It’s the last week of my second trimester… I think. The internet is giving me mixed information! I’m feeling excited but also scared. For a brief moment, I found myself feeling unbridled excitement – over the baby growing inside of me, the box of sweet little clothes I get to sort through, the olive green crib I just ordered. Then, something sent me crashing back down to earth – a reality that doesn’t guarantee a living baby even though I’m preparing for one, even though I love this child with my whole heart.

It’s not that I forgot that I’ve lost a baby and that it could happen again. It’s just that, for a moment, my joy outweighed my fear.

Pregnant person holding baby clothes - Hannah's Bump Day Blog, Week 27: Farewell Second Trimester

Author’s Personal Collection/Hannah Kirk

When I was pregnant with my daughter, my pregnancy journal asked the question, “What are you most excited for during the third trimester?” My answer was, “Meeting our baby girl!” As I’m moving into the third trimester of this pregnancy, that meeting doesn’t feel guaranteed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very excited at the thought of meeting my little man. However, I feel like my excitement comes with a disclaimer. I don’t necessarily say it out loud, but every concrete statement about this pregnancy is followed in my head by a disclaimer, whether I mean for it to happen or not. For example, my husband and I were discussing how we’d arrange the car seats in our vehicle for both our three-year-old and the new baby. In the back of my mind, that disclaimer crept in – “if we need the infant seat.” Because I remember the day when I looked in my rearview mirror and cried because there was only one car seat behind me when there should have been two.

As I lay here writing this, feeling my baby moving within, I feel guilty for feeling this way.

I have no reason not to believe that in just a few short months, this sweet little babe will be joining our family here on earth. I want to anticipate him without hesitation. I want my husband to be bursting with excitement over our son. I want to smile instead of cringe whenever someone asks my daughter if she’s excited for the baby. But… pregnancy loss is unforgiving. Even once the event of a loss is over, the pain lingers because so does the love. We know what it’s like to pack away items intended for a baby that will never use them. We know that excitement can turn into sorrow – even in an ultrasound room. We know that though our daughter has been a big sister for over a year already, she still hasn’t held a baby sibling in her arms. It all feels so backwards and unfair. Sometimes it just hurts.

Other times, it’s pure joy. Because we know such pain, the little moments of happiness are even sweeter. Those reassuring kicks and hiccups from my baby are all the more precious. My daughter’s gleeful anticipation of her little brother gives me a glimpse of the innocence that I once knew. Pregnancy after loss is beautiful, hard, and messy. I’ve heard people say that next to losing a child, it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever done. I’m finding that to be true for me too. I’m so grateful to have made it this far. I pray multiple times a day that my little one will continue to grow and thrive and that very soon, we’ll be holding him in our arms.

This week, I scheduled my induction.

I still haven’t put the date on the calendar. Part of me is afraid to. Having a date for when I could potentially be bringing this baby into the world feels like a big deal. When I got the message with the date and time from the hospital, I immediately felt sick to my stomach. Sure, I’m nervous to be induced again and for the birth itself, but it’s so much more than that. It’s the fear of having another painful date if something were to go wrong. It’s wondering if we’ll make it that far. It’s hoping, praying, and trying to believe that it will be a day of celebration.

It’s scary to have that date in my head, but it’s also comforting. I’m well aware that so many things could change between now and then. Babies don’t always come when you plan for them to. However, having an induction date takes some of the guesswork out of this pregnancy. I have something to plan for and count down to. Taking this step was very needed, and I’m glad to have finally built up the courage to do it. There are still so many unknowns. All we can do is prepare for what we know and let go of the rest. In the words of my husband, “We will just be ready for whatever happens.” As ready as we can be.

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