The Truth About Pregnancy After Loss (National Pregnancy And Infant Loss Day)
I've been going back and forth with writing about this today, but here I am. Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day and between the hour of 7pm-8pm families around the world will light a candle for Wave Of Light, in remembrance of the child(ren) we've lost.
I've been trying my hardest not to click on the official hashtag today and read through stories. I'm obviously extremely emotional as I'm in the last few weeks of this pregnancy and quite honestly, I've been working so hard over the past few months to not feel the emotions of "loss" the way I normally allow myself to.
I am now on my third pregnancy - my second after loosing Jolie - and there is still a fearful voice in the back of my head that I am constantly having to drown out. When we found out about this pregnancy, we were so excited and called our parents and siblings within the hour. As overjoyed and shocked as I was by these positive pregnancy tests, I remember asking Ken as we got into bed that night, "I don't think we should have told everyone yet...what if it doesn't work out?"
Even in this happy moment, reality set in and there was doubt. Lots of it!
The truth is that experiencing baby loss takes away a lot of the normal emotions that women typically experience during pregnancy. There is always the holding of our breath until the doctor finds the heartbeat, always checking the tissue for blood when you wipe, wondering if every pain you feel is a signal of "the end", and the knowing that just because you're expecting, things don't always happen the way they should...because you've already experienced the worst.
From the outside looking in, not all of my loved ones truly understand the emotional toll that pregnancy takes on me after the trauma I experienced. It's 9 months of paranoia. There is constant battle that takes place in my head from the moment I find out that I'm pregnant to when my child is born. As positive of a person as I am about just about everything, this is the area of my life where I feel the most out of control.
I have to try REALLY hard to stay sane. I have to talk to God constantly, stay in an attitude of gratitude. I have to stay creative, I have to read books - I have to step up my mindset work in a heavy way. It's emotionally exhausting.
I'm pretty sure after this little pops out, I'm done here...unless God says otherwise. I suppose you can never say never in this life.
I do have to say, that despite the fear and paranoia, I am VERY proud of myself for never letting go of my dream of having a family.
Through my prayers and conversations with God, I do have full confidence in the remainder of this pregnancy. Our little boy does have one health challenge, but there is a chance it can clear up before he's born, so that is what we're praying for.
As we light our candle tonight for the daughter we will never be able to see grow up, celebrate birthdays and Holidays with, see, kiss or hug again until we're on the other side - I am grateful for my time with her. I don't know if I will ever heal fully, but I know that because of her I am more a compassionate, empathetic and patient person. I think about her everyday, but I have to stop myself from crying so that I don't stress her brother that I'm carrying.
I will never know why everything happened, but I know that part of my purpose to help uplift others who have experienced the same. God is showing me something and although I wanted to announce it today, I am going to hold off until I have this baby so that I can be fully present and emotionally available to those I need to serve.
If you're reading this and honoring your child(ren) tonight, I pray for extra strength for you and your family. If you're Blessed enough to never have experienced this and know someone who has, just send them a little extra love today.