The photo gives it away doesn’t it? I’m pleased, yet cautious, scared, apprehensive and guilty to announce that for the 8th time, I’m pregnant!
I ask you not to congratulate me yet because it feels rather premature and in all honesty, I don’t know what to say in response. I don’t know if that’s normal, but I do know I feel odd when someone ‘congratulates’ me on being pregnant. Maybe, given my history, I feel like it is tempting fate? Maybe I’m slightly in denial that I’m pregnant again and the ‘congratulations’ make it all a bit too real? Maybe I just can’t let myself get too excited yet, as anything could still happen? I don’t know…I just know I feel odd when I hear that word. Maybe this will change as time goes by or maybe it won’t, who knows?
In the time I’ve waited to write this blog, I’ve passed the 12-week stage, I’ve passed the dreaded 21 week 3 day stage which is when I lost Jiya last year so I’m further along than all of my previous 7 pregnancies. I’ve had 18 scans, 1 trip to A&E, 1 surgical procedure, 2 hospital admissions and more meds than I feel comfortable admitting to. It’s been eventful to say the least!
I don’t know what the rest of this pregnancy has in store for us, but I approach it with my eyes wide open, my heart full of love and my soul at peace that whatever happens will be for the best.
Why has it taken me so long to tell you my news?
The truth is, after my last few blog posts detailing the birth and funeral of my baby Jiya, I was inundated with messages from people who had experienced or were currently in the midst of dealing with the loss of their baby; be that waiting for a miscarriage to complete naturally, having an ERPC (surgery to remove a foetus that is no longer alive), having recently given birth to a stillborn, awaiting their babies funeral, or just trying to come to terms with all of the emotions that come with such an experience. As I began communicating with these ladies (and a few men), sharing experiences, advice, support and love, I didn’t feel it appropriate to then start blogging about my new pregnancy. I mean how could I? These women were in the depths of their suffering and I was about to rub it in their faces that I was pregnant again. I just couldn’t do it. It felt so wrong at that time.
I know all too well how it feels to be recovering from a miscarriage and then have someone announce their big news. The emotions you feel at that time are completely split – the immediate feeling is one of someone grabbing a heap of salt and rubbing it directly into your open wound, oblivious to what it’s about to do to your emotions.
But for me, once the initial sting passes, I feel a genuine happiness for the other person, they have done nothing wrong, they haven’t caused my loss, it’s not their fault. But I know this isn’t necessarily the same for every woman and the sting of that salt in the wound can linger for quite some time, even without them realising. So I’ve been avoiding making the announcement as I never wanted to be that person holding the pot of salt.
Another reason I haven’t shared my news until now is the reactions from people around me when I said I would blog throughout the pregnancy. They looked alarmed, scared, protective of me and suggested that maybe I should wait until I was in the safe zone before I talked about it. But when is that ‘safe zone’ for me? Reaching 12 weeks? 20 weeks? Nope. Because my last loss at 21 weeks and 3 days showed that passing the 12 week stage, or the 20 week stage didn’t guarantee that my pregnancy was now ‘safe’. Maybe reaching 24 weeks, the time a pregnancy is considered ‘viable’ would be my safe zone milestone? Or maybe I can’t consider any period in the pregnancy as safe and the only time it will feel real is by having a living, breathing baby in my arms?
The more I thought about it, the later in my pregnancy I’d be making my announcement and that just didn’t feel right either. After all, this blog isn’t about wrapping up my story in cotton wool and sugar-coating it to present the best view of it. It’s about shining a light on the tough reality of pregnancy after loss, as encountered by thousands of women, and that anxious journey starts well before the 20 week or even the 12 week stage. It is present well before you even get the positive pregnancy test, before you even conceive, before you even decide to start trying again.
So enough is enough. I am going to stop going round in circles and follow through on my original intention to share my journey with you all, my new friends. I’ll go back in time in the next few weeks to tell you the story of this pregnancy so far as well as keep you posted on progress for as long as it continues. I don’t know how long this pregnancy will last, nor what the outcome will be and I dont know how I will get through the remaining ups and downs, but I have made a choice – I choose to approach this pregnancy with nothing but hope. Miracles happen every day and I pray that one day that miracle will be ours.