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PAILS of Hope

Suggestions for Parents Following Multiple Losses
by Maribeth Doerr, cubby moderator
For any parent who is newly expecting after a loss, the fear of "what if I lose this baby too" can be an almost consuming terror. Fortunately, most parents will never have to face the reality of that question, but those who do may feel inadequate, worthless, frustrated and down right picked on! It helps to separate your feelings about yourself from your feelings about your losses. Just because you have experienced infertility and/or loss(es), doesn't mean you are worthless or inadequate.

It may be important for you to take some time off from the conception/pregnancy process after multiple losses to discuss your feelings and options with your mate. Use this time to heal physically and to reexamine your priorities. This is a good opportunity to ask yourself how much more you ran handle:

  • Can I handle another loss?
  • Can I handle giving up?
  • Can I handle another pregnancy now?
  • Is adoption or foster parenting a feasible option?

As you're healing physically, have a thorough medical evaluation. This may be a good time to shop for a care provider who is not only capable of handling high risk pregnancies but is also aware of your emotional needs. Find out:

  • Are my losses related?
  • Is my loss(es) related to my infertility?
  • What are the odds of having the same problem in future pregnancies?
  • What are my chances of having a healthy baby?
  • What medical treatments are available if I have the same problems in future pregnancies?
  • What tests would be recommended during a future pregnancy? Why? Are they necessary?
Educate yourself as much as possible on your medical situation. Also learn what is normal during pregnancy so that you're more aware of what isn't normal. Use that knowledge to gain a measure of control in your care. YOU KNOW YOUR BODY BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE!

During pregnancy, it's a tremendous help to find a support group or therapist to talk to when the going gets rough. Take it a day at a time (or an hour at a time - whatever you can handle at the moment) and set mini goals to celebrate.

And - remember - every pregnancy and every baby is different!


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