Sunday, February 26, 2012
I'm Angela, I blog over at Little Bird, and I'm really excited to be part of Among the Circle. My daughter, Charlotte, was born on May 14, 2010. She died shortly after birth, cause unknown, one of life's mysteries that we've had to learn to live with and accept. On September 9, 2011, our second child, Bennett, was born.
My second pregnancy was full of anxiety, worry, and fear, but there were good moments too. I enjoyed carrying life again. I was happy to have a second chance to parent a living child, one I could hold in my arms and watch grow.
When I was pregnant with Bennett I had to take things slowly. It was too overwhelming to think about September, his due date, his birth, so I focused on one small goal at a time - the next appointment with the specialist, ultrasound, prenatal with my midwife. I focused on making it to 6, then 7, then 8 weeks, ticking each one off as it slowly went by. I didn't think about the second or third trimester, or how I would handle the anxiety of birth. I kept my head down, and focused on putting one foot in front of the other.
As baby loss parents we know the sacredness of time in the womb. 24 weeks is better than 20, 35 better than 30 etc. We understand the thin line that exists between life and death, and how a pregnancy, or birth, can change so quickly from fine to broken it leaves one breathless. We carry that with us throughout our subsequent pregnancies. The constant presence of fear haunts us, so intense we accept it into our lives as real, a shadow that will walk with us through this time in our lives.
Because of when we lost Charlotte I was worried thirty-eight to forty weeks would be the only time we had with Bennett. I didn't want to spend those weeks in a constant state of fear. I wanted to enjoy my time with him just in case it was all I had.
I had to find a way to mesh the fear and joy together, to force them to hold hands and coexist so I could make it through my long thirty-nine week pregnancy. I prayed, listened to Hypnobabies joyful pregnancy affirmations and fear clearing tracks (highly recommend), blogged and blogged and blogged, cried on my midwife's shoulder, cried with my husband, laughed with friends.
Pregnancy after loss is a balancing act. It's hard to live in limbo, to always be mindful of what can go wrong while trying to enjoy the miracle of growing a life. Much of the time I felt like I couldn't find the happiness. It was hard to feel positive and believe everything would be fine, but it would have been too emotionally taxing to be terrified for thirty-nine weeks. Sometimes I had to force myself to rise from the watery depths of fear and take huge gulping lung filling breaths of happiness, which gave me enough oxygen to make it to the next goal: one more day done, one more week gone, each moment moving me closer to meeting my baby.
What have your moments of happiness been this pregnancy? How about fear? Do you feel like you can enjoy your pregnancy, or are you simply counting down the days to delivery?