I have not blogged since March 17th. I have had so many thoughts and things I’ve wanted to talk about, but couldn’t. Couldn’t because I haven’t been ready to, and because my emotions have been so mixed up that I just haven’t been able to find the right words to say. I would start some thoughts on a page about Luca, his birthday, grief, or whatever was on my mind, but those thoughts were always connected to the fact that…. I am pregnant again. ❤
We are so thrilled for this new baby that we planned for and wanted so much, just like Luca. Another sweet baby boy! However, it has been hard to celebrate and feel excited when I am so worried and fearful at the same time. It has taken me a long time to be ready to share our news. Even now, I wrote this post close to a week ago, and I keep putting off posting it, because I’m always thinking “what if?” But I know that I do want to share this pregnancy too, because I want to celebrate this child and I know that no matter what happens in our lives, we have friends, family, acquaintances, and even people we don’t know who support us – we are so fortunate for that.
At first, when we decided we were ready to try for another baby, I needed it to happen ASAP. I couldn’t wait any longer. I needed to be pregnant. I had waited more than the minimum amount of time my doctors suggested to let my body recover, because it took much longer for my mind to be in a better place than my body. I worked out like crazy to get my body in great shape, so that I would be able to exercise throughout another pregnancy. I saw doctors and had tests to find out what were the chances of something going wrong again? Everything came back perfectly fine and healthy – no reason to worry they said.
We were away on vacation in northern Japan when we found out and I could not believe it. I actually was in so much denial that I didn’t even tell my husband, because I thought the first two tests couldn’t possibly be for real. By the third test, the lines undeniably meant that I was pregnant, so I knew it was true and surprised my hubby with a cheesy poem in a Valentine’s Day card. We cried happy tears and celebrated on our vacation.
Now, I am halfway through this pregnancy and due in October. I still ask myself and God every day, “Will I get to keep this baby?” I don’t take any day for granted. I don’t have the same blissful excitement as a first pregnancy or someone who has not been through this pain. I didn’t want to tell anyone for as long as possible, because I thought that if I showed excitement or that I was expecting things to go well, then something bad would happen. I just wasn’t ready to be excited. Most people feel relieved after the first ultrasound when they can hear their baby’s heartbeat or after the magical 12-week mark when everything is “fine” after that, but those appointments and milestones did not do much to ease my worry. In fact, I struggle with extreme anxiety at most of my doctor’s appointments until they can assure me that baby is doing okay.
I did start to tell my family and closest friends, especially those who live with us in Okinawa, because I physically could not hide it much more after about 14 weeks. Even sooner than that my friends suspected something, because my belly popped SO much sooner this time around! I realized that telling my friends was a good thing, because in a way they helped me to feel more relaxed and excited about my pregnancy. They had seen what we went through and I felt that they knew about my Luca even more than most of my family did.
Sometimes I feel guilty about being pregnant again – that Luca might think I’m moving on, which is so not true. Another fear I have is that with the passage of time and this new pregnancy people will forget about Luca. I still love to talk about him and I always will. I was talking to another angel mom yesterday who lost her son four years ago about this – no one can truly imagine how much we think about our babies who are gone. All the time. I am not “done” grieving. I will always mourn the loss of my first son. It bothers me when people say “everything will be okay this time,” because I just want to scream, “you don’t know that!” It’s better if someone says, “I really think that everything will be okay this time”or “I am praying for a healthy pregnancy” or just simply, “congratulations!” – you can think, wish, and pray for everything to be okay (and I appreciate that so much – I really do), but please don’t try to tell me that everything will for sure be okay. I’ve also had people ask, “So the doctors say everything is fine this time, right? So baby will be okay?” Are you kidding me?! You will never know if everything will be okay! No doctors appointment, pregnancy milestone, or ultrasound will give me that kind of confidence. Until this baby is safely in my arms, breathing and crying, I will not stop worrying! Oh, and then, I will not stop worrying until the day I die, because, well, that is parenting, right??
This new baby boy is not replacing Luca. He will not “balance out” the unimaginable grief and loss we have experienced. This will not fix everything. Think of your children if you have any. Could another child replace your child? No way. Each child is a uniquely special gift from God. We will love this baby boy just as we love Luca and look forward to telling him all about his older brother when the time comes.
I could write so much more about pregnancy after loss, and I look forward to doing so, in addition to continuing to write about Luca. For now, I am doing my best to celebrate this pregnancy as I celebrated my last. I take one day at a time to keep myself from worrying about the future too much. To me it’s like the end of a long run when you are getting tired. Just focus on the next light post or telephone pole. Then, when you get there, find the next one and focus on that… until you reach your goal. That’s what I’ve been doing with each week, each doctor’s appointment, each kick that I can now feel from Baby Boy. I will continue to pray for my angel and for the health of this baby, and give thanks to God for these two beautiful children that we have been blessed with who are perfect to me in every way. ❤