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It wasn’t meant to be. This is so common, it will be ok. You can try again. This was the universe’s way of giving you time, cherish the sweet little angel you have. All of those comments come with great intention and love, but not what I wanted to hear after losing a baby. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to hear. Would a simple “I’m so sorry” have been the perfect response. Would a hug and tender back rub have soothed my pain? My mind was just going and going with what I could have done wrong, my eyes streaming with tears and heaviness fell over my heart. Why did this happen to me?
If you would have asked me if I was ready for another baby, I would have told you no. With a current toddler running laps around me daily and who was starting to develop this fun-loving, very strong-willed little personality, I would have told you that I was just enjoying being her mom. I was finally feeling like on most days I was killing it, with a few humbling days in between that knocked me back to reality. But overall I wanted to keep giving all my love, attention, and support to this tiny human who deserved nothing less than the best from me. After losing our second baby all of those feelings and emotions changed.
Read More: Coping After A Miscarriage
Getting pregnant with our first baby was a bit of a process. We may have not gone through the trenches as others, but for us, it was, on some days and weeks, emotionally exhausting. I will never forget, a friend telling me that I should share my story and process because it could help others. And another “friend” at the time, saying there are lots of people who struggle with infertility and already writing and talking about it. Looking back I should have given that so-called “friend” a big middle finger and FU. This is my story and these are my feelings on infertility struggles and feelings after losing a baby.
Fertility Journey With Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
In June of 2017, I stopped taking birth control after my husband and I decided we wanted to start trying to have a baby. It was just a loose process, nothing that I was tracking or monitoring. As an IT project manager working on a major project for a local medical center and a husband who was a traveling consultant Monday thru Friday, we were both incredibly busy and just didn’t stop to notice. As the year came to an end, it hit me like, oh we haven’t gotten pregnant. Some of you might be thinking well it was only six months. Sure, but I just had a feeling something wasn’t right.
After seeing my primary care doctor and getting some labs drawn she noticed from my results that I might have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) but wanted to send me to a specialist for confirmation. Once my PCOS was confirmed the medication process began in January 2018. I started with Clomid and switched to Metformin, both drugs not having me feeling my best. Side effects ranged from extreme mood swings, nausea, hot flashes, headaches, and bloating. After six months on the medicine, with no success, we decided the next step would be fertility injections. One month of injections and we got pregnant in July 2018 and delivered a healthy little girl in April 2019.
You’re probably thinking, how does this have anything to do with losing a baby. Well after having my first baby and suffering from severe postpartum anxiety I honestly said “one and done”! Between the morning sickness, gall stones, and heartburn during pregnancy, pushing for four hours, and the healing process after my delivery I just did not think I could do it all again. But then we got pregnant again and I wasn’t as scared or as nervous as I thought I would have been. It may not have been our plan at the time and after getting over the initial shock, I was excited. But I wasn’t excited for long.
Read More: Exploring Conception Methods For Infertility
Emotions After Losing A Baby
Losing a baby whether it is at 15 weeks or 6 weeks is still a loss and no one gets to tell you how to feel, how you should handle the grieving process, or even how long it should take. Because it is just that, it is grief. When we first found out I was pregnant with baby #2, a miscarriage didn’t even cross my mind, so when it actually started happening I tried to stay positive and tell myself I overdid it and needed to rest. Spotting eventually turned into a full-blown period and I just knew it was only going to get worse.
After having labs drawn the next day and confirming my hCG level was not where it needed to be for a strong pregnancy the doubt and sadness just crept in. After leaving the doctor’s office and driving home everything just felt foggy and I was so into my head and my feelings before I knew it I was home. My husband, being the ever-loving caring and supportive man that he is just hugged me. At that moment that is all I needed. I needed to feel loved and I needed to know he was there for me and his embrace gave me all of that. We were losing a baby and it really hurt.
My emotions at that moment needed to be put on hold because my little girl was up from her nap and I needed to be her mom and my husband needed to jump on a call for work. That day life went on and I let it. A couple more days went by and I had to return for more lab work just to ensure my levels were getting back to pre-pregnancy normal and talk about the next steps with my OBGYN. Again I didn’t really stop to feel that day either because if I did I knew I would lose it all and I didn’t have the strength nor the time to feel sad.
Read More: Exploration Of Grief Therapy
Grief is a funny thing, it has a way of sneaking in when you least expect it and can tie you down for hours, days, weeks, months, or even years. There is no right or wrong way to grieve and the best advice is just to grieve how you need to. No two individuals will go through this process the same because everyone’s feelings and emotions are just different. Grief has five stages (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) and you may not even go through all five let alone in any particular order. Grief is a universal emotion and at some point, EVERYONE in their life will experience this feeling.
When I was finally ready and felt I had the time I just cried on and off for days. Losing a baby is a big deal and it hurts and it made me sad and mad and I had moments of guilt and moments of worry. I sat in those feelings as long as I needed and when I was ready I started to tell my parents and closest friends. Is that something I wanted to do, not really, but I knew I needed to and was going to need support going forward. Your biggest fans are those that love you so much so lean on them.
Grieving gave me the space to feel and think and just be with myself. Was it uncomfortable? Absolutely, but so incredibly helpful as well. My sadness and thoughts about never meeting that sweet angel still persist but the grief I felt initially has subsided. I took the time I needed for me and checked in with my husband to ensure he was feeling ok. Just because he didn’t physically go through the process doesn’t mean he wasn’t sad as well. After not knowing if I physically wanted to have another child, and then losing a baby after an unplanned pregnancy my thoughts and feelings changed. We knew now that having another baby was something we wanted in our future.
One thing is for certain, everyone has their own story and everyone should feel they have the right to share that story because it is just that…it is their story. The truth is, yes having a miscarriage is common but talking about it is not so common. Grief can be complex and sticky and make us feel uncomfortable. Losing a baby took an emotional toll on my heart, and it took me grieving this loss to realize that growing our family was part of our future plan. So take your time, be sad, let your emotions out and lean on your support system. I am so sorry for your loss and hope my story helped, share yours too.
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out this article on 5 Unexpected Pregnancy Emotions After Infertility.
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