Currently, I am 8 weeks, 2 days pregnant with our rainbow baby. We lost our first pregnancy on March 4th, 2021. Since that time I have struggled through grief, sadness, guilt and anger. After trying to conceive for only a few months we are lucky enough to be pregnant with our “sweet pea” (our name for now).

As we were trying to conceive I had a heightened sense of awareness and knew I was pregnant quite early, at about 3 weeks. I waited about a week after that to tell my husband, just to make sure. He was thrilled and I don’t remember seeing him smile like that since the last time I told him I was pregnant.

We knew this pregnancy would be different – it would feel different. The first time we were naïve and carefree. Now we knew. We knew how quickly things could change and how it can feel like the whole world is falling down around us.

Janel's 8-week bump: Leaning into the Happy Moments

Author’s Personal Collection/Janel Morphy

We talked about this early on. The emotions we had surrounding this pregnancy. Excitement and joy for sure, but also co-mingling with anxiety, stress, trepidation, and fear. How could we not think something terrible would happen when that is our only experience with pregnancy? I tried to distance myself from this pregnancy at first. I thought it would save us some heartache if we weren’t so attached, just in case we couldn’t bring this baby home.

Then one day it just hit me. I’m growing another human inside my body – how can I pretend for a second that it doesn’t affect me?! Not to mention the physical symptoms I was experiencing were like signs in neon lights. I was pregnant. This is happening. Again. We realized that no matter what happens we only have each day with our sweet pea as it is exactly right now. We cannot predict the future and we cannot relive the past. We have to lean into the happy moments. Enjoy them. Relish them. Put the anxiety down, let it go. Even if just for a moment (and sometimes that’s all it feels like). Having a miscarriage has highlighted the lack of control we can have over our reproductive plans. We can’t plan this. We just have to enjoy each day as a gift that we are pregnant again and we have another chance.

So, every day we try to enjoy moments together, me with our rainbow baby, and my husband with both of us.

We finally took a picture when I was 8 weeks pregnant–one of those obligatory pictures with a circle sticker on my belly saying “8 weeks!” We carved a pumpkin with hands in a heart, like hands holding a pregnant belly. My husband finally talked to my belly for the first time this week (and yes we know it can’t hear yet haha!). But he is leaning into the happiness of connecting today. We have shared our news with our parents and a few close friends. It is starting to feel more celebratory. Cautious, but celebratory.

We are still afraid to talk about the future. We don’t plan for June (my due date), we don’t talk about Christmas or the new year. We haven’t planned our summer vacation (we usually go on long road trips so we start planning early!). We always have contingency plans… “if we have a baby then…” and “if we don’t have a baby then…” All of these are future concerns. Concerns, fears, worries, hopes, and dreams that we cannot control. So we are determined to lean into the happy moments of today. Right now. That’s all we’re guaranteed after all.

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