Pregnant after a Loss

Intro and question

Hi! I am a stillbirth mom at 37w4d. We went in for a checkup and they couldn't find my son's heartbeat with Doppler. We were rushed to an ultrasound room and found his heart had stopped beating. I gave birth to him on 10/8/15.
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Re: Intro and question

  • For some reason, 2/3 of my post was eaten. Let me type it again.
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  • He is survived by my daughter who will be four this winter. She's an angel of a child.

    I am due 06/08/17 with baby #3. I am almost 7 weeks along.

    How did my other stillbirth moms reassure themselves? My friends who are loss moms say when they met their loss mark, they felt better...but that for me is a full term baby.  

    I would like like to buy a Doppler, but outside of that, do you have any suggestions? It's driving me crazy not being able to see what's going on inside me.
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  • I'm so sorry for your loss.  I'm not a stillborn mom, however my OB is very much against home dopplers.  Yes they can give you some reassurance, but they are very finicky to use and can sometime be inaccurate.  I would def check with your OB on if they recommend them.  Mine always assures me that I can come in at any time that I have any issues and they will have a nurse check me with the Doppler.
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  • Welcome, congratulations and I'm sorry for your loss. I have no experience with stillbirth- I'm an ectopic momma. Could you discuss your concerns with your OB and see what he/she recommends? Maybe you could stop for Doppler check every couple days the last couple months or schedule an extra ultrasound or 2? 

    Im in the same boat about the Doppler- I don't know if it would help me or make me more anxious....
  • I am so sorry for the loss of your son. I never made it out of the first trimester with my other two pregnancies and I didn't feel good about this pregnancy until I got passed 20 weeks, I can't imagine the stress of pregnancy after such a late loss.  

    The only thing in can recommend would maybe seeing a counsellor throughout your pregnancy? I saw a therapist weekly for 6 months earlier this year to deal with severe anxiety and depression and it helped me tremendously. @waterfall213 gave birth to her rainbow after a late term loss and she might have something to suggest. 
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  • Welcome! And I'm so sorry for your loss. I only had early loss so I don't have advice. I can't imagine the stress of worrying the entire pregnancy. Well, still worrying, but having an earlier loss milestone is much easier than your late ones and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. 

    I agree that dopplers are super iffy. I can only share my experience and let you take it as you will. I've shared this in other threads, but basically I swore to myself the Doppler would never be anything other than a fun "extra few listens" between appointments and never be used as a definitive medical diagnosis that baby is fine. But I bought a good quality one with great reviews, thoroughly read the manual, watched several YouTube videos on how to use it, and listened to many recordings of fetal heartbeats so I could learn to distinguish the sounds. I also told myself if I didn't find the heartbeat I would not panic at all. 

    Well, I've been able to find it just fine. I don't rely on the reading on the Doppler though for heart rate as it is inaccurate. I record the sound on my phone and count the bpm myself. I've been able to record as the HR peaked at 172 in week 11, dropped down to 165 in week 12, and at the end of week 13 was at 160. I think that's fascinating and cool to watch as it settles down eventually to the 130 it will be at at birth. BUT again I've not used it too often and not let it be the final say in how baby is doing. If I had any actual concerns I would call my doctor. I used it before my last appt and compared the sound and the heart rate to what my doctor recorded and it was exactly the same, so that's how I knew I was doing it right. 

    So that's my experience. I plan to ease up on it when baby starts to kick. But I've also only had early loss so it would be different for you I'm sure. 
  • Congratulations on your new pregnancy and so sorry for the loss of your baby boy. I never had a late loss so what I have to offer/suggest might be totally off. 
    First I totally agree with just talking to your OBGYN and have a solid plan in place, especially for communication, you need to know he/she is on your side and will be a partner in this pregnancy. If you don't feel comfortable or supported with them or they are unwilling to work with you, find a new OBGYN. After a loss of any kind, if they aren't onboard with whatever extra support you request, I'd be out the door. I left my original OBGYN practice for that reason.

    I also agree that seeing a good therapist is super helpful and this is probably your best bet for getting through this pregnancy. I've been seeing one since my first loss which was in 2014. My husband and mother are great support for me, but having my therapist to talk to really helps. You might even ask your OBGYN for recommendations on a therapist who they know specially handles these type of losses. 
    So my take on pregnancy after a loss is that passing milestones or not, it's not going to be easy. Especially, after going through something as traumatic as a late loss. I've passed my loss milestones and I'm still unable to enjoy my pregnancy or connect with this baby. Because its still just one thing after the other to worry about. When does it end? I've pretty much given up on "well at this next milestone I'll feel better" and have convinced myself, if I bring home a baby, I'll stop worrying when they are two years old. So I'm just expecting to be crazy for the next three years if I'm lucky :) that may sound silly, but it kinda helps me deal for some reason. 
    As for the Doppler, I think they are such a personal choice.  As HGRICH stated having a Doppler works really well for her and I've read plenty of other women who absolutely love their Doppler and it gives them great comfort. I was thinking of getting one but I decided against it just for that  chance I can't find a heartbeat, I really don't want to go through that type of panic. Plus with my luck, I would attempt it at 2am when I can't sleep and that's the time I wouldn't be able to locate it, then what? Drive myself to the ER while my husband stays home with our toddler or I stay up all night and wait for my doctors office to open at 8:30 and frantically explain to them what's going on? No, I don't want to go through either of those scenarios.  I also figured, from the time between when you can  start using the doppler and feel the baby is relatively short especially with OBGYN appointments scheduled in between. I also thought, lets say the babies heart did stop and I was able to detect it on the Doppler, it would do me absolutely no good. There's nothing that could be done. 
    I'm not knocking dopplers at all, I wish I did feel comfortable using one, but I don't so it's not for me. 

  • I'm so sorry for your loss. I had a stillborn daughter last September at 31 weeks. My rainbow baby is now 1 week old. I honestly was anxious my whole pregnancy. I constantly reminded myself "different pregnancy, different baby". The home Doppler did bring me reassurance. I used it from 12 weeks until I was feeling daily movement. Do you have a plan in place for monitoring? Once I got to third tri I had weekly NSTs, BPPs every other week, a growth scans every month. The extra monitoring really helped me feel at ease. Wishing you all the best and please feel free to ask me any questions you may have. 


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  • I'm so sorry for your loss. I am a multiple early pregnancy loss so struggling with the worries of staying pregnant. I would suggest maybe some type of counselor or therapist during your pregnancy to help talk through your anxiety and they can help teach you calming and meditation techniques. 
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  • I m/c between about 6 and 7 weeks or so. 

    I am now 22 weeks PG and I am hopeful, but I wouldn't say I am "worry free" or "completely relieved" or something. 

    I don't know when I'll feel 100% better. but that's OK. I am doing my best. maybe it won't be until the baby is here, I try not to obsess about it. just take it a day at a time. my days are pretty busy with work and family so I don't have a lot of free time, which is probably a blessing. 

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  • Thanks ladies, I do have a wonderful counselor that I have been seeing this last year and I will definitely take your advice to ask for extra monitoring. I will need it. ❤️
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  • I'm so sorry for your devestating loss. My loss points are early pregnancy and halfway through pregnancy - so I'm pretty much a complete anxious wreck for months so far (I'm 16 weeks now). I haven't figured out how to manage my anxiety and at times it's all-consuming, but I do go to a support group that is WONDERFUL and gets me through some tough times - to just feel understood, you know? 


    2010: son born 9/1 

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    2014: son #2 born 6/29

    2016: Baby girl stillborn at 21w6d 4/29 and baby boy stillborn at 20w 3d 11/16

  • I'm so very sorry for your loss. I don't have advice as my story is different, but I'm glad you've found this site so you know you aren't alone in this. ((Hugs)) 
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  • I'm sorry for your loss. My Doppler helps me tremendously with regard to anxiety and my OB is fully supportive of me using it. 

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  • My story is similar to yours. Since I had a stillborn late loss at 38 wks most milestones aren't too reassuring for me.  I am now 21 wks pregnant. I swear the time drags in anticipation of the outcome of this pregnancy. I did get a Doppler and it has kept me somewhat sane. I just try to take it one day at a time but it's not easy at all. 
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