My Rainbow Baby: Pregnancy After Loss

By Cheree Sheldon

*** Trigger warning – baby loss ***

That feeling that you get when you see the double lines on the pregnancy test is pretty indescribable: part nerves, joy, fear, bliss, pride and amazement all rolled into one. Then the blow that comes if you miscarry is just devastating. For me, I had my first baby without any worries, but I was one of 10% of women who get “secondary infertility”, where it is a struggle to have another baby.

Repeated early miscarriages took their toll emotionally, but I had the notion like many women that a loss before 12 weeks is almost expected.

I really longed to have another baby. During this time I was studying nutrition and naturopathy, so focused all my studies on anything that would be relevant to fertility, pregnancy and parenting. I had a great preconception plan and before long was pregnant once more.

The first twelve weeks were pretty intense, but we got through and were starting to prepare for our baby girl’s arrival. At 29 weeks I had some pains and it was discovered she was very small. At 31 weeks, they looked again and said she is still very small, but said “look, she’s very active, you will be right”. At 32 weeks, she stopped moving and had died in utero.

Delivering Erika was the hardest thing I have ever done. We found out I had a clot in my placenta and this was linked to the gene polymorphism MTHFR. My husband and I were completely shattered. If it wasn’t for our daughter, I’m not sure how we would have survived.

But time went on, and we began to discuss the possibility of another baby. I knew the time was right, after I got my period and was sad, even though we weren’t trying. So after another lengthy preconception period, which included tweaks to our diets, exercise, supplements, herbs, counselling, yoga, mindfulness, acupressure and meditation (the regime was pretty full on, but I wanted no stone left unturned), and once we felt ready to try to conceive, we fell pregnant again. First go!

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