Tips from PAL Moms is a column at PALS Magazine where we ask you, the PAL mom, for feedback about your experience during pregnancy after loss. We ask a question on our Facebook Page and hope that you can help answer it while also benefiting from the answers, all in an effort to relate and learn from fellow moms who “get it.”
I’m pregnant again after previous losses. I’m already thinking about asking my doctor if I can be induced at 39 weeks. I can’t help but feel like my body isn’t a safe place for my baby.
My husband wants me to wait it out and let baby come when baby is ready. He knows I want to do this with little to no interventions. However, I can’t help but feel like I can’t trust my body to keep the baby safe that long. Do any other mamas feel this way? What did you ultimately decide?
First of all, I’d like to congratulate you on your pregnancy! I know pregnancy after loss can be an anxious time. My best advice is to sit down with your husband and your doctor and come up with a plan that works best for you.
To me, it sounds like your husband is one of your biggest supporters because of your own desire to avoid interventions. That’s what he’s focusing on – the practical aspect and not the fears and “what ifs.” Often men have a tendency to be practical and leave the worrying to us.
In the case of a PAL pregnancy, your fears are very legitimate and completely normal. I think it’s definitely worthwhile to talk with your doctor about induction. Be sure to share your concerns about why you’d like to wait as well. Weigh the pros and cons. Together with your husband and your doctor, you should be able to make a plan that will relieve at least some of your anxiety.
A quick aside: I needed two repeat c-sections. In the days leading up to my first one, I do remember worrying about whether or not she would be “ready” to be born since I would not be going into labor. We all have some sort of worries about interventions, even if we shouldn’t. We want to make the “best” decision for our children, and we all worry that we’re going to do it wrong. Regardless of what you decide to do, it will be the right decision, Mama! Good luck!
Here are some great TIPS from other PAL moms:
Amy – I felt exactly the same about my body not being a safe place for my baby. After having a stillbirth and there being no reason behind it, I was anxious to say the least. I was at hospital at least once a week for reassurances, blood loss, and paranoia around reduced fetal movements. She must’ve been the most scanned baby in the area! I had amazing care: I was under the same consultant the whole of the pregnancy, and he was available by email or telephone all the time. His advice was all is safe to induce from 37 weeks. So, I booked in to be induced at 37 weeks and 3 days! I have since apologised to the consultant as afterwards I could see that I wasn’t thinking rationally and was over anxious. His response was simply: this feeling is normal and you won’t be okay until that baby is in your arms safely. I don’t regret my decision to induce one bit, you have to do what you have to do in order to get you through the pregnancy. xx
Cherish – My first daughter was stillborn at 39 weeks 2 days. When I got pregnant with my 2nd daughter I told my doctor from the beginning that I wanted to be induced early. I knew the closer I got to my due date, the more anxiety I was going to have which would not be good for baby. My doctor had me go to a high risk ob to monitor the whole pregnancy and I was induced at 37 weeks. My daughter was perfectly healthy and is now a happy 1 year old. If you are feeling that you want to be induced early, definitely mention it to your doctor.
Anna – That’s a tricky one. I opted not to induce with my rainbow, since my loss was much earlier. We still don’t know exactly why she died, but there was quite a lot of bleeding and pPROM before she passed, so since I didn’t have any of those complications in my rainbow’s pregnancy, I felt okay going to term. That doesn’t mean it was easy! Those last few weeks were nerve wracking, and I spent lots of time drinking orange juice and poking baby to make her move, but she came on her own when she was ready at 40+1, and I avoided all interventions except a bit of gas and air during transition. Good luck with whatever you decide!
Ally – Yes you’re definitely not alone! I’ve had 3 perfect pregnancies and then I had 2 stillbirths & I’m currently 27 weeks and i feel the same every single day! I am lucky to have a wonderful medical team who have given me nothing but support from the day we found out we were pregnant! I didn’t ask my doctor for an early delivery but she said that she is happy for me to have baby at 37 weeks as it’s ‘full term’. My hubby shares my anxiety so he fully supports the decision to deliver early. You do what you feel is right for you & your baby! Sending you lots of love and strength. xo
Mandy – It is very difficult to be pregnant after loss(es), and your choice is the right one no matter what it is. You can make a plan with your care provider that feels right to you, and you can always change that at the end based on how you feel, how baby is doing, etc. My husband and I were both very anxious during my last pregnancy (after 3 losses in a row), so we did lots of monitoring at the doctor (BPPs starting around 32 weeks) and at home (with kick counts and Doppler). Our rainbow baby came 5 weeks early spontaneously and did really well, no NICU, roomed in with us right away. Hugs, mama, it’s a hard road.
Amanda – Men don’t have the same instinct or fears that we have. We lost triplets at 10.5 weeks, then had an early miscarriage, and our 3rd we ended up with a vanishing twin. Needless to say I was a nervous wreck my whole pregnancy. I went to OB weekly and also saw a specialist. I had quite a few ultrasounds to verify everything was ok and I tried to push for a 37 week induction but the doctors wouldn’t do it. My OB did say she would induce at 39 weeks and I was a nervous wreck, always doing kick counts and nudging him when I felt he was sleeping too long. My water broke 2 days before my induction and had a healthy boy. It’s hard to wait when you can’t see what’s going on in there. Maybe you will go into labor naturally before 39 weeks but I do hope your husband gets on board with the induction because your peace of mind is important too.
Saskia – I’ve been going back and forward with these feelings too mama! It is HARD. I think you should do whatever makes YOU feel safe, you carry this baby. You should be able to decide. Having that power alone and accepting that you can have the option will give you strength , you might want to induce when the time comes, you might not… Whatever you choose WILL be the best choice. ❤️
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