Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The joy

After the sorrow comes the joy, right?

Well... mostly. This past summer has been the most turbulent season I can remember. Emotions have been running high and I've been mostly feeling like a hormonal crazy person. Back in May we were overjoyed to find out we were expecting another baby, but by the end of the month those dreams had been crushed when I had a miscarriage. I hate dealing with things, and just pushed on through - busying myself to the point of exhaustion and telling myself to move on.

Then in July came more shocking news - pregnant, again. It was a good shock, but still - a lot to deal with, given I was still exhausted both physically and mentally from dealing with the miscarriage and my heart was still grieving. Honestly, when I got that first + result, I didn't want to think about it. I didn't want to get attached again. I told Mitch that I couldn't talk about it, that I needed time to absorb everything. And so we enjoyed our little road trip up north, switching off from the news and all the happenings of the past few months.

When we got home, the exhaustion reached a whole new level. Then the morning sickness started. This was a HUGE shock. I had a reasonably easy first trimester with Oliver - a little nausea here and there, 2 days of feeling really sick and not being able to eat but otherwise it was just normal life. I don't remember feeling so tired; I didn't have time for tired. We were busy entertaining guests, traveling in Europe and preparing for our temporary move to Switzerland so those first 12 weeks with Oliver just flew by so easily.

As awful as the morning sickness with this pregnancy has been (and still is - please tell me I will not throw up routinely until this baby is born?!?!), I was also thankful. It gave me a little bit more hope that things were progressing normally. So - I decided it was time to start acknowledging this pregnancy, at least to ourselves. I took the plunge and made an appointment with my ob. I was feeling so nervous about this first visit, given that the last time I went in I had been reassured everything was fine, only to miscarry days later.

Although I could probably write an entire post about the medical system here (insensitive nurses / ridiculous compulsory prenatal 'education' / inefficient system / paperwork overload), at least my ob is wonderful. And we were relieved to see a teeny tiny blob on the screen with a strong heartbeat. Oh, the relief. The joy. We told our parents and a few close friends who helped through the miscarriage, and prayed that this little one would keep on growing strong and healthy in there.

What I didn't expect however, after seeing a heartbeat & being reassured by the doctor that my chances of losing this one had now dropped dramatically, was the emotional turmoil I'd go through over the following weeks. As much as I wanted to get excited, I was still reserved. The grief was still raw. I still didn't want to get too attached, and had massive guilt trips that I wasn't bonding with this baby like I did with Oliver. That I was somehow doing it a great injustice by trying to protect my emotions. I felt like a bad mother, not only to this new baby but to Oliver, as I was so sick and exhausted it meant that I wasn't giving him as much attention as usual.

Then around 9/10 weeks, something changed. It was the week prior to Oliver's 2nd birthday and it was a crazy week. We seriously woke up to some form of stressful news, every single day for a week. During this time, I got some test results that pointed to potential problems with the pregnancy. I freaked out. Majorly freaked out. I couldn't stop crying, I couldn't sleep. My anxieties got worse. Finally, when we got the all clear (praise God!), I realised something. I was attached to this baby already. I wasn't a bad mother. And I would do anything to protect this little life inside me.

I started to relax. We made a little announcement at Oliver's birthday party. I even contemplated buying some newborn outfits. Then, at 11 weeks we had another scare. I started cramping & spotting again. Given this was how the miscarriage started, I panicked. I was trying to be strong, but inwardly I was terrified. All I could think was why now?! The day before Mitch left for another overseas trip, so similar to last time. Thankfully, I have good friends. A day of prayer while waiting to see the ob for a scan got me through and we were unspeakably relieved to see our baby in there, with a strong little heartbeat. I don't know why this happened. I wish that pregnancy could be stress free & easy going, but it was a journey to get through the first trimester sane. I do believe though that everything happens for a reason & all these experiences have been shaping me on so many levels.

Falling pregnant again only one month after having a miscarriage has been emotional, to say the least. These past months have been exhausting & wreaking havoc on my emotions. I'm someone who is pretty good at just 'sucking it up' (as I like to put it) and pretending like everything is ok, even when my heart is aching and I find myself in tears behind closed doors. It's been a hard road emotionally but somehow I find myself now at the half way point, 20 weeks - and I'm ok. I finally feel like I am myself again. I'm learning just how much I need to stop bottling things up, and give it all to God. Without him, I'd be living in a constant state of anxiety.

And although nothing will ever replace that tiny piece of my heart that went missing back in May, this baby is such a blessing. He is our little piece of sunshine, a ray of hope during a difficult season. Little baby, your mama already can't wait to meet you xo

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus: Philippians 4:6-7

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  1. You are a wonderful mama, and I can't begin to know what your heart feels like after losing a child. So thankful for your healthy little one, and I pray that all will continue to go well. Big hugs to you, sweet friend!! xo

  2. I so hate that you've had such heartache. We've only know one another a few short months, but I love you like I've known you forever-- HUGS to you and look ahead-- good things are coming your way, friend.

  3. I'm so sorry for all the pain you've had to experience. I am keeping you and your family and little baby to be in my thoughts and heart! I had a horrible pregnancy with Ethan -- a lot of stress, a lot of scares, a lot of BEDREST (ugh) and specialists and nervousness and mandatory NICU meetings -- and it's deterred me from trying again to have another one. ANd I hate that, because I know our family isn't complete.

    Hugs to you indeed. <3

  4. :( That is a whole bunch of tough times all in one. At least things are healthy and good now. I hear you on protecting yourself from getting too attached, but at the same time being much more attached than you even realize. You are just the mama that this baby needs and even though everything won't be the same as it was with Oliver, it will be the best you can give and your baby will love you for it. <3

  5. So sorry for the pain and sorrow you went through during the miscarriage... Sending lots of love and prayers to your little one now. It's great to hear that your baby inside of you is doing well now, take care and enjoy these special pregnancy moments! :))

  6. I've been there myself so I know how you are feeling. Try to relax, rest and enjoy your pregnancy.

    Louisa @ My family & Abruzzo

  7. This is a beautiful story and one that can uplift so many women! I can't imagine the pain and exhaustion you have endured but you are amazingly strong and an inspiration for where you stand today!


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