Emily of Mummy Limited writes a poignant and heartfelt post about conceiving after miscarriage.
Emily writes: I have recently become addicted to boxsets of The American Office, very funny and in places sweet and touching. There is a scene, filmed without dialogue, where two of the characters find out they are expecting a baby. Their joy is obvious, they hug and kiss and have tears in their eyes. It’s lovely.
As I watched and smiled I realised that I can no longer remember feeling that way when receiving the same news. By the time I had a successful pregnancy we had already miscarried three times and had been told there was nothing actually wrong and it was just a case of trying again. Each positive test was met with a little relief, some happiness and then a little shrug of the shoulders and the thought would go through my mind that we’d see what happened and keep our fingers crossed.
Conceiving again after losing a pregnancy is a strange, mixed up time and I’ve tried many different mindsets. I’ve tried being negative and expecting the worse, in some attempt to cushion the blow when things go wrong and I can confirm that it doesn’t cushion anything. I have tried ignoring the emotional effects of miscarriage and trying again straight away and that doesn’t really work either.
As each of our miscarriages came in quick succession I sunk lower and lower, but resolutely ploughed on with trying again, as my biological clock ticked louder and louder. It wasn’t until after the third when I had hit rock bottom and a doctor told me I had not allowed myself time to grieve after each loss, that I put all thoughts of trying again to one side for a few months and took time to recover. Once I had, we tried again and this time were lucky enough to have a healthy, baby boy. I am not saying for one moment that my state of mind was the cause of this. There is nothing worse when you are struggling to have a baby than people telling you to relax and be positive and it will work out. However, I did feel mentally stronger and more able to think positively on that fourth pregnancy, which made it a much more enjoyable experience than before.
In my experience that feeling of expecting the worst never really goes away though. I remember so vividly when we came to discuss adding to our family that for the first time in ages I was content, relaxed and happy. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to start on the conceiving treadmill all over again and it was my partner who pointed out I was probably always going to feel a bit like that and he was right.
For me, it’s about picking the right moment, getting the balance between allowing yourself time to recover and accepting that you’re probably never going to feel the same about getting pregnant. Those naive and optimistic days of your first pregnancy will never return fully, so at some point you have to just go for it again.
Sadly, while trying for our third child we experienced another early pregnancy loss. These things are so different for everyone. I did find it easier having children already. For one thing, they don’t really give you the time to be sad and there’s a big difference between already being a mother and not. However, even I was surprised at how keenly I felt the loss again. All the familiar feelings came rushing back and once again I had to judge when I was ready to try again. Only you can really decide, with the help of friends and family and particularly your partner, when the time is right for you.
I feel a little sad that I can’t remember how it feels to be totally elated when discovering your pregnant, as if I’m missing out in some way, but really life isn’t actually like a film or a TV programme and in some ways I have just experienced something different. I really know that the game of falling pregnant and having children isn’t as easy as we are led to believe and in some ways, doesn’t that make it more precious?
If you’ve experienced miscarriage or would like to share your thoughts on Emily’s post, feel free to leave a comment. Thank you.