I seem to have come down with the flu. I’m disappointed because I had so much work I was supposed to do today and now the thought of reading a textbook and answering question banks seems a little out of my reach for now.
Instead, I thought, maybe I should curl back up in bed and write to you. It’s been a while, and I am sorry for that. This whole year has been such a big beautiful mess. I haven’t much felt like myself a lot of the time. More like – carving a new/old self out of whatever remained after my daughter died.
One thing I have been throughout this year, however – is present. Life forced me to be. I can’t be anywhere else but now. I can’t be any way else but this.
I am pregnant again. I had shared the news of this pregnancy a few weeks ago on instagram, so this may not be new to you.
But it has been 28 weeks of growing a little sister for Mia.
Our first daughter Mia, died at 25 weeks, and I needed to cross that week before I could share this with you.
But it has been 28 weeks. And our baby is still alive. And every day of this pregnancy is a blessing, and every week of this pregnancy is a step into the beautiful glittering darkness of life.
Over the last year, I have come to know and cherish many friendships with mothers of babies in heaven – and I feel very conscious that pregnancy announcements, as wonderful and hopeful as they are, can also be a trigger for the loss that we have experienced. For that – I am sorry. I don’t want to hurt anyone. And I hope that this news reaches your tender heard in the most gentle way that it can.
This pregnancy has been kinder to my body than the last time. I had/have morning sickness but not nearly as bad as the first time. I didn’t have to go into hibernation for months.
I would like to share with you some photos of the last 28 weeks on this wonderful but scary and uncertain journey of pregnancy after loss. I have plans to share this story in a different way this time, maybe a little home movie that I would like to put together for our baby, and for you. So for now, I hope you enjoy these photos.
Waiting for our first doctors appointment. The first of many to come.
10 weeks pregnant. I felt huge! Little did I know that this was just the beginning and I was about to become the size of a house.
Hiding a little bump, a little secret, when we went for a wedding reception.
I’m on daily aspirin tablets and Lovenox shots (to keep my blood thin). Administered to me by courageous husband who faced his fear of needles and is now an expert! It has become our little evening routine now. 126 injections down so far!
Wearing my first Lovenox bruise.
Visiting Mia’s stream in the summer, carrying her little sister within me. After Mia died, I felt so desperate to be pregnant again. I believed that if I could just be pregnant again, then losing my daughter would be easier on me. That her due date would hurt less because now I had another due date to look forward to. But I was wrong. Being pregnant again has definitely given me threads of hope to hold on to, but Mia was my first baby and this is my second baby. They are siblings, they are their own two beings – one cannot replace the other. One cannot heal the other. They just exist together in my life. I am home to both of them.
14 weeks with Mia on the left, and 14 weeks with our rainbow baby on the right.
We have appointments every 2 weeks to check our daughter is growing okay.
18 weeks pregnant, on the way to surprise my parents in BC, and stuck in the middle of nowhere from a flat tire in our rental car.
Had a special chance to see my best friend Kat in Vancouver.
When morning sickness rears it’s ugly head.
Love when our puppy puts her paw on my belly.
22 weeks with my love. I’m so glad he is the father of our babies.
I bleed a lot now. This was from just one tiny injection that continued to bleed all night while I slept. I’ve decided to just embrace the blood and the constant laundry.
15 weeks pregnant with my husband and sister in law 🙂 How cute does she look?!
The softness of us.
26 weeks. When your rainbow baby outgrows your rainbow shirt!
27 weeks and matching pjs
At around 24/25 weeks I developed this irrational fear of going into the hospital. I am so aware of this baby’s movements, and I worry when she doesn’t swirl around as much as she usually does. There have been a few evenings where I lay in bed, counting kicks, and contemplating if we should go into the Labour and Delivery triage or not. But I was scared. And I was scared to be scared.
I developed this fear that by going into the hospital at this time, I would somehow be roped into giving birth to her before she was ready, before I was ready. Because that’s what happened last time.
This time my husband and my mom practically dragged me into the hospital, and I’m glad they did. The hospital staff were so kind and understanding, and reassured me that our baby was still alive.
Sometimes I feel like having a medical background holds me back from getting things checked out. Because I feel silly. Because I feel “it’s probably nothing.”
And maybe it is probably nothing.
But it means something to me.
And at the very least, that should be enough.
If you are wondering why I look like a melty marshmellowy hot mess in this photo. That’s because that is exactly what I am. I couldn’t fit into this dress ( all the zips are open), baby had gone through a sudden growth spurt and my skin was stretched so tight on my belly that everything hurt. I could barely breathe. That lasted around 3 days and then magically resolved. Weird?
Last time, I had plans for everything. I had plans and dreams for a whole year into the future. Now, I can’t even envision what next week will look like. And maybe that’s okay. That’s one of the the gifts my first daughter gave me.
As I mentioned before, I’m working on something special to share this pregnancy with you in a different way to what I have done before. I would like to start experimenting with beautiful home movies and spoken word poetry. So let’s see how that goes! Watch this space.
All my love to all of you,
Thank you once again, for creating the space for me to share these stories of my life with you.
I am so happy that you have a beautiful, growing beebee. I, too, had suffered loss of a child (three in the row). Because of this, I learned that I had lupus and antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, and had to do daily heparin injections plus aspirin regimen. But my son grew and grew and grew! And my belly became black and blue and I eventually ran out of subcutaneous fat (or so it seemed). At 39 weeks he was delivered and it was amazing.Today he is 12 and growing still, like a weed. I am so proud of you.
Thank you so much for your message to me and for sharing your journey with me too. I can’t tell you how much that means to me. Every time I read about stories like yours, it fills me with hope, that maybe one day I can also have a child with me on earth too.
Three losses – I can only imagine the devastation you must have gone through at the time. How do you feel about it now, years after they happened? How did you cope with it at the time?
We were wondering about antiphospholipid syndrome in my case too – my lupus anticoagulant came back positive – but as you may know already, this marker tends to have a high false positive rate, and when they re-tested it, it was negative. So I was never given the diagnosis of having it. There were times I preferred to have a straight diagnosis of what went wrong, so that clear steps could be taken to treat it. That being said, I was still put on the heparin and aspirin as a preventative measure, and so far so good!
It is nice to talk to another woman who has been through this very same processes, and yet who is not in the deep center of it anymore. Luckily I am not squeamish when it comes to injections, but those ones in particular can really sting sometimes! The shots are definitely getting harder as my belly grows.
I am just soooo happy to read about your 12 year old son! It feels like a distant dream for me. I honestly can’t think beyond pregnancy anymore. It’s hard for me to visualize a real baby in my arms, or anything beyond where I am now. Sometimes I think that if we are blessed with a living baby, my husband and I are going to be like “Oh….now what?! We didn’t think this far ahead!” Haha!
I hope we can stay in touch.
I am so very happy for you.
<3 Thank you, dear friend xo
Dear Malavika, I have been reading your posts for some years now, I am always touched by what you write and how you write, how inspiring they are and how you find the right words to reflect your thoughts and reality. It has been a tough year for you and I acknowledge it is difficult to live this pregnancy as joyfully and carefree as your first. I went through this some 18 years ago, it just struck me that our first daughter would be becoming an adult next week if life has not decided differently, It was a stillbirth at 28 weeks pregnancy, no reason found. Another pregnancy followed, like you it was not a happy pregnancy,as it was tainted with anguish and fear of another loss. At 28 weeks pregnancy I went to hospital with early contractions and stayed there for two weeks. I think I just needed to hear my baby’s heartbeat and know that she was fine. Even when our daughter was born a healthy baby I was always afraid of some sudden turn in fate.She will be 17 in a few weeks time. But It was truly the birth of our son, two years later that made me feel at peace with pregnancies and not wonder what other pregnant women were doing right and I was doing wrong and that I could fully embrace parenthood.The sorrow does become a lighter shadow, there are months that go by without me thinking of our lost child, but she is and will always be with me. Our three children all know of their angel sister somewhere out there that never quite made it to this world. I do still feel uncomfortable talking to pregnant women though and sharing their enthusiasm as I know things can go terribly wrong. The hardest has been not to know why life had this in stock for us, but with the years I have come to accept this was the lesson of it, there is not always a why and a reason. I wish you patience and strength on your life’s journey, and all the best for this pregnancy and the months and years to see your daughter become a loving and strong human as I am sure you you will help her to become. The journey is complicated but it is worthwhile.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. I have nothing to add to it other than to let you know that I have honoured it in my heart.
Pregnancy after loss is so different to anything I have known. The loss has changed me as a person, and also my experience of pregnancy. It seems to me that you understand this. Things that I focused on in my last pregnancy – a baby shower, a maternity photoshoot, buying beautiful clothes and blankets for our baby etc – they all seem so unimportant now. In fact, I often feel paralyzed when I have to buy something/prepare for this new baby in anyway. Even buying a small set of washcloths was a big step for me. It was difficult for me to buy any maternity clothes too – I kept feeling like I was some kind of fraud-pregnant woman and that this pregnancy was not real and would be taken away for me and I was silly for being in a maternity store. I was also so deeply saddened to hear the question “is this your first baby?” whenever I had to buy something. There are so many triggers to loss in this pregnancy, but I have come to accept that it is just part of it, and the silver lining to all of this is that I don’t take one moment of it for granted.
Thank you for sharing with me how you felt even after your daughter was born healthy – it’s something I haven’t been able to quite contemplate just yet – but I have often wondered if this anxiety would disappear completely when I have a baby in my arms, or would it transform into the fear of losing after after she was born. So I understand. I remember after giving birth to Mia, the social worker came to talk to me, and we discussed pregnancy after loss and how it’s difficult to accept that life is not promised to us. And she mentioned something like “and that stretches beyond pregnancy too. Even when you have your living, breathing, healthy baby in front of you, every day, there is a possibility that this child’s life is not promised to you. That is the rawness of parenting.”
And now I know it is true. I am more aware of it now.
I also loved to hear how those feelings started to change for you after your son was born. Why do you think it took two successful pregnancies for you to trust in it again?
I also share your views on pregnancy. I used to see pregnancy as such a magical but effortless process. Most women I know become pregnant and give birth in 9 months to a healthy thriving baby. The thought that their baby might die rarely crosses their mind. I feel so very far away from that, and I can’t imagine having that kind of confidence again. There have definitely been moments of finding it hard to accept my body – to accept a body that rejected my own child. That leaves some deep wounds in my heart, ones that are hard to face and to talk about.
Thank you again for your courageous, heartfelt message. And for being my friend all these years, even if in the background. Your presence is known to my heart.
Malavika I’m so happy to hear about your rainbow baby. I can not even begin to imagine how difficult this year has been for you. So glad little one is growing well and you look stunning in your photos. Sending love and we’ll wishes xxx
Thank you so much Lauren, that really means a lot to me. I hope you and your family are doing well. Thank you for taking the time to read this post xo
I feel selfish because I’ve missed your posts and your wisdom, but I’m so happy for this wonderful news. I can only imagine the anxiety and fear that your family felt as you approached 25 weeks. Thank you for sharing your life with those of us that follow you. I wish I had words of encouragement and reassurance that could help bring you peace for these last weeks of your journey. Just know that you affect lives and so many people love you and your family.
Your words are so kind and warming to read. It is because of the support from friends like you that makes these difficult journeys so much more manageable.
I miss writing in my blog too. And I don’t feel quite like myself when I haven’t written in it for some time. All my spirituality/personal growth posts are rooted in my own personal experiences – I write what I am going through, what I have learned, what I have come to understand about myself and about life for that time. So when I don’t write, I often feel like I am not putting my spiritual growth as a priority in my life – which feels really really strange for me as I’ve always put that first. But then I figured that maybe my life is teaching me in a different way. I’ve learned a lot about being present this year. I’ve learned a lot about just going through things one step at a time.
Being such a vast topic, there are so many topics on personal growth I could write about, but it’s always been better when I write about something I have directly come to experience – and that is part of the reason why there hasn’t been much from me this year. I hope all of this will come back around soon. I have a feeling it will. For now, I deeply, deeply value your support and your friendship.
So very happy for you !, I kept wondering how you were and was so happy to read your blog sharing such wonderful news xxx
Thank you so much for keeping me in your thoughts even when I have been MIA for so long. I think about you too 🙂 Thank you for sharing in my happiness. I hope you and your family are doing well. xo
Congratulations on the pregnancy and second baby. Your photos are beautiful. 🙂 Look forward to reading future posts. Sending love to you all. <3
Thank you so much for sharing in this happiness with me <3 Sending my love to you xo
Congratulations from : Rio de Janeiro , Brazil,…………Namaste ! ! !…………………Romualdo
Thank YOU Romualdo! Namaste!!
Hi. Congratulations with a little sister for Mia! Thank you for sharing. I also went trough loss in my first pregnancy. I lost twins at 21+4 weeks. Now I feel this deep hate for my body. On an intellectual level I get that hating my body is a waste of time. And not fair to myself. On a emotional level I just hate my body. And at times I don’t get why my husband don’t hate it to. Your instagram post with the picture of you and your husband with the text “in the darkness we have each other” (I probably remember it wrong, or just remember it the way I read it) really hit me.
I ha the same thought about desperately wanting to be pregnant on my due date. It did not happen and I felt so lonely and empty. Putting away all my maternity clothes was one of the hardest parts for me. I had gotten beautiful summer dresses I never even got to wear. I had a plans like wearing them for maternity photos or to different occasions. Now I know caring about things like that is a luxury.
Our hospital actually says it’s ok that when (I have to say when and not if to keep my hopes up) I get pregnant again that we don’t need to get the baby clothes and things before after he or she is born. We can stay some days longer to give family/my partner time to prepare everything.
I m so happy that you get to experience pregnancy agian, and I’m sorry that you have to do it when grieving and having lots of triggers around you. I hope in time that the grief gets easier to live with and the triggers don’t feels so present.
Thank you so much for sharing so much of your heart with me in your thoughtful comment. My heart breaks for the loss of your twins. What can I say – I know how much it hurts, and I hurt with you.
I can relate to your feelings towards your body. I also felt deeply betrayed by my body- this body that rejected my own baby. It was hard and still is hard. I also feel like I need to apologize to my husband for not being able to carry and grow our baby. But he never lets me think like that, and that in itself is very healing. I hope you have this kind of support from your partner too. I think it would be so very difficult for me to go through all of this without my husband – that’s why I always feel so grateful that he is the father of my babies. I remember the instagram post you are talking about – and it was an important one. No matter what happens in this life – we have each other. There’s something so incredibly powerful in that.
I’m sorry you are not pregnant again just yet. I believe you will be pregnant again! I know it probably doesn’t mean much hearing the well wishes of a complete stranger – but I want to say it anyway. Post stillbirth infertility is sadly “A thing” that can happen (I’m not saying this is what you have though!). And it isn’t fair. But medicine has made so many incredible advances that even the worst case scenarios have solutions. Please don’t lose hope, even though I know how emotionally draining this whole process is.
Even once you become pregnant – the relief is short lived – if i’m honest. I still feel drained and exhausted emotionally. My heart feels really tired from loving and hoping and losing. My heart is tired from falling in love and falling in fear both at the same time. My body is tired from being pregnant for so long. My soul feels weary after losing a child. My soul feels weary after being a mother without her baby. I thought being pregnant again would solve everything – and it doesn’t. That is my reality. The first half of this pregnancy I felt strangely detached from everything. And now I feel so deep in love with this baby that the thought of losing her feels so real and scary at the same time.
You will get your maternity clothes out again. You will wear them. It will feel different, and it might not be as healing as you hoped it would be, but it will happen and you will find a new delicate kind of hope in it again. And that will be the most beautiful thing your rainbow baby will give you.
I’m glad you are getting support from your hospital. It’s very difficult for me to prepare for this baby too. And quite honestly, we don’t really have anything at all. I have a couple of onesies, and a carseat. And that’s it. I figure that if she can just come here alive and well, we will figure the rest out. I think having a few extra days at the hospital is such a nice support for your hospital to provide. And mama’s like us will need it.
Let’s stay in touch. I’d like to support you in whatever way I can in your journey to meet your rainbow baby and keep loving your angels.
Your post was so raw, real and beautiful! Please do update us as to how you are doing, here’s praying that you and your husband have a beautiful healthy baby soon 🙂 ❤
Congratulations! I hope you enjoy being a mom as much as I have
Thank you for sharing Malavika! Having had 5 miscarriages, years of infertility, 1 rainbow baby, and 1 rainbow baby on the way….been there! Hugs. Not enough women are speaking about this so called taboo topic. Thanks for speaking. Would you ever so humbly consider following me so that we can help each other spread hope to women? Thanks in advance!