I'm struggling to be truly happy and really enjoy being pregnant again. I though once I got past the first trimester I could breathe a little easier. And then the first trimester went by and my anxiety didn't change much. Then I thought once I can feel her kick I will be relieved. Those kicks started at about 18 weeks and are continuously getting stronger yet I lose plenty of sleep worrying. Part of me is just waiting for the worse thing to happen, part of me is just waiting for this baby to be taken from me too.
January is fast approaching and yet I am really struggling to be truly over the moon excited. Please don't take that wrong. I love this baby, I've prayed endlessly for this baby and I die for this baby but pregnancy after loss is not all sunshine and puppies like it was my first go round. With Avery I was carefree. I expected to be raising a child at the end of my 40weeks and beyond. Now I know there is no guarantee and that scares me. Human nature wants us to be in control and know that no matter what I do, it's out of my hands. That's hard to accept. That's hard to be ok with.
People say that the first six days will be the hardest for me and while that is true, SIDS can strike at anytime in the first year. Avery fell outside the norm of the greatest chances of it happening. So even when we pass the six day mark, I know it can still happen at any point.
I'm trying to enjoy this pregnancy. I'm trying to take a step back and breathe. I'm trying to soak in every kick, every jab, every flip. I'm trying to get excited over decorating and shopping. I'm trying to picture what life will be like this time next year with a 9 month old. But most days the fear wins. Most days I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop. I'm just waiting for the bad to happen. And I hate that. I want my ignorant, blissful self back. The one who wasn't acutely aware of the most common genetic disorders, the one who didn't know how often babies are born still, the one who thought taking all the recommended SIDS precautions would keep her safe. I wish I didn't know these things and at the same time now that I do, I wish more people truly comprehended how often these tragedies happen.
My goal as this pregnancy progresses and I get closer and closer to my due date is to really take it all in and enjoy the time I do have. I don't want to let the fear keep me from seeing the miracle that is happening. I don't want to let it run my life or take away from this little one growing inside of me. I should know all too well time is short. I don't know how long I have to hold this baby. I need to enjoy what I do have.
Pregnancy after loss is hard, no it's extremely hard. I'm not sure others who haven't been there really get that. Honestly, unless you've personally been there, you can't. Lightning can and does strike twice. We have no guarantees. If you know someone who is pregnant after a loss, please know, this pregnancy will be like no other you or they have experienced. Excitement is frequently overshadowed by worry. As much as we all hope and pray the cards are different this time around, it cannot be guaranteed.
Pregnancy after loss is different in every possible way. Please try to understand this, please think about the words you speak, think about what the parents want, think about the fear we live in daily, the scenarios that play on repeat in our heads. We may want more time as just us alone. We may not want grand showers. We may want to shelter this baby from everything. We may not even really know what we want until the day comes. Whatever is it we want, let us be. Don't judge. Don't expect it to be like what everyone else thinks is right. Nothing about our situation is normal and there is no right and wrong way to have a second baby while your other watches from Heaven.
This miracle isn't the turning point in our story where everything becomes magically all better. And we go on to being our old selves. This pregnancy is part of our loss journey. It ties Avery and this baby together as siblings forever and adds a new dynamic to our grief, making our road a little more bumpy but while also bringing a little light to help us navigate our way.