Tuesday, October 25, 2016

My PAL Journey: Weeks 15 to 19

It's amazing how much my perspective changed once I began to feel a bit better.  My mood shifted from anger, bitterness, and misery to delight, hope, and optimistic anticipation! Well, that and fear. I've been pregnant after multiple losses many times.  I knew to expect a reasonable amount of anxiety. But if I'm being real here, which I can be to a fault, this is more than Reasonable Anxiety.  History-based Fear spiraling into actual panic attacks. I hadn't had much experience with those before.  Yeah, not fun.

A good excuse to lean on God daily! God is good all the time, in all things.  Praise is always the right response.  He is on my side and cares deeply for me.  I refuse to let fear distort truth.

"But Jesus immediately said to them: 'Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." -Matthew 14:27

I was told the other day "be careful who you vent to about your anxiety; most people will say you shouldn't have gotten pregnant in the first place."  My husband and I are so in love with our family planning choices that we don't need others to love them to feel secure. What I'm doing takes courage. That said, I am greatly encouraged by the support of others.  So if you've dealt with anxiety and have advice, bring it on.

"Things" are going really well; it is a fairly uneventful pregnancy.  I am no longer needing IVs for the nausea & vomiting, I have started the weekly P17 shots (to prevent preterm labor), am continuing the daily blood thinner injections, and have weekly ultrasounds to check cervical length and heartbeat of baby.  So while I may involve a few more "pokes and prods" than some moms, it is still a relatively normal pregnancy!

Even with things going well so far, I still wait on edge in the doctor office each week, fearing bad news.  Everything is fine until it's not, historically, and fear begets fear, and there is some amount of trauma involved in being in those same rooms that bad news has been delivered to me in before.  I'm learning more and more to be present in the moment as a way to push through the anxiety.

I'm far more able to see the joyful parts of this process now that I've rejoined the world of the living. (As in the hyperemesis has subsided enough to function again.)  My close friend had her baby 3 weeks ago and Bruce is enamored.  I think he "gets" what having a baby sibling means now and is very into his Future Big Brother role.  So now he is excited about MY baby in my tummy.

"Look Mom, I made your baby!"

Little One has not been particularly cooperative so it took 4 ultrasounds to determine the gender with certainty.  I know either gender would make me happy but I didn't realize I wanted a boy so much - until I heard it was!! I'm really very excited. Perhaps I was just happy to KNOW the gender, as it personalizes the experience more.  I can pray for my "son" and say "he" instead of "it."  It makes this SO REAL!


I haven't done weekly baby bump pictures, even though they make for precious memories, but I did take these selfies at an outing on the Twins Field last week.  18 week baby bump!

I've noticed how uncomfortable others are with miscarriage.  It was a tough enough topic to avoid when I was smack in the middle of grief (not that I am one to avoid talking about loss) but it comes up A LOT during pregnancy after loss.  

"Is this your first baby/pregnancy?"  I struggle with how to answer this simple, innocent question.  There is an internal struggle to honor my lost babies with my answer, a desire not to make others too uncomfortable, and a chronic compulsive need to overshare.  I generally say "We are hoping for our 5th living."  That leads into various reactions - mostly discomfort or judgement (5 is a LOT of kids after all, lol).

I'm trying to find a balance & learn to use my filter - not everyone needs or wants to hear my story AND I know I have been blessed by hearing others open up about their loss experiences.