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Challenge: Pregnancy and Infant Loss

PTSD After Multiple Miscarriages

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My husband and I decided it was time to try again, and we were excited. After experiencing two miscarriages and one ectopic pregnancy, we were hopeful that this was our time. I put a lot of time into working on my diet, exercising regularly, taking the proper vitamins. A few friends asked me if I was ready, and I always replied with the same answer, ”yes, of course.”

A few weeks into trying, I started feeling the weight of my decision. I didn't understand quite what I was feeling, but it was more than the normal anxious feelings that all women feel while waiting to take that first pregnancy test. I started to overthink every little thing that I ate or did; every cramp sent me into panic mode and starting my period even a day early caused me to fall on my knees and wonder if it was happening again.

When we lost our third baby, I didn’t even know I was pregnant. I randomly started bleeding in the middle of my cycle, and a feeling of worry went over my body that I couldn’t explain. I told myself it was reasonable to feel this way after two miscarriages. Unexpected bleeding will always trigger a little PTSD. I decided to purchase a pregnancy test in hopes that if my eyes saw proof that nothing was wrong, my brain and body would both relax. That night I took the pregnancy test I was completely unprepared for the result that I read - Positive. I retested the following morning, and the result remained the same.

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The fears and emotions that I thought moved far away and never to return suddenly were my next-door neighbors. I thought I was ready to try again, but the PTSD that I felt previously was back. I couldn't sleep; I couldn't stop replaying what it felt like the first time I heard ”there is no heartbeat.” The memory of the overwhelm and heartbreak that I felt when I was rushed to have emergency surgery to remove the baby that was in the fallopian tube that I could not save was like an opened wound.

Over a few months, I became discouraged and withdrawn. I didn’t feel excitement but fear. Fear of losing another baby, fear of having another ectopic pregnancy, fear of losing my choice to try again. I realized that I was not ready, and it was time to take a step back.

It’s okay to admit that your experiences left you with a trauma that you have to work through. It’s okay to think you are ready to take a step forward but then realize the timing is wrong. It’s okay to change your mind, and it’s okay to feel whatever it is that you have to feel.

It's equally okay to realize after experiencing such trauma; you need help to heal, mend, and process. Even if you think you are okay, get the help anyways. It will only benefit you and your family.

My husband and I have chosen to continue waiting. We threw away our timeline and decided to live the beautiful life that we live together with our two miracle children. If the time is ever right, we will know. But for right now, I am focusing on my healing and my mental health. I can only be what my family and I need when I am healthy.

I encourage others not to make a judgment call to the families in your life who are in waiting.

Bring a coffee to your friend who has lost another baby. Cry with her, sit in silence with her, or leave that coffee on her doorstep with a note. Meeting them where they are is the best way for you to love and support them.

When you catch yourself deciding when another couple should start or stop having children, remember that you do not know the road they are walking, and your opinion will only act as a roadblock. No one likes or appreciates roadblocks.

Article originally appeared here https://filterfreeparents.com/...

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