How To Cope With The Anxiety Of Pregnancy After A Loss

When Chrissy Teigen shared last week that she and husband John Legend are expecting a baby after the tragic loss of their son, Jack, in a second-trimester miscarriage two years ago, she was met with an outpouring of support.

Many people related to the family’s loss and were eager to hear of this development in their story, especially after Teigen shared that she had done an IVF cycle in March.

“Joy has filled our home and hearts again,” the model wrote on Instagram, posting a picture of her curved belly. Explaining that she put off announcing the happy news because she was “too nervous,” Teigen said, “I don’t think I’ll ever walk out of an appointment with more excitement than nerves,” encapsulating the feelings of the many parents awaiting the arrival of their “rainbow baby”, as some refer to the child who comes after a loss.

An estimated 10% to 20% of known pregnancies end in a loss, according to the Mayo Clinic. Most people who miscarry are able to carry a subsequent pregnancy to term, with only 1% of patients experiencing repeated miscarriages.

Parents who have endured a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss may experience a jumble of conflicting emotions when they become pregnant again.

“It’s its own kind of pregnancy,” Amy Klein, author of The Trying Game: Get Through Fertility Treatment and Get Pregnant Without Losing Your Mind, tells HuffPost. Klein had four pregnancy losses before delivering her daughter, and after each one, she tempered her hopes upon learning that she was pregnant again.

“It’s like, OK, we hit the first step, [but] we have to reach a lot of hurdles,” Klein says. “It doesn’t feel like the first time [when] I was over the moon.”

Like Teigen, Klein became pregnant via IVF, so she was monitored carefully in early pregnancy, with regular blood draws to ensure that hormone levels were rising correctly, as well as early ultrasounds.

Though such procedures can offer patients reassurance, awaiting them may also foment its own kind of anxiety.

“You’re waiting for the numbers to go up, and then you’re waiting for the heartbeat, then you’re waiting for the first trimester,” Klein says. “As much as you don’t want to get your hopes up, you can’t help but feel attached to this child growing inside of you.”

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