Thursday, April 28, 2016

PREGNANCY INNOCENCE


friend of mine just announced her pregnancy. It's her first baby. She's pretty early on, but she couldn't keep it a secret any longer--she was bursting at the seams to share her exciting news. I watched her entire face light up as she shared how she found out, her symptoms of morning sickness, weird cravings and their first ultra sound experience.



For the first time in a long time, it didn't make me sad about losing Grace. I didn't run home and cry and think about the fact that I should still be pregnant, too. It made me sad because I realized in that moment that I will never be as excited as her about another pregnancy ever again.

I would give anything to get my pregnancy innocence back. 

Joe's pregnancy was a breeze. We got pregnant our first try and every ultrasound was blissful. I genuinely loved being pregnant. Sure, it was uncomfortable and exhausting at times, but I felt proud showing off my baby bump. I felt more womanly. I felt empowered. I wanted the whole world to know I was pregnant, too. I told my friends at 8 weeks. I posted baby bump pictures. I talked about it nonstop. I checked the What to Expect app multiple times a day and couldn't wait for the week to change so the fruit comparison would update.

My biggest concern was having to decide on a paint color for the nursery. 

I'll never have that again. Another loss I will have to grieve.

Now, I see people announcing their pregnancies on Facebook the second they hit their 2nd trimester. They haven't even had their 20 week anatomy scan yet. I count back the months to figure out how many months pregnant they are because I can't believe November baby announcements are already happening. Have that many months already passed? I see kids in big brother and big sister shirts holding ultra sound pictures, smiling ear to ear. How will they explain to them that they've lost the babyI see moms bringing their children into ultra sound appointments. How could they risk having them experience mom's devastation?

I'm jaded now. There is no safety in weeks or low probabilities. And after what I've gone through, there's no getting it back, either.

A few days after I lost Grace, I joined a private online support group called Ending a Wanted Pregnancy. There aren't many of us out there, so it's been great being able to talk about the hard stuff with people that actually understand it. Mothers who know what it feels like to make impossible life-changing choices out of love. Those 250 women have literally brought me back to life, but at the same time, have educated me on 250 ways a pregnancy can go horribly wrong. I've heard every one of their tragic stories--all different diagnoses, all finding out at different weeks of pregnancy, and all resulting in loss.

There is no safe zone. 

My therapist told me that I will always feel fear now in future pregnancies, but I will have to learn to walk alongside it if we decide to try again. I loved his sentiment, but it's just not fair that it's my reality now.

I want to burst at the seams. I want my face to light up.

I want my innocence back.