This week I had a prenatal appointment that was very encouraging. Though I have seen some great providers since our move, I had yet to find one that I connected with. I really liked the doctor I saw this week. I felt that she validated my feelings and took my concerns seriously. She got me set up with some mental health resources and even referred me to a maternal fetal medicine specialist. When we moved, I had to leave behind two doctors who I loved and trusted with my life and my babies lives. It’s been hard starting over in the middle of my pregnancy.

I walked away from my appointment this week feeling really good about it all for the first time in months. That brings me peace that I’ve been lacking in that area.

Rainbow outfit, shoes, and sign that says "Every good and perfect gift is from above." - Hannah's Bump Day Blog, Week 30: One Step at a Time

Author’s Personal Collection/Hannah Kirk

I had some blood work done after my appointment as a precaution because of some symptoms I’ve been having. I wasn’t too worried about it leaving the office, but of course as the day went on, I started to overthink things. Once again, I started the day feeling great about my pregnancy and ended it worrying that my body was failing again. I’m trying to steer my mind in another direction whenever those thoughts come. It’ll be a few days before I get test results and there’s really no sense in making myself sick over something that might not even be an issue. Of course, just because I know that doesn’t mean I won’t lose sleep over it.

The same day, I brought my three-year-old to a new pediatrician to establish care.

After everything was all set with my daughter, I asked the doctor about newborn care. It felt so surreal as we talked it over and she handed me a book of new baby resources. It still feels like we have so far to go, but it’s truly coming so quickly. The hardest part of the appointment was when the doctor asked if my daughter had any siblings at home. I hesitated because everything in me wanted to acknowledge my baby in Heaven. However, I knew what she meant by her question so I answered that there are no siblings in our home yet. There are so many layers to this life after loss. It can’t be escaped and it will always be a part of everything I do. Selecting a pediatrician for the baby in my womb was a necessary step that felt good to take today. I’m having to take more and more of those big, necessary steps lately. Though it’s always daunting, it also feels like boldly saying, “I believe this baby is coming home.”

I’ve reached the halfway point between my loss gestation and my due date.

I look ten weeks back and see how far we’ve come. I look ten weeks ahead and see how much farther we have to go. I find myself here in the middle just trying to take it one step at a time. My baby’s movements have changed recently just in the sense that he’s growing bigger and it’s becoming much more obvious. I’m no longer feeling flutters. Instead, it’s kicks, jabs, hiccups, and stretches. Though it can be a little uncomfortable at times, it really is amazing. This is one of my favorite parts of pregnancy. However, that doesn’t excuse me from having this experience tainted with fear. I wish I could enjoy my baby’s movements without worrying if I’m missing some warning sign. There are moments when I can, but most of the time I just become hyper-aware, looking for any signs of trouble.

I just want him here – safe and alive.

I want to lay my eyes on this baby. I want to be able to watch him breathe and feel his heart beating next to mine. I don’t necessarily think that my anxiety will subside after he’s born. I had postpartum anxiety with my first baby, so I know this very well could just be the beginning of that battle. Still, I’m ready to jump that final pregnancy after loss hurdle of getting my baby earth-side safely.

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