Most of the the time when I write, I keep it to myself. Writing is therapeutic for me. It's helps me process and overcome challenges that I'm just not able to talk about to anyone else. Usually, it's personal. And the majority of the time I don't end up sharing. But October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, and in the spirit of developing a community and reaching out to others who have had their own struggles, I've decided to post some things I wrote early on in this pregnancy, when the outlook was less hopeful and I thought my greatest fears had come to fruition. The dark moments are the ones that really need to be shared, because they are the ones that make us feel most alone. But we're not alone, and that is what Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month is all about.
14 weeks pregnant
Is this real? I walked into the bathroom this morning and glanced in the mirror at my bulging belly. This IS real. It’s really happening. I am growing a life! For weeks I've tried to subdue the joy in my heart, but for this tiny moment, I allowed myself to feel hopeful. The moment came, and then it went, so fast I could barely blink.
Minutes later, seeing blood in the toilet, I found myself sounding like a broken record. Is this real? Is this really happening to me... again? I took a deep breath, wiped again. Yes. It’s really happening to me, again.
In this moment, I am torn. Torn between two worlds.
In one of those worlds, I am reminded of the number of pregnancies I’ve lost, and how each of those losses started exactly like this. I run through my head the steps that come next. The phone call to the doctor. The ultrasound appointment that feels like it will never arrive and then, once it starts, feels like it will never end. The pain that follows with the physical loss of my child, and the brokenness I’ll feel as my belly shrinks. The phone calls that I will have to make, telling our loved ones that we’ve lost the baby. The fear that prefaces the decision of whether or not to try again.
But there is another world.
The world in which my son was born! During my pregnancy with Lincoln, I lived in this exact same moment. My heart broke when the blood came, and I thought I had lost yet another child that I loved so deeply. The usual steps followed. The phone call to the doctor lacked hope. The ultrasound lasted forever. It was silent and cold. And then, after what seemed like ages of silence, I saw my baby boy’s heartbeat. In that world, my little boy continued to grow healthy, strong, and perfect. He is now two years old and the greatest blessing in my life.
I want to live in that second world. And although I’m terrified, although the nurse on the phone was not optimistic, although it feels like the odds are against me (because they are) I want to live in the world where I know that miracles, like my Lincoln, exist. I want to stay focused on him.
Today is Sunday. Today, all I can do is wait, and pray, and count my abundant blessings. And try to convince my heart and mind to remain in the world where miracles happen.