There is a pinhole in the bottom of my cup and it seems that my two options for getting the contents out are letting them continue to slowly drip out of that tiny hole, or to completely punch out the bottom, and neither of these options feel very timely. I forget though that I’m a glass-all-the-way-full kinda gal and that my third option is to try to capture some it all as it proverbially runneth over. So I’m there. Somewhere between a pinhole and a floodgate. Holding a bucket. Totally normal, right?
I think the thing about this pregnancy is that I keep waiting for something to click, but second pregnancy love is a little more multi-faceted, maybe less simple. I stayed up all night the night that I found out that I was pregnant with Asher. Immediately I started talking to his little soul and the camaraderie was fast and intense. It was quiet and powerful, me and baby first, everything else second. Then between Asher and this little one, there was another one, the one that got away, and it bruised my baby-meeting optimism. And so with this pregnancy, I spent the first 12 weeks on my hands and knees, somewhat literally and figuratively. I was sick as a dog (another first) but also sick with worry that I would fall in love again, hard, and be left with a hollow core yet again, the weight of those displaced feelings anchoring me back to that isolated doubt.
Here we are at week 19 and I am ready to change my narrative. What I’ve been holding on to is not the loss of the baby, I do think that I’ve made peace with that, but it’s the betrayal that I felt from my body, the insecurity that’s come about in its wake, and it’s time to let this last little grief go. I’m almost half way through and still I get surprised every morning by my swelling shape, I still breathe a sigh of relief when I feel the first fluttering kick of the day, and I am still coaching myself along to trust the life-making process that happens inside of us. I’m converting my anxiety into a fake-it-until-you-make-it bubble of enthusiasm, and it’s working. I’m less enamored with the pregnancy perhaps, but almost ravenously excited about the end goal. The weight of this child in our arms. A gasping, air breathing, here-I-am-world cry. In many ways I think that the connection that I have with this child is one of reverence and a deep sense of being in it together. Asher was a call, this one is an answer.
So there we have it. I am filled to the brim with absorbing these final months of just being a family of three, of negotiating Asher’s cycle of 3-year-old 8 minute emotional highs, mediums, and lows. Of navigating life with a growing child inside my body, and another one hanging all over us on the outside, of wanting to grow things in our garden, of riding the tides of my own crazy hormones, of loving this opportunity, and of finding gratitude for another day where it all seems to be working. It’s hard for me to know if what I’m experiencing is the universal experience of second-time moms, the universally silent experience of women who have lost a pregnancy, or, more likely, all of the above. I’m trying to patiently pace myself for this marathon, but the truth is, I want to sprint to the end, fold my arms around this little one and give thanks again and again for his or her presence in our lives. I want to be on the other side of this, watching those unexpectedly tiny fingers curl around ours. I want to see Asher smiling his shy smile when people ask if that is his little brother or sister. I want to be there. But for now, until September, we wait.
Thanks for capturing some of what’s in this cup with me, let’s take a stab at getting back to our regularly scheduled programming, shall we? Here are some more scenes from our world of late:
4 thoughts on “Week 19: Reckoning”
I’m very happy for the Virginia Walton family and the anticipation of a new addition. As one who enjoys family history, I am happy that you are recording your personal journey so clearly. You and your children will treasure it one day. Much love to you all!
Hi there…came over from your great post on Girl’s Gone Child! Our first baby was stillborn at 40 weeks, we had 2 more awesome kids, and now I’m pregnant with our 4th and, like you, due in September. You have perfectly captured how I have felt with my subsequent pregnancies. I don’t like to admit it but after the first one, my pregnancies haven’t been a dreamy revelry for 9 months, I just want to get to the end as fast as possible so I can hold that baby. I nervously wait for the day’s first movement and then hope for it to continue all day. I decline offers for showers, and wait as long as possible to think about names and get out the baby gear. Thank you for putting it so well into words.
Oh Stefanie, thank you for such a poignant comment–I am so sorry for your loss, and also so happy for the joy that has come to your family in its wake. Isn’t that the strangest thing about pregnancy and loss? The women that have shared some of their experiences with me have all pointed to the same idea: it is nearly impossible to talk about the sadness without talking about the happiness too, and vice versa. Keep me posted about September, it will be here before we know it! 🙂
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