Pregnancy After Loss (Our Story) Part Two
Welcome to part two of our pregnancy after loss story. If you missed part one you can read it here. As I mentioned on my Instagram the other day, my story is not extraordinary. I’m just another mama who has experienced the heartbreak of miscarriage. But I do believe that sharing our stories is healing, so I continue to share mine.
After the events from that week, thoughts of expanding our family once again swirled around in my mind. I dusted off the topic with the hubs. He agreed that he still felt open to it as well, so we decided why don’t we just be casual about it and try the let’s see what happens/if anything for a little while. TMI? Sorry mom ;)
It’s funny how after almost an entire year of agonizing over this, we came to a decision in a 3 minute conversation like it was no big deal.
I PEED ON A STICK IN THE SUBWAY BATHROOM
Spoiler alert—about two or three weeks later we found out that I was pregnant.
The night before we confirmed the pregnancy, I was up late working and noticed that I felt sick with nausea. The next morning Paul and I did some errands while the kids were with my mum-in-law, so I said we should grab a preg test. We did, and then after some errands we went to Subway for lunch where I excused myself to use the washroom. I peed on the stick and two pink lines appeared immediately. I came back out (still in shock), sat down and said the the hubs, “Congratulations, you’re going to be a father again.” Then I grabbed his dirty napkin and cried into it—ha! He asked me if they were happy tears but I honestly wasn’t sure. Happiness, fear, shock, disbelief, excitement, old wounds stirring up, etc. Looking back, we laugh at that day and joke about how “romantic” it was to find out at a Subway.
THE FIRST TRIMESTER
The early weeks were tough. I was constantly checking for blood, expecting to miscarry at any moment. I was hyper-aware of every twinge, ache and pain. I even had some spotting around 10 weeks and I was sure the pregnancy was over. (It ended up being nothing to worry about.) Basically, for several weeks it felt like I was balancing on a delicate scale of very happy vs. strangely sad. I was also feeling a little homesick as we adjusted to our new city, missing my community and my friends that were just 5 mins away so a coffee or playdate with the kids was much easier. I waded through a complicated ocean of joy and sadness. A few times, I cried in my car as I tried to make sense of it all. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted this baby, and truly was very happy about it, but it all felt so complicated. The fear, the sadness from the past, the longing for the future, the unknown.
THE FIRST ULTRASOUND
My first ultrasound was at just shy of 9 weeks pregnant. It was in the exact same room as the one where we were told that Sparrow no longer had a heartbeat. I stared at the exact same painting on the wall, remembering that day as I lay on the bed and the technician slid a wand around my belly. It was bizarre, to say the least. I was focusing on breathing… in and out… when she finally turned the monitor towards me and happily pointed out the baby’s strong heartbeat, the head, body, arms and legs. Like a little gummy bear. When she left the room, I exhaled. Tears rolled down my cheeks and I gave myself a few minutes to compose myself. Relief. Love. Relief. Mourning. Relief. Joy. Relief. Fear. Relief.
GRIEF AND JOY SOMEWHERE AROUND 15 WEEKS
I never assumed that a new pregnancy would cover up the heartache of our losses, but for some reason I also didn’t expect the grief to remain so acute. The weight of our losses lingered in the back of my mind one day, as it often still does, and by the time I crawled into bed that night I broke down and wept. I thought about this baby, alive in my belly, I thought about Sparrow, I thought about the other two babies we lost just as soon as we discovered them. I grieved for them all while also loving this new life, who would never exist if it weren’t for those losses. It was an overwhelming, complicated, tangled web of emotions.
THE SECOND TRIMESTER
Currently, I’m just about 18 weeks. The little babe is moving around all the time and making itself known. I finally feel like I can settle into this pregnancy and fully give my heart over to it. However, the fears are not erased. The more I let myself love, the more vulnerable I am to fears. But that is true in most life scenarios, isn’t it?
I still worry at the slightest aches and pains. I still brace myself that I might see blood when I pee. In the back of my head I’m aware of all the worst-case-scenarios that are completely possible. I don’t consider myself superstitious, but I often worry I’m going to “jinx” the whole thing.
But, that fear has its place, and I’m doing my best to keep it there.
And sweet little babe, I really am falling for you. The more I feel you wiggle around, the more my heart expands into a you-sized shape.
So that brings us to the present, and friends, thank you so much for following along! I look forward to sharing this journey with you, whatever it may bring.