Every Precious Moment
March is Pregnancy After Loss Awareness Month, so what better time to say it: I’m pregnant. Again. Not quite out of the first trimester yet and terrified after 4 consecutive pregnancy losses. Our baby has a strong heartbeat and is growing on schedule but the reality of pregnancy after loss is that the predominant feeling I have is fear. Every step of the way I find myself waiting for the other shoe to drop. For something to go wrong. I struggle with trusting my body to keep this baby safe.
But despite my fear, I’ve realized something these past few weeks: my history of loss also makes this pregnancy experience different in ways that can bring us new joy. We are doing things our way, trying our best to savor every precious moment. Typically people don’t do much to mark their pregnancies during the first trimester. The typical advice is to hold off on buying anything. Keep yourself from getting too attached in case it doesn’t work out. We have thrown it all out the window. The bottom line is that if we lose this baby it will hurt – a lot. It has every time. Nothing we do or don’t do during this time is going to make it hurt any less.
This shift in attitude has brought us some of the most beautiful moments of my life. I’ve found out our baby’s sex, sobbing through tears on the phone first with the embryologist who shared the genetic test results of the embryo we had transferred and then with my wife sharing the good news. Feeling so grateful to have one small piece of information about this tiny person I am growing. We found out our daughter’s sex only after her death last summer and I wanted to have this moment while our baby was still living …. in case we didn’t get far enough along to have it later.
We bought some adorable newborn clothing. Walking through the baby section at Target for the first time in years without crying in frustration and sadness. Excited to purchase something special just for this baby.
We told close family and friends knowing that we wanted them to share in our joy at this pregnancy, and our sadness and grief if it doesn’t work out. We don’t share that we have a baby coming in October 2020. We don’t know yet whether that is going to happen. All we have is today, and these incredible little moments that we will do our best to soak in and enjoy as long as they last.
In pregnancy after loss, like with many things related to infertility and miscarriage, there is both great joy and great sadness, each coming to the surface in a million little ways every day. I’m doing my best to honor them both in every precious moment.