The pregnancy after a miscarriage is weird. Your heart is still tender, broken and cautious. Your head is full of the what if scenarios you’ve spent months reading about online. You remember the stories of women you’ve met or read about – pregnancies lost at 9 weeks, 22 weeks, 39 weeks, 41 weeks – it’s virtually impossible to take for granted a healthy baby.
I told myself if we were blessed to get pregnant again, I would enjoy every second. I would relish in the life growing within me, and cherish every second of nausea, every headache, every night with an aching back or hips. That I would live each day with pure and complete JOY to be able to have another experience with childbirth.
When I got the positive result on my pregnancy test – the one I had been praying desperately for – I immediately started shaking and crying. I was terrified.
In many ways though, I have been able to enjoy so much of this pregnancy – it has been my easiest.
The women I’ve known in the past who love being pregnant because they feel great and aren’t sick? I’ve always envied those women. But (knock on wood) this time around, I am one of them. I have been blessed with my easiest pregnancy. No sickness, no nausea, no headaches, no food aversions. Just the need for my daily nap.
But it’s been very hard for me to look forward. To focus on October. To think about holding my baby boy in my arms and staring into his sweet face. I’m stuck in September of last year. I’m stuck in the pain, in the fear, in the unknown. And every milestone I hit with this little guy is a glaring reminder of what I lost with Lilia. Not ever feeling her kick for the first time, not having the big happy moment when we learned she was a girl. And it’s been sad.
Most days are a roller coaster of emotions. Gratitude, relief and excitement over a healthy, growing baby. Sadness and heartbreak over the baby we lost. Feeling like it’s ok to celebrate a new life, feeling like it’s not ok to move on from the last. I finally allowed myself my first baby purchase (well, truthfully it was an exchange with a friend, but I haven’t felt brave enough to buy anything in a store just yet)
I know I’m not alone in these feelings – I know I’m surrounded by many, many women who understand where I’m coming from. Look around you – 1 in 4 women have been affected by loss. 1 in 4. There are many of us who know the fear and excitement of looking forward, and the pain of looking back.
I remember quite frequently something my husband wrote in a blog awhile back – something I’ve quoted him as saying in previous writings about Lilia. He said that as followers of Christ, ‘we are called to be fearless because death does not get the last word.’
That’s a bold statement. And it’s been a difficult one for me to put into practice. I wish I could say that I’ve been fearless for the last 19 weeks. I wish I could say I have put my full and complete trust in Christ. And while I do feel that this pregnancy, this child is in His hands – I can’t say I’ve been without fear, without doubt. I have prayed harder for this baby than I have for anything else in my life. That whole praying without ceasing thing we read about in the bible? I get it now. This baby has me on my knees, praying without ceasing.
So I have no choice but to look forward, to embrace the new life growing within me, to trust God and His plan for me. To hope that this precious boy continues growing and is healthy and joins our family in October. And until then, I take comfort in scripture and the knowledge that God is intimately aware of my broken heart and my fearful spirit.
Be strong and take heart,
all ye who hope in the Lord
– Psalm 31:24