What does pregnancy after loss looks like?
This is not my first rainbow baby but it may as well be. I got pregnant with my son four months after my daughter died at 33 days old. I don't know if the exhaustion from that time was from pregnancy or from grief, but I was knocked out for quite some time.
This time four years later, I thought it would feel different-better or easier perhaps. As if being pregnant and caring for a toddler would be any easier than being pregnant and grief stricken. They are both so challenging. But this time I'm out of the fog of grief. So I'm very clear when my emotions are overtaking me.
Today I needed to find a sweater that's it. I came out to the bins of clothes that I had saved from both my pregnancies-five bins in total. We recently moved so most my bins have lost their labels forcing me to delve into every single bin on the shelf. The very last one, the big one, contained my daughters quilt for her crib, clothes from hanging in her closet and the letters that spelled her name on the wall. I pulled out the special clothes remembering my girlfriends who bought and hung them on the wall of my baby shower. The quilt was longed for, for weeks I searched until I found the perfect one. And the letters (they never had the chance to be painted) are now missing a few because I borrowed them to share with her brother and they hang on the wall of his toddler room.
I could feel my stomach rise to my throat and I felt the surge of heat overcome me that I experienced when they told me my daughter wouldn't survive. I rushed back inside to vomit. I sipped my lemon water and cooled my face to recover.
This pregnancy (as I tell myself) is a different story, a different baby, a different journey and outcome, but it is terrifying nonetheless. I have moments of panic and moments of peace, but I'm always giving my myself the grace that my emotions are part of the process and in order to maintain health, feeling them are all part of it.
This is pregnancy after loss. It never ends. It doesn't discriminate and appears anywhere, anytime-even from inside garage bins.
I am mama of three beautiful babes; two sons whom I have the privilege of raising and my daughter who lived for 33 sacred days.