Finding Presence of Mind During PAL

By |2017-06-13T07:57:24+00:00June 13th, 2017|24weeks, Pregnancy|9 Comments

It never really goes away, does it? The fear. The anxiety. The wonder and worry. Sure it subsides sometimes, even for long periods of time, but it is always happy to rear its ugly head and hit you smack in the face when you’re not expecting it. I guess I should’ve expected it in pregnancy after loss, since I’ve long-learned to accept it in life- and parenting after loss, but it still catches me by surprise.

Case in point, this past Sunday was an errand-running, tire the kids out while keeping them cool on a ridiculously hot for June kind of day. I don’t think I sat down from the moment they woke me at 5:30, which is what happens when you save finding sandals for your kids until the day before camp starts. When I finally caught my breath and sat down for dinner, I started to wonder if I had felt the baby move throughout the day. I started poking and prodding my belly to see if I could get a response, but this dude was laying low. He’s fine, I told myself. He doesn’t move much until you lay down for bed, I reasoned. Plus, I had vague recollections of feeling something throughout the day.

My mind wandered and started to go “there,” but I wrangled myself back to being present. Presence is something I struggle with in most aspects of my life, and it is particularly a challenge when you’ve been down the baby loss path I’ve walked. It’s easy to let myself hit play on the devastating scenes of the past, and I consciously have to choose not to. Every minute, of every day. From the start, I was convinced that all will be OK with this pregnancy and the baby, and I know I need to trust my gut. Yet trusting my gut—and my body—during PAL is hard when both have let me down so many times in the past. So I find that I need to remind myself that I’ve successfully done this before, and while that has little bearing on this pregnancy, I have gotten through this. I have had success. And I can do this again.

40 weeks is a long time. And so far, we’ve made it through 24 of those weeks. Together, Aaron and I take it day by day, and sometimes we have to break it into smaller increments than that. We grasp onto the moments and milestones: the biweekly scans, increased movement, and my ever-growing bump. We breathed a sigh of relief to hit viability this past weekend, and yet know that we won’t fully relax until he’s here healthy and breathing. I allow myself to feel all of the feels—good and bad, scared and excited. I know that I have to honor all of these emotions for if I don’t, they’ll bottle up and explode.

The truth is, I don’t know for sure what the outcome is going to be, on this, or most things in my life. And so I have to make a choice to bring my focus back to the present and appreciate where things are at this very moment. It isn’t always easy., and I don’t always succeed. But when I take a step back, take a breath, and look into my boys’ eyes and smiles, I realize there’s no better place to be.

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About the Author:

Erin Kuhn-Krueger
Erin Kuhn-Krueger is a 5x miscarriage survivor (including a daughter, Baby Krueger, at 16 weeks 6 days in April 2010), and a 2x stillbirth survivor (twins, Sarah and Benjamin, at 20 weeks 5 days in October 2012). After her 4th loss, Erin created the blog and resource portal, Will CarryOn, for those experiencing baby loss, and learning to live and survive life after loss. She writes from the heart, touching on oft-taboo subjects, showcasing the struggles, determination and hope that have kept her (and her husband) together, and moving forward. She believes the more people talk about baby loss, the less alone those walking a similar path will feel. Erin received a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from Drake University where she studied advertising and marketing. She uses her personal experiences and marketing background to shape her advocacy work and community outreach in the adoption, loss and infertility arena. In addition to her writing, and speaking at support groups and conferences, Erin also works as the Community Outreach Director for The Blossom Method, a center providing therapeutic support and counseling for infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth, baby loss, pregnancy after loss, postpartum depression, and more. Erin and her husband, Aaron, live in the suburbs of Chicago, and are parents of three sons: C, by way of domestic adoption (May 2013), and J (August 2014) and E (September 2017), after successfully carrying two pregnancies to term. You can find her on Twitter, and follow Will CarryOn on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. […] over at Pregnancy After Loss Support talking about the importance of staying […]

  2. Mom June 13, 2017 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    Beautiful post!

  3. Pappy June 13, 2017 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    Well written 😘

  4. Audrey schwab June 13, 2017 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    We will always remember our angel baby born sleeping

  5. WRJ June 19, 2017 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing. I never thought my journey to parenthood would have been so challenging, but your words are a gentle reminder to stay in the present. Wishing you the best.

    • Erin Kuhn-Krueger
      Erin Kuhn-Krueger June 21, 2017 at 10:29 pm - Reply

      Thank you. I’m glad this resonated with you, and I wish you the best as well.

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