Being pregnant after misscarriage and some tips that helped me

I wrote this when I was 28 weeks pregnant...I'm now 34 weeks but it all still applies! 

I still follow the miscarriage Facebook group that I joined in the midst of one of my losses. I don't know why. I'm 28 weeks pregnant now and *touch every bit of wood in the world* things are going well. 

Being pregnant for 6 months, being actually physically pregnant where I can feel the baby kicking and moving, where people can see my big old stomach and ask me what my due date is is just something that I dreamed of for what feels like so long. If I think about it too much I just want to cry my eyes out (spoiler alert, sometimes I do).

But despite all of the reassurance scans, all of the photos, all of the slap bang in the middle of the centile growth measurements, it's still utterly terrifying. It still doesn't feel 100% real. I think that's why I still read the notifications that pop up to say someone has posted in the miscarriage group, I can't let myself leave because deep down I feel like of course I'm still going to need it again one day. Yet at the same time, I feel like I read the stories almost as another person; a past me who struggled to get pregnant who is separate from the me who can feel my baby kicking in my stomach as I write this post (just writing that made me feel teary). 

I feel the pain of the women writing the heart wrenching posts acutely, but I also don't feel it at all. It's such a strange feeling, I can't really get my head around it. I feel like it almost annoys me that I don't feel as bad anymore - I feel kind of guilty for getting what I wanted for so long. 

And the anxiety comes out in weird ways, even if I think I've squashed it. We had another scan last week and although I thought that I felt fine about it, I was an emotional wreck the weekend before. I had two arguments with my mum and picked a fight with my sister. I burst into tears watching Come Dine With Me (couples edition!). The mind truly does work in mysterious ways. 

Being in lockdown, or just having so many 'normal' pregnancy practices taken away or changed doesn't help I don't think. There has been so much more time to dwell. 

If you find yourself in a similar position to me, here are a few things I have found helpful in not losing my mind:

1. Find a mantra

I was listening to a fertility podcast (I cannot for the life of me find which one it was now) and the guest had had a really harrowing fertility journey with multiple miscarriages and other health issues. When she got pregnant afterwards, in the really scary, early stages where you have no idea what is going on, she would say to herself 'this hour, I am pregnant'. This really, really helped me because after miscarriage every time you go to the toilet it's stressful, expecting to see you've started bleeding, every tiny back twinge you think it's a miscarriage symptom and it's all over. Breaking it down into small, manageable chunks is so helpful and soothing. 

2. Pregnancy yoga/meditation

I am going to do a separate post on my pregnancy yoga recommendations on YouTube, but I have found doing yoga every day grounding and calming, and felt reassured that I was doing something good. Even if it's just for 5 minutes. 

3. Call for help if you need it 

Very early on in my pregnancy, I lost one of my pregnancy symptoms and went into panic mode, convincing myself it was all over. My husband encouraged me to call the consultant who was looking after me but I didn't, because I thought I was being silly and didn't want to bother people unnecessarily. My husband rang her himself in the end because he could see I was distressed about it, and she was reassuring and kind, telling him that symptoms come and go which is totally normal. If you are worried, call someone - your consultant if you're lucky enough to have one, the GP, the midwives, a friend who has been pregnant. Even apps or Facebook groups can help reassure you. Don't suffer in silence! 

4. Do things at your own pace

I knew I wanted to do an Instagram post to talk about my pregnancy and miscarriage, and it seems that a general 'rule' is that once you have the 12 week scan done and all is well it is then fine to announce to the world. However, this just felt too soon for me. I told my wider family and friends after the 12 week scan, but didn't feel ready until 18 weeks to say anything on social media. I also knew I would have to start buying clothes etc. for the baby, but again took my time. At first we just went to Marks and Spencer and I allowed myself just to look and coo over the tiny babygros. This felt like a big deal! People can tell you you should be doing x by x date, but you do what feels right for you. 

5. Give yourself a break 

It's a bloody scary time. Sometimes you feel terrified, and it's totally fine to feel like that. No matter if people have it worse, no matter if it's not nice to feel terrified, no matter if you feel like a moany cow. Sometimes it just bes like that. Give yourself a break! 

I hope this was in any way helpful to someone, if you are pregnant after loss I have all of my fingers and toes crossed for you! 

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