Pregnancy After Loss

December 27, 2013

The Truth About Gestational Diabetes
A Miscarriage Story
That time I had a freebirth at the Hospital
Now Trending:
We're Maryn + Margo

We are mamas and birth workers who decided to do birth differently– and bring others along with us. We are kind, fun to work with, and great at (lovingly) calling people on their bullshit. With 12 children and 20 years of midwifery between us, we’ve learned a thing or two along the way, and Indie Birth is our space to share it all with you.


Grab our free guides!
Free Doula Mini Course
The Student Midwife Primer

I haven’t written anything new in a while now because for the last two months I’ve been in the midst of my own pregnancy experiences again, waiting until I actually felt like I had something I could say about any of it. It’s hard to write about pregnancy and birth from a third party perspective while I’m in it, and I didn’t think a whole post just about how terrified I’ve been would have been too useful. So as I round the corner into the second trimester, I wanted to share my experiences so far dealing with pregnancy after previous loss.

After my first two pregnancies ended in loss (9 weeks and 10 weeks) this pregnancy has been challenging in all of the ways I expected it would be and then some. I can’t speak for everyone that has lost a baby, but I know that many of the things I’ve gone though are common, not that it makes it any easier. There are the classic fixtures of course – checking the toilet paper every time you go to the bathroom, going to the bathroom JUST to check the toilet paper, anxiety as the mileposts from previous losses approach, nightmares about bleeding and losing the baby, feeling less willing to connect with the baby in case they die too, and just the general sense of being completely out of control. I’m also still dealing with a new facet of this experience this time which is that I am using supplemental progesterone, so this is now this added fear that making the wrong decisions about when to stop using it will cause this baby to die too, and that then it really will be my fault. Once we get a taste of “control” it is a double edged sword.

But beyond all of these aspects of pregnancy after loss that get talked about amongst due date clubs and online forums, there are two things that I’ve really started feeling that I haven’t heard much about. As someone who is very much a part of the holistic pregnancy and birth world, there is this added sense of guilt about having sought medical advice and using medical tools to maintain this pregnancy as well as get myself through this period of time with some semblance of mental sanity. Like I said before, I have been using supplemental progesterone since finding out my levels were incredibly low based on several different results. I also saw a reproductive endocrinologist to run all the recurrent miscarriage labs that I wanted done. Then at 9 weeks I caved and got an u/s because my intense anxiety was getting to be too much for me, and the many benefits of knowing what was happening began to outweigh the ultrasound risks for me.

In our classes we talk about Susan Weed’s Wise Woman Tradition as well as the Six Steps of Healing she sets forth, and how we can apply those to pregnancy and birth. The six steps start with doing nothing, and end with highly techno-medical options like surgery. The full spectrum really is available to us, and it is up to us as women to decide what steps to take and when. We are the only ones who can make those decisions, and sometimes we are the only ones who can understand why we made those decisions. That is the heart of empowered decision making, and sometimes it is really hard and really scary to break the mold in either direction. And when our confidence has been shaken through experiences of loss, it can be especially hard to set aside fear and doubt, and to feel sure about ourselves in our decision making.

The other piece that I’ve struggled with during this pregnancy is this sense that I need to “fix” my anxiety and get back to the bliss of being pregnant before my miscarriages. I’ve felt like something was wrong with me since I couldn’t get it under control, and I fought against the feelings with herbs, essential oils, therapy, meditation, and acupuncture. Honestly, while there have been moments of relief, nothing has really worked, because it is not possible for me to feel that way this time, right now. And guess what? That is ok. Sure, it has been uncomfortable, and has interfered with my life, and has made things pretty miserable for my sweet partner that has had to hear me whine and cry and mope around for months. But that is how it is, and there is strength and power in accepting that and carrying on with life as best we can in the meantime. Sometimes the only way out is through.

I have been so humbled through my 3 pregnancy experiences so far. They have brought me to a place I never would have come on my own. It is a place of humility, of surrender, and complete openness to all possibility. I hope that this pregnancy ends with a healthy, happy baby, but I know that there is only so much I can do. For this pregnancy I just want to continue making the best choices I can, coping with my feelings however I need to (or not as the case may be) and to not be afraid to connect to this baby and my community just because I still feel a lack of certainty. Nobody has certainty, some of us just get the opportunity to see that a little more intensely. As someone who attends births, I know that that surrender is important to the birth process as well as mothering, so I am grateful I have learned as much of that lesson as I already have.

So as much as I would trade back my losses if that meant I could have my babies here with me today, because of them I have been blessed with more tools and confidence as a woman, a sister and as a mother, and for that I am grateful.

+ show Comments

- Hide Comments

add a comment

  1. JKT says:

    Thank you so much for your piece. I am trying to get pregnant again after two miscarriages that were quite difficult to pass, and I’ve also found out that I have a blood clotting issue. So now I’m on baby aspirin and will be on lovenox injections and progesterone if I get pregnant again. It is so hard being committed to a holistic healing path and also having to plan for injections… I honestly get freaked out even typing it. Related to what you said about anxiety – I am feeling that even more from the moment of possible conception. I have gotten pelvic pain and intense sensation before miscarriage and I am now worried about overexerting myself even just after conception. My husband said it’s highly unlikely that miscarriage would happen like that, but that is not my experience. Like you wrote about – we’ve lost the innocence of pregnancy where a worry ends up being nothing and “just fine.” It all feels like too much sometimes, especially considering that I have an autoimmune pelvic condition that made sex very painful for years (thankfully Medical Medium protocols have helped greatly). I now find myself seeking out powerful miscarriage stories as some sort of comfort that I’m not alone. Sending you support!

  2. Kelsey says:

    Thank you for sharing. I find myself in the same place, and it’s so hard for my mind and heart to settle. Can I be happy, excited? Those emotions are cut to the quick with bitter sweet memories of previous joy and loss. Makes me feel a little more sane to know I’m not alone. Thank you <3

  3. Margo Blackstone says:

    I’m glad you found some solace here <3!

  4. Sarah Kustic says:

    Margo, this is beautifully written and thank you so much for sharing.

  5. Rachael says:

    I needed to hear this and be reassured by someone else that’s it’s ok to be worried. I feel unusually calm most of the time and that feels great but I also wonder if it’s some sort of self preservation mode I’ve gone into for the ‘just in case’ scenario.

    Only time can tell and for that I know I need patience.

    Thank you dear sweet Margo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

so hot right now

Meet the duo behind Indie Birth

We are mamas and midwives who decided to do birth differently– and bring others along with us. We are radical, fun to work with, and great at (lovingly) calling people on their bullshit to help move us all towards a new more beautiful world. With 12 children and over two decades of midwifery between us, we’ve learned a thing or two along the way, and Indie Birth is our space to share it all with you.

Read Our Story

Margo and Maryn

Taking Back Birth Podcast

Listen now

The Podcast

Visit the
T-Shirt Shop

Shop Now

The Shop

More Amazing Resources

Indie Birth Private contract association | Terms of membership

Want the latest tips, resources, and success stories (with some ancient wisdom sprinkled in) sent straight to your inbox?

Indie Birth offers radical midwifery perspectives and resources for powerful birthing women and aspiring birth workers. We provide educational courses, inspirational content, and coaching.


Head to the blog >

@Indiebirth >

follow along 
on Instagram: