Love. Grief. Anxiety. Fear. Exhaustion. Worry. All while trying to find hope and experience joy.
This is pregnancy after loss.
The ignorant bliss of a normal pregnancy is gone.
You want to feel joy, and fear steps in the way.

RELATED: Pregnancy After Loss Requires a Different Kind of Hope

You want to be excited, and the anxiety steps in the way of experiencing the excitement you once knew in pregnancy.
Every single day brought new challenges.

We were scared, beyond measure, to fall in love with the tiny human growing inside my belly.

We lived in survival mode, protecting ourselves from the fear of loss and all the things we now know can happen at any moment in pregnancy or birth.
But is that fair? Is it fair to stay in the safe zone by trying to not fall in love with him?
No. Not at all.
So how do you see past the fear?
We may never . . . but is there a space to hold fear, grief, and love in parallel?
Yes. It may not be easy, but it is possible. 
I felt myself growing in new spaces the further along I was even though the same feelings remained.

I was in a constant state of anxiety although able to find moments of joy.

Seeing and hearing his heartbeat.
Feeling the first movement.
Seeing my bump grow.

I loved being pregnant with our first.
I wanted to love being pregnant again.

RELATED: Pregnancy After Loss Came With an Unexpected Side Effect

Grieving the loss of your child doesn’t just go away, it grows with you and evolves.
Just because parents are expecting or parenting after loss, doesn’t mean they are grieving any less.
After hitting 18-weeks on our pregnancy after loss journey, I learned it is possible . . . 

Grief and joy can coexist.

Originally published on the author’s Instagram page

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Justina Oldehoff

Justina Oldehoff is a mom of two preemie boys, Carter in heaven (1/21/19-1/24/19) and Aron born 10/9/2019 who is home and healthy, and a wife of 11 years to Dan. Following the passing of their son, Carter's Cause Foundation was created to honor Carter's legacy and provide resources and support to NICU families, loss families, and support systems. 

To the Loss Mama Waiting For Her Rainbow Baby

In: Grief, Motherhood
Woman standing by foggy water

I became a part of the pregnancy loss community almost 10 years ago when I had my first miscarriage. It wasn’t a club I had hoped to join. I’m sure you felt the same. Nobody wants to lose a baby. Still, we loss mamas bond quickly. We have all endured the sadness of saying goodbye to a treasured life. Having that pain in common unites us. You’ve probably heard people compare the loss of a pregnancy or a baby to a storm. It’s a grief filled with dark clouds of sadness and tears that fall like rain. RELATED: The Loss...

Keep Reading

Dear God, Take My First Trimester Fears and Turn Them Into Trust

In: Baby, Motherhood
Woman making heart over stomach

This is what it looks like to crave God’s grace. When I hear stories of miscarriages at 10-weeks, even though at 7-weeks I’m just barely starting to feel hopeful that this might be real, that this baby might stick, that he really might grow into a little human. I’m terrified that the second I start to hope, those hopes will be dashed. That the moment I start to dream, my dreams will be crushed. I don’t want to try again for another child in a few months—I want this one, this child, this gift. When I see spotting when I...

Keep Reading

The Pain of Pregnancy Loss Has Made Me Who I Am Today

In: Grief, Loss
Woman walking in field

My husband called me the Baby Whisperer. Not because I could talk to babies, but because whenever my friends found out that they were pregnant, they called to tell me before they even told their husbands. It was a strange phenomenon that happened in my early thirties. I’d tell my husband sometimes, and we’d marvel over this amazing news out there in the universe that no one knew but us. I followed many friends on their fertility journeys, helping them track ovulation, boost fertility, and then decipher pregnancy tests. It happened so often, I got my nickname. The reasoning behind...

Keep Reading