Posted: Aug 09, 2013 10:00 AM
 
Becoming pregnant after suffering from a miscarriage, stillbirth or child death is extraordinarily special and terrifying at the same time. We talk with moms who have been through this emotionally tough time.

Mothers who have been through the pain of a miscarriage, stillbirth or child death know how terrible that storm can be. When she is expecting another baby, that child is known as a rainbow baby — a rainbow that comes after a storm. Expecting a rainbow baby is a special blessing, but stressful in ways that only these moms know.

Overwhelming worry

I felt disconnected for quite a while, and I wish I would have enjoyed my pregnancy more and worried less.

Worry is something that these mothers are unfortunately experts in. Moms who have suffered a loss are often overwhelmed with worry even when they get the good news of a positive pregnancy test. Ashley, who has experienced three miscarriages, said that even after she passed the "safe point" in her pregnancy, she was still unable to relax and enjoy her time. "I had a hard time getting excited, in fear of disappointment if I lost the baby," she explained. "I felt disconnected for quite a while, and I wish I would have enjoyed my pregnancy more and worried less."

Melissa suffered a miscarriage between her third and fourth babies and she agreed that it took a long time to relax when she became pregnant again. "Each week was a huge milestone, and even after I passed the midpoint of my pregnancy, I had a nagging 'what if' feeling the rest of the way," she remembered.

A lesson learned

Ashley unfortunately experienced yet another miscarriage between her second and third child, but she was able to learn from her first rainbow baby experience and put her new knowledge to use during a difficult gestation. "I decided to just let whatever happens happen," she said. "I tried not to dwell on what could happen and worry the whole time. The pregnancy was really hard and touch and go. I had placenta previa and was always spotting and bleeding. I kept high hopes that everything would be fine." She shared that once her third trimester began, the bleeding stopped and her placenta moved up, she was able to relax more.

Advice from seasoned moms

I would try to tell her not to stress, but also let her know it's easier said than done.

If you're pregnant after suffering a loss, you are probably feeling conflicting feelings too — a happiness that a baby is on the way, fear that something might happen this time too, and perhaps even some guilt, which we moms seem to specialize in. We asked what moms who have been there and done that would tell a mom who was newly pregnant with a rainbow baby. "I would try to tell her not to stress, but also let her know it's easier said than done," explained Tia, who went through a few miscarriages after her tubal reversal.

You have to trust in yourself and your body, that you can have a healthy pregnancy and baby.

And Ashley wanted to emphasize that you shouldn't blame yourself for a loss — sometimes they happen for no discernible reason, but you are not that reason. "Just take care of yourself," she encouraged. "You have to trust in yourself and your body, that you can have a healthy pregnancy and baby. This is all easier said than done... but I truly believe you can make peace within yourself to help with anxiety and fears."

Allow yourself to feel your feelings — joy, pain, fear and delight. They are all normal. Try, if you can, to ease your mind, but know that as your pregnancy progresses, you will likely feel better. Allow yourself to plan and be excited, but recognize that a little worry can be a part of it too.

More on pregnancy

Strange pregnancy ailments
Positive pregnancy test: Now what?
Early signs of pregnancy

Topics: