Saturday, January 14, 2012

Not to be.

After you have lost a child, it is so hard to be pregnant again.

We celebrated my daughter's seventh birthday last month and I was reminded of that. I was looking through some old pictures and I remembered it all...
I had lost Andrew in my first pregnancy and while the pregnancy itself was very uneventful, clearly the delivery was something that I would never have imagined. I desperately wanted to be pregnant again after Andrew~ Perhaps it was because that was the last time I was 'whole' and happy. I still look at that last picture that was taken of me pregnant and think, "She has NO idea how her life is going to change in just an hour..."

While I wanted desperately to feel a baby inside of me again, I was also terrified by the thought. I learned I was pregnant again on the day we buried my sweet Great Aunt, whom I was very close with. Even then~ every moment~ pregnancy was on my mind, but I would not let myself celebrate like I had when I saw that first pregnancy test~ would not let myself dream.

The disconnect continued. I remember thinking that this was wrong... I shouldn't be pregnant so soon... I should have Andrew. Joey should have Andrew. We should have Andrew~ not this other person.

It wasn't until I was in the garden writing Andrew that (that I wanted him back), that I felt a kick and knew. This was a new life that would teach me just like he had (and he would). I made the decision to love and to sing to this child just as I had Andrew and maybe even dream... albeit just a little.

I wouldn't buy a single thing when I was pregnant. When I spoke of the new baby I would say "IF" the baby comes home, you can get diapers and bring up clothes to be washed. Nothing was to be bought because nothing would be returned... I couldn't do that again.

So on the morning of the delivery (which would be three weeks early via c-section because of my growing anxiety of cord accidents and general fear), I didn't know what to expect. I got into the car and started sobbing. I wasn't quite sure then why I was crying and I am still not quite sure now. I could feel the baby kicking inside of me just as I had that first pregnancy though this time I knew it was from the one and only baby growing inside of me.

Once in the delivery room I was fine. It was brighter than I remember (though I am sure the room was just as light for that first emergency c-section). There was talk and laughter (something certainly absent from that first delivery). And there was hope. I knew that first delivery that the hope I was trying to hold on to was slowly falling through my fingers. This time there was hope and for the first time, lying on that delivery table, I knew... this was going to happen. I was finally going to be able to say that I had 'babies' at home.

After you lose a child it is so hard to be pregnant again, but it is more hard not to be.

Anytime I saw a pregnant person, I wanted to be her. In the back of my head there were always the thoughts, "Does she know how lucky she is?" "Does she know how fragile she is?" "Does she know how things can change in just a moment?" While I wanted to tell her, I also wanted to run from her. I hated being around pregnant people (unless I was one of them~ or it was someone from the Secret Society).

After delivering my daughter and experiencing what a delivery COULD be (pure happiness, the baby you came to deliver coming home with you), I wanted to do it again and again and again. I wanted to be those girls talking about pregnancy and pumps, complaining about aches and frequent potty breaks. I wanted to be "her" the pregnant girl. And it didn't matter if it was a few days after I delivered... I wanted to be "her" again. But even though I "was" her again (pregnant) I still wasn't. I was different. Changed.

What others didn't understand about me is that I somehow wanted them to know that I was a mom. I had done this. I had had twins. I think that somehow I felt Andrew's death was my fault. I had failed him. I had gone in too late, but I wouldn't do it again. I wanted to be pregnant again. I wanted to prove I could do it. For him. For me. For a baby that I would love more than anything.

I am someone though, who didn't have a hard time becoming pregnant, but I think that I had a similar desperation as those who did. I think that I had the same uneasy feeling around pregnant people. The same feeling that I wanted to run from the room when they came around. The same eyes that scanned the room and could find them. They were everywhere. And THAT was hard.

At the time for me baby showers were so very hard, because I knew what it felt like to have to return things~ things you had thought would be for your baby. Showers are still hard for me as I just find myself praying ~ please let these gifts not need to ever be returned... Like Andrew these things are always in the back of my mind. No one thinks they will lose a baby, until they do.

It is so hard to be pregnant, but it is more hard not to be.
Wishing you peace.


  1. Thanks for this Laura! I so needed this right now! Love ya!

  2. Laura, this articulates so many complexities of pregnancy after a loss so perfectly. I know that I still find the subjects of pregnancy and childbirth extremely painful and being around pregnant women makes me feel very anxious and well, even jealous. Which sounds crazy but there you have it!

    I'm eternally grateful that baby showers don't really seem to have ever caught on here in the UK as I know I would be imagining the same thing, taking back all those gifts to the shop. It's not something that it is easy to put from your mind xo

  3. I read your blogs and have tears every time, sometimes sad and sometimes happy. Thank you for sharing your stories.

  4. My dearest Laura, you have brought me to my knees tonight..right words at the right time is all that I will say at this time...

  5. I so agree. It is hard to be preg after loss but not being preg was so hard.

  6. Wow... this is SOOOOO where I am right now. Most of these thoughts and feelings; I could just copy and paste into my blog and it would sound like me. I had an OB appointment today and pregnancy came up in our discussion. Thank you for posting this... I really needed to read it.


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