I’ve reached nineteen weeks. What a week it has been! My little family and I are in the process of moving about fourteen hours away from home for my husband’s new job. We’re excited, but so nervous. There are a lot of unknowns that we are currently facing. Of course, as parents pregnant after loss, we are no strangers to the unknown.

Days before we left home, I finally built up enough courage to announce my pregnancy to the rest of our family then on social media.

Pregnancy announcement with ultrasound image and rainbow ornament that reads, "For this child we prayed" - Hannah's Bump Day Blog, Week 19: Choosing Celebration

Author’s Personal Collection/Hannah Kirk

It’s always a big step to announce a pregnancy, but during a pregnancy following a loss, it takes on a new layer. When I announced my first two pregnancies, there was never fear involved. It was just excitement! This time, it was different. It took me hours to build up the courage each time I told someone, then I would feel sick to my stomach about it for a couple of days, afraid I’d made a mistake. My heart raced as I hit post to share the news on social media. Was I sure? How could I ever be sure?

When I first found out about this pregnancy, I didn’t start planning out how I was going to tell everyone like I had in the past. Actually, my and my husband’s first thoughts were that we were going to wait as long as we could. I didn’t think that telling people would jinx my pregnancy. I just needed time to process it all. I found out I was pregnant just a few weeks before my Heaven Baby’s due date. I should have still been pregnant with him and just days away from welcoming him into the world. My grief was still very fresh, and an approaching should-have-been due date was making it all harder. Though I was so grateful to be pregnant again, in the moment when I found out, I cried tears of joy, fear, and sorrow all at the same time.

I started out on this journey feeling very alone with my thoughts and emotions.

Though that was hard, my heart needed the space – to process, to grieve, to hope. The decision, months later, to finally announce my pregnancy to the world did not come easily. I’ve learned the hard lesson that there are no guarantees. I’m hopeful for this pregnancy, but I still don’t know how it will all play out. This story is still being written, and I don’t get to know how it ends.

There are so many unknowns, but I do know this. I never regretted announcing my son, Koda, even after he died. I felt uneasy about that pregnancy whenever I posted the announcement photo. I thought it was just typical mom worries. I never imagined that just two weeks later, I’d be making another post about his birth and death. Making the choice to announce my current pregnancy required me to dissociate it from my loss and understand that announcing a pregnancy does not cause adverse events to happen as past trauma would lead me to believe.

I’m blessed with an incredible community of family and friends who have sat with me in my pain and now reciprocate my joy.

I’m thankful that even in the uncertainty and the waiting that I get to anticipate this baby’s arrival with others. Sometimes celebration is a choice. It has not always come naturally during this pregnancy though I am finding that it gets a little easier each day to believe, to hope, and to celebrate.

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