This past Saturday marked seven months since we lost Sophie. With 17 weeks behind me in this pregnancy, these monthly milestones hit differently. I was hit by wave after wave of tragic memories and I wasn’t able to distract myself like I have been able to other times. So I let them hit me and I drowned myself in them for a bit because they’re still our memories.

Sophie's picture and memories - 7 Months without Sophie

Author’s Personal Collection/Shannyn Hanson

They’re some of the only memories I have of Sophie and of our family together. And it’s painful, but it comforts me for that reason.

It’s the memory of her tiny hand holding onto our fingers, the look that my husband had on his face when he held her, and the rise and fall of her chest that I will never be able to forget. It’s all of those beautifully painful moments that I hold onto so tight, but I wanted so many more memories with her.

Being pregnant again and reliving that pain makes the reality set in. What if we lose this baby too? Would I be able to bear that heartache again? What if I don’t pay close enough attention to my body and I miss something? This last question, in particular, is infuriating, not helpful, and unfortunately, entirely unavoidable.

Half of my brain chants, “different baby, different pregnancy!” The other half shouts, “same body, same issue.”

It feels like this giant weight of responsibility to make sure I don’t lose this baby boy. We’re set up for success this time, and we have every possible resource supporting us through this pregnancy. Still, I consider every minute outside of those doctor appointments to be my responsibility. In my mind, any minute could be the minute that I start cramping and my water breaks again. If I miss something, I’m not sure how I could forgive myself. It was easier with my first pregnancy because I told myself there was no way for me to have known some of the signs of my body going into labor. I won’t be able to give myself the same hall pass this time if something happens.

The truth that I’m grappling with is that the next 6 weeks of this pregnancy will likely be the toughest weeks for me to get through. Until I can say the word “viability” every muscle will be tensed and every floor I walk on will be made of eggshells. Pregnancy after a loss is not for the weak. I don’t necessarily feel strong either, but I just have no other option but to keep moving forward if I ever want to hold our baby in my arms.

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