If I could describe my pregnancy with Erin in one word it would be tense. I was happy to be expecting again, but the question that was in the forefront of my mind at all times was when will this one die too? (I still think this way at times, but that is for another post) Most women who are pregnant have feelings of excitement, joy, happiness, bliss. All the words you would use to describe some of the happiest times in your life. She spends the next 9 months planning for the arrival of her baby. Making a nursery, researching baby products, talking about the joys and not-so-joys of her pregnancy.
A Rainbow Mom tends to experience her pregnancy much more differently. She wonders if every little twitch or bout of pain is the end of the life inside of her. She is happy when she feels her baby moving, but freaks out the moment it stops. (I would eat A LOT of chocolate and sweets to keep Erin moving to calm this fear!) I read a book during my rainbow pregnancy titled, Pregnancy After A Loss. It was one of the most helpful books for me. Don’t get me wrong, I still referred to my regular pregnancy books, but this one sat on my nightstand while the others remained on the bookshelf. Carol Lanham does such a great job at telling her readers what to expect in this different pregnancy. What types of special testing you may have that are not routine for normal pregnant woman. Most importantly, she addresses what your thoughts and feelings may be, and how to cope with them. These words really helped me relax during the bad times while pregnant with Erin. The main thing that many of those pregnant after a loss are asked to give up by their doctor is the level of stress on your body. Being high risk for preterm labor, I was not allowed to exercise (besides walking). I was put on bed rest from 26-36 weeks due to my cervix shortening, I also had to take weekly 17P alpha-Hydroxyprogesterone (17p) shots to help keep my body from going into preterm labor. Yes, this pregnancy was so different from my pregnancy with Rachel. I ran on a daily basis, felt great, and thought I could do anything a normal person could. I didn’t feel bad for a second that I had to give those things up when I got pregnant with Erin. Because all that I wanted in the end was a healthy, living, breathing child. I would have done anything, no questions asked, to get that. So when people think that just because they ran a marathon while pregnant that you can too, I cringe. It takes every ounce of my being to not say anything to that person. (just to be nice) For those pregnant with their rainbow babies out there: If someone flat out tells you to ignore your doctor’s reservations on anything while pregnant because they ran a marathon while pregnant and nothing happened to them; just walk away. You’ll know that the decisions you make for your rainbow will be the best!