It has been a while since I have talked about my story of losing Gianna. I thought it was time to add to it with my pregnancy after child loss. Just a reminder that this is a continuation of my story from 4 years ago. If you would like to start at the beginning of my story of Infant Loss, you can begin with Finding Out There Is Something Wrong With My Baby.
I last told you all that I got pregnant about 3 months after Gianna died. I felt good and felt like I could handle the big step. A family friend counseled with me after Gianna’s death and said, “At some point you are going to want to get pregnant again, and that is going to be a scary door to walk through.” While I wanted another baby, this was even scarier than I could have imagined.
Not too long into my pregnancy, I started to get really emotional. I felt like I was of sound mind when I made the decision to get pregnant again, but I think that adding the hormones of pregnancy to the grief I already felt, was more of a challenge than I would have thought. There were a few times that I felt guilty for getting pregnant so soon – as if I was trying to replace Gianna. I worried that Gianna would feel badly. I don’t think these were rational thoughts, but very valid and true thoughts that do come when going through something like this.
I mostly felt fear and worry. After Gianna passed away, there was a short time where I had nightmares. Horrible, graphic nightmares that I won’t even share here because they are so horrifying. My doctor tried to prescribe me with some sleeping meds, which I took a few times, out of desperation. The nightmares had subsided a bit, but after I got pregnant again, some of them returned. I don’t know about you, but I already have bizarre dreams when I’m pregnant. Adding my then recent experience to the mix, made for not great sleep/dreams. I recall praying and pleading to my Father in Heaven to make the dreams stop – and they did.
A couple of months into the pregnancy, I started to feel a little more normal. I wasn’t crying so much, and I was sleeping a bit better, but I still had a lot of fear. After all, we never did get a diagnosis for all of Gianna’s complications and issues. For all we knew, we could live through the same thing all over again.
My doctors were very cautious and did frequent ultrasounds to make sure this baby would be okay. Before too long, it was time to find out the sex of the baby. I was so nervous because I just knew that if it was a boy, it would be a bit of a challenge for me. I was sure I would love him regardless, but it would forever be an adjustment – especially when in public, with people making comments about me not having any girls. With 4 boys, those comments would be often I’m afraid. I was very blessed and fortunate because the ultrasound confirmed that my baby was in fact a girl! That makes only 3 boys and 1 girl, with 1 little girl watching from above.
We were more than excited, but there were some concerning things with the utlrasounds. The doctors were slightly concerned because our little girl’s growth was starting to fall behind. For about 3 ultrasounds, our baby’s growth was not keeping up with the charts, and in comparison with her last ultrasound. This was so alarming to me and I started to fear that my husband and I just couldn’t make healthy little girls! I had never heard of such a thing, but in my head it seemed so.
While I lived my life and tried to be a better mother to my boys, I was constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. I just knew that I couldn’t have a healthy little girl. I kept waiting for her to stop kicking, or for the doctors to find something wrong with her. It wasn’t until about 7.5 months into the pregnancy when I finally felt like “Okay, this is happening.” This little girl is finally looking okay in the ultrasounds, and she really does appear to be a healthy little girl. This far into the pregnancy, I could finally say that I might actually get to have a baby girl to hold, and not just for an hour! The doctors weren’t so concerned about losing her, but in my head, I couldn’t get over it.
When this peace and realization came, it was like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. It was then that I realized how much burden and fear I had been living with for the past 7.5 months! I was finally able to relax a bit and treat the last month or so of this pregnancy, like normal.
My next post about giving birth after infant loss, is up.