Right now I should be in full nesting mode. I should have swollen ankles. I should be eating nightly ice cream and popping Tums after every meal. I should be arranging my family’s schedules to make sure all bases are covered that I normally would be responsible for. Right now I should be preparing for a baby. After all, my due date is two weeks away. But there is no large belly resting under my heart. No little kicks. No excuse for eating tubs of ice cream.
To the mamas who have to approach their baby’s due date, without a baby, I see you. I see you trying to keep it together because no one else is going to remember. But you’ve been dreading this day since you were forced to say goodbye. Perhaps you thought you’d be pregnant by now. Or you thought you would have at least processed it a bit more and been able to handle it. But the emotions are there. And suddenly they seem raw again.
I am so fortunate to have my other kids. I will agree that they definitely help ease the pain. However, they don’t know what could have been. I have three and I have lost three. With my first two miscarriages, I was pregnant when I came upon the due date, but that doesn’t mean I forgot about the date. With this baby, I am not pregnant and it feels strange.
I was 9-weeks along with a strong 185 beats per minute heartbeat inside me. A few weeks before, I had a vital family member pass away. It was the hardest thing I have ever been through, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to get through it, however this new life was something to focus on. Something to get my mind off of the pain of losing a loved one. I kept telling myself, “This is my light at the end of the tunnel.”
But just a week later I was in a dim ultrasound room with my nurse practitioner gently telling me the baby no longer had a heartbeat.
I know what it is like to have your guard up in the first trimester. To question every twinge and to over analyze every little symptom. To feel like it is wrong to even feel excitement because of the what-ifs. I know what it is like to not let your heart lead, but to be totally dependent on your head.
Mamas, know that you are seen. Miscarriage doesn’t have to be the secret we hold inside until we break down. It’s OK to dread the due date. To feel sadness creeping back in, after you thought it was all out of you. Others may not get it, and that’s OK, too. Find someone who does. Someone who will listen to you talk about the difficulty of getting through this day.
I’m not sure what the future holds for our family. We were excited for our #4 (we may be a little crazy) but we know how blessed we are with our sweet three. It seems silly to long for another baby when we have organized chaos going on at our house at all times, but sometimes it feels like a missing puzzle piece.
I do have to have my faith to fall back on. To be reassured that this is where I am supposed to be. But on March 30th, I’m going to let myself feel. I am going to let my heart lead and not my head. If that means a day of tears, then that is what it will be. If it is treating myself to some sort of self-care, that may be it too.
I know I am going to keep on processing this. And mama, I hope you will, too.
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