I’ve been struggling to write here since finding out I am pregnant. Not because I have a lack of thoughts or feelings, but because I always saw this as Everlee’s sacred space. I have been feeling that writing here about being pregnant was somehow me moving on and leaving her behind. However, after much consideration I have realized that Everlee becoming a big sister is every bit as much about her as it is about the baby growing in my tummy. No matter how many other children I go on to have, I am, and always will be Everlee’s mom.
I am going to try my hardest to spend some of my very long days writing here about my experience with pregnancy after stillbirth.
I’ve been sentenced to bed rest since 18 weeks. I am now 23. There is nothing pressing wrong, it’s more of a preventative measure to protect me from slowly rising blood pressure, and my own anxiety. I have a nurse that calls me every day, and visits every 3 days. They do all of he normal pre-natal visit sort of things – urine dip, blood pressure check, fetal heart rate. Can I tell you how reassuring it is that I get to hear that steady clack-clack-clack of the heartbeat every few days? Still nerve wracking every time, but it gives me some peace. I’m also seeing my OBGYN once a week, and getting bi-weekly ultrasounds/biophysicals. As nervous as I am about everything, I honestly couldn’t be more grateful for the world class health care I am getting. (and in reading some of my american friends‘ blogs, may I also say how thankful I am for the Canadian health care system?) After 5 weeks of bed rest – and almost 3 months to go I’m at a oint now whwere I can’t tell you what the weather has been like, or how much gas costs right now, but I can tell you who was arrested in last night’s episode of cops, and how many hours it is until my next doctors appointment.
It has been a long 5 weeks, but I have been able to fill my days and occupy my time. I have some wonderful people who have helped me in doing that. To all of those who taken the time to visit me (sometimes with puppies!!), call, text, facebook, tweet.. thank you! You’ve helped the days pass more quickly, and gave me the strength I need some days to get through and mark another x on the calendar. You’re amazing.
But what happens when the fear creeps in? What happens when you have so much joy, you become afraid you’re not supposed to grieve anymore? Quite frankly the journey is wearing me out. The ups and downs, twists and turns and then it all stops and spins again. This portion of the journey to becoming a mom of two seems to just spiral out of control sometimes – all while rarely leaving my couch. Everyone is having first birthdays that I just sit on the outskirts of – never forgetting the first birthday we never got to have. I am trying so hard to basque in the brightness and the joy of this pregnancy, but sometimes the fear just takes over, and 5 minutes without a kick in the belly makes me want to run screaming to the case room just to check.
The bed rest is catching up to me. I can’t go to meetings, or out with friends. I have entirely too much time on my hands. You would think I would write more, but I have built walls around this pregnancy. I’m so focused on getting this baby here safely, I have had to block out some of my grieving. But then, the guilt of realizing I’m not grieving as much seems to make the pain that much more intense when I let my guard own. But then I have to box it up and put it away again because I know I have to focus on this pregnancy and this baby.
It’s a vicious cycle that is leaving me breathless and a little stir crazy. This is part of a double sided journey. And it makes me envious of all of those other women I know that are blissfully pregnant, and unaware of all of the horrors that I know. How I long for those days of innocence when I didn’t feel like I was jinxing something to want to hang a picture on the nursery wall or post a picture of my growing belly for all to see on facebook. I hope this pregnant lasts at least 13 more weeks, but at the same time I hope they go by as quickly as possible and that I can embrace both of my children; this baby in my arms and Everlee in my heart.