Congratulations. Your co-worker, friend, or loved one are pregnant after their loss. You were (hopefully) there to support them when they experienced the heartbreak of their loss and now you’re thrilled to be there for them in this subsequent pregnancy.
There are a million questions that you want to ask them. You want to talk about the pregnancy and their feelings and their hopes and their dreams.
But, they don’t seem to have a lot to say.
Well, yes and no. They may do very little talking, but there is a lot to say about being pregnant after a loss.
Here is a peek inside the mind of a woman pregnant after a loss. Here is what they’re really saying.
You ask–Are you excited?
What we say: Yes, I’m excited.
What we want to say: Sure, I’m excited. I’m also terrified and confused and exhausted. It is possible that I’m feeling every feeling that’s ever been felt and it’s happening all at once.
But, I’m going to say I’m excited because the fact that you’re asking me this questions means you don’t totally get it and I just don’t feel like explaining it right now because did I mention, I’m exhausted?
You ask–How have you been feeling?
What we say: I’ve had a little morning sickness.
What we want to say: I’ve had a little morning sickness, but maybe it’s cramping. I hope I don’t start spotting. But, it’s okay. (Deep breath.) Lots of women spot.
There’s the morning sickness again, but I feel like I was more nauseous in my last pregnancy. This feels different. Is more nausea better or worse?
Hold on, I do feel like I’m going to throw up but maybe that’s just from all this anxiety.
You ask–Do you have everything you need for the baby?
What we say: I haven’t really bought anything yet.
What we want to say: I don’t really want to talk about baby clothes when I’m not sure if there will be a baby to wear them. I’m afraid to go shopping because I don’t want to come home to a room full of baby stuff with no baby.
No, I don’t want you to buy me anything because I want to pick it out. It’s my baby. I want to shop for them, but I want to wait. Or maybe I don’t.
What if this baby lives and I come home and there’s nothing? Should I fill a cart on Amazon and just check out after the baby is born? I hope 2-day shipping is enough time.
You ask–Are you going to find out the sex?
What we say: We’re going to find out the sex.
What we want to say: I know that I’m not supposed to care whether it’s a boy or a girl. I know I’m supposed to just want a healthy, living baby. But, I might care a little. That’s okay, right?
I’m not sure if I want it to be the same sex as the baby I lost. If it’s the same then it will be like getting a second chance. If it’s different it could be a fresh start. What if I’m disappointed? I’ll feel so guilty.
Whatever it is, people will just try to convince me that it’s a blessing. What if it doesn’t feel like a blessing right away? Do you get to care about things like this when you’re pregnant after a loss?
You ask–How was your last appointment?
What we say: Yes, my appointment went well.
What we want to say: My appointment went well, but that was yesterday. The relief I was feeling after my appointment was gone by the time I finished dinner.
I know you think that means everything is going to be okay, but everything was okay last time. Until it wasn’t okay. Then it got bad–really bad.
I wonder if it’s going really badly right now. I haven’t felt the baby in a while. Yes, I know I felt them yesterday but maybe something happened overnight. I wonder if the doctor will let me come back in today, just to check.
You say–I just wanted to check in.
What we say: Thank you.
What we’re really saying: Thank you so much for checking in on me. Thank you for loving me when I’m hard to love.
I want to thank you for continuing to care when I don’t have much to offer in return. Thank you for remembering the baby (or babies) I’ve lost while looking forward to knowing the baby who’s on the way. Your support is everything.
I have a million thank yous that I can’t find the words to say, but they are there. I hope you can hear what I’m really trying to say in those few words I’m sending back to you.
Originally published on Pregnancy After Loss Support
7 thoughts on “Inside The Mind Of A Woman Pregnant After Loss–What We Want To Say”
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This article was so right. I never had the words to explain the things going on in my brain while I was pregnant after my daughter was stillborn. I wish I had this article to pass out to everyone I knew.
You ask–How have you been feeling?
What we want to say: I’ve had a little morning sickness, more than I had in any of my previous pregnancies, so it’s a little reassuring. But then I don’t have it for several days in a row and worry when all my symptoms have subsided.
I needed to read this and to know it’s ok. I needed to read this more than I ever knew. A million thank you’s are never enough.
This is so powerful but so true. My son was stillborn, then I had an ectopic pregnancy which resulted in emergency surgery. I am now 8 months pregnant;I have been holding my breath for 8 months, the nursery still isn’t finished and new clothes are still packed away in case we have no baby to bring home.
But this article makes me realise it’s ok to feel like I do during this pregnancy. Thank you for sharing.