Dear PAL Mama,

You’re currently on a journey like no other you’ve ever been on, and one that no one should ever have to navigate. Nothing could have prepared you for this and I know it’s hard, but you are stronger and braver, perhaps, even more so than you know and you will persevere. I know this because, you see, I’m on this journey, too. You’re not alone — we can do this together.

Nothing prepared me for the range of emotions I’ve experienced and I’m sure there will be new ones to experience as my pregnancy progresses. You may feel angry, happy, sad, hopeful, scared, anxious, joyful, depressed, at any given moment during this journey, but know that no one can tell you how you should be feeling. These are your emotions and there’s no right or wrong way to feel.

J – Jealousy. Seeing friends and family members give birth to a healthy baby when your arms are still empty can, on some days, fill you with an uncomfortable feeling of jealousy. I realized that this doesn’t mean I’m not happy for them, but it does mean that maybe it means I can’t be there for them in ways that I might have been, if things were different.

O – Optimism. We’re all different and on different journeys, but for some of us, the little victories along the way, like hearing this baby’s heartbeat or a successful ultrasound, can bring, albeit sometimes brief, moments of optimism for this pregnancy. And that’s okay. Be kind to yourself and enjoy these moments.

U – Uncertainty. You may find that it’s hard to look to far into the future because after what you’ve been through, the future seems so uncertain. But know that you are so brave and so strong to be on this journey, even when you don’t feel like it. Look as far ahead as you feel comfortable and you might find it gets easier each time you do this.

R – Remembering. This pregnancy is filled with memories of your last pregnancy, the baby you didn’t get to bring home with you. But it’s okay to make new memories, too! I need to keep reminding myself of this.

N – Nervousness. Moments in this pregnancy like ultrasounds, checking for heart tones, waiting for lab results, can cause anxiety. These aren’t exciting parts of our pregnancy for us anymore. I know they can be scary.

E – Excitement. Maybe you’ve already felt excitement at some point along this PAL journey, or maybe it hasn’t happened yet. In my journey, I’ve tried to savor the moments that have crept up, instead of pushing them away or ignoring them. I hope that you are able to do the same!

Y – Yearning. I want so badly for time to speed up so I can just hold my healthy baby in my arms. And I still long to hold my son who I never got to bring home from the hospital with me.

I hope that amidst the feelings of anxiety and sadness and fear, that you find the moments of hope and joy when you can. You are not alone on this journey. Sending you all of my love.


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