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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

Let me start this month's pregnancy thread by logging off :)

I gave birth two days ago, induction by prostoglandin gel at 40 weeks exactly. My Valentina was born alert and responsive, ready to latch on within minutes. 3600 g, reacting to our voices, sucking her lower lip when in need of soothing :) They discharged us the next morning as soon as a doctor took a look at her, and now we're completely blissful at home.

Seeing her come out was a triggery experience and we couldn't stop crying at first. (Nadia died in the very last stages of labour.) My 7-year-old also cried and laughed, cried and laughed when he saw her. He had a hard time parting from her when it was time for school this morning. And he commented with surprise at how drawn he is to her, how he needs to keep kissing her and touching her. Don't I know it, kid.

Wishing you ladies all the best. I'll check in from time to time to see how everyone is doing.
July 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAna
Congratulations, Ana, on your sweet Valentina! What a gorgeous name. Sending you many good thoughts for continued health and happiness as she settles in at home.
July 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterM's mama
Congratulations Ana and welcome to the world Valentina!
I am so pleased all went well I've been thinking about you all in past week or so as I thought her due date must be soon.
Wishing you all love and happiness
July 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKE
Congratulations Ana and welcome to Valentina! I am so glad to hear of her safe arrival. I've been needing some hope this week so it's great to come here and see a good outcome.

Up until this trimester, I feel like my approach to this pregnancy has been fairly zen - I took things as they came, wasn't too anxious, and told myself I was prepared for any outcome. But this week (I'm 30w), I feel like that's really being tested - the further I get, the more the realities of going through a stillbirth again hit me. Although my last growth scan (at 28w) looked good, there was a very minor drop off in growth - not enough to worry the doctors at this stage or to increase scan frequency. However, it is two weeks later and I haven't gained any weight in the last 4 weeks (despite eating normally), my blood pressure is really low (not unusual for me), and I came close to fainting on the street this week (has never ever happened to me). My iron levels are also low despite taking prenatals (also didn't happen last time). I know I'm being monitored closely this time, the professionals aren't worried yet, and my weight isn't necessarily a huge deal (I gained more earlier this time), but last time it all happened in a matter of minutes during labor - if movements slowed prior to that, I really didn't notice so I suspect it was a gradual change. I don't trust myself to notice this time either and I'm not trusting my body. I feel like I just have to get myself to the next growth scan (at which point the doctors will reassess if there's been another drop off) but my ability to stave off the anxiety and just focus on the present and not worry until someone tells me there is something to worry about is really faltering.

I'm also struggling with the natural tendency (and need) to make plans (family visits, booking flights for Christmas, getting a carseat) that necessarily assume that there will be a baby here in 9 weeks - and feeling like warning signs are piling up that my body just isn't coping well with this and that I need to be prepared that this baby might not make it. Up until this week, when I felt like everything looked really good, I was starting to move into making plans (always caveated, but with the caveat not really meant) - now I just feel a little paralyzed.
July 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSR
Yay Ana... welcome sweet Valentina!!! We are all so thrilled you are here little one.

SR- I swear I am not just saying these things to make you feel better but they are 100% truth- I didn’t gain weight for the last two months of my rainbow pregnancy... complete opposite of my first. I also had low BP which always panicked me but the docs seemed elated by it! And the fainting... I felt dizzy constantly. I drank so much water in case it was dehydration but after research/discussion determined it’s a very normal occurrence in later months. And finally, the increased anxiety... yes- through the roof. Plan, don’t plan, jinx, panic, repeat. I’m not downplaying any of your fears only letting you know I completely understand and I was there. My friend who gave birth 3 months before me told me the days are long but the weeks are fast so keep your head down and get through each moment... that helped me and was so true. I’m here friend and proud of you.
July 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAM
Thanks AM - I appreciate it. I've been feeling better for the last week or so - I guess I can only feel highly anxious for so long. We have another scan tomorrow - after which I suspect I will be in another anxiety spiral for a few days before I settle out again. The funny thing with weight is that at my 24 week appointment they were concerned I was gaining it too fast. I know that the scale doesn't necessarily mean much but it's hard to ignore because I stopped gaining weight at 34 weeks last week last time too - and it could have been nothing, but I'd rather not have the same result this time. I haven't been walking alone since my dizzy spell, so I wouldn't be surprised if this time the weight goes way up and I get scolded for that!
July 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSR
Ana, Congratulations, I am so happy to hear that baby Valentina was born safe and sound. :) Thinking of you, your family, and of baby Nadia always. <3

SR, I feel you. I can imagine your anxiety is super ramped up now, since you are 30 weeks, and I can't imagine the growth scan helped your anxiety. My anxiety is starting to increase, even though I am 21 weeks tomorrow. I still have a while to go. It's hard not to over analyze every detail. My daughter kicked me like crazy yesterday, which made me feel good, but today she's being relatively quiet so far. This makes me insanely nervous, although regular movement isn't supposed to happen until 28 weeks (where we can begin counting kicks). I am always tempted to leave work and use my fetal doppler. In fact I wish we could have fetal dopplers permanently stuck to our bodies. That would be nice!

I wouldn't worry too much about the decrease in weight gain, especially if your doctors aren't worried. I think about the lack of movement with my son, how I didn't notice too, and how it was gradual. It's hard not to be paranoid, and it's hard to trust our doctors this time...

I hope they can give you more reassuring updates to come, and things will be just fine for you in the next 9 weeks! :)
July 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNada