I’ve started letting a wider circle of the people around me know that I am pregnant, and the immediate response has been, “I’m so happy for you, that’s so exciting!” “You’ve made it so far!” “I’ll be praying for you.” The love and support is wonderful. But how do you acknowledge the hope and joy and also still acknowledge and verbalize that there is still anxiety?

Bridget's 15-week bump: A Little Less Cautious, A Little More Optimistic

Author’s Personal Collection/Bridget Wicherek

It’s been three weeks since my last appointment, and there’s another week to go.

I have no reason to think that something isn’t right, but there is still that undercurrent of fear of hearing those dreaded words, “There’s no heartbeat,” next week despite having absolutely no physical reason to think this could be the case. We received our NIPT (noninvasive prenatal testing) results, and they came back clear. We now know the sex of the baby (sorry to any readers, I won’t let you know until we officially announce!), and yet we still remain cautiously optimistic. We know from experience that the NIPT wouldn’t detect the chromosomal issue of our last loss and that the sex could have been incorrectly identified. However, for us, the risks of more invasive genetic testing did not outweigh the benefits. But who wants to hear all that in place of, “Thank you, we’re so excited!”

We’ve also now told our son.

When we told him that he would be having a baby sister last summer he spoke about her a lot. He then continued to ask about “baby sister” long after we lost the baby and learned that the baby was actually a boy. That was incredibly difficult and usually caused me to leave the room in tears and likely left him sitting confused about what he could’ve said (even though he’d been told baby sister wasn’t coming anymore). To say we were hesitant to discuss this baby with him is an understatement but I am now so glad that we did because he is excited and is talking about all of the things he wants to do with his new sibling and asking the cutest questions. I’ve never been asked how a baby comes out and if they’ll be coming out of my mouth, but now I have!

I want to be as blissfully unaware as our son of things that could go wrong. While I am not naive, his excitement is helping us to be a little less cautious and a little more optimistic with each passing day.

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