I have noticed & read a lot of posts recently from fellow bloggers who have been answering some of their readers questions. I decided to write a post similar to that idea. This post will list the most common questions I have recently been getting since announcing this new pregnancy. I usually get the same questions in different forms. I don’t mind them. I understand how curious people may be & so many people have been keeping up with this journey since losing Janessa. I chose to open a blog so people could get a better understanding of this world of grief. It has now also turned into shedding some light on pregnancy after loss. I love talking about my daughter & this new pregnancy!
Was this pregnancy planned?
Yup. Believe it. I’ve been asked this. No really. I’m not lying.
Yes this pregnancy was planned. In fact all 3 of our children were. We’ve got the baby making process down pretty good now lmao.
I’m not sure if people think that its too soon. Or maybe some think we shouldn’t have anymore. I’m honestly not sure what would prompt this question but there is the answer in case anyone else was wondering ;)
Are you glad you waited to get pregnant again?
We were told to wait 6 months. I was almost 8 months pregnant when Janessa died so my body needed some time to recover from the pregnancy. My body also went through a lot with the placenta abruption & the high blood pressure. I was not ready physically or emotionally until the month we tried, which was this April.
To answer the question, yes I am glad we waited. It was the best choice for us personally. I needed time to sort through a lot of my emotions & grief. This new pregnancy has brought on a slew of new emotions & aspects of grief that I know I couldn’t of handled on top of the initial intense grief. They are still very much intertwined but I allowed myself time to work through some parts of my grief separately that I hope will help me deal with these new waves easier.
This choice is very different among other “baby loss mommas”. Some have chosen to get pregnant again soon after. Some even a year later are no where near being ready to conceive again. That is what they feel is best for them. Each person is very different and everyone handles things differently.
Could you have another miscarriage?
Well I never had a miscarriage. I was days shy of being 8 months pregnant with Janessa. She was stillborn. I did not “miscarry” her. I gave birth to her. A miscarriage is before 20 weeks pregnant. I was in labor longer with her than my son. A lot of people have assumed she was delivered via c-section. That is not the case. Very shortly after we found out her heart was no longer beating I was induced with pitocin. Once again my epidural did not take and I gave birth naturally without any pain relief and with additional brutal pain from the abruption. I cannot explain in words how painful the abruption & labor was.
Are you considered high risk now?
Yes. Due to the placenta abruption & the high blood pressure that was discovered the day Janessa died, I am now a high risk pregnancy. Everyone’s risk of abruption, even without high blood pressure, is 1%. I was that lucky one. Since I have had one my risk is now elevated to 15%. Please remember that I did not have a history of high blood pressure previous to the abruption. It was discovered when I went to the hospital that day of the abruption & it has never regulated itself back to normal. They believe I developed what they call PIH, pregnancy induced hypertension. I may now have chronic high blood pressure but only time will tell that for sure. I have been taking medication to regulate it since losing Janessa. Having high blood pressure puts me in increased risk for developing preeclampsia.
What will be done differently with this pregnancy?
Quite a bit. I will only be seen by a high risk ob (perinatologist). I will be seen more often than usual. I have had and will have 24 hour urine tests (PIH labs) done to establish a baseline & then to determine any changes. I will have many ultrasounds & non stress tests probably starting in my 6 month. This will help monitor the baby’s growth & to check on the heart rate & especially the blood flow from the placenta. All this extra monitoring of the baby & myself is done as a precaution to catch anything that may be going on before it becomes too serious.
I am hoping to receive the progesterone shots throughout my pregnancy and if problems arise I will be given the steroid shot. If my blood pressure rises to a level of concern or I develop preeclampsia there is a chance of early delivery. I will be delivering at a hospital with a level 3 NICU.
Will you be induced?
This goes back to the previous question. I will be induced if problems arise. If the pregnancy goes without complications I have made a personal decision to request to be induced at around 37 weeks. After all we have been through there comes a point where I believe the baby will be safer out than in. This is still a discussion to be had between us and our OB. We will cross that bridge when its time. I need to focus on getting to that point.
Are things better now that you are pregnant?
Tricky question. Being pregnant has not taken ANY of the pain of losing Janessa away. This baby will not erase the fact that one of our children lays in a cemetery & is not here with us. Our grief has changed due to time & to the attention & work we have put into to mourning, grieving & memorializing our daughter’s memory and the love we have for her. We have made progress into enjoying life again. Every day is still a challenge and I have to consciously choose to keep pushing on.
I think some may like to think we are “all better now”. I think it helps them feel more comfortable. Nothing will make the death of my daughter ok. This baby is not here to heal us.
What this pregnancy has done is give us something to look forward to. It has given us some extra motivation to keep working on being fully happy again. How can we ever be fully happy again after one of our children died? I am still learning if thats possible. Our son has kept us going & this baby just gives us an extra push. The pregnancy has brought some more joy and excitement into our lives. It has us looking to our future and all the possibilities again. Although our lives will never be what we dreamed it would be, we can do everything we can to make sure it is still all it can be, for us and our children.
Learning to start moving forward without our daughter here is a challenge. Starting that process was hard. Taking those first few steps were scary because it almost felt like we would be leaving her behind. She will always be with us no matter how much time passes.
Are you hoping for a girl?
Please see this post for this answer.
What about Janessa’s room & items?
It still sits in limbo.
It has been cleaned up a bit over the past year. I put her already organized clothes into bins according to sizes. I went in a few weeks ago & dusted the years worth of dust off of all her items. I even steamed cleaned her rug. Early nesting I think.
In the beginning when we lost Janessa I hoped that if we had another it would be a girl so I would not have to get rid of Janessa’s things or have to paint over her nursery. The thought of it would put me into hysterics. As time has gone by I have developed a feeling that it is her room and if we have another girl all those things were not meant for her, they were meant for Janessa. That theme was picked out for her not this baby. I am torn. This baby deserves to have it prepared for as well. Will I ever be able to look at that room as another baby's? I just don't know. I have thought about redoing the room either way if it’s a girl or a boy. In reality most likely I will keep it the same for a little girl. I really don’t think I could handle the destruction of it all. I think that maybe it would be nice that as sisters it would be something shared in a sense.
If it’s a boy I am not sure when any of the changes in the room would be made. A part of me still has a hard time believing this baby will be coming home with us. We were burned once & there are walls up for protection. In the beginning I thought that when we had another baby, and if it was a boy, I would not touch Janessa’s room until the baby was home with us. I do not know where I stand now on this issue.
We find out tomorrow morning the gender so I will leave this decision up in the air until I may or may not have to make it.
I am an open book. Losing my daughter destroyed me & I have had to rebuild myself from scratch. Being this open is new for me. I am glad I made the decision to blog through this. If anything can come from this all I am hoping some understanding and awareness has been shed.
Since I did not take questions as so many other bloggers have, if there are any you would like answered feel free to leave a question in a comment below. Anonymously if you wish ;)