After experiencing the struggles of infertility after Everlee … I thought I JUST had to get pregnant. That was the path to Hope it seemed …. then I did, and all too shortly that baby was gone too, our baby Joy …. so the goal became getting pregnant and not miscarrying, staying pregnant …. and then after that milestone it went to passing the genetic and all other screenings, to learn our baby was free from things that could take them from us again. Healthy. …. so yes all those goals and milestones have been met but I was naive in thinking that pregnancy after loss would be all rainbows. Or that the milestones ever really end to let you fully just enjoy this little rainbow.
Im almost 35 weeks now with a little baby boy that Everlee picked out just for us, is what I like to think. 35 weeks and I know that this is the first time I’ve decided to share on my blog about being pregnant or write in extent to what pregnancy after loss has been like for me.
I’m at a point now that I have officially been pregnant longer than I was with Everlee. It was 34 weeks 2days when my world changed forever. And we would loose the chance to bring our little girl home.
Now as I look back at this pregnancy I remember seeing that first pregnancy test, there was only guarded excitement with the disbelief from my struggles concieving but most of all I knew right away I was already afraid to let my heart run away with this baby when there were so many things to get through. For the most part Jeremy and I kept the news to ourselves holding our breath really, waiting for another bomb possibily, afraid to get to excited. In a way I wondered if I expected or was waiting to miscarry again. Almost preparing myself or trying to “plan” ahead. After losing baby Joy I knew a positive pregnancy test was only the first step. And that my loss of Everlee didn’t make me immune to other struggles, or infertility, or another loss. At that point continued struggle was all to familiar to me. So as much as I wanted to be blissfully excited I also remained terrified to feel that defeat and hopelessness once again. It was a cautious hope I held at that point.
And even after I passed the point that I miscarried baby Joy, and we received a good report about genetics, and anotomy, and continued growth and thriving even into where we are today. I can tell you I know my heart is still guarded. I still catch myself saying IF we get to bring him home.
I’ve noticed I’ve dragged my feet on a lot of things, which is not like me, getting the nursery ready, moving Alice out of her room, buying things for him, and I know I try not to openly make plans for him after he’s here. For all the “plans” I had with Everlee were shattered. And it’s something I’ll never get over, what we were supposed to be doing with her.
I’ve even had a hard time with his name. I know full well we have picked out the perfect name but to announce his name feels like I’m stating everything will be ok. He’ll be coming home. And I know now that there is no way of knowing that. Things happen.
I remember when I was pregnant with Everlee and she got her diagnosis for her abnormality and what was ahead for her, I would tell myself when the worry got too much, “God sent you this little girl, so why would he take her away. It will be ok. You were meant to have her.” And I know full well she was meant to be ours, I was right about that but not ours in the sense I was thinking in that worrisome time. My own reassurances could not keep her here.
So the phrase “it will be ok.” Is just meanless words now. It might eventually be OK but In a much different way that you ever thought.
I like to think of this little guy as my compass, leading me on and through. I was so lost after I miscarried. So hopeless. At my lowest ever since loosing Everlee. But then he came and pushed me through. Allowing me to cautiously hope again. Little does he know how he has allowed his mom to heal so much already.
Ive realized since being pregnant how I have set my grief aside for so long during our infertility phase. Being pregnant again has opened that up again for me which Has been a good thing in a way but also a waterfall of emotions to finally face. Anyone who’s experienced grief understands there is no boxing it up or setting it off to the side the only way through it is just that. Allowing it to just be what it is. Getting through it one emotion and step at a time.
This pregnancy has opened so many faucets connected to Everlee I had no idea I hadn’t dealt with. Pushing me forward in my grief.
Ive taken strides into returning to places and doctors that brought me right back to those days leading up to losing Everlee. And each step or emotion I deal with while hard has been healing to my heart.
It took courage to announce this little boys blessing. When I knew announcing him didn’t garentee we would ever bring my him home. It has took courage to share what I have on Instagram or Facebook, knowing full well my emotions regarding my pregnancy would maybe not be well received. Or seemed hurtful to those who still hope for a miracle. I have had people tell me I’m wrong in my feelings or thinkings and that I JUST need to be joyful for each day I’m pregnant. And I am, trust me, I prayed for so long to get here. And I’m also thankful for each day I was pregnant with Everlee. But like every step in life since Everlee with any of the wonderful Joys I experience, sorrow is also present. These two emotions can walk hand in hand. This is my reality now, and I’m accepting of this regardless of how others might view this.
Even though I have had this guarded heart throughout this pregnancy I’m happy It hasn’t stopped me from taking a million bump pictures, or relishing his kicks, or soaking up those moments when Alice talks to her baby brother or snuggles up to him. And even though it took me awhile I have enjoyed shopping for him and planning for him in small ways reminding me of the blissful times I shared pregnant with Everlee and shopping for her. Now picking out special things just for my little rainbow.
I wish I could tell you that now that we are to the point where I’ve been pregnant longer than Everlee, that the fears have subsided and I’m nothing but excited to meet this little guy soon. I wish, but I still can’t. I’m still feel unsure of what is ahead in so many ways. I’m still in a stage of cautious hope.
As time is ticking by, I’ve been forced to go through things and set them up in anticipation of his arrival home. But I find myself also packing things in my hospital bag that are special and very specific, and I do this knowing and thinking we didn’t have everything we wanted in our limited time in the hospital with Everlee. There’s so much I wished I had for her or would have done. So what I have packed for him I know is my way of making sure that doesn’t happen again, I’ll have every special thing I want for him regardless of any outcome.
I still harbor fears for delivery and if I’ll be plagued from traumatic events with Everlee’s birth. I’m planning for the unknown of emotions when he arrives, trying to think what it will be like to hold Everlee’s little brother after what it was like to hold her for the first and last time. What will it be like to hear him cry. When it was silent after I was finally given the chance to hold Everlee. Or to look into his eyes when I still wonder what hers look like.
Will bringing him home heal me from the nightmares I have from leaving the hospital with out Everlee in my empty car, no car seat, no baby, just tears and silence for the ride home. I remember bringing Alice home but those happy memories are so distant now it’s hard to think past the painful ones now.
Im fearful my grief will overcome me when I feel the joy of raising him. Reminding me of what I’ll never get with his big sister.
I just know this journey getting to him as been longer and harder than I ever thought. In a way it’s not over yet either. So I stand in disbelief at moments where I find my hope outweighs my fears and I think this is it, the moment we prayed for, the moment we wanted for so long, and it’s almost here. And there’s only joy for the future in those moments.
I am so aware that we would not have him or be here today if Everlee was with us.
So he is so much an added blessing to our family. That we are already so in love with despite our fears. But we also know he’ll never replace Everlee or take over the part of our hearts that remain hers forever.
So I leave you with this, be gentle to the mommas who carry a rainbow in thier bellies, be aware of the tug of war they face with joy and sorrow. Let them be however they need and don’t place judgements for emotions that are hard for them to understand themselves.
Mommas who have walked this road before me or are walking along side me now, I commend you for your braveness. It takes courage to repeat what has scared us and to give our hearts away again when we know it can be taken away. When our innocence has been taken to hope again.
And to those that still wait as I stood and waited for so long. Don’t give up. It’s worth holding on hope. I will hold space in my heart to wait with you still. And pray your moment comes at just the right time.
I’m going to try to soak up these remaining days of pregnancy. Be mindful of my heart as the next part of my journey is near. Anticipate continued healing with his arrival and the joy he’ll bring us. Knowing he’ll always know his big sister Everlee who came before him, and how she’ll always be with him too as she’s remained near to us.
“Be Joyful in Hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12