My Lap: Population 2. Elevation 26 wks.
I mentioned a few weeks ago how this pregnancy has been easier than the first one. I haven’t gained as much weight, so for a long time, I was able to fit into most of my regular clothes as long as they were long enough or had a little give. Between my usual clothes and a busy life/brain, I’ve been kind of surprised in the last few weeks by this large obtrusion on the front of my body. Suddenly, I am undeniably pregnant. Well, I say undeniably, but yesterday I still tried on a whole bunch of regular dresses thinking surely they would fit. They didn’t.
Alida’s favorite place to avoid sleep lately is on my front – belly and all. She puts her head in the middle of my chest, her arms down by my sides and acts like a rag doll. I love it, especially since she isn’t a snuggly girl at all. Last night, I was sitting there with her and her little sister was squirming against us both. I loved feeling how close the three of us were, but if Alida noticed, she didn’t let on. Sometimes I wonder if she realizes things are changing. I don’t expect her to understand the concept of a baby or a sister, but I feel like it would be underestimating her to think she wouldn’t even pick up on the disappearance of my lap.
(I think this photo is a good representation of my life right now. Things feel grainy, are covered in baby fingerprints, and I’m still surrounded by storage boxes.)
The week that we bought this house, it dawned on me that had I not miscarried in December, I would have been giving birth around then. In reading back over what I had written during that time, I realized that I had left some loose ends. I had ended the post saying how I felt relieved, and I did. Even to this day, I don’t feel like I lost a child because of the type of miscarriage (blighted ovum.) I’m not sure if that’s accurate. Maybe it’s just how I coped, but I think it was more the loss of a dream at the time.
A week or so after it happened though, I remember being at a Christmas party and it hitting me that I wished I was still pregnant. I cried and was sad for a little bit. That happened to me several times over the next few months, especially when I’d meet people who were due around the same time. I felt like saying, I was supposed to be due too. It was like joining a club and then getting kicked out. Instead of feeling glad that I could have a cocktail at a party, I secretly wished I was still in the abstainers club.
One thing that really helped me, though, was the advice to allow myself to feel whatever I was feeling. Grieving doesn’t always follow the rules. Don’t feel bad if you aren’t sad. Don’t be surprised if you are sad at unexpected times. There’s no right or wrong way to feel. Just take it as it comes. So I did.
I feel good about everything that happened. God gave us a little more time between babies. Alida learned to walk before it got difficult to carry her. I was able to nurse her past a year. We were able to find and buy a house before the second one arrived.
But I can’t say I would feel so good if I had been farther into my pregnancy. If a little life had been lost instead of just never starting. Or if I hadn’t gotten pregnant again so quickly. Once I had been pregnant and embraced having another child, I wanted to be pregnant again so waiting even a couple of months was difficult. The days slowly crept by and the question of whether I was pregnant again was never far from my mind. It gave me a pinhole glimpse into what it’s like for women who wait these long, slow days every month for years and never get that positive test. It heightened my burden and respect for those who can’t get pregnant or have dealt with loss (especially multiple losses.)
So I guess this is the PS. to my miscarriage post. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be, but it wasn’t as hard either. And I think it’s a pretty awesome PS. as I feel baby girl squirming and kicking inside of me.