You are pregnant again after a loss. Some might see you and think that this new pregnancy is the solution to your grief and that you should feel on top of the world. That is not reality for us though. No it is not.
The reality is that even if things work out with this new baby, you are still grieving, and will always grieve the loss of your other baby. Your grief will change over time. Having a living child does help in the healing process. But it certainly does not take away from the fact that you lost a baby as well as your hopes and dreams for that baby.
The reality is that your innocence is long gone. That woman who carelessly strolled the baby aisles at Target isn’t there anymore. She has been replaced with a hardened version of herself. One that knows that anything can happen. One that is afraid to buy baby items in fear that, yet again, they won’t be used.
The reality is that you are happy. You are getting another chance at being a parent in the way that you had imagined it when you first saw those two pink lines. But shadowing that happiness is fear. Fear that wants to badly to overpower you. Fear that makes you want to cry sometimes. Fear that feels crushing. Fear that makes this new pregnancy journey seem like the longest, most daunting journey that ever existed.
The reality is that you will become tense when you hear how excited family and friends are for you. They can’t help themselves for being excited. But it is so hard for you to lean into that excitement. It might feel like by being excited, you are jinxing things. The truth is, you are excited too, but when that excitement level starts to go up, your fear and doubt come back and want to take over the stage.
The reality is that your partner is scared too. He might not say that he is. He might act strong because he thinks that’s what you need. But he is scared. He experienced the worst too. He was there when it happened. He lived it and breathed it. He still grieves. He lost his innocence right along with you. Knowing that he is scared too will both comfort you and make you uneasy. Comforting in that you feel validated. You know that you’re not alone and that you’re not crazy for being scared. Uneasy in that it is validating that there is a reason for being scared.
The reality is that each day will creep by very slowly. You will count down the weeks, days, and hours in between your OB appointments. You will secretly wish that you could have your own sonogram machine at home to check on the baby at any time your heart desires. But you know that that can’t happen, so you do the only thing you can. You put one foot in front of the other, and you keep going, waiting patiently until you get to hear or see your baby again.
The reality is that you might wish that you could be in a bubble during this subsequent pregnancy. You don’t want to expose yourself to any potential threat or danger. And sometimes everything will seem like a threat. You and others might think you’re crazy for feeling this way. But you’re not crazy. You’re a bereaved mother walking an extremely challenging road.
The reality is that you will come out on the other side of this. This is not who you thought you’d be when you started off on your journey toward parenthood. You are navigating your way through uncharted territory. There will be bad days on this journey, but there will be good ones too. Enjoy those good days as much as you can. Enjoy every good moment that you have, for it will help get you through the bad ones. When you feel compelled to take a picture of your belly, do it. When you feel compelled to buy something for the baby, do it. Lean on your support systems. Take care of yourself. Be kind and gentle on yourself. Try not to let your reality paralyze you.
The reality is that you have so much hope for this one to be born alive and healthy that you can taste it. Think of that reality. Picture it and know that it is there, within reach.