans and then I feel a little jab. I usually say "thanks little guy" out loud so he knows I appreciate the reassurance.

I have a therapist too, but honestly I have found her to fairly unhelpful. When I got pregnant with this baby, she seemed to want to stop focusing on my loss so much (for fear of making me too upset perhaps?) but I wonder now if that was a mistake. Now more than ever I needed an outlet to remember her and grieve Nina.

I think it would be good to buy something for this baby (haven't yet) before the scans. With Nina, the only thing I had bought for her was a single onesie with a picture of the province (I am Canadian) we were moving from. We ended up having the loss just before we moved from there, so needless to say, now that little onesie is hugely important to me and my memory of her.

Thanks again ladies

All the best,

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterA.K