I was recently placed on bedrest for my pregnancy after loss (PAL). The weight of the twin girls was putting too much strain on my cervix, which caused it to dramatically shorten in a small amount of time. All of this was discovered at a routine 24-week scan. Now I am hoping to live out the next 13 weeks of my life at home on the sofa, to give these little ladies more time. I am a bereaved mother on bedrest.
Guilt has been a primary emotion felt during my reign as “Queen of the Sofa.” Right now, our focus is to give the girls as much time as possible on the inside. Because of that, I feel like I have been neglecting their older brother, Asher. I have been laying around spending time crocheting little items for the girls, religiously counting their kicks and marking each one down in my App, going to weekly doctor appointments, and making lists of what else needs to be done to prepare for their (hopeful) arrival.
Related: Grief with a Heaping Side of Guilt
The prime focus of each and every day has been these babies. But what about the one who came before them? I’ve found that my ability to “do” things for my stillborn son has dwindled. Recently, I was unable to attend a few events for loss families due to my bedrest restriction. The primary topic of conversations now seems to be, “How I am doing with regard to this pregnancy,” not “how I am doing regarding the tragic loss of my son only 16 months ago”.
As a bereaved mother on bedrest, my biggest fear is that Asher will be forgotten. I am overjoyed to be pregnant again, after almost a year of trying and various fertility treatments, but I am terrified that this pregnancy will cause Asher to fade from the minds of so many. Already, so much of my focus has been on his little sisters and their safe arrival, that it makes me panicked to think that Asher will be pushed even further into the past.
I was discussing this fear and guilt with another loss mom, who is also currently pregnant after the loss of her firstborn. Her response was perfect. She said that she understands the guilt but has found that with Pregnancy After Loss sometimes we have to focus our energy on our current pregnancy, more so than the child we lost, but that is normal. As loss moms, we know the worst-case scenario. We know that nothing is guaranteed. We know that we will never forget the child/ren we lost or allow others to do the same. Sometimes, we just have to focus our attention on getting through our current pregnancy with its various complications and fears. It doesn’t mean we miss them any less; it just means that we hope this pregnancy ends in a different outcome and are doing all we can to try to ensure that.
What are some of the emotions you’ve felt during Pregnancy After Loss?
Amy Lied is a wife and a mother to her son, Asher, who was inexplicably born still on February 19th, 2017 and twin daughters. Before losing Asher, she suffered a miscarriage and struggled with unexplained infertility. She has documented her journey from the beginning of her infertility struggles on her blog, Doggie Bags Not Diaper Bags. She is also a co-founder of The Lucky Anchor Project , an online resource for loss families that houses an Etsy store whose profits are donated to loss family non-profit organizations. She hopes to help others by sharing her journey as she continues to navigate the bumpy road that is life after loss.