Archive for March, 2009

What Could Have Been

Although there are many things that a new pregnancy does not change, one thing that has most certainly shifted is the amount of time I spend dwelling on what could have have.  I think for the most part I find it difficult to reconcile the two – what could have been is my two sweet daughters … but what is, is this brand new life.  And the two can not exist together.  In my dreams I would like them to but I know in reality they can’t.  Therefore, I tend not to think about the could haves quite as much.

This weekend though was different.  I was hit in the face with the could have beens.  Walking down our main street I saw a young mom, struggling to carry two little girls.  Two little identical girls – about a year old.  It took my breath away.  While other stared because of the twins, I stared because I saw who I could have been.  Our girls would have been about a year now – and like these twins, quite possibly would have been blond with big brown eyes. 

Everything in me wanted to stop that mom, tell her to treasure every moment, to squeeze her girls tight every night – because she is lucky to have them.  I wanted to tell her of Avery and Sophie – but knew I couldn’t.  My heart constricted thinking of our little girls, the ones we will never meet.

And yet, when I walked away, I still held a hand to my growing belly, thanking God for what we do have, right now, here, today.

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Neither Here Nor There

So I have officially “outed” myself about this pregnancy everywhere. A big step, it feels a bit strange to have everyone know I am pregnant.  Although I knew it in my head, it makes me realize just how different my journey to a child here on earth … the journey of any dead baby mama  really … truly is.

As I was at a study group yesterday morning, I got up with a discussion with a couple other women at the end.  One is pregnant with a small toddler while the other has two young children.  These two women often chat at the end of study, and I have often felt the “child”/ “no child” divide.  And yet, in a matter of a couple hours, I had seemingly crossed it.

And yet, as I stood there chatting, I realized that no, I really haven’t.  Yes, I can chat with them and excitedly talk about what could be.  But therein lies the difference.  I still talk about what could be, and what should have been – I don’t have the confidence they have.  They asked about plans once the baby comes – I just stared mouth open.  When the baby comes?  That seems a bit overconfident to me.  They talked about dealing with multiple pregnancies – I did too, but no little ones gathered at my feet.

It’s strange.  Life circumstances will continue to change.   God willing, there will be a baby to love in September.  Our lives will look different.  And yet, some things never will.  We will always be the parents of two baby girls in heaven.  And that will always set us apart.

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Balancing

Journeying through grief often feels like a poorly executed balancing act.  Walking the road of a new pregnancy after loss is even more so.

I feel very much as if I am walking across a tightrope, with a massive audience watching, waiting to see how I will manage.  On my right I balance grief, sorrow, and pain.  On my left is joy, excitement and hope.  Each step I take I have to balance both sides out to make sure I don’t fall.

I know I don’t want to fall to the right – I have been there and it was a dark place.  In light of the new life growing inside, I feel even more determined not to go there.  Monkey deserves far more than that!

But, as strange as it seems, I am equally as concerned about falling to the left.  Somehow falling into the joy, excitement, and hope completely is still frightening.  As a mother of two angel babies, it feels as though the world will forget them if I don’t remind them continually of their existence.

It is such a strange place to be.  Don’t get me wrong – I am still thrilled with this pregnancy, and am still doing well at living in each moment.  But I still sit back and wonder at the balancing act of it all.

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It’s Good.

Not much to write about these days.  I am just trucking along, working on daily positive thinking.  It’s been good.  I am living with a “pregnant until proved otherwise” philosophy and have been surprised to find it an enormous relief.  It takes work to keep reminding myself that things might not turn out, that Monkey may not still be thriving, that I shouldn’t get too attached … it has been freeing to just allow myself to be.

At 13 1/2 weeks pregnant, I am starting to really imagine the future.  Thinking of feeling Monkey move, seeing him/her again on the ultrasound, finally having people know.  And it’s good.

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Living in the Moment

Thank you for all your encouraging comments and thoughtful advice.

With a break from “normal”  life this past week, I have had the chance to do a lot of thinking about this pregnancy, Monkey, and the future.  Yes, a lot of my fears and anxieties stem from past experience.  It is hard to hope when to date, we have not experienced a successful pregnancy.

But I realized something else as well.  Part of me is holding back, not allowing the rest of me to get excited and hope.  Why?  Because I am desperately trying to protect myself from the “what ifs”. 

And while away, I decided to let myself go.  You know why?  Because it won’t matter.  If we lose Monkey, I will still be devastated.  The only difference will be that if I haven’t let myself hope, I will also experience guilt at not letting myself love Monkey to the fullest.

So, as of today, I am working to live in the moment.  At this moment Monkey is alive and healthy.  Therefore, I will celebrate, and I will work at expecting that all will be well.  Because right now it is.  We will see how it goes, but today the positive outlook seems to be working well 🙂

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A Break and A Maternity Store

I am still here … I promise.  DH and I are just taking a much needed mini-vacation to see friends and family in our home town, where there is green grass!  As much as I don’t mind winter, seeing grass again is quite lovely.  That said, posts will continue to be sparse until we return at the end of the week.

While here though, I determined to visit the local maternity clothes store.  With no options in our small town, a definitely belly, and a positive ultrasound, I decided it was time to brave the stores and actually pick up a couple of things. 

As much as I needed to do it, it felt like a bad idea.  I remember the first time I walked in with the twins.  I was so excited to be legitimately in the store.  This time I slinked in with my mom, desperately avoiding eye contact with the salesladies … hoping they wouldn’t ask any questions.  Anything distinctively “pregnancy” looking was out, I couldn’t even try those on.  Finally, with a couple needed items in hand I got to the til.

Even there, memories hounded me.  Instead of happily filling out anything and everything, I carefully scrutinized – to make sure I won’t end up on any lists.  I still get pieces in the mail to this day – advertising diapers for early walkers, toys for my toddlers, etc.  Not going to do that again.  And the box, the dreaded box.  “Is this your first pregnancy” … Quickly choosing No, I closed the paper up and walked away before anyone could see it.

I left feeling a bit defeated.  But as I put on my new pair of pants the next day, I reminded myself that it wasn’t true.  Monkey is still here – the clothes are needed.  My pregnancy, despite all my fears, continues on.  Hope is really truly starting to creep in.  September is starting to feel a bit more like a month worth looking forward to.

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We Have A Heartbeat!!!!

Really, what more can I say?  We saw the most beautiful, squirmy little gummy bear look alike swimming around in my belly today. Monkey had a strong solid heartbeat, was super active, and measured two days ahead last time.

I couldn’t have asked for more.  I know the fear and anxiety will set in again, but for now, I am over the moon.

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