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The upcoming anniversary and a week full of conflicting emotions

05/13/2013

Belle

Our Lexington baby shower had to be postponed from mid-April to May 18 due to some scheduling complications. I did not realize the significance of the May 18 date, and now it is giving me fits of anxiety. According to ultrasound dating and a weird sense of foreshadowing, I lost my first baby on that Saturday one year ago. Today was the day I went in for my first ultrasound scan, where we measured an embryo that was growing behind schedule and had a heart rate that was not exactly where it should be. I left that appointment in tears, knowing deep down that this was not going to end well.

I spent all this weekend fretting over the Chicken and whether or not history would repeat. Why does my belly hurt? Is it from coughing for weeks or is it a sign of something worse? Is my placenta ok? Is the cord still firmly attached? Why has baby not moved much in the past few hours? I am ashamed to admit that I’ve used the doppler every day for the past three days. Last night the heart rate was lower than usual and Chicken did not kick the doppler like he/she usually does. This morning the heart rate was back up but there was still no doppler kicking. My heart sank as I wiped more jelly off my belly and drove into the office. As I’m typing this I’ve had several bursts of movement from the Chicken, each one makes me breathe a little easier knowing that Chicken is still there… for the moment.

Had I realized the significance of the coming weekend, I don’t think I would have chosen it for the shower. That said, I am looking forward to the distraction. I am also taking strange comfort in knowing I will not be alone.

During my miscarriage I suffered largely in silence, shutting out everyone around me. I talked to my mom briefly and one friend in Birmingham, and that was it. I spent weeks wrapped up in my grief, blogging like a lunatic and hiding from all humans. I kept my office door shut and to this day, no one at work has acknowledged my loss.

At 33 weeks pregnant, I realize that if something were to go south with this pregnancy, there would be no real way to hide from it. Knowing that I’ll have a house full of the people who mean the most to me this weekend gives me a morbid sense of peace. My dear friends from college are driving 8 plus hours to celebrate with us. Our sweet little cat loving friends in Indiana are driving 6+ hours with their 5 month old. The Professor’s mom is flying in from Arizona. Friends from Georgia are joining and our amazing friends in Lexington are going way beyond the call of duty to put it all together.

It makes me feel a little better to know that we’ll be wrapped in so much love this weekend. Despite this, I am still terrified. Terrified that there is never a guarantee your baby will come home until you walk in the door together. Terrified of the flashback moments I’ve been experiencing since the weekend. Terrified that we’ll be faced with unprecedented sadness yet again.

And then there is an undercurrent of joy. This time last year a pregnancy was struggling to hang on. As far as we can tell, this year is the complete opposite, with a healthy baby beating the shit out of my organs and ribs daily. This is most definitely a reason to celebrate and hang on to hope. Still, the conflicting emotions are complicated, as I struggle to celebrate the new, while still acknowledging the trials of the past.

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7 Comments

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  1. May 13, 2013

    Anniversaries of losses are hard. I spent the first part of my pregnancy hitting two dates of loss: the first, which was the date of my D&C, was also the first beta, the second one was right after I hit the second trimester. Both times, I was a ball of anxiety. What took a little bit was recognizing that I was having difficulty grieving these anniversaries without undermining this current pregnancy. I don’t think I did it particularly well, but I found writing and talking about it helped.

    After surviving loss(es), it’s hard to embrace pregnancy as a sure thing, regardless of how far along you are. In the back of one’s mind is always the “what if” as we’ve lost faith in our bodies. But what does help me is visualizing the future and surrounding myself with distraction. Which, coincidently, you will be doing this weekend.

    Thinking of you.

  2. May 13, 2013

    As I’m just coming to terms with my recent and first (hopefully my last) miscarriage, to Triploidy 69, xxx, your post gives me so much hope. The circumstances of your miscarriage sound similar to mine: baby measuring behind, heart struggling to beat. And I imagine I’ll be fearful and anxious just as you are should I finally carry a baby to 33-weeks. But my Mom reminds me that the worries never stop, not when you bring that baby home and not when you send them off to kindergarten. It all sounds so bittersweet, but TOTALLY worth it. With that said, enjoy your upcoming shower and time with family and friends! And thanks for sharing this post right when I needed it (literally JUST got off the phone with the genetic counselor).

  3. May 13, 2013

    Oh Belle. I’m sitting at work reading this and crying tears of joy for you. I’m sure you understand why so I’m not going to write it all out. I’ll just say I love you and I hope you have a wonderful shower this weekend. Now it’s time to clean up my face lol.

  4. May 13, 2013

    ((HUGS)) I cannot imagine how difficult those flashback memories are. Hang in there – I’m glad you’ll be surrounded by family and friends, honestly.
    Also – they move less and less from now on, simply b/c they’re running out of room in there! The sharp jabs and kicks become more muted whole baby rolls as they shift, but (at least for me) that was about it the last couple of months. More of a “STREEEETCH” into my ribs (baby get OUT of my ribs – i would mutter all day)… but not kicks. Try to take comfort in the fact that chicken is growing and healthy in there!

  5. May 13, 2013

    I definitely see the reservation you have in having a shower that day, but on the other side at least that date won’t be laden with nothing but negative feelings – you can look back on it, mourn your loss but celebrate the new life WHEN you bring chicken home. 🙂 Enjoy it as much as you can – you deserve it!

  6. jak #
    May 13, 2013

    maybe a good exercise is thinking forward from last year. think back to the sadness you had last year. then think of how you would have felt if someone, some crazy ass clairvoyant being could have told you, “you know what belle, next year on this same date you will be having a shower for you 33+ week old baby. your take home baby.” i know you worry that something could still go wrong. we all do. but very realistically, look at where you are. you’re doing great and so is chicken. dont deny yourself the progress you’ve made. embrace it.

    hugs and chicken pecks…

  7. May 13, 2013

    My current pregnancy is on the exact same timeline as my previous one that ended in miscarriage – like we found out on the same day both years that I was pregnant. For the first month, to say I was a nervous wreck is a giant understatement. I could barely function on the anniversary of the loss, sure it was going to happen again. Even though it can be stressful on the day, the nice thing about it is when you make it through a bad anniversary safely, there is a new, nice memory to replace it. You can’t ever completely erase a memory of loss like that, but you can diminish its power over you somewhat when there is something happy to associate with the date also. I hope you have a wonderful time at the shower & are distracted enough to not dwell on the fear. 🙂

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