pregnancy after miscarriage

pregnancy after miscarriage

Back in San Antonio, 2015.

 

I have never dealt with depression, except that is, during pregnancy.

I know many, many women have struggled with post-partum depression, but me, I struggle with pregnancy-induced depression. It sets in around the same time as the morning sickness & lasts as long as the nausea does.

I wake up, day after day, in a word, depressed.

I should be elated.

I’m pregnant!

 

Pregnancy after Miscarriage

After my miscarriage last year, we have been trying, & it finally took after about 8 months of hoping. I’m only 11 weeks, so still in the “danger of miscarriage” zone. Funny how with my first 5 pregnancies, having not once had a miscarriage, it was never on my mind, even in the first trimester.

But this time, it’s different. I’m finding it hard to ignore the mild anxiety, that sort of ever present worry that any day, any hour I could be confronted with bleeding, cramping, & then that would be the end. For you fellow sisters who know the pain of miscarriage (some of you multiple times) & then trying again, you know what I’m talking about.

Prior miscarriage or no, it’s a lonesome path, pregnancy is.

Especially the first few months.

I’m not supposed to tell anyone. Or at least, the common advice is, wait until you’re out of the first trimester.

You know how impossible this is, for someone like me who turns into a slug pretty much the moment I find out I’m pregnant?

With this pregnancy morning sickness kicked in the day after I took the pregnancy test & was full throttle by week 5, day 6. I pretty much drop off the face of the earth, & I end up having to tell people earlier than I’d like to help explain my inability to be a high functioning human being.

I have half the energy of a three-toed sloth.

When I’m not throwing up I’m flat lined on the couch or bed.* The nausea is unrelenting–at all hours of the day I want to vomit, but it’s especially acute at night, & in the middle of the night.

I haven’t exercised much since mid-August. I have hot flashes throughout the day, I get short of breath easily. And I always, always feel like I need to pee.

*Unfortunately I can’t muster the willpower to do anything productive like read a book (makes me even more nauseated), but it has led me to some pretty good shows on the BBC like Poldark (loved the 1st season & highly recommend if you’re into historical dramas), Endeavor, & Grantchester (both intelligent British murder mysteries). I also admit in my very low moments nothing but mindless, trashy reality TV will distract me from my misery, so yes, I may have binge watched the first season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

 

I sleep 12 or more hours a day. I eat what I can stomach (which is very little). I lost 6 pounds over a period of weeks when it was really, really bad but have gained it back & more thanks to my inactivity & the fact that food is pretty much the only thing that can keep me from throwing up (ironically).

I have been told to just “distract yourself” or “don’t focus on the morning sickness!” (Not by Joseph, mind you, he knows better.)

This is like telling a depressed person to “just be happy!” It’s nonsense.

Pregnancy, especially all the aches, pains, & nausea that come with it is such an individual thing.

What one woman experiences as a morning sickness might not look anything like what another woman experiences. There are degrees, & variances, & really, it just comes down to the fact that every woman is different, & every pregnancy is different.

[Word to the wise: when encountering a pregnant woman (no matter how whiny) the best approach is a good deal of compassion & empathy, period.]

 

Everything just looks bleak.

Whine, whine, whine. Moan, moan, moan. I know how obnoxious I must sound.

But I have had over a month & a half of this & I find myself in this twilight world of, yes I’m pregnant, but possibly, maybe, things won’t work out.

I think, am I feeling a cramp? Am I starting to cramp? Then I run to the bathroom just to make sure I’m not bleeding.

The mind games you go through after a miscarriage & then trying to get pregnant, & then actually getting pregnant. It’s a roller coaster, a maddening one at that because it’s all such an insular, private experience. It’s a strange, lonely place to be.

 

The thing that has given me hope, is this little photo.

Baby’s first picture:

pregnancy after miscarriage

Strong, tiny heartbeat.

And I can see her little arms & the some semblance of legs. That’s reassuring.

And if nothing else, each day I wake up, sicker than a dog, I think–hey, my body is pumped so full of pregnancy hormones, good things must be happening!

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Comments


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  3. April
    on October 11, 2016 at 7:05 am said:

    I had a miscarriage between my first and second child. Only was 5 weeks along and am even convinced it happened b/c the heart never started beating. (Based essentially on knowing the day I convinced and that the miscarriage happened exactly when that milestone was supposed to happen). I have always been a worrier during pregnancy but when I got pregnant (immediately) w/ my second after the miscarriage I remember I wouldn’t take a test until I had passed the time I had miscarried. I miscarried on day 37 and I remember I thought “If I can make it past that day I’ll be ok”. I did and I was but it is very strange these things pregnancy can cause us to think and feel. Many congrats to you friend!

  4. Nita
    on September 30, 2016 at 9:51 pm said:

    I had a similar experience. It wasn’t pleasant because I’d decided to take my two older kids with me to the sonogram that day while my husband was away at a men’s retreat at our church. I was working at the time and had left work early, picked my kids up from school and went to the appointment as it began to snow. The tech didn’t give me the news as my older kids were so excited to see the baby. When I got home though, my doctor called. It was upsetting and it took me awhile to recover from it. It was difficult to stay focused on the loss since I had to return to work the following week and put on a strong face for my co-workers. It eventually catches up to you and knowing that struggle I’ll give you a (((hug))) which I wish more people would have done than making their opinions known, lol!

  5. Anna-Lena Stöwhase
    on September 30, 2016 at 3:25 am said:

    Wow! Congratulations, Janae. I feel so happy to hear about your pregnancy (Althought I myself could never ever have 6 kids. I’m done with my 4).
    I remember that I couldn’t reall’y enjoy my pregnancies without suffering from severe sickness. During the first months I was alway afraid to lose my child, I kept running to the toilet to check if there was spotting. And in three pregnancies I experienced light bleeding. It was terrible. People kept telling me that at least I know that I can get pregnant. That wasn’t helpful.
    And I needed so much sleep, too. In my third pregnancy I barely left my couch. Luckily the older kids were in preschool and until noon. After lunch I had to place them in front of the TV so that I could sleep again.
    I hope you will feel better soon and will be able to enjoy your pregnancy.
    In the last few days I spent a lot of time on your blog and printed out some of your recipes.

    • Janae Wise
      on September 30, 2016 at 5:27 am said:

      Thank you Anna-Lena! I think at times I must be, a little crazy to be doing this for a 6th time, but we have always been open to a big family & we are thrilled to have the children we do. 4 children is a lot by any standards & I applaud you for you taking such a task on–it isn’t easy, or always appreciated work!

      People mean well when they make comments like “at least you can get pregnant!” But, you’re right, it doesn’t do much to ease fears. I have become even more aware of how blessed I was to be able to have had 5 healthy babies so far, & as I get older & see more of life I realize how it isn’t something to be taken for granted, at any stage of life.

      I am fortunate that my youngest (almost 3!) is going to a preschool a few days a week now, & my older kids are in school, so I am able to rest on most days of the week without feeling like my children are running around like monkeys while I am plastered to the couch or toilet. Morning sickness, much like many of the pains associated with a woman’s menstrual cycle, is something we just sort of deal with while we do our best to have life go on. We don’t talk about it much openly, & men certainly can’t empathize or understand–it is just one of those hard facts of life that we just deal with.

      I am so glad you are using my recipes. I truly do hope to get back to sharing recipes soon–this past year has been such a wild ride of unexpected events & new adventures which has taken me away from spending a lot of creative time in the kitchen.

      As always, I love hearing from you & hope you are doing well!!