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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 > October pregnancy thread

Dear all,

I figured I'd start a new pregnancy thread. It's all gone a bit quiet but I'm sure there's a few of us out there that would appreciate the space to share the roller-coaster ride that pregnancy after loss can be.

I am not pregnant at the moment but happy to listen and send happy thoughts to whomever might need them. I lost my daughter Maia in 2014 to a concealed placental abruption at full term and welcomed her baby brother in 2016. His pregnancy was really difficult emotionally and physically, and these threads were very useful.

Anyway, I'm here if anyone needs this place.

Much love
October 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGaby
Thank you Gaby for starting this thread. I’m sorry for your loss of sweet Maia and am so happy to hear of the welcoming of your rainbow. These threads are indeed really useful and takes a bit of the edge off of this whole difficult and nerve wracking process.

I am currently 32+3 with this baby girl. Her kicks are finally getting stronger and more frequent and I am doing NSTs twice a week. It’s still difficult not to freak out constantly, especially because we are getting close to full term, and around the time my son died. I will be inducing at 37 weeks so thankfully it is before the point that he died, but I can feel help but worry that what if I lose this little girl sooner than I lost him, what I’d something goes wrong again at the very last minute?

Anyway, I will be scheduling my induction at my 34 week appointment. My husband is worried that 37 weeks is too soon to induce, but I would rather have her a bit early versus risking another stillbkrth. He is also worried that the amniocentesis they will be doing prior to induction to test for lung maturity will complicate things. I’m not sure how to assuage his worries except to keep pushing for 37 weeks and telling him about all of these other babies that were born at or way before term who ended up perfectly fine. It’s exhausting to deal with his worries on top of my own, but I know he cares about our child and my mental health and we can hopefully come to a compromise on this.

How is everyone else doing?
October 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNada
*cant help but worry. Sorry for the typo
October 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNada
Thank you Gabby for starting this thread - that’s very thoughtful of you. I am currently 32.6 after loosing my daughter in 2016 from a rare birth defect, she born at 36 weeks and died two weeks later.

My biggest fear is stillbirth at the moment as this baby hasn’t got the same defect and is seemingly healthy. Ignorance is bliss isn’t it. I am booked for a repeat c section on the Thursday the 22nd of November so 38.2 however am hoping I can have the baby earlier on Monday the 19th at 37.6... and Nada my husband is of the same opinion not wanting it earlier but later however I find it more comforting counting down from Monday’s instead of Thursday’s and I just don’t want to go past 38 weeks. I think he is coming around though.

My obstetrician actually has bloody cancer and is having treatment for it, he won’t be back until the 12th so not seeing him until then is scary, I am seeing another one but he is my safe person if that makes sense. He was diagnosed after my daughter died so ironically now we have this strange connection through our bad luck.

Today I just keep thinking 5 weeks over and over, we are so close I can taste the joy but then think to myself it’s too good to be true and this baby will be taken off me too. I seriously would just shot my self if it did. Like I would be done with life.

Can I ask what your thoughts were right before and when you took your baby home Gabby? I’m scared my grief will be uncontrollable and shadow everything.

Ella X
October 15, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterElla
I would also love to hear your thoughts before and after baby. I am currently 22+3 with our 5th child, a girl. We lost her older brother in October of last year. My husband underwent a vasectomy reversal for us to conceive this baby. This is all during his final year of his Phd program and while raising three other small children. It has been a rollercoaster and this month, in particular, is taking a toll. I wish I were further along in this pregnancy, wish that I had more of this horrible fearful anxiety ridden time behind me than I do. I feel healthy and generally good but I know that can all vanish in a single moment.
Stillbirth has changed me so deeply and not in any ways that I like.
If anything happens to the baby I'm carrying I will break things. I could not handle another loss like the death of our Mosey.
I'm holding everyone in the light tonight, all the expectant mamas and the babies we love and had to let go. peace upon us all.
October 16, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterks
Hi all,
Apologies for the late reply, I’ve had absolutely no time to myself in the past week or so.
As always, it’s lovely to connect with others on this crazy journey of life after losing our babes albeit so sad we all have to be here. These deaths will never make sense in my head.
Nada, I’m glad you are getting the tests you wanted. Are they helping with your anxiety, you think? I’m very pro whatever-helps-you-cope strategies. I took up adult colouring books during my son’s pregnancy to help me relax and tune out the world. And walked for no other reason that I just needed to move and breathe clean air. A lot. I had counselling throughout. And in the last two weeks before my son was born, I went in for daily NST checks (well, the UK equivalent). The week before the c-section, I went in on both Saturday and Sunday, too. Maia was born at 39 weeks after a perfect pregnancy so there was really very little anyone could tell me that would reassure me all would be well next time around. So we did what we could, and to me, this combination helped.

Ella, welcome and so sorry to hear about your daughter. What’s her name?
I think the fear of EVERYTHING that can possibly go wrong with pregnancy is very unique to babyloss mums. We know first-hand how quickly things can change. And we know of others that have suffered of things we (also) had never heard of before. I remember being in theatre with my emergency c-section and the obstetrician saying it was a placental abruption…and thinking “what on earth is that??”. I honestly didn’t know they existed. My son’s pregnancy was a constant battle to reach milestones (real and imaginary) and try to breathe deeper.

KS, welcome and so sorry to hear about Mosey. It must be very challenging to be doing this with three other children that demand your attention and a husband that is trying to finish a PhD. My hubby is currently finishing his too. It can be hard (on them) but it can also be helpful as he has a bit of flexibility with his working hours, which is very handy for panicky trips to hospital in the middle of the night.

My son (Mirko) was born by scheduled c-section at 37 weeks. The original plan was 38 weeks but a scan at 36 suggested it was best to move it to 37. I think it really helped to have a support team in place for Mirko’s birth. I had an obstetrician I trusted, it was a scheduled section (very different to the emergency rush to theatre with my daughter), and I had my hubby, midwife, and my lovely bereavement midwife with me. When Mirko ended up spending a few hours in NICU he was looked after by a doctor I knew and trusted from Maia’s short stay there. I was so relieved when I finally held him and took him to the breast. All the focus was on him and his warm body. We stayed in hospital for two days and then came home. I just wanted to be home. In hindsight, perhaps one more night in hospital would have helped as on the first day home my milk came in and I was so not ready for the swelling and how tricky it’d be to feed Mirko and my hormones being all over the place! But I had great support.

Leaving hospital with my son, very much alive, was so good…but also hard.

In the early months I would find myself crying (a lot) but that always ended up having to wait, as my newborn needed me constantly and I kept telling myself Maia no longer needs me to do anything other than remember and love her, which I do with my eyes closed 24/7. Whereas my son had very basic needs that couldn’t wait.
I have this blur of memories of how challenging it was both the pregnancy and the first weeks at home, but they are intersected with so many moments of just love. I remember staring at him, just taking him in. To anyone who hasn’t lost a child it is impossible to explain how you can be so happy and at the same time so broken. But here we are.

Anyway…sorry for the long post. Happy to keep sharing or just listening.
Much love and peace to all
October 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGaby
I just wanted to share a couple things—haven’t stopped by in while, not pregnant, but this thread was such a lifeline for me almost 3 years ago when I was expecting my rainbow son—he turns 3 in December. I had him via scheduled c at exactly 37 weeks. The MFM basically vetoed 38 weeks (those were my two scheduling options 37 or 38 weeks)...he said nope, 37. There wasn’t anything going on but that was that. Scheduled cs are so chill, so chill. Honestly, it was a beautiful healing birth for both me and my husband, especially after the awful induction for our stillborn daughter. My son never needed any NICU or anything.

Anyway, taking him home was amazing but I’ll be honest, it was a roller coaster emotionally. Some of that is hormones, some of it was all the difficulties I had nursing and the guilt I felt for feeding him formula. If I ever do this again and my supply is as awful as it was, I’m not making myself crazy trying everything under the sun (and I tried everything, the guilt and pressure there is really hard) that kid will be all formula fed from the get go. But what shocked me most was how sad his thriving/growth made me. I’d be feeding him, 2am, and bawling. Bawling at the grief and unfairness that I never got to be up at 2 am with my daughter...then and now all his milestones fill me with love and pride and wonder and just a pang of grief now, and a bit of missing his sister. Sending all of you much peace and love as you navigate your pregnancies and hopefully get to bring screaming, healthy babies home with you.
October 20, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAB
Hello beautiful ladies,

I notice the silence and worry we may have worried you about the future!! Like everything else in life, everyone has their own experiences and their way of coping. My advice would be to try to take each day as it comes and have a think about where you'd look for support if needed. Even that can be done 'later', as this forum will still be here when you have your baby and we'll always try to support each other.

Anyway. Hope everyone is as OK as possible.

Sending much love and strength
October 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGaby
Hi guys, sorry for the extended silence! Thank you for checking in, Gaby.

I am almost 35 weeks (tomorrow on my count, Wednesday according to my doctors) and I have decided to increase my NSTs to three times a week. So I am going to be doing them Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, as opposed to Monday and Thursday. I feel more anxious as time gets closer to delivery. I noticed my baby girl is sleeping more and I still get 10 kicks when I pay attention to her, but if there's too long of a period when I am not at the doctor for reassurance, I get incredibly nervous. I must have counted her kicks 6 separate times yesterday because she has started to wake up later and later on at night. So when she's off schedule, I panic until I can feel her moving!

I booked an induction date. November 14 is the amniocentesis, November 15 is the scheduled induction (if all is well with her lungs). I will be 37 weeks by then, and I am so happy that everyone is now on board with 37 weeks and I am not stuck waiting for 38 (the gestation that my son died). Fingers crossed.

Has anyone ever done an amniocentesis for lung maturity before? If so, can they tell me more about the experience?
October 29, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNada
Hi Nada,

Sorry, I have no experience with amnio. It is not standard in the UK to do that, just the steroid shots (unpleasant to say the least but necessary). I hope someone can share their experience with it.

How are you feeling? Would it help to have more chats here in the run up to the day?

Happy to hold your virtual hand.

Much love and peace
November 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGaby
Hello ladies,

I am so sorry I haven't replied, you haven't scared me at all, if anything I find your words very comforting. I honestly don't know how I am getting through the weeks, I seem to have forgotten a lot of this pregnancy, well not the million times I have been to the hospital already since day 1 but probably the actual joy of it all. Thank you for your experiences of bringing home your rainbow babies, I am scared of the grief resurfacing as I know it will, and with this being another little girl I am anxious, almost excited to see if Tilly is in her, as well as meeting this little person, it's a very surreal and strange feeling that only we would understand I guess?


This pregnancy is VERY different to my first, I haven't felt nauseous in months, no sign of swelling or pre eclampsia and my belly is a perfect beach ball this time instead of the very uncomfortable shape it was with Tilly unbeknown to us at the time because of the fluid around her neck and chest. In one way it has been a healing experience to have a 'normal' pregnancy, then I get scared and think even the most perfect pregnancies can result in your baby dying, as you all know.

So I am 36.3 today, past the 36 week mark where I had Tilly. I am pushing for a c section in ten days instead of 13... I want it sooner rather than later. The Midwives are happy with that but I see my Ob next week when he comes back from surgery and I guess we will decide then. Nada I may be getting steroid shots if it's in 10 days... they give you two 24 hours apart, I had them last time.


I am as ready as I can be baby gear wise, I feel like I'm setting myself up for intense pain and failure again sometimes. I can still remember packing it all away and giving a lot away in intense pain and misery. How does your body not just die in that moment?


Anyway thanks for being here... this page has been my safe space.
November 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterElla
Dear Ella and Nada,

Sending much love, peace and strength for the coming days. I can only imagine the anxiety levels! We're thinking of you, brave, courageous mamas...

Much love. Still here if you need us.

Hugs
November 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGaby
Same here, you are in my thoughts. My arms are too full of my four-month-old to write here often, but I keep reading all your posts.
November 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAna
I had my baby!!!! Riyads little sister, Lily, arrived on November 16th. :) My amniocentesis The 14th showed her lungs were mature so we proceeded with induction on the 15th. I was obviously nervous and refused to feel excited due to the fear that something cosmically horrible would align again and something bad would happen during induction...but she is here and we are all okay! I did have a really long labor, 30 grueling hours, as Lily was in a strange spot (sunny side up) and her head was very high for awhile. But it was all worth it in the end :) we are with our daughter at home and now I get to have the worries and sleepless nights of a mother to a living child, with the added bittersweetness of raising her that only a mother who has lost a child would feel.
November 18, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNada
Thank you so much to everyone at Glow for your love, support and help these grueling years...I am so grateful for all of you wonderful mothers who hold each other up. If it wasn’t for you I don’t know if I would have had the strength to keep going forward. xoxo
November 18, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNada
Just peeking in here .. congratulations! It is bittersweet, missing Riyad and holding his sister. All the best for you and your family!
November 18, 2018 | Unregistered Commentercee
Well done, Nada! I'm so happy for you. And welcome, Lily! What a lovely name.

The first days can be incredibly intense, or at least they were for me. Some unexpected flashbacks and grief hitting out of the blue every now and then. But it got better quickly. It's hard to feel down for long when a happy baby is gurgling away.
November 18, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAna
Sooooo very happy for you, Nada! I'm glad things went well with Lily.
We're all here if / when you need support on this leg of the journey.

Sending much love to you and your family. Thinking of Riyad, too, on these special days.

Hugs
November 18, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGaby
Congratulations Nada and welcome to Lily. I am so pleased for you all.
Remembering Riyad also.

Sending love
November 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKE
I had my baby too! Orla Jane, born on the 22nd. The c section and the whole expearience has been very healing and beautiful. There were two rainbow babies delivered on Thursday and both their siblings are near each other at the cemetery. I can’t believe my eyes, how can I have one perfectly healthy baby and one so so sick. This community is amazing and has gotten me through some tough times. Congratulations Nada, I hope Lily is thriving. Everyone is so happy for us, the same people that didn’t know what to say to us have sent us well wishes now. Orla’s hair smells of Tilly and I can’t help but think of her when I close my eyes.

Xx
November 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterElla
Cee, Ana, Gaby, KE — thank you so much for your well wishes! I do feel a lot of sadness that Riyad is not here, but joy at raising this little nugget (and anxiety that something will go wrong)...it’s a mixed bag! I’m so thankful again for everyone’s support.

Ella, CONGRATULATIONS! I am so happy for you! Happy for baby Orla, thinking of Tilly, Wishing you lots of peace and hopefully quiet here and there. :) I couldn’t believe it either when I saw Lily come out perfectly healthy and unharmed. I never expected to have a rainbow baby after losing Riyad, so I know exactly how you feel with Orla and Tilly. It’s all so bittersweet. Sending you lots of love
November 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNada
It feels strange posting this on a feed that has so much positivity, but I just need to get this off my chest.

I’m in the early stages of a new pregnancy and I’m not coping well. It’s been two years since we lost our son, and one year since a miscarriage. I just want some sense of reassurance, which I know is next to impossible to get. I barely slept last night, I haven’t gone to work today. I feel like a ticking time bomb. I’m not certain of how far along we even are: I was certain I was pregnant, but both HPTs and a blood test came back negative. Two weeks later and still no period, I got myself retested, and that was positive. But the dates don’t line up - I had to have already been pregnant when the first tests were negative. If I’m going to have another miscarriage, I can handle that. I just want some type of warning from my doctors to prepare myself. It’s the not knowing, combined with stress and general unwellness, that is hard.

Thanks for listening xxx
November 25, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterF.O.
F.O. Just wanted to say, I’m listening. Hugs to you.
November 25, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAB
My heart goes out to you F.O. Those first few weeks were really dreadful and nerve wracking for me as well. This process is so demanding and so draining emotionally. I know that having a healthy live baby to love will be ultimately worth it but I am sooooooo ready to get off this roller coaster. I'm wrapping my arms around you and all the lucky Mamas of new little ones. What joy.
I'm about 11 weeks out from our due date and I am just a wreck all the time. We've only just mark the first year of life without Mosey and the grief for me is still very fresh and deeply painful. For Christmas this year I'd like to be knocked over the head with a brick. Anything to just quiet my mind from all the fear and worry for a little while.
I have a wonderful big family and a loving, supportive, THERAPIST husband who just does. not. get. it. The gap in our experiences is so enormous that I kind have to just back away from trying to express the depth and complexity of my emotional life right now.
It has been a hard year.
With the next eleven week stretching out in front of me, I would love to hear from women who have lived through their fraught subsequent pregnancies. How do you cope? What helped? How did you make it through those final terrifying days?
I should mention that I have three living children and not much a support network. I guess I meant to say that taking time out for myself is more or less impossible.
I'll take any wisdom at all.
thaks, ks
December 1, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterks
Thank you AB and ks - and great questions ks.

We had our dating scan today, after positive blood tests over the past couple of weeks. Turns out I would’ve been pregnant when I was getting those negative results...it was just too early to show up. My cycle that month must have been 2-3wks delayed (of course things couldn’t just go smoothly!). But today’s scan was as positive as it could be, so that’s one milestone down. All going to plan for a change, 230 days to go...
December 3, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterF.O.
Hi all,

I thought I’d chime in and add myself to the pregnancy thread. If all goes well, I’ll be expecting a sibling for my son and (stillborn) daughter next July. However I have zero faith in my body and can’t (won’t let myself?) imagine a happy ending right now.

I had a viability scan this week which allayed my denial for approximately ten mins then I’m back to not acknowledging that I’m pregnant. Thankfully I’m not feeling nauseated so that’s another way I can avoid admitting to myself that the next few months will be riddled with fear and uncertainty.

Sorry for the negative message. When did others start bonding with your babes? Was there anything that helped you keep the anxiety at bay? When did you tell family? I haven’t yet because I can’t face the pressure of them knowing that I’m fighting to keep another baby alive.
December 4, 2018 | Unregistered Commentermeg