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***Pregnancy After Loss (PAL) *Weekly Chat wk of 8/6-8/12***

post #1 of 84
Thread Starter 
This is a space to chat and vent about anything, really, but hopefully it will be a safe place for those of us who have lost little ones previously to share about the special challenges and feelings that now accompany us in our new pregnancies. Hopefully, this is a place where we can support one another, celebrate with one another, and work through experiences or issues that may try to consume our emotions as we each find ourselves in most vulnerable places.

All topics are open for discussion, and we are each welcome to post questions for the group to weigh in on. Some questions for this week:

** How are you answering, "Is this your first (second, third, etc.)?" Do you refer to your loss(es) in response to your current pregnancy?

** Has your loss caused you to change your ideals and/or values for this pregnancy? For example, if you were planning UC before your loss, have you switched to total intervention? If you were working with an OB and had lots of interventions, have you relaxed that in this pregnancy?

** What about things (maternity clothes, baby gear, etc.)? Will you use many of the same, or have they changed for this pregnancy?
post #2 of 84
Thread Starter 

Asked and Answered...

I'll answer my own questions to get the ball rolling...

Quote:
Originally Posted by famille_huggins View Post
** How are you answering, "Is this your first (second, third, etc.)?" Do you refer to your loss(es) in response to your current pregnancy?
This was/is a struggle for me sometimes.

I have a friend who lost a baby in January who is now quite far along in her next pregnancy, and she is nearly beside herself if she doesn't tell every single person who comments on her current pregnancy about the baby who died. I know for her, she just needs everyone to know how special he was/would have been. He would have been the first boy after 4 girls, and she's now pregnant with another boy. It's been so hard for her to find her way, but as an observer, what I see is her struggle to honor her baby, but in turn, making everyone around her feel awkward.

Now that I'm pregnant again, part of my hesitation to share our good news is just not wanting people to think we're over our other babies. When I became pregnant with Zachary and shared our news early, many people seemed to imply they just *knew* I was going to lose Ainsley. My mom in particular was so offensive, as she continued on with "you were just so sick, you looked so pale," etc. First of all, it was all nonsense. I was pregnant -- of course I was sick, but I wasn't sick like many of you are sick. I just never get sick, so for me to have any nausea or heartburn or any normal pregnancy symptoms seemed to her to be an early indicator of my loss. That was total nonsense because baby was healthy, and I really was healthy, but at the most inopportune time my progesterone level plummeted and I lost the baby all of sudden with no prior indication. I've tried to fight that with her, but she just knows that she knew I would lose the baby. Ridiculous. All of that to say, I don't want people to fight with me about Zachary's death. I don't want to share with certain people who cannot understand the whole of the circumstances to weigh in with their opinions. Particularly people who just don't understand loss at all. (Zachary died due to issues related to my incompetent cervix, so in addition to the pain of the loss, I've struggled with the guilt knowing that a failure in my body killed my healthy and growing baby. I'm in a better place now with that, and have had surgery to avoid that issue in this and any other pregnancy, but I just don't want to have to explain that over and over to everyone who asks.)

So then, back to the question, how do I respond (or will respond) about my losses, I read somewhere else on MDC a little while back that you choose who you share your angels with. I was watching my friend in the struggle of needing to tell everyone about her baby that died in utero, and knew what a struggle the knowledge of our losses had been in my pregnancy with Zachary, so that comment really helped me come to terms with how I should respond to those around me. For those I'm close to, or for those I can relate to, I can choose to share my losses. For those who don't need to know, I don't have to share, and that decision in no way dishonors my babies. They are forever branded in my heart, and matter, whether others know where they fit into my family tree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by famille_huggins View Post
** Has your loss caused you to change your ideals and/or values for this pregnancy? For example, if you were planning UC before your loss, have you switched to total intervention? If you were working with an OB and had lots of interventions, have you relaxed that in this pregnancy?
My first pregnancy was a pretty normal, OB-monitored pregnancy, until it became high-risk with constant interventions. My next three pregnancies were also high-risk with intervention, but they all failed at various stages for various reasons. With this pregnancy, I seem to want much less intervention, and to let things go as they will. I am intervening as I have to -- I'm faithfully taking my progesterone supplements and vitamins, etc -- but I am resistant to other things. For example, my peri wanted me in for u/s already, but I'm waiting until 8 weeks. That's still pretty early, but I think he wanted at least three by 8 weeks for placement, etc. I want to wait until there should be a HB, as I need no additional stress of there not being one, and then having one show up later. After that, I'm not sure how much more I can resist, because I still remain a high-risk patient, but in my heart, I would sure love to have much less involvement. I would just love options. I am totally jealous of midwife/homebirth mommies... :

Quote:
Originally Posted by famille_huggins View Post
** What about things (maternity clothes, baby gear, etc.)? Will you use many of the same, or have they changed for this pregnancy?
I'll be using the same gear for this baby that I intended to use for the others. We really had nothing because our youngest is 5, so a friend gave me loads of baby gear a couple of weeks before Zachary died. I packed it all away, but will bring it all back out when I'm much further along with this little one.

As for maternity clothes, I'm doing many new-to-me maternity clothes this time around. For one thing, I've lost some weight, so my clothes through Ainsley and Zachary wouldn't have fit well. But also, there were just so many associations with certain outfits. When I packed away things after Zachary, I donated about 80% of my maternity clothes and kept only the few pieces I just totally loved. I can't bring myself to buy all new, but I have already been picking up a skirt here and a top there at local thrift stores, and will hit the seasonal consignment sales in September and October when it will be really time to begin wearing the clothes in public. Since we're trying to wait as long as we can to share our news, my plan is to just wear some of my tops before I lost weight over elastic or maternity pants, and just hope no one guesses.
post #3 of 84
** How are you answering, "Is this your first (second, third, etc.)?" Do you refer to your loss(es) in response to your current pregnancy?

All of my losses were before 6 weeks, so I'm pregnant with my third child, for all practical purposes, although it is technically my 7th pregnancy

** Has your loss caused you to change your ideals and/or values for this pregnancy? For example, if you were planning UC before your loss, have you switched to total intervention? If you were working with an OB and had lots of interventions, have you relaxed that in this pregnancy?

This is a really loaded question for me right now. I've been diagnosed with a gene mutation that MAY be implicated in my repeated miscarriages. I'm currently on blood thinners and the OB I'm seeing right now doesn't want me to have a homebirth. The more reading I do, however, the more questions I have about whether the blood thinners are necessary and whether the gene mutation I have is a problem. It's present in about 44% of the population and is considered relatively common, if not normal. I'm leaning toward having a homebirth, but I need to know if there's a danger in discontinuing the blood thinners and if so how I can avoid it. I'm also on progesterone and have had 4 betas drawn so far. I've had an early ultrasound, which was a mistake because it freaked me out. I have another u/s this week to try to undo the freakout and the entire time I do all of this, I think "I'm a MIDWIFE, how did I get HERE??!" I do think that the progesterone is really important and helping and I believe that a progesterone def. is the reason for my other early losses, rather than a "clotting disorder" which really isn't a clotting disorder at all, I'm finding.

There's also another problem with a homebirth. I'm the only midwife in my area and even I'm not licensed. There is a midwife who is licensed and she caught my last baby (at a birth center in Texas). She was also my teaching midwife and taught me just about everything I know about midwifery. I have a deep respect for her, but she is not happy with my decision to provide homebirth in LA w/o a license. I have tried to call her, to rebuild the bridge, to talk to her about everything I'm going through here, and SHE WON'T RETURN MY PHONE CALLS. So now I'm left trying to find another midwife to care for me, as I really want someone to CARE for me (and not ignore my phone calls or try to punish or admonish me as she has), but there are very few options and it seems that I'm on the wrong side of all of those options. I am so sad that my pregnancy and birth are being effected by politics and the pettiness of women and I just really want to have a midwife who doesn't care that I've made decisions that are different from her own. : I have a call in to another midwife (which will further alienate my teaching midwife, but I have to do what I have to do, ya know?) and I'm hoping to get this resolved. I would feel much better about this situation and my choices if I just knew if there was a midwife option at all or if its strictly a hospital or UC choice (in which case I'll probably UC).


** What about things (maternity clothes, baby gear, etc.)? Will you use many of the same, or have they changed for this pregnancy?


Again, my losses were all very early, so I don't have any associations. I am reusing maternity clothes, except the pants, which don't fit because I'm 30 pounds heavier than I was in the beginning of my other pregnancies. I've given away most of my baby items and plan to buy new, except for diapers, which I saved and plan to reuse.
post #4 of 84
** How are you answering, "Is this your first (second, third, etc.)?" Do you refer to your loss(es) in response to your current pregnancy?
I usually say this is my third pregnancy this year. But it will be my second live baby.


** Has your loss caused you to change your ideals and/or values for this pregnancy? For example, if you were planning UC before your loss, have you switched to total intervention? If you were working with an OB and had lots of interventions, have you relaxed that in this pregnancy?
No, pretty much the same.

** What about things (maternity clothes, baby gear, etc.)? Will you use many of the same, or have they changed for this pregnancy?
Well the seasons have changed, and it's hard to look at the stuff I'd bought that I'd thought I'd be using now. I put most of it away. But everything else is the same.
post #5 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by famille_huggins View Post
** How are you answering, "Is this your first (second, third, etc.)?" Do you refer to your loss(es) in response to your current pregnancy?
I haven't told many people about this pregnancy yet but will most likely answer the general population that it is my 3rd pregnancy. I had a m/c at almost 12 weeks but an ultrasound showed the baby had died between 8 and 9 weeks. Those who are close to me know about that loss...those who are not I don't feel the need to share with them.

Quote:
** Has your loss caused you to change your ideals and/or values for this pregnancy? For example, if you were planning UC before your loss, have you switched to total intervention? If you were working with an OB and had lots of interventions, have you relaxed that in this pregnancy?
I don't think my loss is what has changed my ideals but more that I have learned more over time. My first two pregnancies were hospital deliveries with an OB caring for me. I very much like my OB but will have a m/w care for me with this little one. The switch is because of insurance reasons but I chose her because of her relaxed attitude....she knows this is our birth and she's just the "go between".

Quote:
** What about things (maternity clothes, baby gear, etc.)? Will you use many of the same, or have they changed for this pregnancy?
I will use the same maternity clothes but it's been almost 5 years since I've worn them so I'm sure I'll need to buy more. I'm also working now so will have to get more business suited stuff. I had bought some clothes for the pregnancy that I m/c that I never used. I've loaned my other clothes out since then but didn't have the heart to loan the new ones. I will use them this time though. Baby stuff? Lord...that's long gone! All new for this little one.
post #6 of 84
Sigh. I've been spotting and cramping this evening and the doctor's office never called me back with my second HCG results. I called the answering service and talked to the NP because I was concerned about the implications of being on blood thinners and spotting. They said my levels were going up, but they want me to come in for a sonogram tomorrow morning instead of Wednesday. The cramping is easing and the spotting has stopped. It was tan-brown-pink spotting, never red or even really PINK, and it was only on the TP twice, but OMG, how freakin' frustrating!

I just want to feel SURE of something. The other midwife I called didn't call me back today, but I'm going to give her 24 hours before I count it as not returning my call. I'm so frustrated .
post #7 of 84
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charmie981 View Post
Sigh. I've been spotting and cramping this evening and the doctor's office never called me back with my second HCG results. I called the answering service and talked to the NP because I was concerned about the implications of being on blood thinners and spotting. They said my levels were going up, but they want me to come in for a sonogram tomorrow morning instead of Wednesday. The cramping is easing and the spotting has stopped. It was tan-brown-pink spotting, never red or even really PINK, and it was only on the TP twice, but OMG, how freakin' frustrating!

I just want to feel SURE of something. The other midwife I called didn't call me back today, but I'm going to give her 24 hours before I count it as not returning my call. I'm so frustrated .

I'm so sorry, Charlotte. That is so frustrating. You know, with my last pregnancy, my peri saw a pocket of blood above my uterus on a scan at 9 weeks. He said it was residual implantation blood, and that I should anticipate some spotting. The more brownish tint sounds like old blood, so I'm wondering if that could be it? Or have you had intercourse recently? A bumped or rubbed-wrong cervix could bleed a little and when it worked it's way out, it would be the brownish tint like old blood.

I know it's little comfort, and I'm so glad you're having that u/s tomorrow. I hope it provides you with loads of comfort and reassurance. Keep us updated...
post #8 of 84
Charlotte, I'm sorry you have so much to worry about. I hope the u/s brings reassuring news.


** How are you answering, "Is this your first (second, third, etc.)?" Do you refer to your loss(es) in response to your current pregnancy?
We haven't told anyone yet. I don't know what I'd say to a complete stranger. I guess if my kids were with me I wouldn't go into it.

** Has your loss caused you to change your ideals and/or values for this pregnancy? For example, if you were planning UC before your loss, have you switched to total intervention? If you were working with an OB and had lots of interventions, have you relaxed that in this pregnancy?
The midwives I've worked with for my last 4 pregnancies are pretty hands-off, and I don't feel inclined to get any prenatal testing...despite my age (I'll be 39 next month). I used to think that having a 20-week u/s to see the baby and make sure everything was "all right" was reassuring. Now I don't feel that way anymore. I guess I'd like to see the baby though. I definitely don't want the triple screen or amnio. I will deliver in a hospital since I have had two scary births (one abrupted placenta and one where the baby had a nuchal arm, got stuck, and came out blue, floppy, and not breathing). We have to switch health plans and I am a bit worried about being able to stick with the same midwives.
At this point I am pretty certain I don't want to know the baby's gender, and my reasons don't make a whole lot of sense to me...something along the lines of I'll be sad if it's a girl because I lost a girl, and I'll be sad if it's a boy because he's not a girl. I think I just want to wait and be happy my baby is alive; and I know I'll really be delighted to have either one.


** What about things (maternity clothes, baby gear, etc.)? Will you use many of the same, or have they changed for this pregnancy?
Oooh, I struggle with this one. I bought a little bunting when I was pregnant with Eleanor and I am just going to put that away. The rest of the baby clothing has been used by some or all of my children, so it doesn't feel tied to my loss.
Now, my maternity clothes are a whole different kettle of fish. I went through them the other day and it brought up a lot of memories. I actually had just bought a whole bunch of spring/summer maternity clothes right before Eleanor died. I was so happy to have them and then I was so sad I never got to wear them. Kind of silly. And the sweater I was wearing the day I found out she died...it's hard for me to look at it and not remember. I think I'm going to still wear all the clothing. I kept my shoes and my underwear from that day, and I drink out of the same coffee cup I drank out of the morning she died, why should the sweater be any different? That's what I keep telling myself, anyway.
post #9 of 84
The u/s today revealed a sac measuring just the same as last week's sonogram, and nothing else. I'm frustrated at the pure bad luck of having a blighted ovum with the first pregnancy where I felt like I was on the right track for maintaining it, but I'm so grateful that I've had the early sonograms and know that there was never a baby. In my mind, it's a lot easier to move on because I know that I didn't lose a baby who could have been "if only" (if only my progesterone was right, or if only I knew if I had a clotting disorder, etc...). The doctor was really sad that this happened, but we both agree that its just monumental bad luck. DH and I need to talk and see what we plan to do as far as continuing to TTC or deciding our family is complete. I just don't know...

So, I'm off, ladies. I'll check in on you around Halloween so I can see what you're having and then I'll watch for all your wonderful birth announcements in March. I'm praying for you all to have a beautiful and uneventful pregnancy .
post #10 of 84
Thread Starter 

Oh no...

Oh, Charlotte, honey -- I am so, so sorry for you. : Gosh, I was really hoping for you today. I guess I agree with you that it's better to find out now to combat those what if's, but I'm so sorry you find yourself here and not growing a beautiful baby. I am so, so, so terribly sorry for you...
post #11 of 84
Oh, Charlotte! I am so, so sorry for your loss.

You have such a wonderful positivity about you, though, much more than I was able to muster the second time!

Take care. Wishinhg for you peace . . . eventually.
post #12 of 84
Charlotte, I am so terribly, terribly sorry for your loss.
post #13 of 84
Charlotte

• How are you answering, "Is this your first (second, third, etc.)?" Do you refer to your loss(es) in response to your current pregnancy?

We haven't told anyone except my mom yet (My dad died 10 years ago and I don't have any siblings). DH doesn't want to tell his family because he doesn't want them to think we're "over it" – and he's still pretty angry at them for not coming back from their winter place for a month after our baby died. I know it's going to infuriate me when they fuss over this kid!
I'm only going to get this question from people I don't know – because it was pretty obvious to neighbours and colleagues that I was hugely pregnant. Otherwise, I'll ignore the question – I don't feel a particular need to tell the cashier at the grocery store.
I do have a dilemma about telling other pregnant women, though. DH and I took childbirth classes and would have kept in touch with some of the other couples. I'd like to take pregnancy yoga, for example, this time to meet some other moms in the neighbourhood but dead babies are kind of a conversation killer (insert bitter laught here).

• Has your loss caused you to change your ideals and/or values for this pregnancy?

I had a midwife, declined prenatal tests beyond the anatomical scan and had intended to give birth in a hospital birthing centre. Instead, I was rushed to the nearest hospital because when the midwife checked me at home I was 10 cm and there was no heartbeat (I thought it had to be early labour because it wasn't THAT bad). This time, I'm desperately hoping to have a midwife again but I'm concerned about the potential for isoimmunizataion with non-Rh blood antigens (such as Kell, etc.) because my baby died of a massive fetal-maternal hemorrhage. I'm meeting with the midwife on Tuesday and I'm hoping she'll be able to take care of me with consults with a maternal-fetal specialist if required to check my antibody titres and do cerebral artery ultrasounds to check the baby for anemia.
I just can't handle what I hear about OBs – waiting for five-minute appointments, lots of vaginal exams, weighing. My confidence is too shaky for this stuff.
I'm want to be strong and decline prenatal testing again but it's hard –I'm so worried there's something is terrible wrong with the baby. But I know that the triple screen just gets you on a merry-go-round of invasive testing.
I'd rather have a homebirth – something I didn't consider the first time – but I think I'll probably go the hospital birth centre I was planning on last time. I think homebirth is safe, but how would I feel if something went wrong again?
I definitely don't want to know the sex – I WILL be really disappointed if it's not another girl but I know I won't care if a son is born healthy and screaming.

• What about things (maternity clothes, baby gear, etc.)? Will you use many of the same, or have they changed for this pregnancy?

Man, I was just wearing this stuff six months ago! I hope I can fit into regular clothes for a while yet.
post #14 of 84
Hello everyone. I'm joining in here until I get things sorted out a bit more and can stick my toe into the 4/08 DDC.

I had a 7-week miscarriage on July 3, my first pregnancy after a devastating second-trimester loss last summer. (I should mention that I am 43). I *think* I am pregnant again with no AF in between. I say I think because my MW thinks the could still be leftover material from the miscarriage.

I had an HCG level of 891 at the time of the miscarriage, which dropped to 300 after two days. I went to Europe for three weeks, came back, and had an HCG of 8 on Thursday. I joked to my midwife that maybe it was going back up, and she shook her head and said, "I don't think so."

I POAS yesterday and it was and also got my blood drawn and found out this morning that it's 167. So I go in tomorrow for yet another HCG and I'm praying for a doubling...

I'm so freaking nervous and if I am pregnant, this is only week 4. OMG, it's such a long way to go from here! I hope I can relax sometime!
post #15 of 84
Hi guys!

I had 2 early miscarriages last summer.
We have been TTC about a year now.

It was hard for me not to talk about them! people were always asking...
In general, I count my live babies. Too complicated for a stranger.

I had intervention anyway, with my first 2 kids. It doesn't make me feel scared for this one. I have passed the point where I lost the others.

I have some things that I knit that I already gave away, and a few things I got I will be keeping. Like cute diapers, clothes,etc. I just can't get rid of them

Charlotte
post #16 of 84
Good luck, Juneau!
post #17 of 84
Thread Starter 
Welcome Juneau and Charlotte -- Sorry you're both comfortable in this little corner of the ddc, but I'm glad we can each understand the fear associated with new pregnancies after losses.

Juneau -- Good luck on the beta. I was going to toss in that I had a second trimester loss on April 25 (Zachary, below), and had to have another beta drawn for a gyno surgery on May 21. It was clearly negative. I know it takes some moms a long time to clear the hCG from their system, but there are others of us who do right away. I had my periods with no delay after both first trimester losses (one including a D&C) and after my second trimester birth/loss. It's great that it went from 8 to 164, and hopefully up again. Keep us updated...
post #18 of 84
welcome juneau and charlotte.

Juneau, I remember you from last summer, and I'm so sorry it's been hard for you. : I hope this baby is here to stay and everything goes perfectly.
post #19 of 84
Charlotte - I'm so so sorry for your loss. I wish you healing.

WRT the three questions.....

Last time I was blindsided every time someone asked if it was my first. Since I had a still birth, everyone knew about the loss. Only strangers asked the question. So I never told the truth - I was way too emotional and it felt unsafe to go into it - sometimes people can say insensitive things. I think you have to protect yourself. Even harder were all the people who'd seen my pregnant but didn't know about the loss and would ask about my baby. I'd HAVE to tell them - and it was always terrible - either they would cry, or shrug. I don't know which was worst (probably the shrugging).

For my second pregnancy I stayed with my MWs but saw an OB as well. The OB was useless - and one occasion we saw her partner who didn't even know our history, and we had to tell her the whole story (read the chart you idiot!) and it was the same old - listen to the heart beat, send us on our way. Useless. We had a hospital birth with a monitor, whereas my first was a homebirth with an emergency transfer. This time I will go with a HB - no reason not to.
post #20 of 84
Hi Jillybeans,
You've been through the wringer, yourself. I kept checking on you now and then and was heartbroken to see that you lost Riley. Praying for long-sticky beans for us both this time around. It seems that my 7-week loss this summer was a bean that stopped developing very early, probably around 5 weeks, because my HCG was only 891 at the time of the miscarriage. Far less traumatic than my 2nd trimester loss (and four-day hospital stay) last summer.

What happened with Riley, if you don't mind my asking?

I am still anxious about my beta tomorrow. I wonder if I can get a same-day result?

If I am pregnant, there are some people I told about my last pregnancy who don't yet know about my loss in July. It will be a little weird to tell them, I think! But I'm going to be mum about this one for a while longer. I haven't even told dh yet. I'll wait until I know for sure... But the suspense is killing me!
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