Pregnancy after a loss
After I lost my first born to leukemia in 2004, I longed to become a Mom again.
When I finally met my soulmate in 2009, we were blessed with a beautiful daughter in 2010. Shortly after in 2012, we received another blessing, a baby boy.
Having my two kids made me realize I was given a second chance at motherhood. Still, it felt like the first time: it was a 5-year gap from my first pregnancy, and I felt like I was starting from scratch.
Pregnancy after a loss | Image from Unsplash
My “stock knowledge” of motherhood was very scant, since it was just my husband and I going through my pregnancies and those first few months as new parents. But I learned, I managed, and I am still here, the mom of two.
Here are some of the things I learned, during my “second time round” as a mama during pregnancy.
Pregnancy during pandemic: “No unang yakap or unang halik!”
“I was diagnosed with Placenta Previa Marginalis—na both fatal to the mommy and the baby.”
REAL STORIES: “Wag naman sana makuha ng mga anak ko ang kalokohan ko noon!”
For my second pregnancy, I gathered as much knowledge as I could and I referred to my ultimate parenting “bible”, What to Expect When Expecting by Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel, and Arlene Eisenberg.
I don’t think I could have survived my pregnancy without it.
Pregnancy after a loss story
This book would clear and calm me of my pregnancy concerns. I also took to Tumblr, creating my first pregnancy blog where I gained a steady group of online friends who I could rant to about anything. Of course, this did not replace my consultations with my trusted OB-Gynecologist. I always made sure I had a support group of friends in person and virtually that would help calm my thoughts of over thinking.
I documented every trimester with photos and microblogs as I wanted to be able to share this journey with my kids as they grow older. And I am so happy that I was able to do so as my daughter is happy whenever I share with her my pregnancy stories and my experiences as she grew in my belly.
D-DAY: Giving birth and infant care
I prepared my list of items for my hospital “panic bag” as soon as my reached 21st week of pregnancy. Since we were on a tight budget, I would purchase items a little at a time to complete the “panic bag”.
I started with the newborn diapers then bought a few clothes from the dry market–a pair at a time then a few cloth diapers too.
Every pay day, my husband and I would purchase small items until we were able to fill the bag with what we needed.
I decided that I was going to breastfeed, too. I had no idea if I would be abundant with milk, but I kept my determination and made sure to drink warm mussel soup with Malunggay leaves regularly — a known galactagogue-filled food among us Filipinos.
Pregnancy after a loss story
Infant care, to my surprise, came naturally, I was terrified to carry my daughter for the first time—she looked so fragile and I felt like I had never handled an infant before. My motherly instincts kicked in quickly.
Remember, it’s not just the mother’s job to raise the kids, but it’s a package deal between Mama and Papa to make pregnancy easier. If it’s your first time to be a mother, keep these pointers in mind.
Most importantly, trust your motherly instinct; know that you and your husband are a TEAM, and love your kids like there is no tomorrow.
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