Thursday, June 5, 2014

One Day at a Time

14 weeks and counting.  This pregnancy is crawling by, but every day I get a little bit closer.  I keep the thought fresh in my mind of holding this baby for the first time.  Seeing her beautiful face and holding her in my arms.  I try to fight back the thoughts that haunt me of what it's like to see your baby take their last breath.  The fear is real and it is present.  I have to constantly battle with my feelings of anxiety and worry.  Now that I am in the 2nd trimester this baby has become much more real to me, which is exciting but scary.

Most pregnant woman have a slight fear of "making it" through the first trimester, even more so if they have previously suffered a miscarriage.  It is pretty well known that many pregnancies end before making it to the second trimester.  Those first 12 weeks are when it is most common to suffer a miscarriage.  It is now believed that one in every four pregnancies will end in miscarriage, which is a terrifying statistic, especially when you are pregnant.  Most woman wait until at least 12 weeks into pregnancy to announce their pregnancy.  Most woman feel that at that point they have entered the "safe zone".  While the statistics for losing a baby do go down after the first trimester their is unfortunately no "safe zone", which many families have had to learn the hard way.

Since I have gone through my losses it has slightly angered me that it is expected of families to wait until the 2nd trimester to announce a pregnancy.  By not announcing the pregnancy it's like confirming to society that it's not real yet.  So if you are to lose that pregnancy there is nothing yet to grieve.  That is simply not fair.  It's not fair to all of those woman that have to return to work or interact with friends and pretend that nothing is wrong.  I was that woman after losing my second pregnancy at 10 weeks.  I called into work sick and when I returned I explained that I had to have a small surgery but everything was fine.  I don't know if any of my co-workers suspected what was actually going on, but nobody said anything.  I returned to work on my daughter's first birthday and I had to jump back in like nothing had ever happened.  It hurt, it still hurts.

Now that I have been through a later pregnancy loss I am one of the many parents that knows there is no "safe zone" in pregnancy.  I have seen too many families lose their babies well beyond 12 weeks, some even making it to 40 weeks.  I also know what a later pregnancy loss looks like, and it's not pretty.  It's messy, painful and heartbreaking.  It is seeing your dead baby and holding them in your arms wishing you could do something to help.  Being pregnant again and finding myself in the second trimester is terrifying.  Everyday with this pregnancy I wonder if this will be the last.  I don't have the typical thoughts of an expectant mother.  Instead of wanting to buy clothes for my baby to wear home from the hospital I find myself thinking about what things I can buy that we will put in this baby's memory box if she dies.  

Outwardly I am excited and positive about this pregnancy.  I am sharing our news with the world and picking out baby names.  I am putting ultrasound pictures on my refrigerator and talking to my daughter about her baby sister growing inside me.  I do all this because what I am really feeling is too scary and morbid.  The thoughts of where to put this baby's urn and what the funeral will be like.  I try hard to push these thoughts away.  Every day I fight a little battle with myself.  "I will bring this baby home, I will bring this baby home, I will bring this baby home" is my mantra.  I take each day as it comes and I know that every day that goes by I am one day closer to bringing this baby home.