I’m very thankful that for the past couple of weeks, I have really been able to enjoy my pregnancy and anticipate my baby’s homecoming. Unfortunately, that feeling has become harder to grasp lately. This week, I’ve been struggling with anxiety in a new way. I have broken down into tears several times so fearful that something could go wrong at the last minute. I worry that maybe we can’t safely make it a few more weeks and the doctors just haven’t caught on to that yet. Even with the extra testing and monitoring, it still just doesn’t feel like enough. I want my baby here safely as soon as possible. Soon just doesn’t feel soon enough some days.

Henry Sutton quote and ultrasound image - Hannah's Bump Day Blog, Week 37: Holding Onto Hope

Author’s Personal Collection/Hannah Kirk

Risk is a part of life. It’s especially a part of childbirth. It’s hard to make any sort of choice when I hear about the risks involved because no path feels safe enough. It’s a powerless feeling – like whatever I do I’m taking a risk that I’d rather not have to take. The truth is there is no fool-proof way to navigate this life. Likewise, there’s no risk-proof way to have a baby.

Something that has helped me cope during this pregnancy is staying present.

I’ve tried my best not to look too far ahead because it has been too overwhelming for me. Now, the biggest hurdle in this pregnancy after loss is quickly approaching – the birth of my baby. Planning for birth is no longer “looking too far ahead.” It’s imminent. In the simple, mundane things, I’m constantly reminded. We picked up a gallon of milk at the grocery store this week. When I saw it in the fridge, I was taken aback by the date on the carton. I will very likely be holding my baby in my arms before that milk expires. Maybe that’s a silly thing to be surprised about, but it stopped me in my tracks for a moment. This pregnancy is nearing its end. It feels so close, yet so incredibly far away. Some days I don’t feel like I have enough time to get everything done. Other days, I can hardly stand the thought of waiting one more day let alone a few more weeks. I’m beyond ready for my boy to be safely in my arms.

My baby is just as active as ever. A lot of the time, I can clearly tell what part of him is pushing against me. It’s wild to see his little arms and legs moving across my belly – almost within reach. My daughter still loves to feel him move. Sometimes that’s the first request out of her mouth in the morning. She giggles anytime he kicks or moves underneath her hands when she places them on my belly. That has been one of my favorite parts of this pregnancy.

We’ve talked a bit more about what it’ll be like when we go to the hospital. She isn’t too sure about all of this, but I’m hoping being informed (and maybe a new toy) help make it easier for her. As I explain the process to her, I still can’t make myself say that we’ll be bringing her baby brother home in the end. I am absolutely planning to bring this baby home, but something just stops me from saying that to my daughter every time I try. It’s that nagging, infuriating, hope-stealing “what if.” She’s so in love with her brother. I love watching them bond even while he’s in my womb. Still a part of me aches a little with every happy moment. It makes it hard to stay present and causes my mind to wander. I feel such guilt over this. It’s hard to even admit, but I’ve strived to be as authentic as I can be when sharing my journey through this pregnancy. This is unfortunately a part of that journey right now.

I really do have so much hope for a positive outcome and a healthy baby. I’m just growing weary of the waiting.

Sometimes I don’t feel like I have much left to give physically, emotionally, or mentally. While that may be true at times, I know that I can make it through. I may be weary, but I’m still hopeful. I may not be able to fully silence the what-ifs, but I feel a stronger urge to ignore them instead of listen to them. I’m doing my best to hold on to hope even when my vision gets clouded by doubts and fears. My baby deserves to be celebrated. While that may look different during a pregnancy after loss, it’s still just as precious to anticipate new life. As we’re counting down these final days, we’re expecting with confidence to be holding a healthy baby boy in our arms very soon.

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