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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p>I'm pregnant for the 6th time. I have two living children and 3 that didn't make it to term. Each of my miscarriages was traumatic, but my second one was particularly bad, being that I lost the baby in my 2nd trimester, and went through the "birth" process (water breaking, contractions, baby coming out, etc).  I keep having flash backs to it, especially now that I'm pregnant again, and I am petrified - absolutely frozen with fear. That was 5 years ago, but I am still struggling with the trauma of it.  I am finding I can't sleep.  I get a knot in my stomach every time I go to the restroom, afraid I'll find spotting, even though I don't have any other signs (cramping, etc).</p>
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<p>I am worried that I am somehow bringing negative energy into this pregnancy because I am so scared, and keep having flashbacks & re-living the miscarriage.  I'm scared to get attached to this baby, and am worried I won't enjoy what will most likely be my very last pregnancy, but I want to so badly.  I am resting as much as possible, drinking water like a fish, taking prenatals, and eating healthier than I have in my entire life. I'm doing everything in my power to keep this baby healthy, but I am still so scared.</p>
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<p>Is anyone else going through this?  How do you cope?</p>
 

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<p>I'm so sorry you're going through this... and I can totally relate <span><img alt="hug2.gif" id="user_yui_3_4_1_2_1331263229429_161" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug2.gif"></span></p>
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<p><span>I'm not going through this currently, but did recently. I just has my rainbow baby in December '11 after losing his sister at 17 weeks in December '07. My pregnancy with him was TOUGH at times. More times than not... And then I was diagnosed with pre-e at 29 weeks and was terrified I would lose him from that! It was so hard.</span> The worst for me was right before routine appointments. I found out my little girl no longer had a heartbeat at a routine check, so every one of his I was just bracing myself for the same! And of course I had to have an anterior placenta, so we couldn't hear a heartbeat for a while, but luckily my midwife at the time was very understanding and always did a quick u/s to make sure he was ok.</p>
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<p>Anyway, the main thing that helped me cope  was to allow myself to fully bond with him from the start. That was hard for me, but necessary. I just wanted him to know nothing but love and how wanted he was even if I was going to lose him. I wanted to enjoy every moment I had with him! Right from the start I gave him a nickname... I did a lot of talking to him, rubbing my belly and telling him how much I loved and wanted him to stay. Those are the things that really helped me the most.</p>
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<p>I don't really know... it's so hard to offer up any advice because it really is such a difficult, emotional time to get through! Some days I felt like there was no way I could continue on through the stress and fear,  especially after some of the scary moments I went through, and then other times I really did just force myself to be in the moment and enjoy things and it was wonderful! PAL is just really overwhelming at times; the good and hard parts!</p>
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<p>Much peace to you~</p>
 

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<p>Hi there. I know exactly what you mean. The fear and stress can sometimes be overwhelming. I'm close to full term and it's scary always. But I know I just try to get through each day and each moment. If bonding helps, then that's a road to take - as Vermillion said, that really helped her. For me, I have resisted bonding, but I'll honest - it kind of happens anyway. It's just a hard period of time. I don't want to be negative about it, but I find distraction helps? I definitely am in the PTSD camp, and there are ways to learn to just live with it as much as you can. I just remind myself that there's nothing we can do (short of vitamins, taking care of yourself, etc. - which you are doing) to change how things end up. Just know you are doing the best you can. If you feel the need to talk to people who "get it", we are here.</p>
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<p>PS - oh, I also did some prenatal yoga/relaxation exercises, which although it did not make the PTSD feeling go away, it helped me fall asleep. Not always, but it did work.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
<p>Thank you both so much.  I'm so glad to hear that what I'm feeling is "normal" so to speak, after what we've been through, though I am so sorry you've been through it also.  I am "forcing" myself to accept this pregnancy, and talk about it as though it is going to last.  Hubby and I have made a list of names, I'm knitting a baby blanket, and I've told our really close friends and family (though everyone else, including our kids won't be told until I'm 15 weeks - kids will be told at the big ultrasound). </p>
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<p>I just keep hoping on hope that this lasts, and that I will get to hold a healthy baby at the end of it all.  Someone on here mentioned that they were dealing with difficulty being pregnant after a loss and that what got them through was a mantra - something like "Today I am happy, healthy and pregnant.  Today I will fully enjoy it."  I can't ask for or know more than that, I suppose, and reminding myself that it is okay to feel happy that I am still pregnant right now is a good thing. </p>
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<p>Thank you all for sharing your stories and support.  I'm sure I will be here as long as I am able, as long as this pregnancy lasts (hopefully to term, with a healthy baby in my arms)</p>
 

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<p>GreenMama, I am so, so sorry for your losses. :( How heartbreaking. My miscarriage wasn't as far as your second, only 8 weeks along, but I understand your feelings. I recently asked a friend who also suffered a miscarriage several months before mine, "Will I ever stop checking the toilet paper for blood after every pee?" She said, no, she still does it as well and she's about four months along. I wouldn't say I have PTSD, but on some level I'm almost waiting for the other shoe to drop. </p>
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<p>I was going to quote that mantra until I just saw you quoted it in your last post. :) I saw it yesterday also and found it quite helpful last night going to bed. (Whoever posted that, thanks!). It sounds like you are taking wonderful care of yourself and that's so important. Since your fears still seem somewhat debilitating though, maybe you should check into cranio-sacral therapy, or some other kind of therapy to work through these thoughts? Does your hospital offer a pregnancy loss support group where you can share your past experiences?</p>
 

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Greenmama,<br>
I am so sorry you are going through this. I know our experiences are completely different, but what you were saying about reliving the moments of the miscarriage really resonated with me. Given, my child passed only 7 weeks ago, so I have no idea what it is like to live with that feeling for 5 years. I can only tell you what I do to relieve my pain and try to piece out the thoughts in a more healthy way. For me, I look at pictures that were taken the last few days, read over his funeral bulletin, and try to remember every face of all the people I saw at the hospital and at his funeral. And then I cry because I miss him, but I feel like making time to do it makes the images less scary and awful.<br><br>
Each time my mind flashes back to those terrible, terrible scenes, I try to put it away. I put it away until Im alone, or just with DH and then I sit and go through the whole thing all over again to allow myself the ability to think about it. I try to find the humor, the irony, the little things that Id forgotten about. I try to embrace the idea that that last day with him was the end of a whole experience that included him, and that it is important not to forget how the story ended, even if it is horrific. It's still his story of life, and a big part of mine. I've written it down a couple of different times, told the story to so many people, cried about it with DH and with friends, but none of that is as scary as when Im alone and just remembering. When Im alone and just remembering I just try to tell myself to keep it real, keep it honest, dont blow it out of proportion, dont skew the events, dont try to relive anything any differently than exactly how it was- because it was his truth- my truth. And our memories can play bad tricks on us if we dont try to keep it as real as it was. So, I know the thoughts are hard, but it may be best if you give yourself a specific time to think of them each day.<br><br><br>
ETA: And, I just realized that this is a pretty old post. Sorry if I brought up stuff you didnt want to think of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
<p>Thank you for sharing your story.  It isn't too "old" of a topic... it is something I deal with a lot, even now (i'll be 17 weeks tomorrow, and thankfully still happily pregnant).  (((HUGS))) I am so sorry you went through all that.  It was very helpful to hear you talk about remembering things the way they truly were. </p>
 

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<p>How did I just see this??</p>
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<p>I'm right there with you in experiencing PTSD.  I don't think you know my whole story, but I posted it on my blog after it happened.  The posts are mostly the updates that I shared with my DDC, with some editing.  They can be found here,  <a href="http://prairiebox.blogspot.com/2011/07/i-am-posting-these-updates.html" target="_blank">http://prairiebox.blogspot.com/2011/07/i-am-posting-these-updates.html</a> (they are in order, so just click "newer post" to go to the next one), if you are interested in reading.  The part I left out is that I "chose" to be induced to give birth to Sophia.  My water broke, I was having non-stop contractions and bleeding, and she was still alive.  I was induced because of the amount of blood I had lost and because the chorioamnionitis (infection) that caused PPROM with both her and Owen had spread to my uterus as well.  She was alive when I gave birth to her, and she had a heartbeat for several hours afterwards.  My mom held her, but I just couldn't.  I'm still dealing with the guilt of forcing my still-living child from my body, in spite of not really having any other viable option.  Traumatic is the only way I can describe it, but even that only seems to be scratching the surface of all the emotions I've felt and am still feeling.  It was almost a year ago, and it's not quite so raw and new, but I'm still dealing with it all on a daily basis.</p>
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<p>Many women find healing in becoming pregnant again, and that was true after my first loss.  I was 10 weeks, but the baby had never grown past 5.  When I got an ultrasound at 7 weeks and saw a heartbeat, I was able to be hopeful and excited.  It wasn't like that with this pregnancy.  My twins had essentially been healthy; they had heartbeats and were developing normally.  So with this pregnancy, I haven't ever felt safe.  Especially since I found out about the antibody/antigen issue, it sort of feels like I'm just waiting for history to repeat itself.</p>
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<p>I have done pretty much everything you describe.  I still check for blood every time I use the bathroom.  If I feel dampness in my underwear, I have to check to make sure it's not blood or amniotic fluid.  I went through a time when I was afraid to use the bathroom, because I was scared I might somehow push the baby out (I birthed Owen on the toilet in the middle of the night, after only one contraction).  I had flashbacks at first, especially at night.  Those have gone away now, but I'm worried that when I go into labor I'm going to have some serious problems coping.  I remind myself that when I lost the twins, there were a LOT of symptoms we didn't quite recognize.  Looking back, I had signs of preterm labor for about 3 weeks.  Even though I'm exhausted both physically and mentally, I feel better now than I did then.  It's reassuring, but I still struggle.</p>
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<p>In my situation, what has helped me the most is realizing and accepting that I have no control beyond a certain point.  I've always done everything I'm supposed to do and avoided all the right things during pregnancy.  And it hasn't mattered.  While I still do everything I can to ensure that my body is a safe, healthy place for my baby... the end result is out of my hands.  I mostly just try not to think about it.  I get excited every so often, but I really just feel like this whole pregnancy has been surreal.  I want to enjoy it, but in so many ways it's been like a forced march instead of a pleasant journey.  I just want to be done.  I want to hold my (living) baby.  I want this portion of my life to be behind me, in hopes that I can start to heal a little more. </p>
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<p>I guess I don't have any wonderful advice.  But you're not alone in struggling through PAL, and I think that's the most important thing to know.  We are all in this together, and I know that for me, being able to come to these boards and share (i.e. freak out) has been very helpful and healing.<br>
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am so sorry you went through that- my heart really aches for you. You absolutely did everything you could, and like you said, even though that doesn't take away the trauma or heartache of it, I hope you are able to remember you had no fault in what happened.<br><br>
Even with my losses- all of which were your "typical" miscarriages without a known reason- I feel guilty. It is so hard not to even though we "know better."<br><br>
I hope the rest of our pregnancies are uneventful for both of us, and that in the end we can focus on the warm wiggly healthy children in our arms.
 
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