Everything is different.
Every pregnancy is different.
I had heard these things a million times, often writing them off. Being pregnant with a Pot of Gold (second live birth after miscarriage, stillbirth, infant, or child loss) has really driven that home so far. With my miscarriages everything was either strongly there or strongly lacking. With my missed miscarriage I was nauseous almost from the minute I got a positive test. (Part of that had to do with quitting coffee cold turkey). When I was just past nine weeks, I stopped feeling nauseous and I thought I was just lucky, my symptoms stopped early. Lucky me!
For my second pregnancy I wasn’t that sick. I had some food aversions, but nothing huge. Some headaches, but mostly just tired. Third pregnancy was so short that I had nothing. No breast tenderness, no sickness, no exhaustion, just a positive test and four days later bleeding followed by the most intense cramps.
When I was pregnant with my rainbow, I disconnected a lot.
I recall being nauseous. I recall vaguely the breast tenderness and being very tired. Otherwise, I tried to ignore the symptoms. I didn’t want to connect with the thing that statistically wasn’t going to stick. I do recall the sickness fading around 12-13 weeks and being able to eat again. I also recall that I lost 5-10 pounds during the first trimester because I couldn’t eat. I look back at the irony of people saying, “WOW, you look great! You lost some weight! Good for you!” I internally chuckled that the weight was going to come back with a vengeance.
With this pregnancy I have sickness that comes and goes. No real set reason, unless someone mentions or shows me eggs. That one is a guarantee. The breast tenderness is fairly consistent. What is different this time is that I am on Prozac for my depression/anxiety. So, my exhaustion is there but not as prevalent as last time.
Disclaimer: I am not saying that if you take antidepressants you won’t be tired. I am also not saying that if you are tired you need antidepressants. In the last year or so I have struggled hard with depressive symptoms and anxiety that were near debilitating at times. So, prior to getting pregnant I went to my PCP and discussed my symptoms. After some trial and error we found an antidepressant that works and is safe in pregnancy. I still struggle with symptoms based on the day, level of hormones, etc., but overall, I feel better.
So here is the point that I have been winding my way to, I’m still not connecting with this pregnancy.
I was talking with a fellow loss mom the other day, and we were discussing that I am not connected and still feel like the other shoe is going to drop and I will miscarry again, because statistically that is what I do. I am a very stats-oriented person. I believe correlation=causation and that statisticians lie, the numbers don’t. My husband and I often joke that we reject the Ho (H-naught in stats terms, meaning the original hypothesis). Stats bring me comfort. I read another article similar to this tone awhile back about someone who loved the numbers and didn’t mind being a stat. I am that person as well.
I have seen a heartbeat. I have the symptoms, but I still cannot believe that I am pregnant. My husband says sweet things to me like, “Grow me an amazing human!” (He means it in a sweet way, not ordering me around), and I all of a sudden go, “OH YEAH! I’m pregnant!?” Other times I obsess about things, guessing if I am or am not still pregnant. I now fall into the 35 and over column, which is higher risk at baseline. Add in my pre-diabetes and recurrent pregnancy loss and I just assume this isn’t going to end well. I hate that I cannot be positive.
For my rainbow, I had my head in the sand. I ignored all the bad that could happen. I can’t do that this time. I am eyes wide open, arms wide open for what may come. I am scared to death and also excited for what lies ahead. I posted on my personal Facebook that I was pregnant and pointed out that pregnant after loss moms cannot hide all the time. Our losses are valid. They happened, no matter the gestational age of the baby. So, here is hoping I can connect.
Rachel, I too am expecting our pot of gold(a new term to me). We’re at 29 weeks now and we’re probably at 18 before we really entertained the possibility that this was real, that we needed to think about a new room or a name. “Cautiously optimistic” we told people and that’s probably still an accurate assessment. We also reached a point though where we wanted to be excited and we resented how guarded our hearts were. We lost our first at 36 weeks so we really get the no-guarantees thing.
Our two-year-old rainbow is a delight. He also keeps us busy in a way we weren’t when we were awaiting his arrival or his brother’s previously. That is part of why I’m still less focused on this pregnancy. My advice is to take good care of yourself, your little, and this guy who wants you to grow an amazing human. It sounds like they’ll reciprocate. In your own time, you’ll let down your guard and bond with the pot of gold.
I’m 9 weeks as well with my first rainbow and I’m feeling very similar. I’m cautiously optimistic but am certainly not getting excited yet. I’m low risk but 100% of my experience has been loss and somehow that really sticks. And with a missed miscarriage, it’s odd that I tell myself: I can live in this fantasy world where everything is fine. It just made my scan last week that much more anxiety inducing. I’ve gotten over the first big milestone and there was a heart beat. But I also struggled there between saying there is a heart beat and there was a heart beat. Because, I can say for sure that it was there last week but I have no way of knowing for sure now. Anyway, thank you for sharing, it’s nice to hear about another mom’s PAL journey. I have my fingers crossed for us both! And we have a lifetime to connect with our child. It’s still early and I’m sure it’ll feel more real as I get further. And past my last loss gestation.
I’m 8 weeks pregnant with our pot of gold. with my rainbow, I felt nauseous, super tired, had to pee at night. With all 3 previous pregnancies, my breasts were tender. And now, I feel nothing. My belly and breasts are growing but that is it.
The first heartbeat was confirmed and the baby measured fine and I felt relieve after that. But now, I feel disconnected. It’s so much harder for me to connect this time. I hope that changes after more ultrasounds and checks and I can feel him/her move.