Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

Losing A Baby & Losing Your Pregnancy

Possibly, the trial of losing your pregnancy only comes to those who lose their baby too early.  I don’t know that a woman who made it to full-term would mourn the termination of her pregnancy, because I hear the last trimester can be miserable :).

In my case losing my pregnancy was horrible.  Before my baby was born I was looking forward to the ultrasound to find out the sex of my baby.  I was dreading the glucose test and other tests, I was interested to see how big I would get, and I was excited to have the entire experience so I could join in the community of motherhood and baby stories.  I was terrified of delivery but was sure I had plenty of time to get used to the idea.

My baby was born at just 21 weeks and after his passing my body began to change.  Overnight my food aversions disappeared and I could eat anything without throwing up.  After a few days I had a lot more energy and I continued to lose baby weight.  I got thinner and discarded my maternity clothes.  I started to feel like I had never even been pregnant and like I had never had a baby.

I suppose most women look forward to these changes, but because these changes emphasized my loss I felt like my body was betraying me and I hated it.  I had nothing to show for the hard work I had done.  I had nothing to show for the pain I had suffered.  I looked like I had never had a baby and I was treated like I had never had a baby, and that was very difficult for me.  It had been the most challenging and life-altering experience I had ever had.

My pregnancy had been my only visible proof of my baby’s existence, and it was taken away.  I found very little joy in my agility and physical capabilities for quite some time after my baby was born, and I would have given anything to have experienced the glucose test, the exams, the weekly appointments, and the discomfort of the third trimester.

I wonder, has anyone felt this way besides myself?  I would like to know.

Afton Mower About Afton Mower

After Mower (UT) lost her firstborn son at 21 weeks.  Her daughter was born a year and a half later at 27 weeks.  The NICU was overwhelming and isolating and it was through those two experiences she was led to found this social hub for parents to find the support they needed. Afton also gave birth to another daughter, born two days overdue after four months of strict bedrest. She believes it is a tender experience to hold a special baby in your arms when his spirit returns to his heavenly home, a miracle to watch tiny babies survive the risks of prematurity and a blessing to hold a healthy full-term baby after months of difficulty and sacrifices.

Comments

  1. I can relate to those feelings.

    In addition to my two premature deliveries, from which I have three wonderful children, I have had three miscarriages. My first miscarriage was discovered at my 20-week ultrasound. I was given the option of a D&C, and I took it. I couldn’t face the thought of going through labor and not having a baby to take home afterward.

    The worst part was the week or so following my loss. My milk came in, and I didn’t have a baby to feed it to. I became engorged and that just added to the pain of my loss. I began to wonder what was wrong with me.

    My second and third miscarriages were between seven and eight weeks gestation.

    Even when I was able to give birth to my beautiful children, I felt robbed of the last few months of my pregnancy. People thought I was crazy when I told them that, especially with the twins. “But you were so huge and looked so uncomfortable!” they would say. I was pregnant, and I loved every minute of it!

    I still don’t understand why I am not able to carry my pregnancies to term. I would love to be able to experience that last month of horrible discomfort when you can’t sleep or move. I would love to be able to give birth and take my baby home with me when I am discharged from the hospital. I am hoping with my current pregnancy to be able to do so.

    • Thanks for sharing, Angela! I had not thought of a miscarriage as a time when you would mourn the loss of your pregnancy, but now that you mention it it makes perfect sense. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

  2. Afton, I ran across your website not too long ago, and have read SO much! I first found it as your family blog then saw all the links to your premie website on the blog. I miscarried a couple months ago, and have found a lot of comfort in your postings. Seems weird, but it really helped to hear you and other moms talking about it. My first pregnancy was so easy. We also had a very easy time getting pregnant. But now, we’ve been trying for months, and when I finally did get pregnant I was so excited! Only to find out at 7 weeks i was going to miscarry. I didnt want a D&C since there was a small chance that i could still have a healthy baby. I finally miscarried at 11 weeks, and i was devastated. I told my husband after my first child we may have to adopt because i wasnt so sure i wanted to be pregnant ever again. That was then. Now, i would give anything to be throwing up all day. To wake up in the night to go to the bathroom. to be uncomfortable. At least then I would have a baby. Your blog has opened up a whole new door to me of what it really means to have a hard time. I never imagined when i first got pregnant with my son that anything would ever go wrong. I am so thankful that nothing did, but I have had my eyes opened to what can go wrong. Thank you so much for your website and all this information that you have made available! Thank you for all the comfort you have unknowingly given me, your amazing outlook on life, and all the support you offer!

  3. My husband and I recently got married, yey, and decided to try to have a baby…to my surprise, we got our prayers answered within 2 months. I had been told for the past 10 years I was not able to have children, but someone somewhere thought otherwise 🙂 Needless to say we were elated…I had my what would have been my 5 month check up, excited to see if we were to have a boy or girl…that was just yesterday…I lost my first baby, or came to this knowledge yesterday…I was what we thought to be 20 weeks. Come to find out my sweet one ceased at 16-17 weeks to reasons yet known. I am struggling with the fact that a D&C is not an option and I must deliver my baby, I can not begin to fathom not being able to to my baby home. The worst words is to hear you doctor say “I can’t locate a heartbeat”… The stories I have read from each of you that have had this same misfortune, and your positive outlook are helping more than I would have ever thought an online blog could…and how this isn’t the end of my attempts, even though the mere thought of trying again (not too soon out of fear) are not out of the question. Thank you all, even if you are just words on a page….

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