I remember reading about pregnancy after loss and how some women are overjoyed and never think about their miscarriage ever again. Then there are the stories about the women that become pregnant after a miscarriage and are on the edge of their seat daily for forty weeks wondering at what point they will experience the same fate as the last time.
When I experienced the loss of my first pregnancy, I didn’t think I could ever try again and I wasn’t sure if I wanted too. It took months and some personal soul searching, but I found it in my heart to want a child in my arms.
Six months passed and my boyfriend asked when I was going to start tracking my periods and ovulations, when was I going to be ready again. I wasn’t sure I was ready, but if not now, when? So I decided to download the apps on my phone and dust off my ovulation tests and basal body thermometer.
A few weeks had passed, I kept a close eye of my daily body happenings. I started to feel weird for a couple of days, something just felt “out of body” about me and I couldn’t explain it. I mentioned the feeling to my boyfriend, he told me to go buy a pregnancy test.
I didn’t want to buy one yet, so I told him I would just wait until my weekly grocery trip and buy one then. A couple of days passed, it was grocery day, and I wasn’t sure I was ready to see a pregnancy test on my bathroom counter yet. But he brought it up again, so there was no way to play the “oh I forgot!” card. So I bought the pink box with the stripe tests and the blue box with the digital tests. If I didn’t get a positive this time, I will have the tests for next month, or the month after that.
The next morning, we laid in bed after our alarm went off and he asked if I was going to test. I shrugged. Fine. I went in, peed on a pink test stick, put the cap on and sat it on the counter and walked into our bedroom and started getting ready for work. My nerves were shot. I wondered if I was ready for a positive result, I wondered if I could handle it, and I couldn’t help but to feel guilty that I was trying to conceive another baby. We both walked into the bathroom and I looked down, there were faint lines that proved we got it on our first month trying. Unbelievable. I was speechless and so was he, we looked at each other and agreed that it wasn’t the time to get excited. I wasn’t sure how I felt; I felt sadness, happiness, and the guilt got stronger.
I was quiet for that entire day at work, he told a close friend and coworker. I told my best friend that lives a few states away. In the following days, we were both laid-off from our jobs and felt the burden of bad luck coming down on us. I couldn’t help but to become terrified that my stress would make history repeat itself. I wondered if I could go through that again, knowing that I couldn’t, I wasn’t strong enough.
I am not a religious person, I believe in God, but nothing more than that. My families jumped churches and I was introduced to multiple religions growing up, there was nothing that kept me believing in anything other than a higher power. Which has been good enough for me, and I didn’t need to prove my beliefs to anyone. But through this pregnancy, I kept praying to a God I didn’t know, for guidance and support - for a miracle.
In March of 2016, my miracle was born. My rainbow baby came and I had never in my entire life believed in such love, support, and miracles so much, until then. It was a very long thirty-nine weeks, I continued to worry and wonder about the what if’s and how I wasn’t worthy of such happiness. The guilt never left, but it did become okay to feel happy and look forward to having another child in my heart. Once she was placed on my chest, I felt such peace and reassurance.
When we are going through tragedy and loss, there are days and weeks that we just cannot feel happiness or allow our guilt to not get the best of us. It’s okay. It took a lot of time and hours in the bathtub just thinking about what I deserved, and thinking about how I could be happy again if I just allowed myself to stop feeling guilty. Today, I am happy but I am also sad. I cherish my rainbow baby, but I still mourn my angel baby. But I know, that’s okay.