Happy New Year! 2020. I cannot imagine that another year has passed. I feel like the last few new years have brought with them a feeling of hope, but mostly desperation. Like, please, let something be different. Let this be the year of fertility and health.

gestational carrier after loss, week 13: 2020 a New Year with hope and fear

As 2017 began, we had not been on our trying to conceive journey for too long and we were still very hopeful.

After all, 2016 had brought our engagement, our wedding, and for two absolute die-hard Cubs fans, a World Series win. Adding in a pregnancy seemed like it would have taken us to the level of some cheesy musical where animated birds and other animals sang. And, since neither of us can carry a tune, it was probably best to just wait, hoping 2017 was the magic year.

The beginning of 2018 was bittersweet.

We had gotten pregnant in 2017, miscarried, and January 2, 2018 would have been our due date. So, we missed our Sweet Pea and what we had thought would have the time of becoming parents. At the same time, we also found out just days before 2017 ended that we were pregnant again and we felt so much more optimistic. Yes, we were more cautious, we waited to announce, but we also felt more prepared and the pregnancy felt different.

The beginning of 2019 felt like a relief. 2018 and its curse or bad luck was over.

We celebrated the new year wearing shirts that displayed what we really felt about 2018 (it was not positive to say the least). But, it felt like it was a new start, that we had achieved our goal of becoming parents, but that clearly we had not been specific enough. So, 2019’s focus became the goal of a new, healthy child, our second and our first to come home.

Now, once again, we have a new year and 2020 is hopeful, scary, exciting, and overwhelming.

We are expecting again, but I am not pregnant and therefore do not panic daily. I do not check for blood every single time I go to the bathroom. Instead, we are planning for a child to come home in early July, but also taking it day by day. We have chosen a completely new path and things look great, like the change was just what we needed. But, it also means giving up control yet again and hoping someone else will take care of our child.

It is a fun and thrilling time, to think about what it will be like to have a child at home, while also figuring out how to still include and honor Colette as our oldest. It is also a road that we hope to have a joyful outcome, while knowing that the outcome is not always simple and sometimes can be tragic and sad.

This pregnancy feels different on so many levels.

Every day, I am amazed by the fact that we are expecting a child. I am humbled by G’s willingness to carry our child, but I am also terrified and often find myself waiting for the other shoe to drop.

We are also expecting our second child and constantly think about how to incorporate Colette in this entire process, ranging from preparing her before the transfer to figuring out how her presence will be acknowledged during and after the pregnancy. But, at the same time, people who do not know our story will make assumptions that this child is our first child and others will assume that the miracle of this child will cancel out our grief over Colette. We know this is untrue, but we anticipate having to educate and re-educate, striking the balance between always remembering Colette and also not allowing her to become an unattainable goal to our second child (and any others that may follow).

We are also very open about this pregnancy and that is helpful, but also brings with it a lot of questions.

Before starting this blog, I spent a lot of time thinking about if I was totally comfortable sharing the details of our story. Was this something that I wanted to be public, or was it something I would okay for our future child to read?  Would it be difficult to talk about these emotions?

Now, a few weeks in, I can say that it has been so incredibly helpful. It has made me feel more connected to this pregnancy which has been a struggle since I am not the pregnant one. Also, in previous pregnancies, having to be so quiet throughout the first trimester was very isolating. When you cannot tell people what is in your head, how everyday you worry about the pregnancy, how you start to wonder if the reason for these complications in conceiving and maintaining pregnancies is a sign to not have children, you feel completely alone.

This time, I feel like we have a community around us, and it is not just Mark and I dealing with the emotions, or worse, just me sitting alone in these thoughts. When you feel like there are others willing to listen, to sit with you in the uncomfortable, emotional state, as well as those who are cheering you on, then it feels so much more liberating and easier to get through the process. So, as we start yet another year, I hope that this is a positive, healthy year that brings our child home and for all those trying to accomplish the same goal.

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