Pregnancy After Loss – Fears, Emotions And Thoughts

There is no easy way to discuss this, because I genuinely think that people will feel different. But I have also found that it is still a subject that isn’t discussed enough, so I wanted to share how I have been feeling about it all. I guess pregnancy after loss was always going to be a rollercoaster of emotions. Some happy, positive and feelings of being overjoyed. Sometimes feeling like you are in a dark place of fear and anxiety. I don’t think the conflict of emotion will go away until there is a baby in our arms. 

Going through an ectopic pregnancy and the two miscarriages changed me as a person, in ways I can’t begin to describe in words. I am not the happy, care-free individual I once was. I am so much more aware of hidden stories and things people go through behind closed doors, because I have been there. I break far more easily and probably rely on my husband way too much to build me back up again. But then while I wish we never had to go through what we did, I also want to take some positives from it. I am so much more grateful for the things I do have in my life. I am much more aware of emotions, and I guess, to give myself a little credit, I am a far stronger person today than I ever was. 

I am, as it stands today, 30 weeks pregnant, and I wanted to talk about the conflict of emotions that I have been feeling since being pregnant and to reach this stage, when my other pregnancies haven’t been so fortunate. To say that it hasn’t been easy will be an understatement. I have a conflict of emotion on a daily basis. I go from feeling happy and excited to feeling anxious and worried from one minute to the next. 

Back in the early days of pregnancy I had a huge fear every time I went to the bathroom. I expected to find something was wrong. That history was going to repeat itself. I also felt hideous with pregnancy symptoms, albeit not as tough as some people have, and I felt conflicted to moan about those symptoms because I felt like I had to be this positive and happy person to be pregnant all of the time. 

Being pregnant was a dream, it was something myself and my husband wanted for so long. So to moan about something that you have wanted felt so morally wrong. But yet, had I have not been through the miscarriages, would I think twice about complaining of sickness or tiredness? Definitely not. I certainly didn’t when I was pregnant with my son. 

I decided to talk about it a little more openly through a video that has gone live on YouTube and IGTV a few months ago. I found that it can sometimes be easier to just talk about it, rather than try and put something into words. 

I hope that if you find yourself in this situation of being pregnant after loss that the worry you feel, the fear, and the anxiety will feel more normalised. It’s totally normal to feel down and out. 

Trying To Conceive? The Best Advice

Did you know that today is National baby making day? The truth is, many couples decide around new year that they are ready to start a family or add to their existing one, and some even set it as a goal or resolution for the new year ahead. So with fresh motivation today is one of the most popular days to conceive and technically get pregnant. 

However, whether you are reading this in January or any other time of the year, trying to conceive is not as easy as some people expect it to be. Sure there are couples out there who are lucky to catch fairly early on in their TTC journey. Other couples take longer for a variety of reasons. Some need some extra help. The trying to conceive journey is not plain sailing, and at times, it can end in heartbreak. But, to keep things positive, it is an extremely exciting time in your relationship. To decide to start or add to your family can feel like you are about to embark on the next chapter of your life. So are there any things that you can do to help the journey along? 

While there are no guarantees that these things are sure fire ways to get pregnant, getting yourself in the best possible shape or in the best position doesn’t cause any harm. So here are some of the best tips to help you on your TTC journey. 

Image source – Pixabay

Eating the right foods

Yes, believe it or not, your diet can play a big part. There are foods that are worth adding to your diet or increasing your consumption of if you are serious about conceiving and getting pregnant. These foods include leafy greens which are spinach, broccoli and Kale. Other foods include oranges and strawberries and beans and nuts. These foods in particular contain folic aside which is a great vitamin to have as part of your diet and recommended throughout the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. Other foods to indulge on is things containing calcium, such as milk, yoghurt and cheese. Also iron is important which you can find in lean meats. Going for a balanced approach is key, but ensuring you are getting all of the essential nutrients to nourish your body is an excellent platform to begin with. 

Exercise or being more active

While you may not want to start some gruelling exercise regime, getting more active can be a great way to naturally get your body in shape for pregnancy. It includes things like walking more or maybe staring light exercise classes or taking up running. Funnily enough, in 2019 I had started the couch to 5k with some friends and happened to be in really good shape. Something I had not prioritised for a long time. low and behold, 2019 was the year that I got pregnant again but I was also able to get beyond 12 weeks so there may be something in it. If you just want to increase your activity focus on how many steps you take each day. This can be a great starting point. 

Get to know your cycles

I know this one can be tricky, but getting to know your period and menstrual cycle can be a great way to indicate the days you are ovulating and more likely to conceive. I never realised there was a window of opportunity before my husband and I began trying for a baby a few years ago. Our son was a surprise so we had never had to do that before. I used a few different applications on my phone, some of which are free, and it can give you a great indication of your fertile window. Also you can now do ovulation tests at home which can also help you to understand the best days to “try”.

Take the pressure off

The one piece of advice I wish I had listened to sooner than I did was to take the pressure off. I can admit that I got consumed with which days to try and what was going on with my body. Which means that you can easily forget that the whole “baby making” process should be a fun and loving time in a relationship. The more pressure you put on yourself, the less likely it will happen. Last year I had actually given up hope. Having had a lot fo tests done and investigations into why we were taking time to conceive and then unable to keep a pregnancy, I cam to the conclusion that we were done. But then our little miracle happened. Enjoy the process, be excited and happy about the next chapter, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself to make it happen. 

In 2019, it happened to be the year that I began to take better care of myself. I reduced the amount of alcohol I drank in the week, I exercise more regularly with regular walking and running, and I ate well. I didn’t sacrifice anything or deny myself anything that I wanted, but I also took better care of myself physically. Having said that I also worked hard on my mental health. I struggle with anxiety, and can often have days where I feel low and down. I really practiced self care and took time to understand what was causing my anxiety. I learned to be grateful for what I had, the life I was living and have a more positive outlook on life. It certainly didn’t happen over night, but I do think that working on myself was a factor into getting pregnant once again and getting to the stage beyond twelve weeks and beyond. 

I hope that some of these tips and advice helps you if you are hoping to conceive. Leave me your comments and tips on what worked for you. 

My Babyloss Story – Ectopic Pregnancy

Back in 2015 the thought of baby loss hadn’t even crossed my mind. I’d had a baby that went to term, and all was well. But we knew we wanted to add to our family and as little as a year after Logan was born we thought we would try once more. My plan was to have children close in age. I want the nappy years and the lack of sleep to be a consistent period of my life, so that I don’t get used to what a normal routine was before it being hurtled back into the newborn chaos. That was my plan, but the reality was somewhat different. 

It took a while to conceive, but eventually in september 2015 I got a positive pregnancy test and I was overjoyed. But the truth of the matter is that something didn’t feel right from the start of the journey. I don’t know whether I just had a feeling, but it just didn’t feel right. I can’t explain it. 

However, for about two weeks things seemed to progress, but I didn’t seem to have many symptoms. In fact I felt fine, but I just put that down to the early stages and it not being that far along enough to start having the signs. 

My first worry was spotting and bleeding, and at this point I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. So I called my doctor and I was seen. They referred me to the early pregnancy unit, a place I never knew existed. A department that unfortunately I have attended more times than I would like. I headed to the hospital, and the procedure of the early pregnancy unit began to take full force. It started with blood tests, and a discussion about how I was feeling. There was no heavy bleed, just spotting, and the first HCG results came back as a positive sign. 

I went back a few days later only for my results not to rise as much as they should have, and I was told the devastating news that in this case I was miscarrying. I had no idea what to expect. It just feels like a blur to look back on. 

The irony of this time of year is that during baby loss awareness week, which is between the 9-15th October, this was happening. It was the 15th October 2015 that I put on social media that we were miscarrying. 

However, that sin’t the end of this story. I was still having my HCG levels monitored and fate the 15th I went back and there was a slight rise in the levels, something the staff could not explain. They had told me i was miscarrying, so how was that possible? I went in for a scan and they descried it as a pregnancy of unknown location. That It was either over, and the hormone levels hadn’t dropped, or it was something else. 

I was due back in on the 18th October 2015, a Sunday, for another HCG blood test, but the night before I felt terrible. I was in pain on my left side, and I had no idea why. I assumed it was an after effect of the miscarriage, or the last element of it. I struggled all night with the pain, thinking that there was no point talking to the doctors because I was there the next day anyway. I didn’t class myself as an emergency, and I certainly didn’t listen to my body. Something I do regret now. 

I went into hospital, the pain was unbearable by this point, and they could see that the colour had drained from my face. I was rushed down for a scan, and they focused on the area causing me pain, my left side, and there it was. A pregnancy. In my left fallopian tube. This is what was called an ectopic pregnancy, and what I didn’t realise, is that it can be life threatening. I was booked in for emergency surgery that day to remove the pregnancy and that was the end of it. 

Ectopic pregnancy was something I knew nothing about, but pain in your abdomen, shoulder tip pain, miscarriage signs like spotting and cramps, and also fainting can all be signs that it is an ectopic pregnancy. 

There is nothing I could have done, nothing I could have done differently, and it is just one of them things. I lost my left fallopian tube that day. Had I have listened to my body at the time, then perhaps I would have had a different outcome. Who knows! 

This pregnancy four years ago was the start of the journey to conceiving, and further losses. It is a monumental time in my life where I was changed irreversibly. I still think about it, the grief never goes away, but you do learn to deal with it and move forward with your life. I had a husband and two boys to think about. 

The one thing that raising awareness can do is to help others feel less aline, and maybe sharing my story with you will help you to feel less alone. I also think it is good to raise awareness so that more people will feel comfortable in asking for help and reassurance should they need it. 

Goals For The Week And Re-cap 7th October

I love setting goals, in fact I am such a list writer and “to do” list person, that setting goals has just become part and parcel of that. Even if it is a list of things that need to be done that day, I consider them goals that I want to achieve. After all, it is always worth celebrating the little wins as it can really keep you keep going, especially on those tough parenting days. 

So I thought it would be a good idea to set myself some weekly goals on here. Things to do with life, housework and jobs, work related stuff and parenting things. It may incentivise you to do something similar, or to add some of them to your own list. I am just hoping it helps me to stay accountable. 

So this week I want to try and achieve the following:

Work related goals

  • To have published two blog posts on here this week. 
  • To get involved with Baby Loss Awareness week which starts on the 9th October. 
  • To have completed my contracted blog writing work before school pick up time. Something that I have been struggling to do recently.
  • To consistently upload on my Instagram on my feed as well as through Instagram stories. If you don’t already come and follow and say hi!

There are not that many as I do have a heavy workload of freelance writing anyway, but I am hoping that if I can get these things achieved, then it will enable me to keep up with momentum. 

Housework jobs

  • To have mopped the downstairs, cleaned all the skirting boards, and deep cleaned the living room ready for new sofa day on Saturday. I am very excited. 
  • Do an inventory of the cupboards, fridge and freezer and come up with a meal plan moving forward. I am hoping this will encourage me to use the things I have in, rather than buying anything extra. 
  • To have sorted my wardrobe
  • Deep clean the bathroom

Aside from the usual daily clean jobs that I do such as hoovering, tidying and general day to day chores, these things are additional extras that I would like to get sorted. 

Parenting bits

  • Work on numbers with Logan. I have noticed that he sometimes gets his numbers the wrong way round. He doesn’t do it with letters, so I am going to work through some of the books that he has and see if some practice can help. 
  • Daily practice on the school maths and reading apps
  • Daily reading
  • To keep working with the rewards charts

Life goals

  • Drink more water each day. Aiming for two litres at least. I am rubbish at drinking water so this is definitely something I need to work on, especially with being pregnant
  • Keep a positive mindset. Something that I am working on at the moment. 
  • Get a little organised with the house. 

This week in review

This last week has been a fantastic week of work for me. I have worked really hard to get into a routine with all of the things that I want and need to do. I managed to get my first trimester blog post published, as well as a blog discussing the rewards charts and changes we have made when it comes to discipline.

This week has also seen immense progress with Logan using his rewards chart and his behaviour really improving and I am so happy that a) I have managed to stick with it, and b) he is still loving the incentive and also thinking about his actions and behaviour. 

I also managed to get a YouTube video published discussing the first trimester. You can watch it below if you like. While you are there it would be amazing if you could subscribe 🙂 

We also found out the gender of our baby and revealed it over on Instagram. We’re expecting a little girl and we are beyond excited. Overall it has been a fantastic week and I am starting out this one very positive and hopeful to continue with the momentum for work and home life. 

I hope you all have a fabulous week. 

Pregnancy – The First Trimester

 

I’m pregnant! To be able to say that feels like a dream. But I am finally there and I am currently 17 weeks along. The journey has been rough. It started nearly five years ago. Logan is now six, and we wanted to have another child close in age. Having already got our eldest who is 14, the bigger age gap can be quite present at times. 

A little background

As the story goes, it didn’t go that way for us. And four years ago I had an ectopic pregnancy. Our first loss. Getting pregnant didn’t seem to be happening as easy for us, and I didn’t see a positive pregnancy test again until May and then September in 2017. However they resulted in miscarriage. These are things I know I want to talk about further, but for now I felt like it was best to give a little background. Since the last loss two years, I have been under the recurrent miscarriage clinic and had a lot of investigations done as to why this is possibly happening. There is no definitive answer. But I have a uterus dydelphis and so the hospital have said it could be that. I will go into more detail about that but for now, this post is all about the fact that from October 2017 until July this year, I had no joy. But it is finally happening. I got the positive pregnancy test.

So how have I been feeling?

The first trimester has been amazing, but it has been tough and there is no point in beating around the bush with that. I think the main issue I worry about is sounding completely ungrateful for this pregnancy. The anxiety has been immense. I guess that is to be expected. There will always be a worry about loss again. It’s happened three times before, and some days I couldn’t believe that it wasn’t happening again. 

To help me through those first 12 weeks the recurrent miscarriage clinic prescribed me with progesterone pessaries to be used twice a day, morning and night, and also Tinzaparin sodium injections to be administered into my stomach once a day. Injections are not my thing, and even though I have had millions of blood tests and injections alike, they still give me all of the fear. This was a big hurdle for me, to actually administer those injections myself, and I managed to do it. 

What symptoms did I have?

The symptoms have been there. I struggled with sickness in those early weeks. It wasn’t necessarily always being sick, it was more the feeling of sickness. I think it can be best described as a similar feeling to an intense hangover the morning after a big night out. The sickness, the heavy head, the dehydration but not able to stomach much. The weariness and how it can make you feel not quite there. I hope that makes more sense. It did start to fade around week 14, and thankfully since, I have only had the odd off day.

The tiredness has been a big one for me, and it is something that I am still struggling with now. I seem to feel tired first thing. But it doesn’t stop me from getting up and as the morning starts I seem to regain energy and can be very productive. But come the afternoon, I can hit a brick wall and all of a sudden I feel exhausted. Some evenings I climb into bed and I am asleep before I even know it. 

I will be honest, every twinge, any little cramp or anything of that nature had red flags going up in my head. Twinges and cramps can be completely normal parts of pregnancy as things are changing in your body, but it certainly doesn’t stop you thinking the worst. I did have these sorts of niggles throughout the first weeks, but with no sign of spotting or bleeding I tried to put the worrying and anxious thoughts to the back of mind. 

Last of all, I really struggled with headaches. I remember this from my first pregnancy with Logan. The headaches are at the front of my head and they just get more intense as time goes on. Again this is something that has faded off now, and I am hoping it stays that way. 

The mental impact 

Mentally, throughout the 12 weeks I was surprisingly positive. I was very fortunate to be monitored from the moment I had my positive pregnancy test. I had HCG blood tests done, a scan at just over 5 weeks, and then continuously being monitored and checked. The scan at 5 weeks did give us something to think about. As I have two womb chambers, there was a shadow in the other side which they thought could have been another baby. Twins. But two weeks later it remained that way and we were confirmed with one and a heartbeat. Which was a relief and miracle in itself. 

I have just tried to put the past experiences behind me, and to really take care of myself and I have a fantastic support network around me for that. Maybe I was in a better place physically and mentally before I even got pregnant. I know I have made some positive changes to my lifestyle this year and perhaps that had a positive effect. I was ecstatic, scared, but the happiness overshadowed the feelings of worry and I just took each day as it came as a blessing. Now 17 weeks on and I am still doing the same. 

I will be back with some more updates and hopefully revealing the gender of this little baby. Look out for more posts.