This week has been confusing, to say the least. Somehow I’m feeling more calm and more anxious at the same time. I will believe my baby is coming home and worry that I’ve lost him all in the same day. I ordered some items for him that we were still needing, and I felt pretty good about it. I was actually feeling excited to receive them and eventually use them. However, it seems that every time I have a positive moment, it’s quickly followed by an increase in anxiety.

Ultrasound image with confetti - Hannah's Bump Day Blog, Week 29: Fighting Against Fear

Author’s Personal Collection/Hannah Kirk

Every time I wake up during the night, I semi-frantically place my hand on my belly, waiting for the baby to move.

Anytime he doesn’t move immediately, the clock starts for how long I can keep calm. If he takes too long, panic will set in quickly. My poor little guy probably wonders why I never let him sleep. I’ve woken him up many times just to get him to confirm that’s he’s ok in there.

On one such night, I found myself feeling so frustrated that I no longer hold the innocence that I once knew. Panicking daily is exhausting. If something seems amiss, even just for a moment, I can’t seem to reason with myself for more than five minutes at a time before my mind jumps to the worst-case scenario. I miss the days when I wasn’t so intimately aware of how delicate life truly is. After my loss, I didn’t just grieve my baby. I also grieved that loss of innocence. I knew that if I ever got pregnant again, it would never be the same. I didn’t know what it would look like or feel like, but I knew that a line had been crossed and that I could never go back again. I’ve cried over that loss as well.

It feels like an uphill battle most days.

I’m constantly on guard. It’s like I’m in the home stretch, but there’s a fog concealing the finish line. I’m running, but I don’t know what I’m running towards. My mind sometimes tries to fill in that unknown space with possibilities. Sometimes it’s helpful – like envisioning holding my living, breathing baby boy for the first time. Other times it’s stressful – like jumping to every worst-case scenario my brain can come up with.

Through it all, in the last seven months, there’s one thing that I’ve learned to be true – I don’t have to choose fear. I’m not saying it isn’t hard. It’s a battle every single day. It’s a decision I have to continue to make. Fear can be all-consuming if I allow it to be. I have to choose faith, joy, and celebration daily. Do these things take away my fear? No. I’m only human. But I’m also not a prisoner of fear. It doesn’t get to decide how I live my life. It doesn’t get to define my pregnancy. There is beauty in these ashes. I’m choosing to embrace that beauty while acknowledging what I’ve lost.

Next week, I’ll have reached thirty weeks of pregnancy.

I’ll officially be out of the twenties and entering the ten-week period in which I will give birth to my son. I’m expecting these next ten weeks to be hard both physically and emotionally. Part of me wants them to fly by, but I’m also going to try to cherish these last couple months of my pregnancy. This is time I’ll never get back. While I’m ready to reach the end of this pregnancy after loss journey, I don’t want to miss the beauty along the way.

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