As we continue to prepare for labour and delivery and life with our baby after, I often find myself feeling overwhelmed this week. It’s a new challenge – one that I have never faced before.

Janel traveling - I CAN do hard things!

Author’s Personal Collection/Janel Morphy

I’ve been reflecting on the past year and reminding myself that YES – I CAN do hard things!

Pregnancy after loss is most definitely not for the faint of heart. But I have taken on countless challenges before and will face this one with strength and courage.

Janel traveling - I CAN do hard things!

Author’s Personal Collection/Janel Morphy

I often think back to last May as an example that I CAN do hard things! I miscarried on March 4, 2021. In May I was still reeling from the loss of our baby, feeling sadness, grief, shame, and anger every day. I decided to go on a solo trip to Wawa, ON. The pandemic was also a factor in this decision. Ontario had already been through numerous lockdowns, traveling was not really feasible at the time and there were advisories to limit social interactions.

Janel traveling - I CAN do hard things!

Author’s Personal Collection/Janel Morphy

I have always loved Wawa and the surrounding area. It is in Northern Ontario, about a 10-hour drive from home. It felt like an ambitious trip on my own, but I needed to go. I packed up the car (and my doggo for company) and made the trek to Wawa, staying four nights and five days.

This turned out to be just what I needed to prove to myself that YES I can.

Life can carry on; despite the feeling that we had lost so much. Yes, I can be independent; despite how dependent and insecure I felt. And YES I can be strong; despite losing of baby and struggling with grief – I CAN carry on. And finally – YES I can find joy in things that I enjoy; despite the pain I was feeling.

Janel traveling - I CAN do hard things!

Author’s Personal Collection/Janel Morphy

In October 2021, when I was 6 weeks pregnant with our little sweet pea, I ventured on another trip. This time to visit my best friend in Vancouver. While excitement over traveling and seeing my friend were at a high, fear of losing this pregnancy too was constantly on my mind. It took courage to leave home in what felt like such a vulnerable time. On the last day of my trip, I actually ended up having implantation bleeding (which of course caused instant panic). I leaned heavily on the support of my friend, my husband and my mom that day. Luckily I was able to have an ultrasound the day after I got home. This was our first ultrasound during this pregnancy, which confirmed babe was implanted and exactly where they should be!

Janel traveling - I CAN do hard things!

Author’s Personal Collection/Janel Morphy

In November again I proved to myself that I AM strong and independent.

My husband had to travel for work (which is a rare occurrence for him and something I am not used to!). He left when I was exactly 12 weeks pregnant. Our miscarriage happened at exactly 12 weeks in our last pregnancy. To say I felt anxious would be the understatement of the century. I wasn’t functioning well in those few weeks and the only concrete mantra I seemed to be able to remember was “everything will be ok, everything will be ok.” Although I didn’t believe it at the time I said it to myself over and over. It is remarkable how at many points in life you don’t know how you are getting through something each day, you just do. Looking back and reflecting on that time makes me feel proud of everything I have overcome!

So heading into this new chapter of our life I will keep reminding myself, YES I CAN!

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