From my last blog to this blog feels world’s away.

It’s wild and frightening how much life as we knew it changed so quickly. My struggles of last week, last month, last year, seem so trivial now and I find myself begging for that amount of hardship again. That’s because anything feels lighter than what’s weighing on my shoulders and my heart right now.

Franky's 18-week bump: struggling to choose hope

When I went into this pregnancy, I had a lot of expectations for it, as discussed in my week 16 blog. I wanted this pregnancy to be THE pregnancy.

I finally accepted that I deserve excitement.

I deserved hope and celebration.

I deserved the pregnancy that a majority of women get and take for granted.

I didn’t want much else. I just wanted to be free. After having my first stillborn, and my second pregnancy being beyond traumatic and emotionally complex, I felt I was entitled to that much.

However, those expectations came with a lot of sacrifices, too.

I have wanted to give everything to this baby from the start. Emotionally, mentally, and financially, we were more ready for her than we ever were the first two times.

But then I found out I was at even higher risk with this baby than I ever was with Rossi or Madeline. I then discovered even more things that my previous OB hid, information that could have saved my son… to enduring this pandemic.

Naturally, I already had my fair share of reasons to be cautious. I’m immunocompromised as it is, suffering from an autoimmune disorder and being susceptible to hypertension during pregnancy. Baby Josephine is already at risk for IUGR, prematurity, and a congenital heart block due to history and current condition. Throw in that pregnant women in general are now on that list of “at-risk populations” during this Coronavirus outbreak, I thought that would be the peak of my concerns and the dust would settle from here.

That was until my husband got laid off until July (My due date is Aug 22, although both of my babies were born early) a few days ago. Like many, he’ll have to go on Unemployment, and in Canada, that means a pay-cut of almost half. Since we have no other source of income, both of our brains have been scrambling for ways as to how we’re going to take care of our family of three on Earth, let alone be able to get everything we need for our daughter’s arrival.

It seems as though as soon as I find the strength to pull myself out of the dirt, something else pops up to push me back on the ground.

Trust me, I’m not ignorant to the fact that there are so many of us struggling out there. With that, though, I’m also aware of the people who have it better, and as victimizing as it sounds, I’m tired of feeling like some higher power is playing some cruel joke on me the moment I decide to choose hope over anguish.

Especially within this community, those who are expecting after loss, I cannot imagine that I’m alone in feeling this way. There are probably plenty of you who feel cheated of the pregnancy you deserve. Pregnancy after loss can host enough challenges, let alone the threat of a global pandemic, and the uncertainty of what world you’ll be bringing a precious rainbow into.

As hard as my experience with pregnancy has been, I never thought I would be in the position where I would have to worry about how I’m going to put diapers on my baby.

Yet, every day I’m having to choose hope, even if I do so unwillingly. I didn’t bring my babies into this world giving myself permission to give up.

I’m sorry if you’re reading this and nodding furiously to everything I am saying. I cannot offer much but my solidarity, though I strongly believe that’s what a lot of need to get through this.

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