One of the hardest questions people can ask me right now is “How are you feeling about your pregnancy?” As a quick tangent, I really appreciate that the majority of people ask how I feel about the pregnancy instead of making comments like, “Aren’t you excited?!” It’s nice to know people are thoughtful of this experience and anticipate (quite rightly) that this pregnancy is emotionally loaded for us.
One thing I’ve known about myself in general is that I can be quite emotionally avoidant. It’s not a skill I like to brag about. It serves me at times, but probably the majority of the time, it keeps me from emotionally processing what I need to process.
I’ve been living the last little while being quite emotionally avoidant about this pregnancy. This is why when people ask me how I feel, I literally feel at a loss for words, because I DON’T KNOW.
I DO think about this little baby frequently. I smile when she moves and kicks. I worry when she’s too quiet. But I have a hard time thinking about her beyond the experience of her inside of me. The idea of her joining our family seems too fantastical for me. After losing Charlie it’s so hard to believe something will go right for us again. I feel to scared to hope for her.
But as I watch how much Hailee hopes for her…I realize I DO hope for her too.
Besides the first trimester bleeding I experienced in this pregnancy, we also got blood results that revealed elevated alpha-fetal-protein levels. This could have been an indication of spinabifida but an ultrasound ruled this out. Subsequently my Dr told us it’s possible I have a “leaky” placenta and after 32 weeks we’d need to start doing non-stress tests to regularly check the well-being of the baby. I had put this out of my mind until today…when they started the non-stress tests.
As I lay there listening to my little girl’s heartbeat on the screen and felt her kick inside of me, I felt this overwhelming longing to KEEP her. And simultaneously SO SCARED that I will lose her.
The non-stress test went fine. My Dr. looked at the heartbeat read out and said, “That’s exactly what we want to see. You’re baby is doing great.” Then he shook my head and told me to come next week for another NST. I left feeling reassured…but then anticipating another NST next week I recognized the all-too-familiar feeling of being so vulnerable. Anyone who has lost a baby knows how quickly everything can and does change….and there is NOTHING I can do about it.
I hate feeling vulnerable like this. I hate feeling helpless. But at the same time, I know truly living involves allowing myself to be vulnerable. So, come what may, I choose to want and love this little girl growing inside of me. I pray I get to meet her and keep her and raise her.
And I will commit to allowing her to take up more room in my heart. First by continuing to think of a NAME for her!
So here’s to daring to believe in rainbows!