A Year Later

I’m pulling into the driveway and realizing I’m here, but wondering where my mind was the entire drive home. That’s how the past year has seemed, in hindsight. At this time last year I published this post about our miscarriage; this year at 34 weeks pregnant my not-so-tiny baby makes herself known through kicks and turns as I write. She’s running out of room.

I tried to write on significant dates and anniversaries–our first baby’s due date, the day we found out we were pregnant, the day we found out we miscarried. I tried to write about becoming pregnant a second time. Strike that. About MAKING IT A MISSION to become pregnant a second time, and subsequently the fear came when I thought about how I could potentially lose this one, too. The relief that’s come when I haven’t. (She kicked me when I wrote that, like she’s reminding me she’s fine in there.)

I tried to write, but I couldn’t for a year. How could I articulate the way the loss still aches after I’ve become pregnant again? Or how terrified we are at every sonogram. Or how sometimes I still find myself crying, and I don’t know if it’s because I am grieving or emotional or hormonal or happy or relieved or guilty or hungry. Or maybe it’s just my allowing the emotions to ebb in for a moment, then move away again.

How could I articulate that sometimes I get so wrapped up in this pregnancy that I momentarily forget the other one? Because I’m SO RIDICULOUSLY HAPPY to have this baby and to feel her grow and move and thrive. I forget to be afraid, and I forget that just a few months ago I was angered at other people’s naive assumptions that positive pregnancy tests lead to births and babies. When did my mentality and my language change from if she’s born to when she’s born? Is that an assumption, an inclination, or is it me forgetting to be fearful?

And then I feel guilty for forgetting.

How could I articulate the way it brings me so much joy to prepare for this baby’s arrival? Or how I’ve loved reading the baby books and choosing her name and buying her clothes and toys and decorations that might make her feel comfortable and safe and happy. It even makes me happy to use pronouns in reference to this baby–to HER.

I never got to do those things the first time.

It’s been the longest and shortest year, and words have failed to describe it time and time again. I am grateful for the two babies I have gotten to carry in the past 12 months, the two babies who would not co-exist if the first hadn’t had such a short life. The fact that my second pregnancy did come so quickly after the first–and has thus far been without complications– I do not take for granted. We were extremely fortunate in that regard, especially since I put so much pressure on justifying the first loss with another pregnancy. This pregnancy, despite my anxiety, has been a constant source of joy and comfort. For the past eight months it has made every due date and anniversary less painful and every holiday and milestone more joyful.

The fear and anxiety I have about losing this pregnancy and this baby have become tolerable only because I realized that these are feelings that inevitably come with having children. Losing my child will always and forever be my source of fear and anxiety, as it would even if I hadn’t miscarried.

I am prying my writer’s block open in an attempt to document and celebrate this new season and new year–of pregnancy and motherhood and hope and love and second chances.

And her.

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