This post originally appeared at Let’s Be Brave, in June of 2018.
Pregnancy after loss. A rainbow baby.
I am grateful, but cautious.
I am happy, but reserved.
I am optimistic, but realistic.
I am forever changed.
10 months ago we had a loss. Our daughter died in our arms. Our worst fears came true.
Today I am 8 weeks pregnant. As I sat looking at the 2 lines- the 2 lines that would forever change our lives- I was sad.
I didn’t get the usual joyful tears. I didn’t smile. Those 2 lines told me I had a rainbow baby on the way. But there’s a lot that they didn’t tell me.
Those two lines show me hope.
But they don’t show me that everything will be ok.
Those two lines made grief rear its ugly head. I cried.
Usually I see those two lines and cry tears of joy. I cry because of pure happiness and excitement.
But this time was different.
I cried. I cried tears of true sadness. I cried because I miss our daughter. I cried because there is and will always be a piece missing. And then I cried because I wasn’t crying tears of joy.
There’s guilt. So much guilt. I want to feel as happy as I used to feel. But instead, I am reserved.
With this pregnancy comes a whole set of new emotions. The daughter we lost, April Rey, will forever be a part of our hearts, minds, and souls. She is forever a part of our family and is so loved.
With this new pregnancy, however, comes a lot of emotion around that grief. We aren’t moving on. We never will. But accepting this pregnancy, and being happy about this pregnancy, makes it feel that way.
This baby doesn’t replace April in any way. But accepting this pregnancy makes me feel guilty.
With this pregnancy comes worry. I know that the worst can happen. I also know it’s not likely to happen again. But it’s possible.
With this pregnancy comes fear. Fear that I will fail my family again. Fear that something will happen and our toddler will go through her grief again.
I want to protect her. I never want her to experience such sadness again.
I felt useless during my last pregnancy. My body failed to build our daughter right. My body failed to do what it was supposed to do.
I blame myself. I know there’s nothing I could have done, but that’s the problem. I was helpless.
There was nothing I could do.
And I know… I know that the same holds true for this pregnancy. I so desperately want there to be something that I can do. Something that I can do to make things turn out ok this time.
But there’s nothing.
And so I go through the motions. I try to be happy. But the reality is I am just numb.
I am numb to it all. I am taking it one step at a time.
I am SO thankful and grateful for this chance at a healthy baby. But I don’t feel the pure joy. I don’t feel the excitement.
I do feel the sadness, and I do know the realities of what can happen.
But I also know when we get to the finish line, this baby will be so loved, and so appreciated.
And so I wait. I wait for that day to come. And I try to stay strong every day in between.