Saturday, October 28, 2017

pregnancy after loss {the third time around}


I'd like to tell you it gets easier - and in some ways it does - but in many of the big ways it's hard because the trauma is still very much there.

This pregnancy I'm working with my therapist on managing my cortisol levels so I go into the labor / delivery situation calm and able to remain so. I think this is a very lofty goal, but we are working towards making at least some progress before the baby comes. I've been in therapy since January so I hope I am at least slightly better at managing my anxiety and stress.

I am slowly getting used to the idea of having another baby. I bought a car seat because it was on sale, and I found the baby swing I really wanted so I bought that as well - more on that later as it is a good story - but then my therapist tells me to tour the hospital where I'm going to deliver and I'm like, Oh no, that is NOT happening. This one is going to magically appear. Jesus and I have talked about this.

And then she's like, "No really, you need to tour the hospital."


So while I was wrapping my mind around that idea I put on my brave girl pants and began putting together a small baby registry and looked on Craigslist to see if the swing / seat I was hoping to find used was for sale.

I saw this swing at a friend's house and it was the most interesting / futuristic baby seat swing I have seen. It was fascinating and I said, "What is this? Where did you find it? I need one!" And then she told me she had bought it used because the retail price is $$$$$ and I immediately began looking for one. I can't even explain how different it is - look up the Mamaroo and watch a video.



Yesterday was my lucky day because I found one nearby and it was a reasonable price. I began e-mailing the seller and we agreed to meet up this morning. And then she sent another e-mail:

Just wanted to say, I saw the link in your signature of your email and it caught my eye because I lost 2 babies- I delivered twins at 21 weeks in 2015 and  just went through a very high risk/stressful pregnancy with my 8 month old little girl.  Congrats to you and hang in there, I know how stressful it is.


We e-mailed back and forth a bit about our experiences, and it reminded me that pregnancy and infant loss is everywhere. While I have felt like I'm meeting with a long series of compassion-less providers this pregnancy there are a lot of people who understand and are willing to spare a moment to send encouragement and kindness my way.

There's the friends and family who are excited and hopeful for us because we can't find the emotional wherewithal to get to that place yet.

There's the providers who are extremely caring and willing to receive my desperate texts about the possibility of private hospital tours because I am not interested in hanging out with shiny happy first time moms.

There's the sweet elderly lady from our old neighborhood who checks in every couple weeks via a phone call to see how the baby is and how I'm doing. She tells me she is praying for me, she says she is thrilled we are having another baby because we are wonderful parents, she tosses out name ideas and tells me the same few stories over and over again. Her phone calls lift my spirits immensely.

And there's the kids: B and Ains are over the moon about having a sibling. They love babies, they're excited to change diapers and love on a sister. Their excitement is carrying me through the darker moments of this pregnancy; the moments when I doubt if I can do this again - the whole shebang, birth to newborn days to raising another one - because it feels too overwhelming and hard.

Pregnancy after loss is hard, but it's worth it. I promise. Even though this is not what we planned. Even though we're still reeling a bit and trying to figure out what exactly we need and how exactly it's all going to work. Even though we can't agree on a name and it doesn't seem likely that we will. Even though being pregnant and facing another birth brings up a lot of trauma ....

It will all be worth it when we meet our new baby girl.


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