How I'm Coping with Trying to Get Pregnant Again after Miscarriage
One of the hardest parts of coping with losing a baby to miscarriage has been the unknown. Though I miss the baby we lost dearly and still have a hard time accepting that we won’t have a baby to hold come April, I’m very eager to try to conceive again. It’s one of the only parts of pregnancy that I have some small element of control over, I suppose. Of course, there are no guarantees that we’ll get pregnant right away, but I can track ovulation, I can time intercourse accordingly, and I can nourish my body with healthy food and exercise in the meantime. And, the fact that we’ve been so fortunate to conceive quickly with our last two pregnancies gives me hope. Trying for another baby, I think, will give me something positive to focus on during this otherwise trying time.
And yet the thought of being pregnant again after experiencing a second trimester loss terrifies me. I don’t know if it will happen again - and I think it would bring me to my knees if it did. It’s pretty common to overanalyze every twinge and cramp, any spot of blood, and each and every symptom - or lack thereof - in any pregnancy. But now, after experiencing a loss, I can only imagine those fears will be heightened. I know firsthand that things could easily go wrong. Will my body fail me and my baby again?
These thoughts are constantly at the back of my mind. Sometimes, they creep to the forefront and negative thinking threatens to consume me. And, sometimes, for a short time, I let them take over. I get panicked with worry.
But, I’ve been trying something new recently in order to reframe my mindset. I took it out of Laura Scott’s playbook. Laura is a busy mom of three sweet girls and a dermatologist. Like most parents, she has to juggle motherhood with life’s other demands, and it can often feel overwhelming. But, instead of dwelling on all the things we have to do, Laura urges that we change our mindset to be thankful that we get to do these things. So, for example, instead of dreading Monday morning because we have to go to work, we can remind ourselves that we get to go to work, which comes with its own set of benefits. We’re showing our children that we’re strong, capable, and that with hard work they too can pursue the careers of their choosing when they’re older. Maybe we’re helping patients or clients when we’re at work, or maybe we’re simply working because we have to put food on the table. That is admirable in itself. There’s always a positive to be found.
I’m doing my best to put positive reframing into practice. Yes, the worry is still there, but I’m being intentional about not letting it consume me. Sure, pregnancy after a second trimester loss is pretty heavy stuff. It’s more than your day to day stressors, to be sure. But, the concept of positive reframing from “I have to” to “I get to” can still be useful. In fact, I’d argue that I need these tools even more now than I did before the miscarriage because my emotional plate is a lot fuller these days.
So, when negative thoughts crop up, like “Now we have to start from scratch and begin the conception process all over again” or “I’m going to have to endure the challenges of the first trimester again,” or “What if we lose another baby and we have to go through this heartache all over again?” I take a deep breath. I recognize that I’m scared. I may not be able to control the outcome but I can focus on the positives. Instead, I think: “We GET to conceive another baby out of love,” “I GET the opportunity to experience the excitement of being newly pregnant again,” and “I GET the chance to nourish another life.”
It’s little tweaks like this that can go a long way.
Brittany Van Den Brink is a PhD Candidate and freelance writer living in small-town Ontario with her husband, baby son, and their Golden Retriever, Chevy. She founded Motherhood Her Way to collaborate with other moms as they go through the ups and downs of motherhood. Say hi on Instagram @brittanyvandenbrink.