Sometimes, you just have to know when to admit you’re not okay and then ask for help.
I realized I reached a breaking point yesterday morning, as I fought back tears on my walk through the sea of strangers in the train station.
Grief. Fear. Anxiety. Uncertainty. PTSD.
How am I going to survive this pregnancy feeling this way?
I don’t know what I will do if I lose this baby too.
I miss Elliot so much. She should also be here.
These thoughts are so overwhelming. I knew I had to reach out to mamas who have been where I’m standing right now. They are mamas who have lost a baby (or babies) just like me. Some of them have since given birth to healthy “rainbow” babies or are currently pregnant after loss. I’m so grateful they were there to tell me it’s normal to be anxious and scared. I’m not crazy and I will get through this. One day at a time. Focus on today and celebrate the positives, no matter how small. Be open and honest about my fears, my sadness, and my happiness. Different pregnancy, different outcome. We’ll get through this together.
Not being okay is okay.
I needed to be reminded of all these things. Even though I know all of this, it helps to hear it from someone who’s been there. In this case, many women who have been there.
At the beginning of this pregnancy, I was pleasantly surprised that I immediately wanted to share my excitement and happiness for our newest miracle. I really thought I’d be paralyzed by fear and would want to hide the entire pregnancy. Instead, I want to celebrate this pregnancy, just as we celebrated with Elliot. I want to celebrate openly and not hold back any of the joy because I know how fleeting it can be. I hope, pray, and even beg that it will last this time. But still, I know there are no guarantees.
Since I know first-hand that there are no guarantees, I struggle…a lot.
It could be the time of year, but recently, the anxiety seems to be more intense than usual. Up until two years ago, the 4th of July had always been such a happy time of year for Ben and me. It was one of my favorite holidays. Going to GC to celebrate became a tradition when we started dating. Eventually, we got married at GC on July 4th. Five years ago, just days after our anniversary, we found out we’d finally be parents. One year later, Ben and I got our memorial tattoos for Elliot. This year, I’m pregnant with our second daughter.
It never ceases to amaze me just how much life can change from one year to the next.
Bliss. Innocence. Sadness. Confusion. Hope. Excitement.
Sometimes, I still wonder if this is really my life. I don’t mean that in a bad way, at all. If given the chance, I would not walk away from this life. I wouldn’t even consider it. It’s mine and it’s beautiful. But still, I question how Ben and I got here. It’s so different than how I imagined it. That’s life, I guess. It rarely turns out the way you think it will.
We love. We grieve. We cry. We laugh. We Hope. We live.
Loss, grief, and heartache are a part of life, for everyone. I just didn’t consider that we’d ever experience something so devastating, and at such a young age. And because losing a child is so devastating, all of the feelings that come with that experience carry over into every other aspect of your life. You don’t get over that, no matter what.
So even though I’m happy, excited, and hopeful about this pregnancy, I’m also scared. I want to continue to celebrate every single moment with my baby, but sometimes I have to pause and let all the emotions run through me.
Some days will be good. Some days will be bad. Some days will just be. And that’s okay. It doesn’t mean I’m weak or any less excited. It doesn’t mean I’m not happy. And it doesn’t mean I’ve lost hope. It just means I’m still a grieving mama – another reminder for myself.
Not only do I have a great group of mamas to lean on, I also have loving family and friends. That’s how I’ll survive this pregnancy, with their love and support. I’ll survive with Ben and Elliot by my side and in my heart. That’s how I’ve survived this long. One day at a time.