I’d say I don’t know why I haven’t written about it sooner, but that’s not true. I know why: I’m scared. Terrified actually. I’ve realized that I don’t like to talk about it. I don’t like to actually tell people that I’m pregnant. I’m much rather they hear it from someone else, or can tell from looking at my obvious bump. I also realized that I actually avoid it in conversations, and obviously, I’ve avoided writing about it. To the average person, that probably sounds weird, why wouldn’t we want to shout this news from the highest mountain after everything we’ve been through. But to a PAL mom the reason is clear, “What if…”
What if I tell someone, and then something happens. What if I write about it, and then it all goes wrong. As if one thing has to do with the other. I thought maybe it would be easier this time. After all, this pregnancy was a big surprise to us in the first place, and I thought maybe that the pregnancy after pregnancy after loss would be less stressful. And yet here I am. Just over 19 weeks, and every twinge, pull or side cramp has me in a panic.
I was actually much calmer earlier on. When we first found out, and I got over the shock, in my gut I knew that everything was going to be fine with this baby, pregnancy and delivery. I was most concerned about how we were going to manage three kids from a physical and financial standpoint. But as time has gone on, while I’m still concerned with those things, I find myself starting to panic over if we’ll find that out.
Pregnancy after loss is nothing new to me. After all, this is my seventh pregnancy. But this is my first pregnancy after a successful pregnancy after loss. So I find myself in new territory that I’m not sure I know how to handle. Of course part of me knows that this is PTSD kicking in. And I also acknowledge that I have two very active young boys who delight me, and also stretch me thin. The torture of pure exhaustion does not leave ones mind in a sane place, and every thought, feeling and emotion is amplified.
We passed Baby Krueger’s milestone (16w6d), and are quickly approaching Sarah and Benjamin’s (20w5d). And as we approach possible viability at 24 weeks, the higher the stakes seem to be. The boys know now too, and are excited about having a little brother. We try to answer their questions thoughtfully, and age-appropriately, and in the back of my head I cringe at the thought of What if we have to tell them something went wrong.
And so we wait. We take each day as a victory. Each moment as a positive step in the right direction. I try to let myself feel all the feels, while finding a sanity balance. And having my doctor on speed dial doesn’t hurt. I’m sure on many levels that the pregnancy after pregnancy after loss is not much different from previous pregnancies. But it does help that every morning I wake to see two adorable faces with hilarious personalities. And while they both came to our family in different ways, they each are a reminder that I’ve done this before. And I can do this again.