When I had my miscarriage in 2007, it was something you dealt with and then never talked about. I remember leaving my checkup after I lost the baby. I walked out of the office and closed that chapter. I didn’t talk about it, because I knew it made people uncomfortable. Just recently, people have been more open to talking about miscarriages. I have become aware that more and more people whom I know have also dealt with the same kind of loss, the devastation felt when the ultrasound tech just looks at you with that look. But the thing I don’t hear people talking about much is the pregnancy after a miscarriage.
When Andrew and I became pregnant last year we were so excited. We couldn’t wait to start our little family. What I kept to myself was that I was terrified. I felt like I couldn’t get too excited because in the back of my mind I was always thinking, what if? I was guilt-ridden for not being overjoyed, but I was holding myself back. Just like the saying, I was hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.
Every doctor’s appointment when they reached for the fetal Doppler I held my breath and prayed I would hear something. Every time he wouldn’t move, I would be drink juice and hope to feel a kick. It was thirty-eight weeks of trying to be excited but having constant anxiety. I didn’t tell people how I felt, and I felt awful for being emotionally guarded. I kept thinking, I should be happy. I should be excited. I should be glowing. Instead, I was anxious and cautious and terrified. I couldn’t deal with feeling such loss again. I couldn’t deal with another ultrasound tech giving me that look.
I remember just standing in the nursery and rubbing my stomach, hoping that this baby, this boy, would sleep in the crib. I sat in the gliding chair and sang to my stomach just in case I would never get to rock him to sleep in that chair. So many terrifying things would go through my mind. I had become my own worst enemy.
During labor, I just kept thinking to myself, please let everything be OK. Please let me hold a healthy baby boy. When he finally arrived and they put him on my chest, I cried. I cried not only because I felt such an overwhelming sense of love, but I also cried because I finally felt relief. I could finally stop holding my breath. He was here, and he was amazing.
It wasn’t until months after he was born that I discovered that the feelings I felt during pregnancy were pretty normal for a woman who had endured a loss. It was then that I stopped feeling so guilty.
I hope if you are reading this and are feeling the way I did that it gives you a little comfort knowing you are not alone.