Monday, March 17, 2014

pregnancy after loss

It's not been easy. The worry can consume me. I'm still unclear on how I feel about whether I truly believe the whole life begins at conception argument if the life in question never experiences a heartbeat or develops a brain (ultra-conservative Christians, feel free to verbally burn me at the stake). Why would God create a life that is destined to fail before a conventional/scientific understanding of "life" (brain and cardiac activity) comes to fruition? The reality is there is no obvious answer and that's for me to grapple with. Since I miscarried so early into the pregnancy I had no ultrasound and therefore no indication of what may have gone wrong--chemical pregnancy, blighted ovum, or other factors. I guess this is all just to say that I'm still murky on how I feel and while I feel like I've healed quite a bit I know I will never be perfectly okay. I'm specifically avoiding saying this is our second because the reality is it's not. This is our third pregnancy, one living child. Pregnancy loss is complicated and I'll deal with it how I need to.

In any case, I find myself (ironically) more at peace at times than I experienced even with Elden. I've seen my share of heartbreaking threads on the baby boards about loss and bleeding and rushing to the ER to get answers and I have resolved myself from the beginning not to rush to the ER if I experience any sort of spotting, with the exception of being instructed by my OB to go due to my Rh negative factor. I know there's nothing that could be done to salvage this pregnancy if it will end prematurely. That's not to say I won't be a total wreck if something does happen, especially after seeing the little pumpkin twice, hearing the heartbeat thrice, and being in a general state of nausea every waking second of the day to serve as a constant reminder of the life within. But I am more or less forced to be much more reliant on God. There have been several nights where I woke up and had a bad feeling and just prayed and prayed and prayed for redemption and for this little life to hold tight. My gut says it's a girl (although I'm sure that will change throughout the pregnancy) and I've found myself mindlessly referring to this baby as our daughter (sorry in October if you turn out to be a little boy). We have a girl name (spoiler: it's not Maisie anymore) and a contender for a boy name and oh my word how I long for this child. But the days that the nausea relents or I feel more energized than normal my mind creeps to those dark, scary corners of doubt, fear and insecurity. It's an uphill battle but one that God has been good to me in. The moments of despair are far outweighed by those of hope. I have no explanation other than it being divine because I am very much a glass half empty kind of gal.

Then there's the guilt. The guilt for my dear friends who long for a child but are struggling to fill their arms--due to infertility or general life situations. The reality is, we got pregnant after two months with Elden, a single time with the miscarriage, and the second month with this one. I can't comprehend how that's fair. It's not fair. My heart is broken for those in my life who struggle to fulfill their visions of a family. I'm so sorry if my own pregnancy is causing you any sort of hurt.

So to summarize, I'm not sure how I feel all the time, the scary can be really scary but the unknown can be positive, and I am empathetic for those around me who may be struggling with our news. Pregnancy after loss is messy. Not really knowing who to talk to besides Jon about these feelings--someone who is equally fudged up on the inside about all of this--isn't always helpful. But we're managing. We're hopeful. We're processing through each day as it comes. And that's just going to have to be good enough.

4 comments:

  1. Girl. I so appreciate your openness and honesty. Keeping you guys in my prayers. Different situation, but I can tell you from my own experience, that the struggle--the times when we feel completely out of control in matter--that is when we are able to draw closer to God.

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    1. Jess, your words are always an encouragement to me :)

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  2. I wanted to tell you how much I can relate to your posts, and how much I appreciate you sharing everything that you share. My first baby boy is just a couple of months younger than yours, and we experienced an ectopic pregnancy just a couple of months after you experienced your miscarriage. I tear up every time I read your posts, but your strength and bravery are inspiring, and you have made me realize that I can be strong and brave, too. Thank you so much for being open and honest - it tells other people that they're not alone, and it gives them hope when they need it most. I am praying for you and your family!

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    1. I'm so sorry for your loss, Caitlin! We really appreciate the prayers :)

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