As I sit here and think about being pregnant after experiencing a loss, I’m struggling with how to even begin. After losing our baby at 11 weeks in April of this year, initially I wanted to get pregnant right away. I thought it would help relieve some of the pain and help me move on from losing that baby. But after letting my body heal and starting our foster licensing process, Joe and I made, what I thought, was a tough decision to wait and try and get pregnant after we had been fostering for some time. I wanted to be able to focus on the foster child and not worry about being pregnant at the same time. Fast forward to July 5th where I’m staring down at a positive pregnancy test. Obviously God had different plans for us. I felt a rush of mixed emotions, from joy to fear to sadness. I couldn’t wait to tell Joe until he got home from work so I cried as I told him on the phone. I just didn’t feel ready, physically or emotionally, to start the pregnancy road again.
Immediately I reached out to a family member who’s experienced pregnancy losses and she recommended a book called Expecting with Hope: Claiming Joy When Expecting a Baby After Loss. I had just finished a different book from the same author called Hope for Today, Promise for Tomorrow: Finding Light Beyond the Shadow of Miscarriage or Infant Loss. Both books are biblically based and include many of God’s truths surrounding loss and how to look for hope amidst past loss. I would highly recommend either book for someone experiencing pregnancy or infant loss and pregnancy after loss.
The first trimester wasn’t as rough as my previous pregnancy. I wasn’t very nauseous and was able to eat fairly well. I was extremely exhausted though which I’m sure many moms know is hard when you have a toddler running around! I’m still working with the same midwife I was before and had my first trimester visit right at about 9 weeks. I didn’t expect to be able to hear the heartbeat that early (as usually it’s around 10.5 weeks with the Doppler) but low and behold, she found the heartbeat right away. It was reassuring, however I struggled (and still do) with doubts about whether or not this pregnancy was going to make it full-term. I’m now 15 weeks along and have had no signs of losing this baby and heard the heartbeat again around 13 weeks.
I feel like at times that my miscarriage was a dream and that it didn’t really happen. It feels so far off in the distance, yet feels like it happened yesterday. The feelings of grief from that loss are still there and the baby I carry now can’t replace that one that we lost. Though I do look at this baby as our rainbow after the storm. One section in the book talks about worrying and thinking about all of the worst case scenarios that could happen with this pregnancy. I’ve been there and thought them. But she suggests instead of worrying about things that haven’t happened, take joy in what you do know. This baby is here, I get to be his/her mom for however long God allows and I need to enjoy the moments I do get to have being pregnant. I also continue to work on hoping no matter what may happen. Of course I want this baby to be born alive and healthy, but that’s not guaranteed. I have to hope and believe that God is good and has an amazing plan for our family regardless of my pregnancy’s outcome. That has brought me continual peace.
On top of being pregnant, Joe and I are currently fostering a newborn baby. We’ve had baby for about 3.5 weeks and at this point won’t be caring for baby much longer though we’re not sure exactly when. I can’t go into details about baby’s situation but both of us feel that it’s the right thing for baby to go back to his family and are praying that they will continue on a path of healing in order to care for baby well. I can’t say this process has been easy as I’m not sure we thought through what having a newborn in the house while I’m pregnant would be like. Sleep deprivation on top of already being exhausted has been rough! But we are managing and are thankful for family and friends who have been helping us out during this time. One thing about not breastfeeding is that Joe can help with nighttime feeds and he has truly been amazing at letting me try and get as much sleep as possible. I guess it’s a sneak peek into what having a toddler and a newborn will be like!
I’ve also been blessed to have 7 other women in different areas of my life due in the same month as me! It’s crazy but they keep popping up. It has helped me to continue being excited for our baby and what’s to come. Joe and I haven’t made the official decision but I think we are going to take a pause on fostering once baby is no longer in our care. We both feel that we need some time to rest while preparing for this baby and some time after our baby comes before taking on the responsibility of another child in need. We are for sure no longer accepting newborns! 🙂
I’m also debating on making regular posts about my current pregnancy. With Enzo, I did bi-weekly posts on how I was doing and how the pregnancy was going. Anyone reading this interested in me making those posts for this pregnancy too?