Pregnancy After Miscarriage, Stillbirth or Infant Death

•Take things day-by-day -- hour-by-hour, if you have to. Rather than focusing on the fact that there are 40 weeks of pregnancy ahead of you, focusing on achieving the next milestone -- making it to the end of the first trimester, passing the point at which you lost your previous baby, and so on. Cyndie, a 35-year-old mother of two, found that taking this approach was the only thing that kept her sane when she became pregnant again after experiencing three consecutive losses: "It was like holding you breath for nine months, afraid to breathe, afraid to let your guard down," she recalls. "Every waking moment was lived literally from moment to moment. Every internal twinge or sensation signaled a rush of adrenaline as a surge of panic raced through my bloodstream. How I lived through nine months worth of seconds like this I still have no idea. I guess because I never allowed myself to live in the future. Every day, every hour, even every minute, was only that and nothing more."

•Rather than focusing on all the scary things that could go wrong, try to remain positive about your chances of giving birth to a healthy baby this time around. The majority of couples who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death go on to give birth to healthy babies the next time around. And if you do luck out and end up with a healthy baby in your arms, you'll soon forget the agony you experienced along the road to motherhood. "When Renée was born -- five-and-a-half years after the birth of my first child, and following three losses -- she brought me completion," says Cyndie. "She gave me pure satisfaction and joy. I smile inside every day. She alone numbs the pain of my losses and makes three-and-a-half years of hell worth every step. I'd do it all again if I knew she'd be the reward. Now I take nothing for granted and I enjoy every moment with my children. They are my priority, my happiness, my life."

Ann Douglas is the author of numerous books about pregnancy and parenting including the bestselling "The Mother of All Pregnancy Books." She regularly contributes to a number of print and online publications, is frequently quoted in the media on a range of parenting-related topics, and has appeared as a guest on a number of television and radio shows. Ann and her husband Neil live in Peterborough, Ontario. with the youngest of their four children. Learn more at her site, having-a-baby.com.

Copyright © Ann Douglas. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org.