Mental health Pregnancy after baby loss

When pregnancy is a struggle

A blurry and black and white photograph of a pregnant lady _ including the title "when pregnancy is a struggle" _ Mrs H's favourite things

It is difficult to admit that something you have yearned for desperately has been a struggle.

A blurry and black and white photograph of a pregnant lady _ including the title "when pregnancy is a struggle" _ Mrs H's favourite things

Ever since Little Miss H has been a few months old, I have wanted a second baby.

The miscarriages that followed just made my desperation for that child more intense. Each loss took us further away from our longed for second child. But each loss made me more determined that we needed to become a family of four.

During that heartbreak I would never allow myself to hope that I would be where I am now. Almost 35 weeks pregnant. And with the finishing line in sight.

If I had allowed myself to see this pregnancy in my future, then I am sure that I would have seen a pregnancy full of joy.

The reality has been very different. And it is terrible to say that something you wanted with every fibre of your being has been a struggle.

The anxiety and fear of the first trimester was overwhelming. I couldn’t feel excited or happy about being pregnant.  Any scares or scans filled me with fear. I expected to be told that we had lost the baby. And even though the scans were always positive. I could not help but feel that we had been here before. That we were stuck in a terrible loop that we could not escape from.

The 12 week scan left me in physical shock. And at that point we announced the pregnancy publicly. But I still could not relax. The tears weren’t so frequent but the anxiety would not go.

I only truly began to relax after I had passed 24 weeks and knew if our baby decided to arrive early then he would have a chance.

But I now find myself feeling very emotional once again

I am impatient with Little Miss H. I am irritable with Mr H. And I cry at some point on most days.

Mornings have become increasingly difficult. And on some days I struggle to get up and face the world.

I wish that I could crawl back into our comfy, warm, safe and inviting bed. And spend the rest of the pregnancy in a healing and numbing sleep.

Sometimes the enormity of being pregnant with our second baby feels overwhelming. Especially after everything we have been through to get here.

But the arrival of Little Mister H approaches and I have decided that I don’t want to feel overwhelmed anymore.

I have accepted that I am struggling and that this pregnancy has been difficult. And I know that I need to admit how I truly feel.

Not out of shame, or a desire for sympathy but because I am sure that I am not the only woman who is feeling this way. And if you do share these feelings then I want to throw my arms around you and give you a big hug. Because you’re doing great. As am I.

But I know that the only way I can defeat these feelings is by acknowledging them and accepting them for what they are. They are negative feelings, they are not facts and they do not control my life.

So here I am admitting that I am struggling.

I am struggling with pregnancy.

I am not as excited or filled with happiness as I was when I was pregnant with Little Miss H. Although I love the few bits that we have bought Little Mister H I am reluctant to fill his room with all his tiny belongings. And I know that I haven’t allowed myself to bond with my unborn son in fear of the heartbreak of losing him.

I am struggling as a mother.

Poor Little Miss H is already being neglected. She is not receiving the love and attention that I wanted to give her before Little Mister H’s arrival. Instead, mummy is impatient, snappy and often emotional. There have been too many PJ days and too few trips to the park. And CBeebies in on the TV all the time.

I am struggling as a wife.

I am not giving Mr H the support he needs and I am not pulling my weight. Every day the house is a tip. I can not get motivated to do all the dozens of chores that need to be done before Baby Boy is born. My default settings are either constant moaning or crying.

I am taking and taking from my wonderful husband and not giving anything in return.

I am struggling as a daughter, sister, family member and friend.

There have been forgotten birthdays. Messages I have not replied to. Phone calls that I have not made.

But mostly, I am struggling because I am fearful.

I always knew that pregnancy and being a mum would not be easy. That even though I am on the maximum dosage of antidepressants, I still have an extremely high risk of having pre or post natal depression.

And I fear that this may be the future ahead of us.

I was lucky with Little Miss H. I seemed to survive unscathed. And in some ways becoming a mother made me stronger and helped me take greater control over my mental health.

Maybe this difficult pregnancy has rocked the boat. Maybe this time I won’t survive unscathed. Maybe this time the odds aren’t in my favour.

And I wonder what that will mean for us as a family. And I am fearful. For my unborn child. For my daughter. For my husband.

I don’t want us to start this new chapter fearful of the black clouds overhead.

So I am doing the only thing that I know will destroy that fear. I am doing what I need to do to take control.

I am reaching out for support.

I am asking for love, understanding and patience from my husband, daughter, family and friends.

I am asking for additional support from my midwife, health visitor and local mental health services.

My midwife and my health visitor will visit me weekly for as long as needed once the baby is born.

I am looking into having Cognitive Behavioural Therapy once again. As a I know it can give me the mental tools that I need to survive daily.

And in writing this, and admitting that this pregnancy has sucked and that at this moment life is tough, I feel like I am taking control. I am pushing the fear away and I am doing what I need to make sure I can cope with whatever life throws at us.

And in a few weeks time when Little Mister H is born, I am going to love him so much. The excitement that I have kept at bay will escape and I will be filled with joy and love for my growing family.

And the wonderful reward of being able to welcome our sweet baby boy into this world will be all that matters.

A blurry and black and white photograph of a pregnant lady _ including the title "when pregnancy is a struggle" _ Mrs H's favourite things

Hugs

Lucy

xxxx

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43 Comments

  • Reply
    Katy Stevens
    March 11, 2017 at 9:48 am

    I’m glad that the time is over for you now and your lovely little boy is here safe. I felt the same during my pregnancy to be honest! Nice to know I wasn’t alone x

  • Reply
    Claire.
    February 22, 2017 at 9:52 am

    So brave of you to write this – a dear friend of mine is struggling with anxiety at the moment, it came on in pregnancy and has lingered – but she’s found some help, and says the best things for her is knowing that support is there. We all dream that pregnancy will be perfect, that we’ll then all be the perfect parent and our child will be similarly perfect – the pressure we put on ourself to achieve, to ‘glow’ can never be healthy. Surround yourself with love, and do not be ashamed of how you feel. Much love xxx

  • Reply
    Candice
    January 15, 2017 at 6:38 am

    I applaud you writing this post… i am currently 29 weeks pregnant, and feel dead guilty and ashamed that i’m not enjoying it like i did the first time, with my struggles i faced between the Timothy’s birth and this one, left me in huge doubt and very anxious the first 4-5 months! I’ve wanted to share my feelings about this pregnancy but scared of what i actually might right. your post has now given me some strength and inspiration to share my own pregnancy story. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Sarah - @threedinners
    July 12, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    This baby is going to be so precious after all you’ve been through and you’ve recognised that you’re finding it tough and you’ve asked for help which is brilliant! I look back at my last pregnancy and think a lot of my thoughts were skewed because of hormones. I cried at the second scan because it was clear I was having a boy. I suddenly felt I didn’t want a boy and couldn’t love him. I found an email to a friend asking in all honesty if she actually loved her son. Now that kind of thinking I can only put down to crazy hormones. I adore both my children but your brain can play tricks on you. Xxx

  • Reply
    Topfivemum
    July 11, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    For anyone who’s been through miscarriage(s), pregnancy can be a rollercoaster of a ride. You feel you should be happy, you want to get excited, and everyone is excited for you, and yet you can’t breathe for fear. I ate my way through both my successful pregnancies and was relieved when both babies were perfectly healthy. Until he’s in your arms, I know you can’t relax. No one can tell you to go easy on yourself but do know that the people who matter understand. They’ll be there for you through thick and thin, more than you know. And well done for seeking the extra help when you need it most. I times like these I always remind myself that people like to feel needed and like to help. Somtimes being a good friend/mother/wife means letting them help.

    All the best my lovely – you have everyone’s heartfelt support xx

  • Reply
    natalie
    June 23, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Ah lovely I know you must be fed up of hearing it but you are almost there..and when you have your gorgeous baby in your arms it will all be worth it. I hate to admit that I hated both of my pregnancies, I feel terrible for saying that as I know I am so lucky and carrying a child is such a gift but I was tired, sick, grumpy and not great to be around but now I have my girls and watching them together I would do it again in a heartbeat.

    Good luck #marvmondays x

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      June 29, 2016 at 8:38 am

      Thank you for your lovely comment. I think it is so important that even though you realise how blessed you are, pregnancy can still really suck. It is difficult and affects you emotionally and physically. I can’t wait to have Little Mister H in my arms soon. I am sure at the moment, all the fears and anxiety of this pregnancy will melt away and be forgotten. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Crummy Mummy
    June 21, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    Oh I feel for you – I had two miscarriages between BB and Little B and felt exactly the same with my pregnancy with him. I just couldn’t enjoy it and it was the longest nine months of my life. When he was born it was literally like a great weight was lifted off my shoulders. Hopefully it will be for you toox #marvmondays
    Crummy Mummy recently posted…5 reasons why every family should have a dogMy Profile

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      June 29, 2016 at 8:44 am

      Thanks for your lovely message. I am sure that once Little Mister H is here I will be able to relax and be happy. But until that moment, I still don’t think I can believe that it is really happening. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Alex Lamb & Bear
    June 21, 2016 at 3:57 am

    Oh lovely, well done for getting this off your chest, you’re brave and strong sand a wonderful mother and wife and don’t ever think otherwise. x

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      June 29, 2016 at 8:49 am

      Awwww, lovely. Thanks so much. Being honest about how I felt really helped. And I have had such a positive response to this post. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    MMT
    June 20, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    Hello. It’s been a long time since I passed by your blog so your pregnancy is news to me – and I am so happy for you, having remembered your past posts about reccurrent miscarriage.
    As a mother who has been through traumatic loss during pregnancy, I can very much connect with what you have written. My last healthy pregnancy was hard in every sense – i couldn’t believe it was going to be a happy ending and it was hard to get excited. Almost two years on it’s hard to remember that time – now with two healthy daughters and a very happy home.
    Keep going, the future is bright, and you can do this.
    xx
    #Marvmondays

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      June 29, 2016 at 8:52 am

      Thank you for your lovely comment and for the congratulations. I think you are completely right. I can’t quite believe it is going to happen. Even though I am now almost 37 weeks pregnant. I just can’t wait until I have my baby in my arms and I know that everything is going to be okay. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Life as Mum
    June 20, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Oh bless you lovely! I love honest posts like this. I can relate with some bits in this post.
    You know where I am if you want to message lovely.
    #MarvMondays

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      June 29, 2016 at 9:02 am

      Thanks lovely. That is so kind of you. I think it is really important to write honest posts like this. Because it is important for women to know that their feelings are only natural and that they are not alone. Much love Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    AC
    June 20, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Hello!
    I read myself in your words, and I feel for you so much; sending you love and support. I had two miscarriages before my baby, and I am aging faster than having a second will allow. Give yourself kudos, you’ve made it this far! Please please please be kind to yourself, you’re fearful and worried, and of course that changes how you are in the everyday. (As an aside, cognitive therapy works and I highly recommend it). I have no doubt whatsoever that you are and will remain a great woman, a loving Mumma, a supportive partner and all that’s in between. Sending love and support XO

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      June 29, 2016 at 9:07 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment. It brought tears to my eyes. I am sorry to hear about your miscarriages. It is heartbreaking to lose a baby and it does make you so fearful in pregnancy. But you are right I have made it this far and I should be proud of myself. Hopefully, it won’t be long until Little Mister H is in my arms and all these fears and worries will be a distant memory. And I totally agree about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. I had it years ago and it helped so much. I am trying to follow as many of the techniques as I can at the moment. Thank you again for your very kind comment and massive love to you. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Something Crunchy Mummy
    June 20, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    Your not weak to admit this as when your pregnant with your second, without the loses you have had, it’s hard work. I was like you with my second pregnancy that I was short patienced with Finley and I struggled but you sound like you have amazing support and will get through. #MarvMondays xx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      June 29, 2016 at 9:09 am

      Thanks lovely. I had no idea that being pregnant with a toddler would be so hard. I think I had forgotten how much rest I was able to get when I was pregnant with Little Miss H. I do feel sorry for her because i am such a grumpy mummy. But I am really trying to put her first and ignore everything else. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Kaye
    June 20, 2016 at 11:43 am

    Hi love, hope you’re feeling a bit better now! I commented when you originally posted a couple of days ago but just coming back over from #MarvMondays to let you know I’m here for you. Kaye xo

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      June 29, 2016 at 9:10 am

      Thanks lovely. You are so kind. Massive hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Emma
    June 20, 2016 at 8:51 am

    Such a wonderful and brave post. I hope that you manage to feel better over the last couple of weeks of your pregnancy. Don’t be hard on yourself, you are doing a really hard job, that is already emotionally draining without everything you have been through in the past. Sending big hugs xxx #marvmondays

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      June 29, 2016 at 9:13 am

      Thanks so much for your kind comment. It is hard and a struggle. And that is why I wanted to be open and honest in this post. But as the due date approaches, I am beginning to feel better. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Colette
    June 19, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    Even without everything you have been through, being 35 weeks pregnant with another child to look after is damn hard work love. The housework will wait, a few hours of CBeebies won’t harm and you are so so brave for admitting this to yourself.
    I hope you’re able to take some pleasure in these final weeks of pregnancy and that life eases when the little man makes his long awaited appearance x
    Colette recently posted…Keeping nits at bay with KIT & COCO – reviewMy Profile

  • Reply
    Natalie
    June 19, 2016 at 8:02 am

    Firstly…. I feel your very brave for posting this that first step of reaching out is the hardest.. so that’s great and inspiring too and I wish you all the best in your journey towards wellbeing and motherhood withboth your children.

    Secondly, I feel quite the same, fear, confusion, fear that can isolate me at times…as I try and put on a brave face for the world as I struggle with the actual reality of my feelings/situation.

    So your blog post has come at right time for me. I hope I have the sane strength as you to ask for help/guidance.

    All the best for you and your family and thanks again… x

  • Reply
    Rachel
    June 16, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    I think you are very brave to admit that pregnancy isnt the joyful experience that you expected it to be. You are not alone, I felt very similar throughout my pregnancies both times and just wished that I could enjoy it. There was lots of things going on in my life through my second pregnancy which were simply depressing and I am not ashamed to say (and neither should you be) that I asked for help… it may be worth considering x

  • Reply
    Zoe Forde
    June 16, 2016 at 8:12 am

    Aww darling I am so sorry to hear that you have struggled to have a second child. This one you are carrying is a blessing. And I can’t wait until you can bring them into the world x

  • Reply
    Yummyblogger
    June 16, 2016 at 7:58 am

    Such an honest post, and I hope you feel a bit better for writing it… It sounds like you’re taking some positive steps to feel better which is great..

    I wanted to say that even though I haven’t been through half of what you’ve been through (miscarriages and depression) I’ve also found my second pregnancy tough… We were initially told that the baby was likely to have something seriously wrong, that held me back from bonding with him too. Hopefully everything will be ok but then I’ve also found being pregnant in my mid-30s, holding down a job and having a toddler generally tough!

    You’re doing great and I wish you all the best for the next few weeks xxx

  • Reply
    Lauren Belle du Brighton
    June 15, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    I really hope that the last few weeks are easier for you now you’ve reached out, and it is such a brave thing to do! Pregnancy isn’t all glowing and and flouncing around in maxi dresses enjoying it, especially not pregnancy when you have a little person to look after too!

    You are a wonderful mum and wife and you will rock being a mum to two!
    Lauren Belle du Brighton recently posted…Athena & Arlo – June 2016My Profile

  • Reply
    Katie Haydock
    June 15, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    I think that you are so brave to come out and saying it Lucy. Although the fact that we can grow our children is AMAZING – sometimes pregnancy is shit.
    Sometimes for other reasons too, but the fact always remains that pregnancy isn’t always plain sailing.
    But what you need to remember about this anxiety, Lucy, is that you feel the way you do because you care so, SO much and already love the bones of your little man.
    You are a perfect mummy because you love your babies so very much! Hang on in there – and well done for reaching out for help xXx

  • Reply
    Bella
    June 15, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    Try, if you can, to replace “struggling” with “coping”. Yes, you’re having to do lots of extra coping this time round. It’s not always the walk in the park that magazines and Instagram would have us believe and I’ve been there and empathise totally. But you ARE coping, really bloody well. So maybe it’s possible to put a positive spin on it and let “struggling” turn into “coping”? X

    Ps – I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that there’s no correlation between enjoyment of pregnancy and love for your baby.

  • Reply
    Jasmine
    June 15, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Well done for writing all this down and admitting to so much, but don’t be too hard on yourself. You are doing an amazing job of being a Mummy and growing a human!!
    You are going to have helped lots of people getting this out and I hope other struggling mummies can open up and talk about it all like you have!!!
    Stay positive and good luck, I’m sure you’ll be amazing! Xx

  • Reply
    jeremy@thirstydaddy
    June 15, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    acknowledging that you may need help and asking for it is a brave first step that many are afraid to take. Wishing you luck

  • Reply
    Rebecca | AAUBlog
    June 15, 2016 at 10:14 am

    sorry to her you are struggling. Don’t focus on what you aren’t doing though. You’re growing a human! x
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  • Reply
    Beth @ Twinderelmo
    June 15, 2016 at 9:42 am

    Oh Lucy. Where do I start… I hope that writing this has helped in some tiny way. I really struggled being pregnant with the girls as I was so poorly and ill and too was so anxious about the pregnancy. I hope the last few weeks are kind to you and the birth is very straight forward. Much love as always. You’re in the right hands xxx
    Beth @ Twinderelmo recently posted…Teletubbies ReviewMy Profile

  • Reply
    Kaye
    June 15, 2016 at 8:47 am

    Oh lovely, you’re not alone. I have been struggling with this second pregnancy and I haven’t got the loss of other babies hanging over my head too. You are so brave to open up like this and guilt is sadly something that will always be there. I’ve felt guilty of not enjoying pregnancy as much this time and not being able to give Archie 100% of myself and I’ve heard the same from alot of Mummy’s, and that’s without the worry you’ve had of loss before. Just wanted to say I’m here for you if you need anything at all and you’re not alone. Kaye xo

  • Reply
    Nat @ Intolerant Gourmand
    June 15, 2016 at 8:40 am

    Oh Lucy, I could have written this myself when I was pregnant with little dude!
    I had an easy pregnancy with my daughter, after falling easily pregnant, and took it for granted, til she arrived 6 weeks early and we spent weeks in hospital!
    When she was 2, we started trying for another, but it wasn’t easy this time! We just couldn’t fall pregnant. When we did, I suffered a miscarriage which rocked us and severely dented our confidence! 4 months later, I fell pregnant again, and knew instinctively something wasn’t right!
    At 12 weeks I suffered a severe ruptured ectopic, which saw me requiring emergency life saving surgery. At this point, they were dark dark days, and I didn’t really know how to go on.
    By some miracle, just 6 weeks after surgery, I fell pregnant with my son.
    And I freaked out! And I didn’t stop freaking out the whole pregnancy! At 8 weeks, a cyst on my ovary burst, and we all thought it was another ectopic. Then early contractions at 19 and 23 weeks saw me admitted for observation.
    I didn’t enjoy any of the pregnancy. I was wishing time away, praying we’d get to the end, whilst being snappy, irritable and stressed and not a good mum to my daughter as I couldn’t give her the attention she deserved and needed!
    Even at 8 days over, in full blown labour, I didn’t believe we’d be going home with a baby. Sounds crazy doesn’t it, but I truly believed we wouldn’t. We didn’t have anything ready as I didn’t want to jinx it. So much so, J had to go up in the attic at 3am on our return to find the Moses basket stand etc!
    All that fear, not knowing, not wanting to believe it is really happening, that uncertainty and not wanting to let your heart feel…..it all melts away when you hold that precious bundle for the first time!
    I sobbed more than I’ve ever sobbed when little dude was born in a very calm and drug free, easy and quick water birth. That first cuddle is imprinted on my heart for eternity! It unlocked all those fears and doubts and allowed me to become mummy again!

    I can’t tell you it’ll be ok, or don’t worry, because your feelings need to be acknowledged! But I can promise those first cuddles will be the medicine you’re searching for!

    Big hugs and lots of luck, you’re almost there Hun! Xxx

  • Reply
    Lisa (mummascribbles)
    June 15, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Oh Lucy, what a beautifully honest post. I so wish you could have had an easy pregnancy, that you could have spent more time being excited for and bonding with Little Mister H instead of being scared, worried and exhausted. Being pregnant with a second is so hard anyway and there are all sorts of guilt and emotions running wild. You are so very brave for admitting all of this and even braver for writing it down for the world to see. It sounds like you have wonderful support there in place for when baby boy comes, something we all need as a new mum let alone after having gone through what you have gone through. I am sending you so much love for these last few weeks of pregnancy and beyond. It will be so worth it when he is here and that time is so soon. Take care of yourself lovely and you know where we all are if you ever need to chat or get anything off of your chest xxx

  • Reply
    Kate / Pouting In Heels
    June 15, 2016 at 7:18 am

    I am so sorry that you are struggling Lucy. Pregnancy can be overwhelming and stressful at the best of times, nevermind after what you have been through to get to this point. But I’m so glad you’ve written about it and I’m so so glad you are asking for the help that you need. Be kind to yourself, whether you believe it or not you are doing GREAT!! And you know, it will all be so, so worth it in the end. Wishing you an easier and happier last few weeks. X

  • Reply
    Hannah Budding Smiles
    June 15, 2016 at 7:03 am

    Such an honest post lovely Lucy, well done for recognising where you’re struggling and for taking steps to regain the control. I had a rough pregnancy with Martha and on my worst spd days when I could barely move, I felt like such a failure to Toby. You’re growing a miracle, you’re doing great and you’ve got this xx

  • Reply
    ShoeboxofM
    June 15, 2016 at 6:40 am

    Thank you for sharing. I hope that in doing so and the steps you are taking you will get the support you need.

    Pregnancy after loss is a weird place to be and not enough people understand why. It’s posts like this that will help them to see why scans aren’t reassuring, empty platitudes hurt and why you won’t feel relaxed until the baby is out and safe and in your arms.

    I hope you have a team that will help you and take account of your real concerns with compassion not derision.

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      June 29, 2016 at 9:17 am

      Thank you so much for your comment. You have totally hit the nail on the head. Pregnancy after loss is very hard. I thought that the fears would disappear after the first trimester but they haven’t. I now realise that I will only start to relax when Little Mister H is at home with us. Hopefully then all this struggle will be a distant memory. And I am very blessed to have a fabulous support network and some great care from my midwife etc. I feel fully supported and that is so important. Hugs Lucy xxxx

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