Moving Past a Loss

by Deborah Cruz
Originally Published: 
mother holding toddler and looking out window

Last year on this day, I was 6 weeks pregnant with my third pregnancy. It was unexpected and I was conflicted and overwhelmed, but I was excited at the possibility of another baby in my arms.

Today, my sister-in-law went in for her first appointment for her first ultrasound with her first baby. She is 10 weeks pregnant.

Last year, when I was 10 weeks and 4 days pregnant, I went into my obstetrician’s office for an ultrasound. I was spotting. When I was 10 weeks pregnant, I was told that my baby no longer had a heartbeat. Part of me died in that moment.

Today, I was texted a photo of my sister-in-law’s ultrasound with the outline of my beautiful and healthy new niece or nephew. I was thrilled and then almost immediately, I felt kicked in the gut.

I’m not super sensitive or depressed but the fact is that last year around this time, I found out that I was pregnant. On April 31st at 10 weeks and 4 days along, an ultrasound tech told me that my baby no longer had a heartbeat. It was the worst moment of my life. The next morning I was wheeled into surgery to have a D & E because of how far along I was and because nothing was passing on its own.

I still have the photo of the ultrasound that I made them take again before I went into surgery that morning, just to make sure there was no heartbeat. It’s on my phone. I am afraid to erase it because I am afraid that I will erase the fact that my baby was ever here. That photo is my only tangible evidence my baby #3 ever existed.

Today, my sister-in-law, who I truly am very happy and excited for, went in for her first appointment, she is 10 weeks pregnant. She texted me the ultrasound and suddenly, what I thought I had learned to live with, those feelings, that pain came bubbling to the surface.

She sent the text as I was headed to afternoon pick up so I had all those feelings swishing around, trying to boil over, my heart hurts and I just want to cry. I can’t because my kids are here. I can’t write about it on my own site because I don’t want my sister-in-law to read it and think that I am not happy or to worry that her joy is bringing me misery. It is not.

I am happy for her and my brother-in-law; it’s just that every progression of her pregnancy is a reminder of my loss and the sadness I feel about it. These residual emotional time bombs left over from the loss happen at the most inopportune times. So I have to write about it to process it or I will explode and start blubbering inappropriately. I want to be excited with her. I want to celebrate. I want to embrace it all but my heart has not caught up with my head yet.

When will this ever stop? Will I ever feel truly happy again? When will I stop feeling like I’m going to burst into tears every time someone I love tells me they are pregnant?

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