Pregnancy after loss can be utterly and completely terrifying. I don’t really know when I have been more scared of possibilities. Within the beauty of this pregnancy comes a field of fears and possibilities. After my near death and my twins actually death, the reality of possibilities came barreling in the moment I find out that I was pregnant. No matter the gestation of the child, you automatically fear making it past the time you did with your prior child. There is the 13 weeks “everything will be fine” mark. Then there is the 24 week period that you need to make it to because that is when your child could possibly survive if something went wrong and needed to be delivered. There is the almighty 3rd trimester in which you are supposed to be in the complete clear. Then there is the 36 -37 week mark that is the possibility for the scheduled C-section if that is what your doctor recommends. Then the praying, hoping and begging that your child won’t have complications, be stillborn, go to the NICU, or just be alive while you wait and wait for what seems forever to have this child. All the while learning more and more about all the other possibilities that could go wrong that didn’t even happen to you. Things you read or heard from support groups or stories that people tell you, knowing that you need to hear these stories because you need these other people in this unfortunate club to be there for you as they actually understand the fear and happiness mixture of emotions you are feeling. These things all become a complete possibility because even though you know that statistic of being that “1” is low, you have already been that statistic. You know that the statistic exists for a reason and that this new pregnancy doesn’t mean you are exempt from that statistic.
How do you explain this to someone who doesn’t know what it’s like? Who doesn’t understand why you can’t just accept the “It’s going to fine.” You can seem almost bitter and resentful of your pregnancy. When in reality, all you want is for this pregnancy to result in a happy, living child and a healthy mother. How many times have I heard “Why are you so negative?” I’m not being negative. I know that this pregnancy doesn’t guarantee me a happy, living child for the long haul. Do I want a happy, living child? So much! Do I know that it is possible to not get that? Yes. And that is what makes me continue to be realistic.
I’m almost 30 weeks pregnant. My son will be here in less than 7 weeks. The closer I get to that time, the more anxiety I seem to get. My twins were born on New Year’s Day, 2013. This child is due to arrive in the middle of January by C-section. I don’t know if my fear stems just from the fact that my children died, that they were living and kicking until after they were out in the world, or if it is because this child will be born so close to their birthdays. Logic flies out the window when it comes to fear.
I look at the pregnant women that have not had a loss who are so naïve and get jealous. I want that. I wish I could have that. With every piece of happiness I have in regards to this pregnancy, I hold myself back a little. Just so it won’t hurt as much if this one dies too. I know how stupid that sounds, because I don’t even believe it myself. I’m all in. I’m completely in love with this boy inside me. I have been. So why do I hold myself back? Why can’t I let myself feel all that happiness that is enclosed inside me? Maybe it’s because if I let myself feel all that happiness, I will have to let myself feel all that fear. And I mean really feel that fear. That knee bending, loss of breath type of fear that consumes you until you work through it. Is it to be strong for my husband so he doesn’t have to worry and take care of me again? It could be that I don’t want my rainbow daughter to feel my emotional fear that can overpower me if I let it.
There has to be a balance. To have grief, you need to have had love. To have happiness, you need to have had sadness. To be brave, you have to go through the fear. I don’t think I will ever have that perfect balance. I need to start accepting that I will not have that perfect balance. That my balance is what has works for me as well as my family.