My in-depth anatomy scan is scheduled for next week, and as the appointment gets closer, my worries grow. Will they find something life-threatening to the baby? Will the cause of the slightly high NT measurement finally be revealed? Has my belly been growing enough each week? I have not had an ultrasound in six weeks, by far the longest I have ever gone as an IVF mom. Will he still even be there? I wonder (knowing this question is not totally rational given the doppler heart rate checks I have had). These questions come and go in my mind, sometimes popping up more insistently in the moments when I am alone.

In an attempt to manage these fears and to also mentally prepare for birth, I have started meditating again.

Meditation has been a near-daily practice for me for years, but I stopped completely when I got pregnant–maybe because I was so sick and tired, maybe because I was afraid of the feelings that might come up when I sat quietly for a few minutes. Returning to meditation after three or four months without makes the difference obvious. When I am meditating regularly, the practice comes more easily, and I feel less resistance to sitting with myself. Now, my thoughts feel so loud and distracting, and I find myself rushing through even five minutes of stillness. But I know from the times of grief and hardship that I’ve meditated through before that it is helping, whether I notice it at first or not.

I have also continued to make decisions for our future, even when my mind is screaming doubts about that future.

Infant bodysuit with a bunny that says, "lil snuggle bunny" - Alli's Bump Day Blog, Week 18: Managing Anatomy Scan Anxiety

Author’s Personal Collection/Alli Baker

On faith alone, I bought baby clothes in three different stores in-person for the first time since getting pregnant. I finished putting together our baby registry, swapping out the car seat and stroller options one last time. I bought two possible dresses to wear to our baby shower (months away, but still!). Sometimes in the moment, these decisions feel completely natural and obvious: of course, our baby will be here to wear this outfit next Easter. At other times, I find myself following my worries all the way down: How would I take time off work if something went wrong? How would I ever move forward?

I thought that at some point during this pregnancy, these fears would fade away, and I would only be writing these blogs about “normal” pregnancy updates. But I know that for so many of us who are pregnant after loss, the ebb and flow of anxiety is a normal part of pregnancy.

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