March is Pregnancy After Loss Awareness Month
and we honor all of the parents living in the “and”. Holding space for both the joy, and the grief. The excitement, and the fear. The looking towards the future with hope and the looking back honoring their grief.
It can be so difficult to live in the in between. To hold such contrasts of emotions, and yet we’re capable of feeling such a range of emotions at the exact same time. The terror of what could happen and the excitement and joy of what IS happening.
Let’s honor and acknowledge all of the emotions that grieving and expecting parents hold.
Clients have described subsequent pregnancy after loss as a 9 month long panic attack. The feeling of holding breath for 40 weeks. Of not feeling able to bond or connect with this baby until certain milestones have passed: 1st trimester, 1st ultrasound, genetic testing, etc. A constant feeling of protecting of one’s heart, second guessing every decision (will buying a car seat now doom me to have a bad outcome? Should I wait?)
It’s a lot to manage, and these are impossible decisions.
We know that having a pregnancy loss increases your chances for having a Perinatal Mood or Anxiety Disorder (PMAD) like depression, anxiety or OCD when having a baby in the future. How could it not? With everything you’re holding at once, it’s so much to process. So much for the heart to bear.
Whether you have experienced a reproductive loss and are currently pregnant, or know someone who is, you are not alone.
Some good places to go for support are:
To all the parents who are holding both joy and grief at the same time, we honor you and your children. We celebrate your rainbow babies and grieve your babies gone too soon.