In the Storm: Baby Loss and Pregnancy Afterward
As I write, a storm rages outside. Tumultuous clouds, scathing wind, thunder and falling branches, power lost, sideways rain -- I love it. I love a good storm.
But personal storms? Storms in which clouds blacken my heart instead of the sky? I'm not such a fan of those.
I feel like I am at the beginning of a very stormy season. Although maybe it began when Eve died, or when I became pregnant again just a few months after her stillbirth? I'm not sure. The beginning of this pregnancy was very tumultuous after all, fraught with fear and a perpetual sense of falling.
But then things got better. Baby and I arrived safely in trimester two, and I began to be able to feel the sun warm against my skin once again.
Now I'm nearly at the end of the second trimester, and I am afraid. We are quickly approaching the gestation that Eve died at (31 weeks), and that fact makes me tremble. I thought that perhaps the fear and anxiety would ratchet back up as we reached 28 weeks, but I'm realizing that it has already begun to balloon.
I just returned from a last-minute trip to see my O.B., convinced that something was wrong because Baby has been moving less. She reassured me that everything was well, that I should not be monitoring movement patterns until 26 weeks, that right now I'm just to feel for any movement, not a set amount each day. She said this kindly, knowingly. Her first baby was stillborn, too.
But I don't feel reassured. I have become convinced that this baby, just like our first, will not survive his stay in my body. I don't trust this body, and don't trust the process of pregnancy. This baby, he could die so easily, so silently -- and because I know this from experience, the truth of that is all the more terrifying.
Many women whose babies die before or shortly after birth report "aching arms" -- where the arms and chest physically hurt, a manifestation of grief and the longing to hold the child who can never be held again. I have not experienced the aching arms -- until now.
Now, I ache. I ache to hold this baby who is living within me, whom I am so afraid will die within me. I ache to enter labor with the hope of meeting my living baby for the first time face-to-face, not with the despair and fear that come as you are forced to birth your dead child. I ache for pregnancy to end with messy diapers and sleeplessness born of baby cries and swollen breasts and hope for the future.
I ache. Terribly. Could this be love?
I am trying to trust. But oh, it hurts, my friends. It hurts.
* * *
Don't forget to enter my gratitude giveaway! The winner will be announced Friday, June 29.
More Like This
Recent Posts by Beth Morey
Most Popular on BlogHer
Most Popular on Family
Recent Comments on Family