Pregnant after recurrent miscarriage.
Pregnant after one loss, two losses, three, four, five, six losses.
That's where I am. It's a bit of a strange place to be. There are mixed emotions here in this place. It's a place of "if" when you desperately want it to be a place of "when." It's a place of uncertainty when you want nothing more than to be at peace, a place of "maybe" when you wish it could finally just be "yes."
The bottom line is that I'm very, very happy and grateful for another chance. I think my husband and I had come to a place where we were genuinely afraid we might not get another try. We wound up waiting three years for this second chance (or seventh chance, actually) and we are overjoyed to be making progress in this pregnancy. The majority of our pregnancies haven't made it this far. Two were over by the time we were 6 weeks along. One turned out to be a blighted ovum. The remaining three we actually saw on ultrasound, saw their hearts beating, but they were too small or had some other problem that raised concern with our doctors. Each time it was incredibly hard to pick ourselves up and find a way to start over again. All were hoped for, prayed for, and loved beyond belief by two people who wanted them more than anything.
What I want people to understand is that going through pregnancy after recurrent loss is very hard. It's not that I don't want to be where I am now, of course. This is what I've been working for and striving for, and why we've been seeing a specialist on a regular basis. It's why we've endured surgeries and tests and procedures for 9 years. This is why we've kept going. Once you've arrived there, though, it's hard to "just relax." (It's funny, that's what people love to tell you the whole time you're trying, too. It's much easier said than done, and we've all learned that relaxing doesn't make babies!)
Waiting to get pregnant is also one of the hardest things I've had to do. I would never try to minimize the pain of that experience. There is nothing easy about it. I find myself still thinking in terms of the 2 week wait that the person trying to conceive knows so well. Right now my appointments are 2 weeks apart, and in between I'm left wondering if everything is still okay, if there's still a baby growing inside. I can't help but feel some fear and worry during those times because I can't erase our experiences in the past. They are with me every day. No, I may not grieve those losses as strongly as I once did. Those wounds aren't fresh anymore, but they are certainly still sore. I think they always will be.
My fear manifests itself in ways that I recognize. I've been there before; I'm still the same person inside. I still cringe a little when people congratulate us on our pregnancy. It scares me to hear it spoken of aloud sometimes, as though it may be taken away just as soon as we begin to celebrate it. I still make plans for the future by saying, "If we have a baby in September..." or "If this pregnancy works out..." I don't want to be that way, but I just don't know how to be any other way at this point. Loss is all that I know. I don't know what it's like to get a positive pregnancy test and then get a baby to take home. Oh, I hope for it every day and I plead with the Lord to let this be the one! Sometimes I can almost even picture it and let myself imagine having a 3-month-old at Christmas.
But at the same time, I still have funny feelings about Mother's Day. I still feel weird and out of place when others tell me their pregnancy and birthing stories, as though I've now joined the club. I don't know if I'll ever feel like other mothers. I guess one day I might, but now it's so hard to imagine. I think part of that comes from the fact that I have been a mother to lost babies for many years now, and that goes mostly unrecognized by general society. I still feel a stab of pain when I hear others told how very blessed they are because they have children. It reminds me that no one ever looked at me as a barren woman and called me blessed. Somehow it is overlooked that a woman can have joy in her Lord and happiness in her marriage and fulfillment in her life -- and that woman is also blessed. Yes, even those who have sorrow are blessed. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4 (I wrote more about this subject in an older post.)
All that I know to do now from day to day is look ahead to the next appointment, the next chance to see what is happening inside. If it's good news, we celebrate each small victory and each step toward our dream. It's a strange feeling to have both fear and hope, uncertainty and determination, worry and trust. But it's where I am.