Here we are in week 24 with sweet Joey.

A new milestone met this pregnancy, because this is considered “the week of viability”. This means that if she were born today, she would have a high chance of surviving. It’s a milestone  I often struggle with because my baby did not survive well beyond that time.

Franky's 24-week bump: there's no balance

You know what they say, though. No news is surely good news. That’s exactly what this week has been filled with–no news. I’ve been in between appointments with MFM and my regular OB. The calmness of this last little while should bring me peace, but if I’m being frank it feels strangely eerie. It’s one of those things that makes me feel perpetually screwed up. Do I have an inability to be truly, and unconditionally happy?

I don’t know if there will ever be a point in this pregnancy where I’ll be ready to let my guard down.

My train of thought this past week has brought me to those times with Rossi, and with Madeline. One minute I was having a healthy pregnancy, and then all of a sudden I was having a dangerous one. As this pregnancy progresses, my anxiety level is getting higher, the walls that are up even more so. Simply keeping my head above water is the reality I’ve had to settle on.

Pregnancy after loss is such a conflicting and confusing time. There is consistently a state of having to guess if every concern is being dictated by extreme paranoia or untouchable intuition. I’m one of those loss moms who didn’t go with her gut when she should have. I’m also the mom that went to the emergency room several times, just to be sent home. With Joey, one of the hardest things to overcome is navigating how can I be healthily cautious, yet also appropriately reserved through this whole thing.

There is no handbook on how to not go absolutely mad through an experience like this. We all have no choice but to ride the wave, and hopefully, someone will stretch out a compassionate hand as we do.

No matter how transparent I can be with my struggles through loss and complications, no one really gets to see how much I really suffer. No one sees me silently pleading with Joey to move so I can finally catch my breath. There’s no one that sees the mental warfare that is endured when I overthink my last doctor’s appointment, incessantly worrying over the symptoms I didn’t report, and/or the questions I didn’t ask. Each day brings on the possibility of my world being flipped upside down again, and I’m constantly bombarded with wondering if I did enough to soften the blow.

Now, I wake up with the sun and see Joey’s empty bassinet at my bedside. It’s filled with little onesies, booties and bed sheets that still smell like the store they came from. In a lot of ways, I guess it symbolizes how I’m not as jaded as I think I am. Even I can admit that these little things we have collected for her so far have brought on more inklings of happiness than they have brought on fears of having them be unused.

Another week conquered, another small victory earned.

24 down, 16 to go.

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