Another New Chapter

LifeIsWhatHappens

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” One of my favorite song lyrics from John Lennon’s Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) that has become a reoccurring theme in my life. And one I’ve learned to mostly embrace rather than fight.

This theme rang true once again in early February when we discovered I was pregnant. After all, we thought we were done. It has been a total surprise to everyone, especially to Double A and me. And while I decided early on that I didn’t have the energy to hide this pregnancy physically, I’ve also avoided talking about it, and writing about it.  I thought that the pregnancy after pregnancy after loss would be easier, and yet here I am.

On some levels, this feels like an extravagance of riches after everything we’ve gone through. We have two smart, beautiful, funny boys at home. And the 7x loss mama in me feels guilty. But really where it comes from is the fear of not knowing what’s ahead. Perhaps if I don’t talk about it much, keep my head down and keep moving forward, all will be OK.

That said, I know there’s no guarantee, and there is no control in life, let alone in pregnancy. On most days I realize that my worrying about this pregnancy won’t do me any good. So on most days, I just am. But on those days where I need an extra peace of mind, I don’t hesitate to call the doctor and go in for an extra scan or a listen on the Doppler. These are the days where I feel a bit like a crazy lady, but history has given me that permission. And I also know that our former therapist is a call away.

I both loathed and embraced the extreme nausea I experienced for the first 15 weeks as a sign that things were moving in the right direction. I was shocked, thrilled and a bit nervous to find out we’re having another boy. And now, as I’m just past the 19w mark, I savor every random kick or punch and wait not so patiently for the feeling of full movement to set in.

My milestones come daily, as looking out 21 more weeks is just too much. I’m replicating the care I had with J, taking the same precautions with weekly progesterone shots and cervix measurements. Small steps for a big outcome. And so we hope.

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The Chosen Ones: Getting The Call (Pregnancy After Loss Support)

C_Birthday

We’re over at Pregnancy After Loss Support today talking about the day we got the call that C’s birthparents had chosen us:

“We were deeply invested in the situation, and at the same time, completely separated. We didn’t have doctor appointments to go to. We didn’t get to see ultrasound scans and pictures. I didn’t get to feel the baby moving. We relied on conversations and hope.”

You can check out the full post here.

The Gender Connection: Why We Chose to Find Out (Pregnancy After Loss Support)

connectionI’m over at Pregnancy After Loss Support today:

“For us, finding out became a way that we could connect with our babies in a way we hadn’t been able to before. They were always real, but at least now we had this knowledge which took it a step further.”

You can check out the full post here.

 

What Makes a Family? Pregnancy After Loss Support

Brothers

I’m over at Pregnancy After Loss Support today talking about the notion of families.

“Do they really think that we, as parents, make a distinction like this with our children? There are plenty of things that differentiate my boys, but who is more part of our family isn’t one of them.”

You can check out the full post here.

Holding onto Hope: The Cubs, World Series and Pregnancy After Loss

cubswin

I’m over at Pregnancy After Loss Support today talking about the importance of holding onto hope.

“Chicago Cubs baseball is in my blood, and it has always been the one thing I have been blindly optimistic about. That is, until we started trying for a family.”

You can check out the post here.

To the Person I’ve Become after Baby Loss

experience

“I can’t believe it’s been…”

Double A and I say this often as each anniversary nears. Today, that year is four. Four years since we said hello and goodbye to our Sarah and Benjamin. And even as time continues to pass by, it stands still. In the days surrounding the anniversary, emotions are all over the board. The events of October 8 and 9, 2012 replay like a horror movie marathon I can’t turn off. From the first unknown pains of labor to being wheeled from the hospital, forever leaving our babies behind. From the funeral and the days that followed, I can feel, hear and smell each moment. It’s a part of my story now, and even though it is a painful part, I keep it close, as it is a way of staying connected to their story. It’s part of how I stay connected to them.

I think back to the me that I was in the days leading up to then, and I feel sorry for her. I have this tremendous sadness for the woman I was then, because she has no clue what’s about to happen. And while our previous five losses had obviously made me familiar with intense grief and sadness, the enormity of losing the twins changed me forever.

That said, I look to the woman I am today—in spite of, and because of our experiences—and I’m incredibly proud and grateful for who I have become. I am a mother, a wife, and a friend. I am determined, resilient and strong. I speak the words some cannot, and say things others don’t want to hear. I’m an advocate and a survivor.

My story didn’t end that day.