This post is my friendly reminder that women who are pregnant again after loss need not feel joy right away.
When I have asked my friends in the loss community about the first thought they had when the pee test returned the positive result, many are open about their true real reaction. Some have described a sense of detachment or indifference. Others use more colorful language. Still others describe a secret depression both during and after pregnancy.
I'm living proof of the concept that you may both want and fear (in equal measure) the fact of pregnancy after loss. This reality has nothing to do with the wish to have another baby. One can want the baby without really embracing the stress of the pregnancy. Mothers are allowed to evolve.
I want to clearly state for the record that, after a loss, it makes sense for women to guard their hearts thereafter.
A smart therapist I once saw told me that in therapy there is no jinxing. He assured me that that one could speculate on future happiness as a possibility without fear of jinx.
I gently offer the notion that, like therapy, there is no jinx in pregnancy after loss.
I don't expect anyone to believe me so I will just relay the story of my discovery of future joy that followed my loss. I had been trying to get pregnant again but could not actually believe it would happen. But then I found myself at a Hudson River Irish heritage festival craving a whole bunch of hot dogs. This was weird because I never eat hot dogs. I suddenly realized I should take a pregnancy test because few other things would explain the hot dog thing.
I sat there as the pee stick turned positive. Fear filled me up. I was afraid at the thought of having to know what I knew then -- for almost a year. Careful what you wish for.
And it's so complicated because I love my son with my whole entire being. I would hate for either my son or daughter to misunderstand. It's only that in not telling our secrets, we compound the loneliness that is common. We know these babies are precious -- but we know too much about longing and lacking. The brew is not toxic as much as it is intoxicating. It is diamond-hard.
Years later I'm here and still standing. I'm standing with you.
Please comment and feed a dialogue about what it's really like to be pregnant after loss to help other mamas out there.
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