Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pregnant after Loss - My Old Due Date Approaches

My due date for my last pregnancy is coming on Thursday, and I admit I'm a little bit afraid of it.  Since the loss, I've been telling myself if things had gone differently, I'd be so many weeks pregnant now.  I still have an app on my smartphone that carries my old due date info instead of information for the new pregnancy.  I still subscribe to baby center emails that remind me I'm 39 weeks.  I guess, in a way, I've been holding on in this one last way.  When my due date passes, that pregnancy will really be over.  Will other milestones start? Baby would have been 1 month old? 1 year old? 5 years old?  I wish my feelings had a road map so I'd know what was going to happen next.

Do I think I'll ever move on? No. How can you move on from the death of your child. Why would you want to?  My life is moving on even though my emotions have not, and I'm OK with that.  I'm happy with how my life is now, but I will always grieve the loss of that baby.  I think I can be happy and still stop to grieve when necessary.  Can I, though?  Again, I don't know.  I don't know how this is supposed to work or what the best way is to handle it all.

Over time since the loss happened in January, I've come to believe the baby is with me.  Growing up outside my realm just like he'd be growing inside me, still.  Suddenly, I'll think my son's stuffed animal for a moment looked just like a baby's face.  Was that him borrowing eyes to look at me?  The thought makes me cry, and I take just a moment to grieve before laughing at DS singing the wrong words to a theme song on TV.  Things like that don't happen every day, but surely more than once a week.  Of course it does, I miss my baby.  I wish he was looking at me so perhaps I make it happen.

My elderly neighbor has been hallucinating for over a month now.  It's been getting worse and worse until now he sees other people around him all the time.  Whenever he sees me, he says I'm holding the smallest baby he's ever seen.  "Looks just like a doll baby!" he says.  It's happened twice now.  Am I being unreasonable?  Is that not extremely upsetting? Would that upset you if you were me? Wouldn't you think that's a 39week old angel baby growing up just where he's supposed to be?  The baby I am currently carrying is the size of an apple, and wasn't yet that size the last time I encountered this neighbor.  The sized baby he describes is a little 38/39 week old newborn.  Just like I should have right now.  It doesn't give me comfort.  Since the last time he said this I've been avoiding him unless he yells for help.  It's too much.  It creeps me out.  It upsets me.  I don't know what to think or how to feel about it.  I wish I knew what to feel so I could direct my feelings towards whatever they should be.

I know no one is going to think that because I will always grieve my lost baby, that I'm ungrateful for my son or this pregnancy, but I want to address it anyway.  Without my son I would not have survived the loss, and without this pregnancy I don't think I could ever be happy with my life.  I'm so grateful for them both.  I love all three of my children.  I love my son, and I feel so lucky to hang out with him everyday.  I'm excited to now feel the new baby move, and I love making home improvements to prepare the house for one more.  I'm just missing one.  I miss him so much, and I wish he were here.  I know some mothers of loss feel like they'd have to choose between the lost baby or the new one.  They think if the other baby had lived, the new one wouldn't be here.  Well, I don't really care about logic.  I'm a mother.  I've conceived three children, and I want them all to be with me.

I guess that's all I have to say and I have no conclusion.  I cried writing this because missing my baby is sad and hard.  I know sadness is normal, but I sometimes worry that my feelings aren't 'right'.  Or that I'm doing a terrible job of grieving.  Not that I'm dishonoring the baby or anything, just that maybe it would be easier if I knew what I was doing or how I'm supposed to be feeling.  I'm just taking it day by day and I have no idea what emotions are ahead or how I'm going to feel that day.  It's unnerving, especially with a crazy neighbor and wide-eyed stuffed animals all around.  I don't know if I'm going to be especially sad on my due date or not. (Don't most people have an inkling about that?) I don't know if things will be easier or harder after it passes, or after this baby's born, or after 5 years have gone by.  I'm doing it though, with a genuine smile, so I guess I'll continue handling it the way I've been, and continue to see how it goes.  Grief no longer rules my life, but I don't think it will ever leave me.  I hope that's the 'right' way for it to be.

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