Being pregnant after a loss is a rollercoaster of emotions

Our second baby was supposed to be born this month. We found out at an ultrasound at nine weeks that there was no heartbeat anymore and that my body hadn't gotten the message and kept me pregnant for three extra and unnecessary weeks—with all the symptoms that came with it.

As October slowly crept closer and closer I wondered how I would feel about the due date that will never be. And I have to be honest—I cannot stop thinking about this baby that we will never have.

It was a surprise pregnancy. We naively believed those who told us that getting pregnant the second time usually takes longer and to not be discouraged by that, so we started trying way before we were ready to commit to a newborn.

I still remember the feeling of shock when I peed on a stick and it came back positive. I walked out of the bathroom, jaw wide open, and showed my husband the test. Our 10-month-old ripped it out of my hand and started playing with it.

I was cautious. My husband was beyond excited. I knew there was a polyp in my uterus that needed to be removed and that could cause pregnancy complications so I tried really hard not to get my hopes up. I failed. I started looking at summer pregnancy clothes, imagined what maternity leave would be like in the fall and pictured our adorable family of four.

Then our hearts were broken.

Even though a tiny bit of me was preparing for the worst-case scenario, I was still devastated when my fears were confirmed. I was booked for a D&C the next day because I needed to not carry this baby inside of me any longer than I already had. It was a feeling I couldn't stop, I just wanted it done so I could start healing, both physically and emotionally. The surgery happened the day after my son's first birthday.

I've talked openly about my miscarriage because I felt so alone while going through it as if I were the only person to have ever lived through one (which I know I'm not, but it felt that way.) I received so much support and love from my friends and family, but mostly from strangers who opened up about their own losses and gave me comfort in reminding me that I did nothing wrong.

I healed physically and we resumed trying.

It was heartbreaking to get negative after negative tests for months. One day I saw a rainbow over the highway we were driving on during a family vacation, and even though I had told myself there would be no testing during the time we had together (because if I got yet another negative test I would be devastated) I broke the rules and peed on a stick in a public bathroom in the middle of nowhere in Maine.

It was positive.

I was walking on eggshells, knowing that things could go wrong but also holding to the desire of everything working out this time around. And so far things are working out.

We found out there is not just one rainbow baby, but two rainbow babies! I've also come to accept that, in our particular case, it wasn't the right time for the baby we lost to join our family. Our first was still too little, I shortly after lost my job and health insurance, maybe it was the universe telling us to wait for the twins.

However, I find it hard to open up about my emotions around the due date. As if being blessed with being pregnant again invalidates my sadness for what that other pregnancy could've been.

So in all honesty, I think about them all the time. What they'd look like. Who they'd be. It's weird because I'm so beyond excited and happy to be pregnant with our twins, and yet I can't move past the pain of losing our baby.

I've come to the realization that no one will be able to take the place of that baby, even if they were with us for a short nine weeks. But for those weeks they were part of our family, and because of that, they will always have a place in my heart.

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Who says you have to wait for birthdays or holidays to give your bestie a great gift? A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs in these more-than-trying times. We've rounded up some of our favorite go-to gifts that are certain to be a bright spot in her week. But be warned, you may want to snag a few for yourself. (You deserve it, mama.)

Here are some our favorite "just because" gifts to give our hardworking mama friends.

New Mother face + body care duo

volition face + body care duo

This correcting oil and stretch mark minimizer is perfect for the pregnant mama looking to keep her pregnancy glow. The correcting oil brightens the skin while reducing dark spots, and the stretch mark minimizer works to smooth her ever-growing belly.


Allover roller

esker allover roller

This jade roller goes beyond your typical face roller and can be used anywhere on the body. It works to increase stimulation and reduce puffiness and is perfect for applying any oils to the face or body. Plus, it feels like a mini spa treatment.


Kombucha making kit

farmsteady kombucha making kit

What could be a more perfect gift for the health-obsessed friend? This kombucha making kit comes with everything you need to brew your own homemade green tea kombucha. They'll think this is the tastiest gift ever.


Laetitia lipstick

cupid & psyche laetitia

This red lipstick is perfect for your makeup enthusiast bestie who is looking to spruce up her life in quarantine. Crafted in the United States, these bee and vegan-friendly and cruelty-free lipsticks are created to flatter all complexions. Cupid and Psyche Beauty makes finding the perfect red lip way too easy!


Jigsaw puzzle

inner piecec jigsaw puzzle

Mamas need to destress now more than ever during quarantine. This adorable jigsaw puzzle is perfect for the mama who needs a brain break! The 500-piece puzzle designed by artist Ray Oranges features an abstract gradient design that fits a standard frame when completed. Bonus: It's printed on recycled paper and the company donates $1 from every puzzle sold to youth mindfulness programs.


Matilda's Bloombox

matilda's bloombox

If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.


'I Am Enough' bracelet

I Am Enough bracelet

Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."


Glow assorted teas

vahdam low assorted teas

This tea gift box set covers the entire spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy. Individually packaged in beautiful tins, your gal pal will feel like a queen sipping her morning tea. Originally $40, this set is currently on sale for just $24. We'll take two, please.


Find your voice journal

find your voice journal

Journaling is a great way to ease anxiety and will slow your bestie's racing mind before bed. This gift is perfect for first time journalists and includes prompts, daily quotes and coloring pages to help her unlock her potential and find her voice.


Premium frother

shore magic premium frother

This gift is fitting for your latte-sipping bestie who can't go a day without her coffee. All she has to do is add two scoops of collagen to her favorite drink, and she'll have a perfectly foamy drink ready in seconds. Skipping the drive-thru line has never been so easy!


Bath soak infusion kit

maude bath soak infusion kit

Say hello to hydration! She'll be feeling smooth and relaxed as ever after a long bath soaking in these salts. This vegan + cruelty-free set incorporates dead sea salt and dehydrated coconut milk powder for an ultra hydrating experience.


Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

It's a hard-earned title she answers to a hundred times per day. Whether she's new to the club or a seasoned professional, this delicate script 'mama' necklace is guaranteed to be a perfect fit.


Superfood honey

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered honey

With a lack of sleep and jam-packed days, getting through the afternoon can be a real challenge. Send her a powerful pick-me-up in the form of a therapeutic blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and raw honey. It makes the ideal companion for tea, smoothies, yogurt or even on its on.


Calming midnight mask with melatonin

Who doesn't deserve a reminder to pamper themself every once in awhile? Even better, this mask does all its work at night while you're sleeping with no extra effort needed. It's an amazing plant-powered antioxidant-packed mask that has melatonin, wild dandelion leaf and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate, repair and reset facial skin. It's so good, you might want to gift it to yourself. We won't tell, mama.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, there are many factors that, as a mama, are hard to control. Who's going to wet the bed at 3 am, how many times a small person is going to need a sip of water, or the volume of your partner's snoring are total wildcards.

One thing you can control? Tricking out your bed to make it as downright cozy as possible. (And in these times, is there anywhere you want to be than your bed like 75% of the time?)

I've always been a down comforter sort of girl, but after a week of testing the ridiculously plush and aptly named Snug Comforter from Sunday Citizen, a brand that's run by "curators of soft, seekers of chill" who "believe in comfort over everything," it's safe to say I've been converted.

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In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

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