Well, we almost made it! 2021 has been one of the most challenging years in my life.

We lost our first pregnancy on March 4th of 2021, tainting the rest of the year with sadness, guilt, anger, and anxiety. This year my husband and I have also experienced numerous personal and professional challenges. I said to him back in May, if we can make it to the end of 2021 in one piece I think we’re doing pretty well!

Janel and her husband, 16 weeks pregnant, in "there's a cookie in the oven" t-shirts - moving into the new year

Author’s Personal Collection/Janel Morphy

And here we are! It has been a complete roller coaster, but we made it.

Currently, I am 16 weeks, 4 days pregnant with our little rainbow that we call “sweet pea.” When I start back to work in the new year I will be 17 weeks exactly. It still feels somewhat surreal, as I was never sure we would make it this far. But we are so grateful and happy everything is going well and we are excited for the hope and joy this new year could hold for us. Each day we grow more hopeful as we start to move forward and talk about our future as a family of three (or four if you count or doggo, Moe).

Janel with her dog - moving into the new year

Author’s Personal Collection/Janel Morphy

On the other hand, this year coming to a close to strangely bittersweet.

It is the year I had my first pregnancy, our “little nug.” The time during this pregnancy was some of the happiest, most joyful, and exciting times in my life. Moving into a new year makes me aware of the growing distance between my first pregnancy and me. And although the ending was painful and the aftermath of having a miscarriage brought me to my knees, I don’t want to ever forget our baby. Today we went to visit the plaque we put on one of our favorite hiking trails. We placed this plaque there on my due date of my first pregnancy, September 16. It felt full circle and a way to honor our baby to go and visit on the last day of the year.

memorial plaque on tree

Author’s Personal Collection/Janel Morphy

2021 was also the year that we conceived our current pregnancy. It feels scary and trepidatious moving into this new and unknown year, now pregnant after loss. Compared to my first pregnancy, this time I have noticed I am actually looking forward to more pregnancy, rather than the “due date.” I think about making it to 16 weeks, then making it into the new year, followed by the goal of making it to 20 weeks. In my first pregnancy, the focus and countdown were all about the due date.

As 2021 comes to a close I am proud of how far I have come and grateful for the support and love in my life.

I am sad to leave the joyful times and good memories of this year behind, but excited and hopeful to move forward into 2022.

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