It was a warm day in early November. Mark and I were in the kitchen reading books about Thanksgiving. The last page described how the town brought the firefighters Thanksgiving dinner when the firefighters became too busy to prepare their own feast. As I unexpectedly fought back tears, yes, tears, and read the last page, I thought to myself: “I think it’s time to take a pregnancy test.”
And so it begins again… pregnancy #3.
Now that I am well into the second trimester, I am finally gaining back some of the energy that I had been desperately missing. Although this is my third pregnancy, it is the first one that has involved chasing around a toddler while also trying not to throw up. Why didn’t anyone warn me about how much… fun… that would be.
Aside from the usual pregnancy symptoms, the most difficult aspect of this pregnancy has been the fact that the timeline mirrors my pregnancy with Isabelle. Everything from battling nausea throughout the holidays to feeling the baby kick while watching the Winter Olympics has been a reminder of my pregnancy with her four years ago.
My due date, July 10, is three days before her due date. (Although Isabelle was born almost 2 weeks late.) I am very thankful that baby number 3 will be a scheduled c-section in June, making their birthdays almost a month a part. However, I can’t help but compare the two pregnancies. I have to regularly remind myself that this is not the same child and just because things are similar, it doesn’t mean the outcome will be the same. My doctors are taking precautions to lower the odds of history repeating itself. I know all of this, but it doesn’t prevent me from being anxious about every single ache and pain.
And that is why my blog has been quiet the last few months.
Part of me wanted to write about the excitement of another baby, while another part of me preferred to avoid weeding through the intense feelings that have accompanied this pregnancy. I’ve been thinking about Isabelle constantly. I think about the brief time I had with her. I think about every aspect of that pregnancy. I relive her final moments and pray over and over again that I will not have to relive the harsh, consuming pain that my heart felt in those moments. I have learned to live with that pain, but I question if I could handle it all over again.
I wish I could say that I have some kind of magic solution that makes the challenges of pregnancy after loss suddenly easier. I’ve had moments where I’ve questioned how I am going to make it until June. In those moments, I take a big breath, pray for the strength to completely trust God, and focus on the immediate task at hand. Things don’t suddenly get easier, but it helps me to refocus.
God doesn’t ask us to figure out every detail of our future. I know how cruel life can be, but being anxious about what lies ahead won’t change a thing. All we need to do is focus on the moment in front of us. What needs to be accomplished right now? Laundry? Diaper change? Breakfast? Grocery shopping? Focus on that task and move forward. I don’t always do it well, but that is what I’ve tried to do daily since I saw that little plus sign on November 3rd.
I am sure you are probably wondering how Mark is handling all of this. He seems pretty excited. He likes to point out babies whenever we see them and has transitioned into his “big boy truck room.” Recently, he suggested that when the “baby gets too big” and has to come out of Mommy’s tummy, maybe he/she should sleep in either the nursery or his truck room. I’m not sure he really understands what is coming, though. In the meantime, I am enjoying his little hand on my belly attempting to feel “the baby in Mommy’s tummy.” That sweet little boy always manages to make me laugh on challenging days.
We find out the gender of this little one on March 1, so stay tuned…