Miscarriage is something that a lot of women still aren’t talking about, sadly. About one quarter of all pregnancies end this way, and yet we still treat it as though it’s taboo to talk about. It’s as though we don’t want to hear about this awful reality, because it then awakens in us the fear that it could be our reality, too. That’s no way to show our respect for the women who are going through it, though.
Equally as taboo is the topic of rainbow babies. What’s that? That’s the baby that is conceived and maintained after one or more miscarriages. It’s the baby that survives. It’s the baby that brings healing to the parents who have lost previous babies. It’s a beautiful blessing that is celebrated far too infrequently.
On the flipside of that beauty is the scary AF reality of enduring nine months of pregnancy when we’ve lost babies before. It’s both joyous and terrifying to find out we’re pregnant again after a loss. It’s all we could hope for, but it’s also the starting point for a whole new batch of worries that miscarriage will happen again. Getting through an entire pregnancy having experienced miscarriage before can be brutal. This is why.
15 Wanting Ultrasounds Every Week
“Before I ever got pregnant, I knew I wanted to refuse all ultrasounds except for the anatomy scan. Knowing that they have not truly been tested for safety during pregnancy and that the risks of cavitation and other defects are becoming more apparent, I didn’t want to expose my growing baby to unnecessary technology that may cause him or her harm.”
“Of course, that was before my miscarriage. When we got pregnant again, I was begging my doctor to do an ultrasound at seven weeks so I could see a heartbeat. Waiting until my next appointment to check for the heartbeat was just too petrifying for me to imagine. He granted me that one extra ultrasound, and while it helped then, I still continued to worry. So, looking back, I’m not so sure it was the right choice,” Andrea shared.
14 Second Guessing Everything
“By the time I was pregnant with our third baby (we’d lost the previous two), I was seriously beginning to doubt my ability to be a mother. When the first miscarriage happened, I felt like it was just a fluke thing that happens. I had read that it was common. I was just the one in four that miscarry. But when it happened a second time, I really started questioning whether or not I was Mom material. I even put our pregnancy plans on hold for a few months before we tried to conceive again because of it.”
“I am due any day now with my baby boy, and I can’t say that I would change anything even if I could, because now I truly know that this is the way it was meant to be. But in those early weeks of this pregnancy when I was so concerned that miscarriage would happen again, it was almost like I was trying to convince myself that if it did, it was because I wasn’t supposed to have kids. Like that would make it easier to deal with," Alyce shared.
13 Always In Mourning
Janessa shared, “I have had two babies and another on the way, but one is in Heaven. My miscarriage devastated me. I will never know that child and it’s something that breaks my heart every day. During my miscarriage, my then one-year old son didn’t understand why Mommy was so sad and crying all the time. My boyfriend and I fought a lot during that phase of our relationship, too. It was a hard time for our little family.”
“When I got pregnant with this baby, I was really worried that I would lose him, too. Luckily, everything is fine, but I can’t shake the feelings of sadness about the baby that I lost. A lot of people told me that the next pregnancy would heal those wounds, but they haven’t. I am happy to be having this baby, but I still want that baby, too, if that makes sense. Why can’t I have them both?”
12 A Numbing Feeling
Corina shared, “We had been trying for a while to get pregnant when we found out we were expecting again. The last time was terribly hard on both of us. The miscarriage made it feel like there was this big, black hole in our relationship that nothing could fill. But I think we both secretly hoped a new baby would make it all better.”
“I fantasized every month about taking a test and seeing those two pink lines. Every time it was negative, I felt such disappointment. So, I figured when it was positive, I would be over the moon. But that’s not what happened. Instead, I felt kind of numb. I didn’t know how to feel. Suddenly, my thoughts shifted back to the baby I lost and I worried about that happening again. What a mess!”
11 It's Wrong To Feel Happy
Geena shared, “I grieved for a long time about the loss of my baby. I always dreamt that my first child would be something special. I never once thought about having to grief their death before they were ever born.”
“During my second pregnancy, I was a disaster. My feelings were all over the place. It took some time for me to realize that the instability and depression I was feeling were stemming from my miscarriage. I truly felt guilty for allowing myself to be happy about our new baby on the way. It felt like being happy meant I wasn’t sad anymore that I’d lost my first baby.”
This isn’t uncommon. A lot of mommies feel like their rainbow babies have set them free from that depression and apathy that their miscarriages left them with. But it’s all so tough, because they don’t want to give the impression that they weren’t and aren’t still sad to have lost that other baby.
10 Reusing Things Meant For A Lost Baby
Susie shared, “When we got pregnant, I was elated and couldn’t stop myself from shopping. I think I literally went out and bought baby booties and a baptism gown the very next day after getting the news. By the time I was ten weeks along, I had compiled a pretty large collection of neutral baby clothes and nursery paint swatches. The last thing I was expecting at my first doctor’s appointment was to find out it would be my last.”
“Fast-forward to a few months later, and we were pregnant with our daughter. I didn’t let myself buy anything until we heard the heartbeat for the first time. Still, I had all of that baby gear packed up in the bedroom that was to be our first child’s nursery, and I had no idea what to do with it. I thought seriously about repurposing it all for our daughter, but honestly, it still felt kind of wrong to me… like I was giving my first child’s belongings to this new child because he or she wasn’t here. In the end, we ended up donating all of it and starting fresh. I think that was the right choice.”
9 Obsessing Over Statistics
C.L. was a biology major in college. Statistics and scholarly research are her thing. She’s that mom you see in parenting groups online talking about the risks of vaccinations and the like. It’s in her nature to over-analyze every situation and weigh the well-researched pros and cons. She doesn’t know how to be any other way.
So, when she miscarried for the first time, she immediately began researching. She quickly learned she wasn’t alone. This happens to roughly one quarter of all pregnancies. She also realized that the risk of it occurring again wasn’t really much higher for a woman who has had a previous miscarriage than it was for those who haven’t. But when she had her second miscarriage, she never saw it coming and knew that this changed things and made her more likely to have a third.
These fears were compounded by the time she had her third miscarriage. She knew a fourth would really increase her risk of repeat losses — up to a 40 percent likelihood. Today, she’s pregnant for the fourth time and still waiting it out. She’s not out of the first trimester woods yet, but she tries to remind herself every day that she has every reason to hope things will be fine. In between reminding herself of this, she’s citing statistics in her head and driving herself insane. Pregnancy after loss is rough!
8 High Risk Hurdles
Almost every woman grows up thinking about becoming a mother. It’s a natural process for females. We wonder about the children we will have just as much as we wonder about the people we will marry. What we don’t expect are complications. No one daydreams about infertility treatments or miscarriage. Krista definitely wasn’t.
She shared, “I didn’t find out until after having three miscarriages in a tow that I have a genetic mutation that was causing my body to expel the babies I had conceived. It’s called MTHFR. It literally caused by blood to clot and essentially abort my babies, causing miscarriages. Once we found out about it, and got treatment, we were able to get pregnant and stay that way, but it was a long road.”
“During my following pregnancies, I was considered high risk. I had to give myself injections of Heparin to thin my blood, and could have the birth I had planned with my midwife in a birthing center. It was difficult, but I know that I wouldn’t have been able to have my babies at all without those medical advancements.”
7 Doppler Disasters
Once upon a time, the Doppler was this magical tool that the doctor would pull out as a woman neared her second trimester to try to hear the baby’s heartbeat. It was medical equipment, and as such, not just anyone could get their hands on one, until now that is.
Veronique shared, “I’m one of those moms with a Doppler. I know some people look down on it and say it’s risky, but the bigger risk for me was the anxiety it was causing me during this pregnancy that I didn’t know if my baby was okay. I have had a miscarriage before and there’s nothing else I fear more in this world.”
“When I found out I could buy my own Doppler to check baby’s heartbeat as often as I want to, there was no talking me out of that purchase. I don’t use it as much anymore, because I am far enough along now to feel the baby move, but in the first trimester and the first half of the second, I used it almost daily to reassure myself that this baby was healthy. Hindsight is 20/20 as they say, and now I can see that it really did get me worked up and drive me nuts sometimes, because I wasn’t always able to find the heartbeat. I don’t regret buying it, but I do get why they say it should only be used by trained medical professionals.”
6 What’s Going On Down There?
For Christina B., it was a very trying time during her pregnancy with her son. She had suffered through four miscarriages before she and her husband conceived their rainbow boy. Despite an early ultrasound at six weeks confirming a heartbeat, she knew the risk of loss was still there, and it loomed over her like a dark rain cloud.
She shared, “Every time I felt any kind of discharge puddle its way out in my underwear, I would scurry off to the bathroom just to check and make sure it wasn’t blood. Many times, I tried to tell myself I didn’t need to check and that it was nothing. Sometimes this would happen while I was feeling my baby move, but I couldn’t relax until I saw for myself.”
This is a common worry for moms who have miscarried in the past. They are so terrified that it will happen again, and they feel unnerved by anything that happens that resembles what could be signs of an impending problem.
5 Wait For The Doctor To Confirm It
We get it. Doctors are just people. Years ago when they got into the business of birth, they may have had an excellent bedside manner. When they encountered their first patient who they had to break the news of miscarriage to, they may have wept alongside them. But they’ve done it five hundred times since then, and thus, they’re a little desensitized to the emotional side of this experience now. It happens. But it still doesn’t feel good when you’re the patient with the doctor who lacks compassion.
Alissa shared, “I went to see my doctor to confirm that I was pregnant. I had a positive test at home, but the doctor’s test came up negative. I was really confused by this. Miscarriage never even entered my mind. I wasn’t really sure how pregnancy tests even worked at that point in my life. The doctor said it may just be too early to test and to return in a week. By a couple days later, I was spotting. I returned to the doctor and they confirmed I was having a miscarriage.”
“I’ll never forget the moment I found out, and not because it was so traumatic, but because of how it happened. The doctor came into the room and said, Yep, looks like this pregnancy is not viable. Don’t worry. You can try again soon. We can set up a procedure to clean you out if you would rather not wait for your body to do it. Some women don’t.”
“I got a new doctor the next time I got pregnant, needless to say. Unfortunately, that doctor’s bedside manner wasn’t much better. Maybe I called the office a few too many times. Who knows? I was a worried mother that had already lost a baby and I needed my fears and concerns to be addressed. Instead, they made me feel silly for calling like they didn’t want me to call back. I ended up transferring to a midwife. Best decision I’ve ever made.”
4 Pregnancy Doesn't Feel The Same
For a lot of women, pregnancy is a roller coaster of emotions and symptoms that never seem to let up. Pregnancy books and films lead women to expect that they’ll feel instantly nauseous and tired when they get pregnant. For the women who have suffered through a miscarriage, these expectations are a sore spot.
Riva shared, “For me, I had already had two kids before I had my miscarriage. So, I knew what pregnancy felt like, or so I thought. I was sick for months during both pregnancies, but during my pregnancy with the baby that I lost, I wasn’t. In my fourth pregnancy, it made me very worried that I didn’t feel all that pregnant. My boobs weren’t sore. I wasn’t throwing up. I was tired, but I have two kids, so I’m always tired. It really played with my head a lot that I wasn’t having a lot of symptoms, but here I am, 27 weeks along and still obsessing over every little thing my body goes through and wondering what it means.”
3 Waiting Forever To Break The News
Bethany shared, “The most difficult part of pregnancy following a miscarriage for me had to be the first trimester. The doctors and every piece of media out there crams it into your head that if you’re going to miscarry again, it’s likely going to be in those first thirteen weeks. So, we waited. We didn’t even tell my parents and I am extremely close to them.”
“When the time came I was officially in the second trimester, neither of us could hold it in any longer. We were so relieved to have made it this far in a pregnancy, and we wanted all of our family and friends to share in that joy with us. We are trying to get pregnant again, and I am already annoyed over the waiting period I know we will have to be put through.”
2 Healing Begins
“It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my daughter that I found myself finally feeling okay with being a woman who has miscarried. In my family, this is not something anyone ever talked about. It happened to my grandmother, too, but I’d never heard about it before. When it happened to me, I felt ashamed and alone. For that reason, I tried to promote more awareness about it and be a voice for other miscarriage survivors. I didn’t want anyone else to feel the way that I did. In part, this helped me heal.”
“But nothing prepared me for the healing I would experience when I was pregnant with my daughter. Once things were far enough along that we knew we wouldn’t lose her, all of that worry and anxiety from my past experiences melted away, and I began to feel whole again. I felt like my body wasn’t failing me for once. I felt like… a mother," Jeanne shared.
1 Holding Our Breath
When Jennifer and her husband found out they were pregnant the first time, they were over the moon. Just as the news was starting to sink, she started bleeding a few days later. The rest was history. That baby was not meant to be. She would never hold that child. It took her some time to heal from this experience on an emotional level, and they didn’t get pregnant again for over a year.
By that time, she recalls having felt like the chances of miscarrying again were slim. Now she worries that she let herself get her hopes up, because that was three years and five miscarriages ago. While undergoing fertility testing, she and her husband discovered a few issues that may have been complicating matters for them.
Still, every time she gets pregnant, she worries that miscarriage will happen again. She worries that her marriage won’t be able to survive yet another loss. She worries about the cost of the fertility treatments she’s undergoing just to get pregnant with babies that her body doesn’t seem to want to support. She is constantly waiting for something to go wrong, because it always has before.
Sources: Today.com, Wired.com