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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Emotional Limbo

I'm not sure where this post belongs, on this blog or on my loss blog.  But I think here, because while it has more to do with Caleb and my feelings about him, it also is about this pregnancy, and I promised no baby talk on my other blog.   So far I've been told that, "This is awesome! Since you're pregnant again, everything's better, right?" Um, no. This does not in any way take away the pain that was caused by losing our first baby.  That'd be a mighty big order for a baby who is thus far the size of a plum. That'd be a mighty big order for a newborn, for a toddler, a high-schooler, an adult. No one should have to carry that burden. This baby is a different baby.  This baby is a baby who would have been here someday and is just arriving a couple years earlier than I would have liked. This isn't our oldest or only baby.  This is Caleb's little brother or sister - a separate, different baby. One that doesn't replace our first baby.  One that doesn't mitigate the pain I felt the moment I realized I was going to lose Caleb, an instant in time that I remember as clearly as I do this morning's breakfast. 

I've also been puzzled by people's reactions. So many people are responding like this is our first pregnancy. I honestly don't know what I expected, but maybe an acknowledgment that this is a scary road? Or maybe like my cousin, who said, "Congrats!! I'm so happy for you, and you already have an angel in your corner!" I'm probably asking too much of people, though. They don't know what to say, or whether to say anything, or what it's like.  If I wasn't in this position, I'd probably respond the wrong way too. And actually I take that back. It's not the wrong way. No one (ok, the person who said it was all better, but other than that) has said anything wrong. It's just that so few people have said what I at times need to hear, which is just a recognition of what I've already gone through. And a totally irrational thought? I hate hearing that because I had morning sickness with this pregnancy or because I'm not bleeding with this pregnancy that it's a better pregnancy. It makes me feel so immensely guilty that I failed Caleb last time because I wasn't able to throw up or keep him safe and makes me feel like they're saying Caleb was doomed from the start.

It's a terrifying, scary, bumpy road that you're sure is going to come crashing down on you any moment. I know every pregnant women is nervous about losing her baby, but for most of them, that fear greatly diminishes in the second trimester. That fear is going to increase for me, and it's a fear I know very few people can relate to. I'm so, so glad I have friends like Maggie and Jen and a few others who aren't "out" yet so I won't mention, but they are all on this same road with me and understand literally every single emotion that this journey brings with it.

And my hope for 2011 is that we all have healthy babies. And my other hope for 2011 is that Courtney and the other families (all my TTCAL ladies) who are trying so hard to get a ride on this scary road are able to jump on (I take that back...claw their way on. I *wish* it were as easy as just jumping on).

Here's to a new year, hopefully filled with happier endings than 2010.


  1. This is a great post. I'm not even pregnant yet and my own freaking mother in law said something about "when you guys have your first baby"... uhh... hello, were you paying attention at all last year when our first baby was in the hospital for 3 days? I can't even imagine all the crap we'll here once we're actually pregnant again. I love how real your posts are and how you don't sugar coat anything or beat around the bush.

    ps: I'm so happy for you guys :)

  2. I'm only 5.5 weeks and we haven't told anybody in real life yet. But when we do, I'm sure I'm going to get some of the same comments. As if baby #2 could somehow replace Aidan. You would never say that to someone who lost an older child "yes, it's sad that Joe died, but thank goodness you have John to take his place". Um...no. People can be dumb.

  3. YAAY~ Lara and Chris! So happy for you! I have been thinking of you a lot lately! I'm adding your new blog to my reader to keep up with your progress :)

  4. This just hits the point exactly. I had a friend tell me that this pregnancy was "meant to be" and that therefore it would go better than my last one. Which was IVF. It was like she'd slapped me in the face with the idea that I had somehow tempted fate or God or whatever by getting IVF, and earned myself the death of my first son. And since this pregnancy was accidental, or "an act of God," I'm in the clear. I told her I thought both of my pregnancies were meant to be, and she said, "possibly." THAT was the wrong thing, too.

    And these are such different babies we carry. I have a son in Heaven, a son on Earth, and another child waiting to be born. They are not interchangeable or the same. They are joys and sorrows so infinitely separate that though they're a part of me together, they could never cancel one another out in happiness or sadness.

  5. When I got pregnant with Cub, I was really happy, but it also brought alot of feelings right back up to the surface and I missed Jacob's pregnancy even more. I sometimes even wrote about Cub's pregnancy and wrote Jacob's name instead. Being pregnant again brings hope and joy back into your life, but it also brings up alot of memories and maybe even intensifies the grief of the baby that was lost. I guess next time will be a little harder still since it will be my 4th pregnancy (the first 3 didn't work out)

  6. I totally get it. It's a hard thing to go on after loss. We are in the same boat, and just announced our pregnancy this Christmas after losing our son this past April...it comes with so many mixed emotions. Happy for you, and praying that things continue to go well for you. Will be following along over these next few months, and cheering for you!

  7. I'm a mommy who was previously on your sept. board. I lost a baby boy at 20 weeks on sept. 12, 2008 then had a baby girl almost exactly 2 years later. I'm not going to lie, my entire second pregnancy was hard and scary, but I took solace in the fact that Reuben was there to watch over his little sister. I would talk to him through out my pregnancy and ask him to watch over her. I don't know, it helped me. Anyway I just wanted to wish your family the best.

  8. I have been through your journey and out the other side. I lost my daughter at full term, through an accident at birth. I now have two more daughters, 13, and 12 respectively. They both know they have an older sister and they acknowledge her. The subsequent pregnancies are SCARY - but so worth it. I did a lot of my grieving for my first born, when my second born was an infant. You are human - never forget that. Also people who have not encountered loss will one day have some modicum of understanding. I pray no one ever feels the way I felt, but I know some will. It isn't easy, it doesn't have a manual, but it is so worth it.

  9. Lovely to read your post - Congratulations on your pregnancy. We are also pregnant with our second, and also due in July. Our First - Mitchell, was born at 26 weeks. He spent 7 months fighting for his life in NICU. Seven wonderful and scary months but we were very blessed to have him at all. We have just gotten past the 26 week mark with this bellybean so a little of the tension has eased, but the fear is still there. We are also getting confused looks from people when we don't agree that this is our first. Apparently if they aren't still here, they don't count. Fat chance in our house. Mitchell is and always will be a huge part of our lives and our other children will always know him. It is such a shame that people don't understand that what they say is completely inappropriate, but in the same breath, I wouldn't wish them to have an understanding like we do. The less people in this "club" the better.

    All the very best going forward.
    Glenn & Tamar