Ever since I got pregnant again, it’s been difficult to admit much of anything about it to myself. To say that I’ve been scared, terrified, is an understatement. After I lost my daughter Maggie last year to prematurity, I have not been the same person. I know that I will in fact never be the same person I once was. It’s just the kind of pain that stays with you for life, and that’s perfectly okay. She will always remain in my heart, in OUR hearts, and that’s what’s important.
It’s easy to allow yourself to become to lost in your pain and your sadness and your loss, though, that you forget what it is to feel joy once more.
We (John and I) didn’t mean to get pregnant again so soon.
We had just moved to a new apartment. We were just getting into the swing of things, being two full-time working adults doing all those grown-up things people do. Trying to learn to enjoy each other on our own terms again. Our marriage, though only a bit over a year strong, has seen more insanity than most people see in a decade. We’ve been through so much, gotten so close, fallen so hard, that sometimes it’s amazing to me how we’re still surviving it all. But we are. I guess that’s what love is really about. I remind myself of the vows we made at our very whirlwind wedding and I am only excited to see what the future holds for us, because we can obviously make it through anything.
So like I said, we were trying to just enjoy being together for a bit. But, well, things happen. And one day, we started to fight. And things, stupid things, began to bother me a lot more than they usually do. And I would get so irritated. And then I just kind of knew. I wasn’t more than a week late when I knew I needed to take a test. I bought one after work at a Walgreens and ran into the bathroom to pee on the plastic stick. And there it was.
My heart was racing. This wasn’t supposed to happen so soon. Hell, I was just beginning to enjoy having a post-work beer. It hadn’t even been a year since we’d lost Maggie. How could I go through all that again? What should we do? What would we do?
It took us a bit of time to come to the conclusion that while we were scared, terrified, to open our hearts to the possibility of another pregnancy and hopefully another child, it was too heartbreaking not to give this tiny bit of replicating cells a fighting chance. So I began to search for doctors. And I made appointments. And after some trial and error, we found a good set of docs to take care of the tiny human growing inside of me.
I didn’t tell anyone at first. I was hoping to stay quiet for a few months at least, but an emergency visit to the hospital (which turned out to just be a painful ovarian cyst) wound up causing me to contact my folks who quickly got it out of me. And then I realized that while I was scared, I needed to tell people. So I told one friend, then another, then another and I knew they would get the word out to everyone else soon enough.
John and I had a pending trip to San Francisco and Big Sur we were afraid we might have to cancel since I was so early in the pregnancy. But I put my faith in this little growing being in my belly and said, “We really have to go to California.” I knew we would regret going whether we lost the baby or not. Maybe it wasn’t the most responsible decision for a high-risk pregnancy, but we all make our own decisions in life and we’re the ones that have to live with them. It was one of the best choices I’ve ever made. Our marriage grew very strong in that one week, as did our love for our baby-to-be.
When we came back, I found myself having to tell my employers. They seemed to take it alright, although I often feel like they keep piling on the work and expecting me to work more hours without any PTO or any kind of financial recognition and it gets difficult to keep up. As for the rest of the world, I kept it off a lot of my social media for a while, but eventually began sharing with my Twitter friends. The more I share with others, the more real this baby becomes.
The first ultrasound was still scary, terrifying. Not knowing if we’d even hear a heartbeat or see a baby growing at all. But this little fetus has been a fighter through and through. No problems whatsoever, unlike my pregnancy with Maggie with whom I had complications from the start. We have a specialist and I’m being monitored like a hawk: taking progesterone shots, ultrasounds for my cervix every two weeks, and general care at least once a month. I feel so much more prepared this time. So much more knowledgeable. It often makes me sad to think I was not prepared enough with Maggie. Like I failed her somehow, or like my doctors failed her, or like everyone did.
But I know that’s not the case. We’ll never know why we lost her exactly. There are only clues here are there. This pregnancy isn’t about the loss of my daughter, though.
It’s about the love for my son.
Every day, we get to know him just a little bit more. He’s kicking now and he’s got a crazy appetite. To feel a baby kick inside me again is the most magical thing in the world. To see him in the ultrasounds, to hear his little heart beating, always brings tears to my eyes. He has brought me so much peace since we lost his big sister. I found myself missing her less and less and crying over her less frequently once I became pregnant with my rainbow, the calm after the storm.
My family is going through hard times, financially speaking. It’s not easy. Every day is literally a struggle to figure out what we’ll eat and how to make ends meet. But we’re trying, and I know we’ll make it. So whenever I start to feel glum, I remember I have to be positive for my baby boy. I need to find joy again, peace and love. I smile and remind myself I’ve been through the worst. Fucking bring it, world. We’re going to make it through all this.
When I started writing this post, an old song came to mind. It’s not a song that I’ve ever thought of much before, just one I enjoyed when I was a teenager. “Praise You” by Fatboy Slim. Mostly because the lyrics were so simple and ring so true to how I feel these days.
Weve come a long long way together,
Through the hard times and the good,
I have have to celebrate you baby,
I have to praise you like I should
John, and Maggie, and Baby Boy Blossom. My family, we’ve come a long, long way through everything. Margaret Hope always with us to remind us to forever enjoy the time we have left here, who taught us love the likes we’d never known. Our baby-to-be to bring us new joy, one we have an obligation to celebrate. This is my praise to my son, the light after being so lost in the dark. Here’s to the future.