Breathing is essential to life. Luckily it’s pretty automatic in our bodies… But there are times when your breath catches and you have to focus to keep it going.
Like looking across the room for the first time at your spouse.
Or looking down for the first time at two pink lines.
Pregnancy is tough. Any woman will tell you.
Pregnancy after a loss is a completely different battle in and of itself.
The biggest difference between the two is the anxiety.
Yes, all pregnancies come with their worries. All moms-to-be are hyped up on hormones and have those crazy sensitivities concerning her unborn child.
But with a pregnancy after a loss, that sensitivity is amped up to dizzying levels of crazy.
And the crazy starts weeks before you’d think it would, too.
Weeks before you even know you’re pregnant, before you even have the possibility of getting that positive pregnancy test, you’re worried.
And a little hopeful.
But most of all anxious.
You’ve already counted out the tentative due date and big milestones of this “pregnancy,” and even planned out an announcement before there’s even a chance for that egg to embed in your uterine lining, that is if it is fertilized at all.
Google’s search history is full of things like, “changes in vaginal discharge…” and “earliest pregnancy symptoms,” even though you’ve read all google has to offer about conception time and time again.
And worst yet is the thing you’ve got saved in your cart on amazon.com just hoping you will have need of it. No, it’s not a cute onesie or even a “mama-bear” t-shirt. It’s the fetal doppler you know you must have handy to make it though the pregnancy without practically living in the doctors office with 24 hour access to an ultrasound machine, and a tech to run it.
It’s 2:00 am, weeks and weeks before my imaginative pregnancy, and I am writing this blog post. If that isn’t one of the most perfect anecdotes for illustrating my anxiety surrounding pregnancy, then I don’t know what is.
There’s another big difference too.
Before loosing a pregnancy, although still plagued with worry, most pregnant women glide through those 40 weeks with a blissful innocence. It’s that feeling where they know that bad things happen, but that isn’t even the “worst case scenario” in their mind.
Ignorance is bliss, or at least that’s what they say.
That blissful innocence is stripped away with the first loss a woman encounters.
For some, who’ve experienced miscarriage, after passing that iconic 12 week mark, a lot of that innocence and bliss can return. The popular thinking of- the close to the “viability” week you get, the more sure it is that everything will turn out right.
But for others, there is no moment which they won’t anxiously wait for the movement in their belly to reassure them that their baby is still alive and kicking. They’re the ones who over book appointments and check-ups, who own their own little doppler to listen to their baby’s heart in the middle of the night, and who may not even be reassured until their baby is no longer a baby at all, but grown passed the age where SIDS is a relevant danger. Only then, and only slowly, do they really begin to breathe again.
Pregnancy after a loss is a constant battle between complete and utter crazy and your throbbing love for those future children of yours.
And the best part is that your love will always outweigh the crazy. And those that love you will be the ones holding your hand and reminding you to breathe.