I am incredibly grateful to the soon to be first time Mama for sharing so generously and openly about her chronic health conditions, the loss of her first pregnancy last year, and her journey with her second pregnancy, now at 26 weeks gestation. When I read her 26 week diary entry, I saw that she experienced a miscarriage prior to this, and asked her if she was comfortable elaborating.
I hope you get as much out of this as I do. Thank you again Mama.
I wondered how you would feel about sharing more details around your previous pregnancy loss?
I don’t mind sharing at all. So I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and the treatment for that consists of certain medications that are not compatible with getting pregnant as they harm the baby. So before I even attempted to get pregnant I had to come off my medications for 3 months prior. With RA being worse in winter I literally planned it with the seasons so I stopped in August, to mean coming into Summer I would hopefully conceive quickly. Although we didn’t know if that was the case, as I also have Endometriosis.
I was really lucky to conceive first time in November but that ended in December at only 5 weeks. I think the worst thing was I felt responsible because I felt like my body had failed me (this is also a common feeling with chronic disease). I was also really surprised about how upset I was considering I was so early. Being a nurse I knew the medical stuff but never considered the emotional stuff.
We were so lucky to again conceive straight after that miscarriage, however the first trimester my anxiety about losing it was 10/10.
Constantly thinking at anytime the pregnancy would fail. That was really hard. I couldn’t bring myself to even look at baby stuff till about 16 weeks.
So here we are at 26 weeks, and then baby is measuring small (not uncommon with RA) and now dealing with my joints starting to play up again. It’s a constant mind game of ‘is my disease harming my baby’ and also being pregnant but also dealing with the joint pain that’s unseen to everyone around you.
I think if I could give any advice it would be… to try and trust your body can do it even after a loss/trouble conceiving. Which is so hard because that also means giving up a sense of control.
If after reading this you’d be happy to share your own experience of pregnancy, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to send you one of these pages (or you can send a photo of your own pregnancy journal).