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9 months.

I’m trying hard to connect with this pregnancy. With this baby. And it’s not easy.

Right now, it would be easier to pretend I’m not pregnant until I have a baby. Or I’m at a “safe” week, whatever that is. I don’t really know if there is a safe week anymore. And many of you reading this are saying, “There’s not.” You’re so right. This weighs on me as I progress through this pregnancy.

I have fears and worries that I push down. That really only come up during therapy when it all spills out and I’m left feeling so raw and drained. I know that should something happen this time around, I would wish with all my heart I’d never given a moments worry to this baby, that I’d simply enjoyed it. I did regret that with the twins. Because I worried and lost them anyway, it didn’t help. Didn’t stop it. Didn’t change what came or make it better. No part of me ever thought, “Well, I’m certainly glad I spent a good amount of time freaking myself out, because I feel really prepared for all of this now.”

Yet it’s so natural to have these fears, and after you lose a baby it’s even more so. Being positive, telling myself it’ll “all be ok” or have others say it seems… naive. Ridiculous even. Just because I lost Preston and Julian does not mean I’ve been granted a kind of loss immunity now. It’s not like the movies where someone goes through something major and the rest of their life is lovely and rainbows. I’ve been blessed to have a little girl, to have twins, to have this pregnancy, but nowhere does it mean that it all works out now.

Thank the Lord for sending me my therapist. Really. I can’t even explain what this woman means to me 6 months into weekly sessions. She’s not a lot older than I am, has been through some of the same things, and she’s just amazing. I don’t know what I would have done, or would do, without being able to take that hour a week and just unload, have her listen and tell me over and over that I’m normal. My grief, this process, is normal. I am ok. Other women who have lost babies have the same thoughts, fears, joys. That my sons were babies, that I was treated horribly. That it’s ok for me to get stuck on a topic for weeks on end and have to work through it over and over again.

I’ve never been through something this traumatic, and it wasn’t just losing the twins. It was the 6 days before that where I was repeatedly treated like crap by so many medical professionals, and this is beginning to come back and haunt me 9 months out. I dream about having a preterm baby and them taking it away from me because I didn’t do the birth “right.” Or being told the baby is too little to save as I try to explain again and again the dates they have are wrong, it can be saved. I take my baby from hospital to hospital trying to get someone, anyone to listen to me as it struggles to live.

I have these dreams all the time because I haven’t worked through ANYTHING I went through there. Nothing. I’ve buried most of it and I’ve started to remember things I haven’t through of since they happened to me there. It’s so painful, so incredibly painful and I become so, so angry at them, at myself, at everyone.

And then I am told it’s ok, this is normal, we can work through this.

So I turn to her, I turn to God, I read my Bible and pray and show up at therapy and emotionally vomit in the safest place I’ve ever been. It helps.

9 months later, I’m starting a new path of healing. This one is differently painful than losing the boys. It has to happen. I have to be able to connect with this baby more than I can allow myself now, and to start to work through the trauma of the hospital.

When someone told me, “I will be here for you on this journey,” right after I lost the boys, I scoffed. I thought, “Give me two weeks and I’ll be fine – I DON’T DO GRIEF.”

Oh. My heart. I know how badly I wanted to push that persona of a grieving mom away. How much I would have given to just go back to Diana with no loss. And looking back, I can see this journey unfolding in tiny steps, and still laying before me now. Less scary, less repulsive. More grace to let myself grieve and heal.

And to forgive. Eventually. I won’t forget, won’t let it happen again, but one day I can be ready to forgive.


Comments

  1. Love you, friend. Thank you for sharing your heart with us :)

    • I don’t think I could possibly say it better than Rebecca. The Diana I “met” and the grieving mother still exist, both of you (all of you?) and I love every bit of every part. Your heart is so big. You amaze me.

  2. Glennon from Momastery.com has coined a term that combines brutal + beautiful = brutiful (at least I hope I got that right). That totally sums up this post for me. I hate that there are people in my profession who would treat you this way, and yet I know the type that would. It’s sadly somewhat common in that profession to become hardened to it and to lose the human aspect of it all and instead only look at it medically. It sucks and I’m so sorry you had to go though it and that you continue to go through it.

    I remember during both my singleton pregnancy and my twin pregnancy, I was always looking for the next “safe zone”. I always thought that if I could just get to 12 weeks, 20 weeks, 24 weeks, etc, that THEN I would feel safe. Truth is, I still don’t feel safe and my boys have been walking around outside of my body for over a year now. My PPD/PPA therapist reminds me of a very powerful saying that I often have to remember myself. “Love them while they’re here, but even more, enjoy them while they’re here. Because you won’t stop loving them when one of you is gone.” So hard. And yet so true. You seem to have enjoyed your boys while you had them, all those weeks, because you fought for them every step of the way.

    I hope that conveys what I really want to say. Sometimes I wish I was more eloquent ;) Hugs.

  3. Oh how I feel you about not being able to connect to a pregnancy. I just wrote about this actually. It took me well into the second trimester before I started to let myself connect. I know our losses are not comparable but it helped me to hear that others had felt the similarly when it comes to connecting with a pregnancy after a loss. It will happen for you, give it time. Sending you lots of love.

  4. … I only feel 80% connected to this pregnancy and at 35 weeks, I’m starting to dilate… so I think it’s normal to be disconnected at least a little bit. I bought diapers yesterday and instead of thinking about it in the abstract, I tried to envision an actual small human wearing them, and when I quit crying (gosh, I’m crying over buying diapers… oh hormones) I felt more connected. You’re right, all you can do is enjoy the time you have with your babies and hope there’s always more of it to come. If I can’t enjoy every minute, that’s fine too. Nobody enjoys temper tantrums. Thinking loving, supportive thoughts for you all.

  5. Thank you for sharing your heart, soul and grief with us. I am so scared of another pregnancy since my loss, but I know I will try for my rainbow baby. I pray I have the strength to stay somewhat sane. There is a part of me though that knows what will be will be, whether I worry about it or not. That is what I spend a lot of my time talking to the therapist with… learning I am not in control and being ok with that. It is very hard. I worry constantly about those that are pregnant that all will be well. It is so difficult when our innocence is ripped away. I so wish we had “loss immunity” but as you state we don’t sadly. Learning how to be ok with that is also something I am working on in therapy. I wish for you continued healing and much love.

  6. I’m so glad you have a therapist who you trust so deeply! Keep working away at it – it’s hard to connect to a pregnancy when you’ve had so much heartbreak and trauma in the past. Just know that you’re going to get through this ok – I know it!

  7. Oh how I truly GET how you feel. I am pregnant…9 weeks 4 days…I worked my tail off to get this far-many years and two failed rounds of IVF before we finally became pregnant. But…we initially had twins…I saw the heartbeats…then later heard the sweet beats…and then-unexpectedly-at the one ultrasound where my husband was NOT able to attend, I lost one. The grief I felt for Baby Flash was instant and raw, and I can’t put the loss into words. I find myself so disconnected from this pregnancy-except when I am hovering over the toilet barfing…I’m terrified to feel excitement, to think that I’ll actually end up with a live human being in my arms at the end of this-because truth is, I don’t know that. And just because I had my own share of grief to get to this point, does not mean I am immune to loss-just like you said. I wish we had an automatic pass after what we’ve been through-and everyone else who has lost. But…we don’t get that. So instead I share your fear, your disconnect. I get it. I truly do and I pray that we all can heal and love and enjoy our little ones. xoxo

  8. I think it is perfectly normal for you not to feel connected yet. I had four miscarriages before giving birth to my perfect little baby boy. I felt very little connection to him at all before birth. I waited until 38 weeks (yes 38!) before I even bought one baby outfit or got the room ready for his arrival. It was emotionally hard for me to pick out baby clothes, a car seat and all of the things a baby needs when I still felt like I should be mourning my other four babies.

    Even up to the time I went into labor, I still thought of the miscarriages. I think this is all perfectly normal. We are mothers and we all know how to mother well our little babies. But do not worry, if you are like me, the moment you see his or her sweet little face looking at you – all of the pain from the past will be over. All of the tears and heartache will be lessened so much because you can now hold a little sweet baby in your arms once again.

  9. It sounds like you have a great connection with your therapist and that’s wonderful. Just in case it hasn’t occurred to either of you I want to throw out that it sounds like you may have PTSD. Talk therapy is really helpful for a lot of things but if it is PTSD you may also need to access other types of therapy so I just wanted to mention it.

    (I hesitated to post this because I don’t want to upset anyone/step on any toes but it could be important so there it is.)

  10. Listening and witnessing this with love and awe.

  11. I had the same problem connecting. I was afraid to connect, because what if it happened again? One day at a time, mama. Lots of love your way. xoxo

  12. You are not alone in your feelings; thank you so much for sharing them! I know that when I was pregnant with my second daughter I was so detached from her the entire time. I just couldn’t get connected. I mean I was excited but emotionally and mentally I kept my distance, like I was on the outside watching someone else be pregnant. It was self-protection, self-defense. In retrospect I realize I was guarding my heart because I didn’t want to experience the pain of loss if I were to lose her.

    I want to encourage you that the moment she was born she and I bonded like I hadn’t bonded with my other babies. She is such a bright light in my life! Just because you aren’t feeling attached right now, maybe you won’t the entire pregnancy, doesn’t mean you’re a bad person or a bad mother. It doesn’t mean you won’t ever bond with them. In fact once they’re born you may be even more bonded with them than anyone in your life because the relief that comes with their birth is such a tremendous release.

    I am pregnant with our fifth baby right now and I have nightmares all the time about someone taking advantage of me or the baby during or after the birth. I had my last two naturally and with midwives. I have nightmares of EMTs breaking down the door and medically managing a birth that I want to be as calm, peaceful and natural as possible. Unless there is an emergency and we *need* medical help, of course. But otherwise I want to be left alone. I completely understand your fear of being mistreated or having your baby mistreated or treated against your wishes. Are you going to be going some place different this time? You may have mentioned it before but I am so forgetful lately it’s not even funny.

    Stay strong, Mama! One day at a time. Don’t worry about lack of feelings. They will come and they will be strong. Just the fact you worry about this tells me you’ll be alright. *hugs*

  13. Yep, and I have even more complicated emotions cos its from a donor egg…so I not only grieve my first child (who would be coming up for 17 years of age by time I have this one), but all the child(ren) I could have had in all the years lost, the time its taken to get pg again, and my own fertility and eggs. The genetic line ends with me as ive no other family left and even my siblings were lost as babies. And its all unexplained…from the loss to the infertility…some answers would have made it a bit easier. And now im only half way the gestation I was pg with Aidan as I lost him at 34 weeks and im terrifed..im now 44!

  14. Oh how your posts about your boys & your new pregnancy remind me so much of myself. I remember reading your blog in June when we lost our identical twin girls at ironically enough 19.4 weeks (twin to twin transfusion syndrome) and being so thankful that there was at least one other person who could verify I wasn’t crazy for how I was feeling! One of the girls on our grief log brought you up today & I was so happy to see that your expecting!! :). We’re pregnant with our rainbow due July 9th and as we approach 19 weeks next week I feel like a crazy woman! Lol thank you for keeping this blog and openly talking about your feelings…definitely makes hard days a little less for some of us :)

  15. Finding this blog is a breath of fresh air. That seems strange to say considering…I actually felt guilty having a baby after I lost my baby girl. Like I was trying to replace the one I lost. I thought people would think I was selfish or irresponsible especially if I lost my next baby. I played out all the scenarios in my head of people saying “didn’t she learn her lesson the first time?”. Not until my sweet Babe was in my arms did I allow myself to feel deserved of her life. I feel terrible about how some women treat each other or most importantly themselves. Thanks again for sharing.

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