One of the hardest things I’ve discovered this past week was saying goodbye to my biggest supporter and having to be strong while he’s gone. As a military wife, this shouldn’t be anything new for me. Often times my husband has to leave for extended periods of time, however this time saying goodbye was a little bit harder.
This time, I was saying goodbye to the only other person who relates to the ugly emotions experienced during this pregnancy. I was saying goodbye to the man that comforts me the nights I have reoccurring nightmares of what had happened during our daughter’s delivery. I was saying goodbye to the man who has been keeping me positive daily that things will be different this pregnancy. I was saying goodbye to my best friend, my rock, my husband. I know that it’s only for a few weeks, but I’ve never felt so alone during this journey.
I know I am not alone though, I have amazing friends and family that have been so wonderful and supportive since we announced this pregnancy, but my husband is the only other person who went through the heartbreak of losing our child. He understands the ugliness that pregnancy after loss brings during a time that should be exciting.
For us, pregnancy after loss has been a trial of hope as well as fear. What should be a happy and exciting time, turns into fear of jinxing it. Fear of opening your heart up too much again because things can quickly change, and the pain of loss is unbearable. What should be “when” we bring the baby home is instead, “if we are lucky…”
I know each day during this pregnancy after loss, I am still grieving my daughter. You don’t “get over” losing a child when you are expecting again. (A rainbow baby is not a replacement.) Not a day will ever go by that I don’t think about my daughter, and while I’m struggling with my own emotions during this pregnancy, so is my husband. Although he grieves differently. Before he left, I got a panic call to find his specific pair of dogtags that had Amelia’s photo on it. I know that not a day goes by that he doesn’t think about our little Amelia too.
As I stated earlier, what “should” be an exciting time is often is clouded by fear. Before my husband left, we actually decided on a going home outfit for Baby F, but found ourselves becoming emotional at the meaning behind the little onesie. For a second, we allowed our hearts to open up a little more, and it was scary because last time we were expecting our rainbow after the storm, she passed away eight short days after birth. We just don’t want to be in that situation of having baby items with no baby again.
The same is true for our little countdown to Baby F’s arrival. This past week I crafted a little rainbow baby jellybean countdown. It’s one of the little ways I am trying to celebrate this pregnancy. We are excited for each day that passes by, but in the back of my mind, I worry that I’m counting down to Baby F’s death date. I shouldn’t think that way, but once again I’m finding myself thinking more negatively now with my husband gone.
I’m hoping and praying that we are fortunate enough to be able to bring this little one home. I keep trying to tell myself to be strong and positive. I need to be, although it’s easier said than done. I truly hate the ugliness that pregnancy after loss brings. I want to enjoy every little moment but with every step forward, I feel like I need to take two steps back to protect my heart. With the second trimester coming up, I thought I would feel a little more confident. I was wrong though. Seeing how fast time is going and with each day becoming closer to my due date, I find myself becoming more anxious. Maybe it’s because things are becoming more real, or that it’s because my husband is gone right now. Regardless, my main goal for the next few weeks until my husband is back is to not let the ugliness of pregnancy after loss dim the beautiful light of hope of this little rainbow baby to come.