Every time I sit down to write an update to the pregnancy journey, most of what I find is frustration.
- Frustration that I’ll have been pregnant for at least 18 months, just to walk out of the hospital with a living child in my arms, when every other woman in the world seems to be able to do it with nine.
- Frustration with non-medical professionals giving advice and pressuring me to “make the right choices” this time.
- Frustration with strangers’ rampant excitement, because it feels too much like counting your chickens before they’re hatched.
Sadly, that’s the tip of the iceberg. The arrival of the second trimester has been an exercise in faith and emotional management, to say the least. Though my belly grows by the day, it seems, and I’m starting to feel the baby’s kicks (hurray!), and each appointment brings a gently positive affirmation from my doctor, I find myself in an ever-watchful stasis: barely daring to hope and hesitating to fear the worst. Limbo.
I’ve even hesitated to touch and talk to the baby the same way I talked to Michael, so daring that action feels — it’s like claiming this child as mine, presumptuously, when I know that this child truly belongs to God until such a time as he or she is placed screaming in my arms to take care of. I have sneakily done it, and then found myself praying that I haven’t just counted a chicken too early, that I haven’t tipped the cosmic scales of life and death in a direction I’d rather not see.
Grief and psychology experts like to say that a pregnancy after a loss is often “the longest nine months of a woman’s life.” I so wish that weren’t true, and yet the time cree-ee-ee-eeps by and I resort to distraction tactics to keep myself from worrying myself silly. As long as I can ‘float’ through my time between appointments by keeping my music and SCA schedules full, I do okay. I do my best to find joy where I can (in each moment I’m kicked or shoved by the little one, in each day I look at my pregnant belly in the mirror and see how fast it’s growing, in each shared smile or touch of my belly by my husband), but there always is an undercurrent of frustration.
So, here I am: 12 months pregnant and counting.