But I am so very thankful.
Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue.
And dreams that you dare to dream, really do come true.Israel Kamakawiwoʻole
I have been putting off writing this post for over a week now. I’m not sure why – I just have.
From the beginning of this journey, I have promised to be honest and open. To express my feelings, fears, and raw emotions. And I have kept that promise.
One of the things that has been a huge struggle of mine throughout this journey is jealousy. Seeing others share their happiness, while wondering if mine would ever come. It was hard to see others share their pregnancies. It was even hard for me to hear about other happy stories after loss, because in my mind, I was never sure if I would get that happiness.
Fear of the future is real, and it is a very hard thing to come to terms with. And I’ve found, often it doesn’t necessarily go away, it’s just replaced with a new fear.
One thing I have always appreciated is when others give me a trigger warning. A heads up that what I was about to read or see might hurt me. That way I was able to make a decision if I wanted to continue and be exposed to it.
I started this blog to document my life and journey through grief after losing my son. That hasn’t changed, but some of my content moving forward will shift. So now comes the time for me to extend the same courtesy to those who follow my blog throughout their journey of loss – a trigger warning.
If you do not want to hear about the journey of trying for another child after loss, our time together ends here. And I completely understand, and respect that decision more than I can ever explain. Thank you for following my journey so far, and if you’re ever ready, I’ll be here.
For those who wish to continue with me on this journey…continue to scroll.
The hope of another child after losing your first so tragically is something you cling to. I would also think this feeling is similar for those who are struggling to get pregnant in general. You hope for it and want it so badly, but as time goes on, you start to wonder if it’s even possible. It’s exhausting to think about, and devastating to see those around you experience the joy you want so badly. It’s a weird feeling because you ARE happy for others, but you are also devastated for yourself.
You over-research. You obsess. You become exhausted from it all. Others tell you to just quit thinking about it so much, and it will happen. It’s so much easier said than done.
Then you wonder, what happens when I do finally get pregnant? And you dream about it, and hope for it. And then become scared of it as well. And time continues to pass and hope turns into frustration, frustration into sadness, sadness into anger. It’s a vicious cycle. A mental mind game.
I am incredibly thankful to share with you that Scott and I found out that we are expecting again. As of today we are 16 weeks 2 days. While I am beyond thankful, I had no idea how serious the mental piece of this would be.
I won’t be talking about our pregnancy on social media, and I struggle to even talk about it on this blog. Not because I am fearful (which I am), but because I do not want to cause harm to anyone who might be grieving a loss of their own, or that might be struggling to get pregnant. Knowing that I could cause harm to someone else would absolutely crush me, because I know how it feels. So please know, this is why I choose not to post on social media.
So what do I mean by mental piece? I mean the extreme fear and anxiety one gets while being pregnant again after suffering a loss or after trying to get pregnant for so long. Each day is different, but I think about my fears daily. It’s impossible not to – especially with the added stress of COVID.
This pregnancy so far has not been an easy process. At first I was horribly sick, which lasted for the first 11 weeks. And then, I experienced spotting, which was absolutely terrifying. Thankfully, my doctor is remarkable, and understands my situation. She has walked me through everything step by step and I am very thankful for her.
It’s interesting that I called this post trigger warning, because this pregnancy has caused many triggers for me in my grief process. Walking into the first ultrasound we had was beyond terrifying. I couldn’t help but think about the last one we had ever experienced, hearing that Kellan no longer had a heartbeat.
And then we found out the most incredible news, that we were having twins.
We are so excited, yet so very scared. We already love these sweet babies so much, but we also already know the pain of losing. I know that they are worth it all, and my goal is to work through the mental piece, while taking care of myself physically as well. I am surrounded by amazing people who are always willing to help me with this, and for that I am so appreciative.
I found a great source for daily affirmations for those experiencing pregnancy after loss. I do my best to say them whenever I get anxious. Here is the download link for you if you’d like them:
After we found out about the twins, I knew I wanted to take pictures to document this special moment in our life. This was another terrifying trigger for me. 2 days after we took our maternity photos, Kellan was gone.
I am so proud of myself, and Scott, for returning to that same beautiful field with our photographer Jordyn (2 days before she gave birth to her beautiful baby girl). It was scary for us mentally to go back, worrying that the same thing would happen again, but we did it. And I’m so thankful we did. I’ve shared part of this picture on facebook, but I share the entire photograph with you here.
So where do we go from here? Well, I know there is no “safe zone”. I realize that every single day that I am fortunate to be carrying these babies, and I pray for them every night. I think it was easier to be naive and not know that such a horrible loss was possible, but I don’t have the ability to think like that anymore. I hope if you think of me throughout this process, you’ll send me positive thoughts, prayers, energy, and vibes.
Tomorrow we have a doctor’s appointment. We will have 2 per month until we get closer to their due date in April, and then it will go to 2 appointments weekly. I am thankful for all of the doctors we have working with us, and it does help me rationalize with my crazy worrying mind.
I almost decided not to post this today, and wait until after our appointment tomorrow, “just in case”. But then I realized, that would be just like me not walking into the ultrasound appointment, not walking into the field for the picture, or not sending out postcards to our family and friends. I can’t NOT do things for this pregnancy because I’m scared something bad will happen again.
This is a different pregnancy, different babies, a different story, with a different ending. And just like I have done with everything else in my grief process, I will do the best I can.
I do believe though, this is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done after losing my child. But I am so very thankful.