The circle of life can be bittersweet, and for Shay Mitchell that juxtaposition comes from having to say goodbye to her “Gram” while carrying a new life inside her.

The Pretty Little Liars star shared an emotional Instagram post revealing that she was pregnant with her second child while also mourning the loss of her beloved grandmother. ​​

”Saying goodbye to a loved one while simultaneously experiencing the joy of welcoming another into this world is the great cycle of life. It is also my most challenging season to date,” she wrote alongside photos showing off her baby bump. “ I can’t help but think this was the universe’s plan all along, knowing I would need other worldly joy to cushion the blow of losing one of the most important people in my life. Yet, this is proof that love, life and loss can profoundly exist all at the same time. Gram, I miss you every day. Little one, we are so excited to meet you. I breathe a sigh of peace knowing you two are already connected in such a cosmic way.”

Pregnancy comes with a whirlwind of feelings, and anyone who’s experienced loss while expecting knows how difficult it can be to handle. 

Mitchell is already mama to 2-year-old Atlas and has been outspoken about experiencing prepartum depression while pregnant with her daughter. 

“I didn't know it was a thing: I heard so much about postpartum depression but I never knew about [depression during pregnancy],” she told Motherly last year. “For myself, [I felt] 'is this normal? I should be feeling very happy right now but for some reason, I can't get out of this funk'. Then I started talking about it and heard so many more stories from women who had gone through the same thing. I think sharing your story and speaking to other women can really help. You feel less alone.

The actress suffered a miscarriage before conceiving Atlas and has been open about that experience too, in hopes that it will encourage others to share their stories.

During a visit to the Katie’s Crib podcast last year, Mitchell admitted that she was “nervous” to get pregnant again after her prior experiences. "It was hard for me. It was hard to be pregnant, as it is for everyone, I'm sure," she said at the time. "I have so many mixed feelings about how I felt, and some of it is blurry to me now. That's obviously what [happens] so we get pregnant again. It completely wipes your memory... For the majority of it I was so blessed and liked a lot of it, but the parts that I didn't like [I'm going be honest] and say it: I want a sibling [for Atlas] so bad, but I don't want to go through pregnancy again. I wasn't that beaming goddess that loved it. I don't want to do it again because it took a toll on me mentally."

According to the Mayo Clinic, about 7 percent of expectant mothers experience prepartum depression.

Congratulations to Mitchell and her boyfriend Matte Babel.