When I found that I had lost my pregnancy, I wanted to have a baby immediately because I couldn’t imagine not having a baby after expecting one. I felt that having another baby will help to me move on quickly.
Then I went from wanting a baby immediately to feeling really scared of getting pregnant again because what if I lost it again. My stillbirth was unexplained so I started ‘waiting’ for the ‘perfect time’ to try again which frankly never came. I just went ahead and tried after about a couple of years.
The reason I am sharing this with you is that both approaches are wrong. Trying to get pregnant immediately is not advisable because you need to heal not just physically but mentally and emotionally. Waiting too long is also a symptom of not healing properly.
Healing is very important because you need to be at your best to conceive and have a successful pregnancy. You don’t want to risk the chance of another loss and we really need to be kind to ourselves. We have just gone through a difficult time and caring for ourselves is not selfish. We deserve it and also our rainbow baby will also benefit from it.
So how do you know if you are ready to get pregnant after a miscarriage? Firstly, it is important that you get the go ahead from your doctor. However, there are 3 things to consider which do not have anything to do with medicine but are very important:
- Physical healing: have your periods returned? Are they normal in colour and texture and are you ovulating? The reason this is important is that even if your lab results say that your hormones are back to normal, normal is different for everybody. The best way to know if you are really ready is if your periods and ovulation are back to normal. The menstrual cycle is very sensitive to hormonal fluctuations and is an indication whether your uterus is ready for another baby and if you are releasing an egg for conception.
- Mental healing: When you think about getting pregnant and having a healthy baby what thoughts come to your mind. If negative thoughts come to your mind e.g. you don’t think it is ever going to happen or that you are getting too old etc. This might be an indication that you have not healed from your pregnancy loss. It is normal to feel this way after a loss but you can certainly heal from it to be more confident.
- Emotional healing: Do you have several ‘off’ days? One minute you are happy and ok, the next minute, you are feeling depressed and angry with yourself, your partner and life in general? This can be another sign that you have not healed from your loss.
The better you are, the better your chances of having a successful conception and pregnancy after a loss. The length of time it takes will vary for each person; one woman might only need a couple of months and another woman might need much longer.
I think the more aware you are of this, the less time it takes because you can focus on taking better care of yourself.
I know it can be tempting to start trying for a baby as soon as you’ve been given the all clear from your doctor but taking some time to build a strong foundation would make it much easier to conceive your rainbow baby and carry your pregnancy to term.
So each day, ask yourself what can I do to heal and give my baby a really good foundation?