12.05.2013

•is it possible to calm pregnancy anxiety after a loss?

a draft that i feel is time to post.  from time to time i draft journal... mostly for myself. some i know i'll get around to posting someday... others not so much.  this one is straight from my heart.

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so one thing i've had to deal with this pregnancy is fear of loosing this baby as well.  i think every woman has this fear, whether you've experienced loss before or not...but it is extremely magnified when you have.  it's like your worst fear came true and you have to trust or hope that it won't happen again.  so much easier said than done.

early on in this pregnancy...
if you haven't read my other entries about it... Harper was a bit of a surprise!! we had just lost our first pregnancy at 9weeks.  with my doctor's help, i had decided to proceed with the miscarriage somewhat naturally, with the help of medication.  she thought it would be healthier for me and my body would heal faster... i'll spare you the details, but oh boy was she right!! she did let me know that she wanted us to wait one "normal" cycle before trying again and that she didn't expect that would happen for at least 8 weeks, as my hormone levels were extremely high when we lost our baby. a few weeks past the miscarriage, i started taking pregnancy tests to track my dropping hormone levels.  it really is the easiest and cheapest way to do so... those dollar tree tests are a life saver! so, according to the darkness of that pink line my levels were dropping. i was SO excited... yet it was so bittersweet.  honestly, there comes a point when you just want it all to be over. as awful and bitter as that sounds, you get to the point you just want to move on. but your body has a way of making you go through the grieving process. really, i believe it's god's way of helping you heal emotionally and physically. so the day came that the pregnancy test came back NEGATIVE... again, bittersweet... to be happy to see a negative test.  but, i knew that meant my levels were at least under 20. so the time came to wait. wait in so many ways... wait til my cycle started. wait in the area of "being careful"... just wait. so many times God has whispered into my heart, "be still and know that i am God." this never rang more true. little did i know, Harper was already being knitted and formed inside of me.  God had a plan that i couldn't even believe! another week passed and i thought, oh just for the heck of it I'm going to take a test to make sure my levels are down.... bam. double pink line... a DARK one staring back at me. i was in disbelief! i immediately yelled for Rob. we both just stared. i'm assuming with our jaws wide open and on the ground (ha!). i immediately thought it was my hormone levels being wacky and playing a trick on us... after all, the 8weeks + a normal cycle put us at August before this should even be happening... it was May. we decided to keep it between the two of us and wait. i think i took about 10 pregnancy tests within the next two weeks.  guess what... they all yelled YOU'RE PREGNANT practically via those double pink lines! still we waited. i didn't even want to go to the doctor. i was terrified. terrified of history repeating itself. about 7 weeks in, by my -who the heck knows- calculations, i started spotting. i think i cried that whole night. rob held me. i cried and questioned why this was happening again. we prayed a lot that night. by morning, the spotting had stopped. i called my doctor. they weren't concerned at all. they said i was very healthy, and the chances of another miscarriage were low.  they wanted me to wait another 2 weeks before coming in. LONGEST TWO WEEKS OF MY LIFE! flash forward two weeks, standing in Jack and Kathy's kitchen, praying before our doctors appointment... tears of hopefulness streaming down my face. disbelief sat in once again, as we saw that little teeny-tiny dancing baby on the ultrasound.  seriously... she was already so active.  our doctor laughed. we laughed. we cried. i think i held my breath until we saw that heart beat flicker... and i heard "& there's the heartbeat... everything looks perfect!".

i really thought the anxiousness and fears would subside after that ultrasound. wrong. i think i freaked out at least once a week until i started feeling her move... which thank God was earlier than most people start feeling their babies move. but even still... if she hasn't moved or kicked the crap out of me in an hour or so, i start poking around to wake her up.  so really, how are we suppose to deal with this pregnancy anxiety after feeling the deepness and darkness of the loss of a child?!

what has worked for me so far:

Faith: God has a plan. He so obviously planned Harper, even though she was a surprise to us... She wasn't to him.  He placed her in my womb. He has a plan for her life. & if that plan isn't what I have in mind... It still is his. I am his vessel.  He got me through one loss, if that is what He has for me again, He will walk with me through it again. & as awful as it was... I did get through it. My life is His story... not mine.
Hope: I put my hope in the one who holds my tomorrows. Again, putting hope and faith in his plan... and his plan and love for me.
Love: God's love as well as Rob's... and his understanding. His understanding, especially in the first half of my pregnancy, that at times I needed constant reassuring. That no matter what, I wasn't alone.
Anticipation: It's ok to still plan and anticipate this child's arrival.  I heard/saw so many women afraid of buying baby stuff... saying it was too early. I'm sorry... stuff or no stuff... nothing is going to make losing a baby any easier!  I figured, I might as well have the joy of planning for this little one... whether it was "too early" or not. Let yourself believe this is a healthy pregnancy... really, it's ok! There's absolutely nothing wrong with assuming the best!

Basically, try to not let it overshadow your happiness.  The enemy would love nothing more than to take what God has meant for good, and make it something miserable for you due to past pain.  Let's face it... if you have experienced the loss of a child, your pregnancy innocence is lost.  You quickly realize how common loss is and that yes it can happen to anyone.  But, that doesn't mean it is absolutely going to happen to you again.  And try not to compare... don't compare this pregnancy with the last.  I've been told most pregnancies are different.  Mine, however, at the beginning were quite similar... which scared the crap out of me.  Don't go crazy extreme with this one just because you had a turkey sandwich during your last pregnancy and it didn't go well... doesn't mean it was the turkey sandwich.  It was undoubtedly, nothing you did or didn't do. Do your very best to stay positive and find the joy in each and every day... the joy that you have a precious baby growing inside of you.

Here I am, 8 months pregnant, counting down the days until I hold my sweet baby girl in my arms.  Logically, yes, I know there's a lot that can go wrong still... but I'm choosing to cling to hope and enjoy the last 60 days of this pregnancy.  Sure I still get anxious from time to time... but I feel like I've crossed more into the "normal" pregnancy worry land... maybe? maybe not? All I know is I am extremely blessed to have been pregnant for the last 10 months ;)... yep. 10 months (almost straight!).  2 with our sweet angel... and the last 8 with our beautiful Harper Grace ♥


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