Today, marks us being 10 weeks pregnant. A milestone I didn’t really place much weight on until we got here. It hadn’t been one of our mini-goals, or even crossed my mind leading up to it. Yet now, at 10 weeks – double figures – it seems somewhat poignant, significant. The power of another digit in pregnancy after loss, when nothing is a given.
Since we started trickling out the news that we were pregnant, again, and then since my last blog post went live, we’ve had to adjust to learning how to manage other peoples responses.
I anticipated finding the congratulations hard to swallow – I’ve read them from others going through pregnancy after loss. We’ve experienced a range of magnitudes of congratulations, and to be honest, I’m not sure I can swallow any of them easily. My monosyllabic responses, and joyless tone are probably the give aways. I’m not too sure what people are congratulating? The pregnancy, or the naive thought that they think this means we will have a baby, breathing, at the end of it? They’ve ranged from a subtle squeeze on the shoulder (tolerable) to the excited faces surrounded by virtual banners and pom-poms (less tolerable).
We can far more easily accept the congratulations from those that we trust fully understand (as much as you can understand another person) what this means for us, anxieties, grief, shit and all. That compared to those who had rarely engaged with it all, or have barely asked us how we are throughout the year… well, those congratulations are far harder to accept.
The similarity in most people though, regardless of their levels of involvement in this year, is this comment:
“But, they are going to look after you better this time, aren’t they?”
I suppose the simple answer to this question is yes, yes they are. And we are grateful for the beefed up care package that we will get during this pregnancy, as long as its lasts. Our fertility clinic have been amazing, as always, and we’ve already had two scans, and will have another one before Christmas. From after 12 weeks, we will be able to sit down with our consultant and know more about our package of care, but it will mostly feature fortnightly scans from 20 weeks. As advised, I’m already taking aspirin. My midwife is happy to see me whenever we need, even if its just for a chat. And at 17 weeks, we will be able to visit Tommy’s Rainbow Clinic for more in-depth placenta scans, and I have no doubt that their involvement will be able to continue as and when we require, depending on this pregnancy’s progress.
But, I really need people to understand that this is not necessarily a cure. We are grateful, and somewhat reassured but it does not make me 100% certain that this baby will breathe and come home. Nothing will do that.
I do feel that people ask the question to settle their own anxieties, and they allow a few extra scans that we will have to do just that. Whilst I hate to burst anyones bubble, it just really doesn’t work like that.
With Leo we had high risk care. We had three additional growth scans. Again, we are grateful and fortunate to have had these. However, his last scan was 2 days before he died. There was no indication that he was about to die. Nothing made them jump up and down and act then and there. We went home. He died. No matter how many scans Leo could have had, he still would have died at 37+1 – full term – and no-one predicted that outcome.
We have had our eyes opened to the fragility of life. Leo isn’t the only stillborn baby that we know. We know babies who died preterm, at term, over term, during labour, after labour. There is no magical cure in my care package that can provide anyone any certainty that this baby will always be safe.
Obviously, we hope to be proved wrong, to be able to write in the future that this extra care was worthwhile and saved our baby. Often, this extra care is prescribed for our purposes mainly – to relieve our anxieties and concerns at the time. That said, a scan reassures us that in the moment of the scan, the baby is alive. In that moment only.
This isn’t a normal pregnancy. We will try and tap into the normal aspects as much as possible, but there is a limit, and for people to support us in this pregnancy, they need to understand that our thoughts about the future come with caveats, ifs and buts. I can’t guarantee how long this pregnancy will last. I want to be able to relax into and believe that all will be fine, but this is my third pregnancy in the space of a year. I don’t know any other outcome.
11 thoughts on ““But, they are going to look after you better this time, aren’t they?””
I’m currently 16 weeks pregnant with our rainbow and I can totally relate to your post. I can’t count the number of people who have said those exact words, “you will be better looked after this time”. As with Leo, we had a scan just before Elise died and nothing indicated that there was anything wrong. This journey for me, although exciting and somewhat healing, will also be filled with the knowledge that anything can happen at any time and we are powerless to stop it. Sending love and strength to you at this time x
I relate very much to this. I had high risk care with my son and he still died. I have high risk care again with my current pregnancy, but it doesn’t guarantee anything. Sending much love to you. ❤
Hugs. I relate so much to everything you said. I appreciate everyone’s excitement, but when they forget there’s no guarantee of a living child, it usually makes me feel worse for having anxiety and fear regarding this pregnancy.
I’ve been told, by a lovely obstetrician, that not only will I worry through the next pregnancy – I will continue to worry even after I take my child home, alive and well. Because it’s normal to feel incredibly anxious after loss. And even though I am promised a lot of medical care, what relieves my anxiety most is knowing that she, my doctor, has my emotional journey in mind as well.
(All that being said, I’m not pregnant yet, so I don’t know what it will truly feel like.)
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I was told that pregnancy scans are like MOTs – they’ll cover you for that exact moment in time, but your car will still get wear and tear in everyday use or a piece of the engine can still randomly fail, just like a scan cant guarantee the whole pregnancy will be smooth. A weird analogy but gave me some perspective on it all! I’ve been incredibly lucky enough to have a baby at the end of my first pregnancy but I’ve met people along the way who have massively changed how I view pregnancy and how I would face it if we have another.
Whilst I was reading this, all I could think was that yes you probably will be well looked after in this pregnancy to safeguard you and baby but it shouldn’t have to be that way as you shouldnt have had to face that loss in the first place. This is the first time I’ve come across your blog so excuse me for not knowing your story but sending love and positive thoughts for the rest of your pregnancy xx
I hear what you are saying. There are no words to reassure you of a positive outcome but I really wish there were.
Sending you lots of love, strength and hope in this journey x
I hear what you’re saying too. There doesn’t seem to be a ‘safe zone’ anymore, all the innocence (naivety?) of pregnancy washed away. Currently it feels like I am fighting for better care 😡
I’m 20 weeks pregnant at the moment after losing my little boy Kai a 18 weeks. People keep saying to me “see you’ll be fine now, they’re looking after you” little do they know it just does not work like that X
No matter what, with or without a special care, you will be worried. Every day, through all 40 (plus, minus) weeks of the pregnancy. I was so jealous of women being pregnant and being happy and worry-free about it. I got pregnant in 2015 after 3 miscarriages; had lot of scans, was on drugs, done many blood tests to keep it under control. Even though I celebrated every day I felt morning sickness and I loved my baby kicking me from the inside I was exhaused by waiting for the delivery date. I remember people congratulating me but I strictly told them to congratulate after the delivery because I wasn’t sure what they congratulated on. I quit my job, closed my facebook account, limited contact with people to only a few friends. I didn’t want to explain myself why. Those 9 months of pregnancy were the most stressful in my life and I took a deep breath when I saw my daughter outside, healthy and breathing.
My daughter is sitting on my knees while I am writting this post. Every day I am grateful I have her. But 2017 brings another question: shall we have another child?… Are we ready so start the fight again not knowing what to expect, potentially risking more miscarriages?
I wish you a lot of strength with your ongoing pregnancy, physical and emotional. What helped me the most while I was pregnant was the thought that you never know what is going to happen – people loose babies in wombs, but also after birth; some are born prematurely, some are sick, some will get sick when they are older. No one will prepare you for that. Just celebrate every day of your baby’s life. Celebrate when you now all goes well. Enjoy every day.