Having a Baby after Loss

I have not yet shared here, on Wanted Chosen Planned, that I am pregnant. Nor have I shared this news with all of my baby-loss friends and colleagues. My intent was to be sensitive to the grief of others. I remember when I was recently bereaved. Pregnancy announcements bothered me and the sight of round bellies had me in tears.

Having a baby after loss is HARD. This blog is about life after the loss of a child and that often includes family planning and subsequent pregnancies. It is an important topic, although one I am having a hard time addressing these days…

I am having a hard time because my coping mechanism this go around happens to be avoidance.

Having a baby after the loss of a baby Alexis Marie Chute Wanted Chosen Planned BLOG

It is very likely I would have avoided writing about this pregnancy at all if I didn’t feel the need to be vulnerable and transparent here. Or if I didn’t believe that openness can lead to healing and support. The community on Wanted Chosen Planned is one I cherish. My goal is for my readers to lean on me and on each other. And I hope that I can lean right in as well. This is a time I need it!

When I was pregnant with Eden, after Zachary died, I was a crazy person. Stressed-out. Freaked. Pessimistic. A worry-wart. I couldn’t imagine having a baby that lived.  

This time is different. It seems I am back at my old trick of distraction. The year after Zachary died is a time I call my ‘Year of Distraction.’ In it I did everything but think about my grief. Similarly, right now I am busying myself, occupying my mind, reading a lot – and NOT thinking about my pregnancy.

I am worried about the statistics of miscarriage.

I am worried about the statistics of stillbirth.

I am worried about finding blood in my underwear.

I am worried about a tightening in my stomach actually being a premature contraction.

I am worried about letting down my living children who are excited about a little brother or sister.

I am worried that I am too hopeful, too excited for my next child.

I am worried that if something happens to this baby, I will never recover.

I am worried. Period.

This worry is mostly suppressed in the bustle of daily life. I am working, caring for my family, planning for the future, traveling… But there is one place my worry is not safe. My dreams are frequented by the fears I hold close to my heart. I dream in red. My worries show themselves there, through my subconscious imaginings.

In my dreams I picture losing my child.

I am crying as I write this.

Words are failing me.

I am 18 week pregnant.

I am terrified of hoping for the best after experiencing the worst. I am sure everyone who has conceived after loss can understand. When having a baby after the loss of a baby, there is no easy pregnancy, no day that goes by without nail-biting worry.

What is the solution? What can give peace of mind?

For me, the only answer is a healthy baby in my arms. How can I stop worrying until then?

The Doppler exams help. Hearing baby’s heartbeat provides precious minutes of relief. I have contemplated renting a Doppler, although I have no idea how much that would cost. Going to bed each night to the sound of baby’s heartbeat would be a comfort I imagine. Ultrasounds help as well. My doctor that brushes off my worry does NOT help.

I often feel like everyone has forgotten what I have been through. They ask how this pregnancy is going, but it is a surface question. It is in these times, right here and now that I need a shoulder to cry on. I need people who understand – or even just listening ears so I don’t feel so alone.

I hate writing about these fears. I want to be brave and strong. My goal is that this blog will be an encouragement for others who are struggling…

But it’s me. I am struggling.  



  1. Eve Linn
    Aug 17, 2015

    Dear Alexis Marie, I hope that by admitting fear that you find peace and good listeners. You are full of courage despite your worries. I’m here to listen.


  2. Amette
    Aug 17, 2015

    Alexis Marie,

    This is poignant and wonderfully written. Thank you for being so vulnerable. I hope you know that those of us who search out your words here are most likely thinking/writing/speaking the same words ourselves.

    Yes, pregnancy after loss is HARD. I’m sorry that I haven’t asked (and it would NOT be in a surface way) how your pregnancy is going. I am totally willing to sit and talk – or just listen, if necessary – as you go through these hard, hard days. (You know how to reach me!) Thank you so much for sharing…

  3. Ashley
    Aug 29, 2015

    Beautifully written and exactly how I feel about trying to have another child…the fear…
    Thank you for being so open and expressing how most of us are feeling after loss. I truly admire you!!

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