Pregnancy After Miscarriage – October 2023

Pregnancy After Miscarriage

Warning: This blog contains depictions of miscarriage and pregnancy loss
By Audri Lu-Uhlken


October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month – a time to honor those who have been affected by pregnancy and baby loss by creating a supportive space to grieve and share experiences in community.

After a successful pregnancy and birth of my first child in June 2020, I experienced a miscarriage late in the first trimester of my second pregnancy in January 2022, a fairly common experience overlooked by today’s society. The emotional toll it took on me, however, was paralyzing, and the pressure of trying to conceive again was daunting. Each failed effort to conceive with my husband brought on more pent-up fear that my body was no longer viable for a successful pregnancy. I was sad and angry. My personal relationships struggled. Friendships diminished and I lashed out at random strangers, at common places such as a grocery store, if I felt a person mistreated me. Work became so unbearable that my therapist encouraged me to take an extended leave of absence for mental distress.

My physical health was also suffering. Several lymph nodes the size of golf balls developed on my throat and stayed for nearly a month. My general practitioner sent me for an ultrasound, which led to a CT scan that then led to an endocrinologist, who ordered a biopsy to test for thyroid cancer, which runs in my family. I never returned to work after my leave was over. I also made the decision to end several volunteer commitments to focus on my wellbeing.

In January 2023, on the date of my miscarriage a year earlier, I received the test results of my biopsy. It was negative –the tumors were benign. I felt a sense of fated relief, as though a turn of events was happening and good was on my side. A few weeks later, on Valentine’s Day in February 2023, I received the results of a different test: Positive. I was pregnant.

The news was met with wariness by my immediate family. My mother asked if “it,” as in a miscarriage, was going to happen again. My sister told me to not think about the bad feelings and to focus on only the positive. My grandparents told me this should be the last time I tried to get pregnant. I waited until I was in my third trimester to share the news with others outside my inner circle.

My experience with pregnancy after miscarriage has been a grueling attempt to surrender to what is beyond my control. The wave of emotions that has companioned me in this third pregnancy has been filled with elation, nervousness, even fear. Many mornings I wake up and wonder if my baby’s heart is still beating, and exhale as soon as I feel a kick or wriggle. Every muscle cramp, body pain and swelling is an aching reminder that pregnancy is a delicate but strong pursuit; growing a child after a pregnancy loss is nerve-wracking and beautiful all at once. In fact, having the capacity to hold conflicting emotions simultaneously has defined this pregnancy journey – leaning into the “and” of life. Scared and excited. Sad and happy. Grieving and hopeful. Exhausted and thankful.

I am three weeks away from my expected due date and I have never felt so unassured heading into delivery. My body is physically fatigued. I am experiencing carpal tunnel, hearing loss and severe tinnitus, pelvic pain, hemorrhoids, sleep deprivation, and a persistent stomach flu with nausea that prevents me from eating. This has caused my mental health to dwindle, questioning if my body will fail me again, gripping me with anticipated joy and distress at birth. I am still holding on to the feeling that good is on my side. And the permission to be able to feel without guilt is freeing.

While baby shower celebrations are behind me and my house is mostly prepared to welcome home a new little one – I still ache for the baby that I should have had last year. I see a familiar pain in family and friends who have shared their silent pregnancy losses with me – tinged with triggered grief from my pregnancy, much like I was triggered by similar events the year before. Walking through pregnancy and parenthood after a pregnancy loss is a messy, painful, and love-filled journey, riddled with anxiety and courage. It is my hope that through more shared experiences of pregnancy loss, we could move toward celebrating new life while honoring loss with empathy, instead of discomfort, and with light, instead of a hush.


This is the second blog of a four-part blog series exploring the heartache and healing journey of my personal experiences of miscarriage, pregnancy after loss, and birth after loss to raise awareness about maternal health, as I seek to help others with shared lived experiences or those looking to provide support.

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author.