How far along? 23 Weeks
Baby Size: According to “The Bump” baby is the size of a grapefruit. He’s beasting along in there.
Weight gain: 18lbs
Maternity clothes? Maternity clothes and leggings, and my husbands snow pants. My winter coat no longer zips comfortably and Pat’s snow pants fit fine. The belly is growing large!
Belly Button in or out? Out
Best moment this week: Lots of movement and his sleep/movement patterns are very similar to his older brother’s. They have a lot of similarities in their womb experience.
Miss Anything? Not that I can think of. My sleep has been off this week, but I think that has more to do with catching up from last week than it does from baby.
Movement: A lot of movement that seems to be getting stronger by the day.
Food cravings: Oranges.
Looking forward to: Big brother being able to feel baby kick.
This is truly an unsexy subject, but it is something I would have liked to read about and have not found much. I am not talking about the physical/medical aspect of pregnancy after miscarriage here. I can talk to my doctor about that. I am talking about the emotional aspect.
I think most women who want have a family have some level of fear surrounding miscarriage. When I was pregnant with our first I was naïve, but fearful. I thought that unless there was bleeding, everything was fine. This was good for me to think as I was not able to get in to see a doctor until I was around 12 weeks pregnant. Throughout the entire pregnancy I always feared seeing blood. Even as we passed the high-risk time, I still had a healthy degree of worry that something could happen.
After having our chemical pregnancy, followed by our pregnancy that ended in miscarriage, I learned that there does not always need to be blood to mean something is wrong. I was very sick in the beginning of this pregnancy. It seems I spent my days trying not to vomit, and laying in bed to feel moderately rested for the interactions I would have with my son. When we went in for our first Dr’s appointment, I was worried. Even though I had been feeling pretty sick, there were a lot of symptoms I had in my first pregnancy that I was not experiencing this time around. As we sat with the doctor she asked if I had any questions. I told her point-blank, “I have a lot of questions, but I think a lot of them are anxiety driven. If we could just listen to the heartbeat I’m sure I’ll feel better.” She was very understanding and they had an ultrasound machine in the room. She did a quick scan and showed us the baby, the heartbeat, and told us he was measuring a little bigger than they would have expected at this time. That was a relief and I figured I would be free of fear from there.
For the most part, I haven’t feared miscarriage as much this time around and I think there are a few factors that come into play here. First, let’s be honest, when you already have a child at home, you only have so much room to worry about what you have no control over. I can’t control a miscarriage, but I can control if I am paying attention to my son climbing something dangerous and falling down to break his nose (or various other body parts). There is a lot to take care of at home that I don’t have the brain capacity to be worried about something I don’t have any say in. Second, we went through a devastating miscarriage and survived. My worst-case scenario happened and I am still here. That means I know I can survive the pain, so it’s almost less of a fear now.
I would say the hardest part for me, after getting over the initial appointment and knowing that baby was OK, is bonding with baby. Again, some of this has to do with him being the second (sorry pal, I guess you’ll have to get used to it) and some of it has to do with that fear of attachment. If you think about it logically it makes zero sense. Not getting “attached” in case something happens will not make the situation any less painful; however, the defense mechanism stands strong with me, despite how illogical I know it is. I also think part of this barrier is that we don’t know where we will be living when baby is born (we know the area of the country, just not where in that area) so it is hard for me to visualize where the baby will be. Where will he sleep? Where will he play? I like the physical evidence of this and it makes talking to him or thinking about him more real for me.
Thankfully he has been very active and at each ultrasound he is measuring large and quite in charge. He always appears healthy in the ultrasounds, and stubborn just like his big brother. This is a very exciting time, but also still scary. If you’ve had a miscarriage and conceived after, know that you’re not alone in feeling a slew of emotions. I spend time feeling guilty that I haven’t bonded with this baby as much as I did with our first. I also spend time frustrated that I feel guilty because guilt is not something I like to waste my time on. Mostly, it is an altogether different experience with a lot of factors that come into play. With the birth date of our miscarriage right around the corner, I know I am supposed to feel so grateful that this baby is OK, and I do. That doesn’t mean I don’t still mourn the loss of our other babies.
This has been my experience with pregnancy after miscarriage and it has been a bit of a roller coaster. I hope if you are going through this, you feel less isolated and know that you are not alone.