I'm pregnant again after the death of my first baby

August 8 | Guest post by Ashley Davis
31 weeks pregnant
//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js By: JerrylaiCC BY 2.0

Today I'm 14 weeks pregnant, and have just shunted my second anxiety attack of the day. It seems I'm doing that much more often lately. My husband and I are expecting, what we so lovingly call "The Parasite," on January 24th, and we're thrilled. Absolutely over the moon. This baby is more wanted than chocolate on my worst PMS days, and yet I can't keep from thinking about the baby that came before.

In July of 2008 I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. He had dark blue eyes that stared into me the moment he was placed on my chest. His hair was light brown to red, depending on the light, and it was wavy. He had ten fingers on his hands, and ten toes on his long feet. Feet just like his momma's. He was vibrant and alert and so much more than I ever imagined he could have been. And most importantly it seemed, he was mine. My own little baby. I was finally a mother, the only thing I'd wanted to be since I was a young girl. The only thing I knew I was put here to do.

One week after he was born, our sweet, blue-eyed, vibrant little boy passed away. After countless hours in the ER, and two cardiac arrests, our little man just couldn't hold on anymore. We found out weeks later he had passed away from contracting the herpes virus during delivery. Even though we had told our doctor from day one that my husband had the virus, and as far as we knew I didn't, we were never once told of any potential risks or complications. And yet with textbook symptoms and incubation time, that was what had taken my son.

So here we are. Five years later, expecting his brother or sister. Our doctors are made aware of the situation, and have already discussed with us the incredibly simple steps to ensure another tragedy doesn't befall us. And yet I find myself struggling.

Even before trying to conceive my husband and I had discussions about how we might handle another pregnancy emotionally. We expected to be ravaged with anxiety and dread most days. We expected to live in anguish for nine months, fearing the worst. I'm happy to report that isn't the case, for either of us.

When that second pink line showed up I was overwhelmingly happy, and not an ounce fearful. At least, not anymore than a typical newly minted mommy. And most days that remains the case. We've seen the peanut three different times now, and have marveled at its heartbeat, and giggled at its hiccups. We've started to clear out the guest room, and have purchased a onesie (or seven). So far we've both been really surprised by our lack of freak out. And we've both been just so overjoyed.

But then there are some times, when my breath feels short, and my palms feel damp, and my head feels light. And I sigh, and I wonder, and I hope. That this time will be different. This time it will work. This time it will be for keeps.

  1. Best of luck to you! I'm so sorry for the loss of your son. This little one is going to stick around for you, it's for keeps. 🙂

    1 agrees
  2. I wish you the best. I have had the herpes virus for years and have had two vaginal births that resulted in healthy babies by taking, as you said, the simple steps of prevention. It sounds like your current medical team is well-equipped to support you now. Your family deserves no less.

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    • As another with the herpes virus, I thank you for this reassurance! I will certainly be looking into the precautions etc when we decide it's time for babies.

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  3. Wow, this is powerful! So sorry about the loss of your first little one, hoping this pregnancy is uneventful and you have many many MANY happy years together as a family. Thanks for sharing your journey!

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  4. Congratulations!! I am sending you tons of positive vibes that everything with "the parasite" progresses wonderfully. You've been through my worst nightmare, I can't even think about it because it hurts too much. I'm so glad to hear that your fear so far has been minimal, and I hope it stays that way.

    A second pregnancy (well, actually a second miscarriage) is my biggest fear right now, as I'm recovering from a partial molar pregnancy (apparently getting pregnant can give you cancer- who knew?). I'm scared that the fear will cripple us when we are ready to try again, and when we hopefully get knocked up again. I'm glad to hear that you've made it through the first trimester without crippling fear, that gives me hope.

    Thank you for being so brave and sharing your story- I hope you will follow up and let us know how everything goes 🙂

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  5. If I could I would give you a big hug. You and your husband are stronger than you realize and I wish you both the absolute best with this fantastic addition to your family. Congrats!

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  6. I'm expecting my first on January 24th as well, and I have so many emotions about it. It was very much planned but I've been panicking since day one. I don't bother reading the books, I'm just doing what feels right to me, and I'm sure I'm doing it all wrong. We find out on August 21st if its a boy or girl, maybe it'll be more real to me then.

    Congratulations, and good luck to you!

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  7. Congratulations on your new addition!!!

    And I'm so sorry for the loss of your first little one and even more sorry for the fact that it could have been easily prevented if that doctor had informed you of the herpes risk factor. This time around you seem to be more prepared and have a more supportive medical team.

    Wishing you all the best for this baby!

    1 agrees
  8. We lost our first to premature birth, and there is nothing like the anxiety you face that next time around. But in the end, you are better prepared and more knowledgeable and I am so happy to hear that your birth team are on the right page. Power to you, mama!

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  9. Congratulations! And also so sorry for your loss..

    I'm pregnant again after our first baby came 11 weeks early – she survived and is now a very cheeky 2 year old! – but still my emotions this time around have surprised me.

    Before the 12 week mark I was quite anxious. Then I was calm and excited about a new baby. And then approaching the 29 week mark I began reliving quite intensely a lot of the emotions around my daughter coming early. Recently there's just been relief that I've made it past 30 weeks.

    But today I had another of my monthly ultrasounds (cause I'm high risk) and although everything looks normal for 32 weeks and the baby is approx. 2kgs, I burst into tears in the carpark… I dunno guilt that my first daughter didn't make it this far, that after 3 months in hospital she came home weighing only 2.3kgs… Or relief? I don't know?

    I guess I just wanted to say that whatever feelings come up they're all valid and it's good sometimes just to sit with them and honour them.

    Good luck and all the best on this crazy hormonal roller-coaster ride!

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  10. I just wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss, and also congratulations on your pregnancy; I hope everything progresses smoothly for you.

    1 agrees
  11. Thanks for this post, thought it´s "old", I really needed to read this today! I´ve miscarried times three, and we´re trying again… I hope everything worked out ok! 😀

  12. Im so sorry… On february 2015 i gave birth to a young lil boy.. He was da most exciting thing in my life.. But in on october 2016 i lost him. He wasnt sick… Itwas just sudden death.. He died on a sunday.. At church..I am now pregnant.. And im always scares i myt lose this baby.. What if he/she dies suddenly.. Im so scared… Sometyms i have dream losing this baby.. Im scared.. But i wish you guys gud luck in ur second baby.. Losing a baby is hard.

  13. After just loosing our son, a book was recommended to me. It made the world of difference coping: An Exact Replica of a Figment of my imagination by E McCrackrn

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