October is Pregnancy Awareness Month and I have experienced a pregnancy loss. It was an extremely rough time for me and I know it is a topic that doesn't get nearly enough discussion. A miscarriage or pregnancy loss can affect so many areas of our lives. One area I did not think about was how the miscarriage affected bonding with my baby later on. I wanted to share my experience with this in hopes of helping someone else who may have this occur!
How My Miscarriage Affected Bonding With My Baby
When I got pregnant again after my pregnancy loss I was ecstatic. It was exactly what I wanted, but I didn't expect the anxiety that came along with the pregnancy. I was SCARED to death I was going to miscarry again. I found myself just trying not to think about the pregnancy to keep the worry down.
I did everything I could to ensure a healthy pregnancy physically, but emotionally it was a hard time. Each stage of the pregnancy was something I had to GET THROUGH instead of just sit back and enjoy. I was just trying to come out of this time period with a healthy, living baby.
Looking back…I am sad that I had so much fear and anxiety. This was my last pregnancy….my last baby and I barely remember those 9 months at all. The worry created a fog for me.
We knew we were having a scheduled c-section. I knew when we would meet our daughter and I couldn't wait. I didn't even realize the depth of my disconnect until after she was born.
I remember this feeling of raw fear deep in my gut while the doctor was bringing her out….was she really going to be okay? I knew in my head that the sonograms had been normal, but it wasn't enough to really reassure me. All I could think was….is she okay? The second the doctor pulled her out, before I could even see her….I was asking…is she okay? Is she okay?
Day One and Reality Hits
Our sweet little girl was born in the morning. That first day was fine….she was nursing well. Our older kids were over the moon for her. I was feeling the typical effects of having a new baby and a major surgery all in one day.
That evening reality hit me. I was laying in my hospital bed holding this blessing in my arms. I looked at her chubby little face and realized….I had not allowed myself to love her yet. I had not allowed my heart to open up to her during the entire pregnancy or even during those first hours of her life. I was still afraid I was going to lose her like I had lost the last baby.
I broke down crying. I kissed her face and apologized to her for holding back. It was then that the flood gates opened and all that mommy love poured out.
You Don't Always Know What Your Heart is Doing
I never consciously made a choice to hold back my feelings during this pregnancy. I wanted this baby. So why not love her in utero? The subconscious fear of loss was something I couldn't control.
It never occurred to me that my miscarriage affected bonding with my new baby so much. No one told me that this was a possibility. It has been almost four years since she was born and no worries….we are bonded now and have been since reality set in that first night of her life. I grew from this experience. I learned how strong fear can be. I am so glad I have been able to let that go!
What is your story? I would love to talk with you about your experiences. Have you had a miscarriage that affected your future bonding? You can read about my pregnancy loss HERE.