Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The First 20ish Weeks

I haven't had anything to share on here about my pregnancy so far. I think the main reason is because I have found several wonderful women who are on the same journey that I am. I email or Facebook message with them often, which has been the better way for me to cope with this journey. I've found I'd much rather have a conversation with someone who "gets it" than send my words out into blog-land, where they will perhaps be left unanswered. Also on many days I just have nothing to say. I'm sad about Emma, I'm scared for this baby, I'm confused about the whole thing, and I'm tired of trying to come up with new ways to say that.

So, here are some random ramblings reflections on the first 20ish (I am now 21 1/2) weeks of my pregnancy:

- I felt a lot more excitement than I anticipated when I found out I was pregnant. I was prepared for immediate fear and anxiety, but I actually felt excited at this chance for new life. We got a positive pregnancy test on April 2, Emma's nine month birthday. It was also the first time of the season that I saw a butterfly. I am hopeful that these things were "signs" that Emma was saying, don't worry you will get to bring this baby home from the hospital.

- After the initial excitement, I spent most of my first trimester in a state of disbelief. It was very hard to process the thoughts of a new baby along side my grief over Emma, especially when her first birthday was approaching.

- Getting ultrasounds is hard for me and they really bring up my anxiety. An ultrasound is how we learned that Emma had died and it's hard for me to associate positivity with those appointments.

- I have had one "is my baby okay?" anxiety attack so far, which led me to the doctor to get a heartbeat check. I won't be surprised if there are more, but I hope that there are not.

- Of course the real desire is a healthy living baby, but I have to admit that I hoped we would be having another girl. I was so ready to mother a daughter here on Earth, and I hope that with this little girl we will get our chance.

- Now that my pregnancy is showing I have developed anxiety about going into situations with strangers. There is always some "friendly" person who wants to ask about my pregnancy, and often included is, "is this your first?" Please people, stop asking that question. I understand that you are being friendly and making conversation, but it is not your business and it breaks my heart every time I have to answer your questions.

- I don't like (and have heard the same from many other PAL, pregnancy after loss, moms) when people tell me: this baby will be okay, this time it will be good, or other such things. It does not comfort me, and all it serves to do is bring up more anxiety when I begin thinking about the reasons that it may not be okay. When your baby dies before birth there is absolutely no "okay" until you have a healthy living baby in your arms. I understand you mean well, but it doesn't help. When PAL moms talk to each other we say things like: hopefully, if this baby lives, God-willing. That's how it is for us now, and it is helpful to talk to someone in real terms, in a way that faces the reality that is our lives.

- Being pregnant again does not make things okay or better. I still continue to grieve and mourn Emma, and that means that this pregnancy is impacted. Yes, I am trying to be positive and find ways to celebrate this baby as a unique person, but pregnancy is just different now and always will be. If you expect me to face this pregnancy with the blind joy I had last time around, don't hold your breath.

- Britt and I ordered a onesie (a cute fishing themed one) from Zulily yesterday. It is the first thing we have bought for baby girl. I have been spending time thinking about and planning her nursery, which has been my way of embracing and celebrating this pregnancy so far.

- Every time I start to get too anxious or negative I tell myself this: If anything happens to this baby it will be for me to deal with then, but for now she is healthy and alive and she deserves my full love and attention no matter how much it scares me. Anything less is not fair to her.

- These weeks around 20 weeks are hard because I am feeling her movements often, but it is still too early for them to really be in a regular pattern. That means I can't really track her movements yet, so I'm left to enjoy the movements whenever they happen to come. As a result, whenever I am not feeling her move I get scared.

- As I get closer to delivery being a real possible event I get more anxious. I have been flashing back to Emma's birth a lot and its hard for me to face being in a hospital/birth situation again. Losing your first baby is a unique grief because I have no positive frame of reference. When I think of giving birth all I have is this traumatic experience to reflect on. This has also brought back up a lot of grief over Emma. Britt and I continue to see our grief counselor, and its a good thing we do.

Well, I guess maybe I had something to say after all. Thanks for "listening". xoxo

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