Wednesday, July 2, 2014

My Pregnancy Reality

I remember before I was ever pregnant, back when thoughts of my own family were just daydreams I totally and completely idealized pregnancy. To me, it seemed pregnancy was glowing women with perfect, rounded bumps joyfully awaiting a new, cozy bundle to enter their arms and life.

That daydream first splintered when I was pregnant for the first time and experience a miscarriage at 8 weeks. I had no idea that those dreams could be so quickly ripped from me and replaced with such heartache and dashed hopes.

Gratefully we were able to become pregnant again with Max and more cracks in this pregnancy fantasy began to show. My days were shadowed with overwhelming nausea. Enough to keep me in the fetal position on the couch as soon as I got home from nannying. I rarely threw up, thankfully, but I hated feeling so useless and sick all the time.

As soon as I passed over that nausea phase, I realized I had the ability to do things again. Except, I couldn't. I didn't realize how limiting pregnancy was. From don't eat this to don't do that to can't go there. It felt claustrophobic and I was anxious for that baby in my arms both to meet him and to just eat a cold cut sandwich again!

Obviously, I realized the trade off was worth it. Nine months of limitations was nothing for the happiness that came when Max arrived. I realized it was SO worth it.

Then I went through those nine months. Nine months of doing my best to stay healthy and informed and preparing and then just like before it was all ripped away. This time though, it happened after I had made all those sacrifices. All those sacrifices for empty arms.

This is where my thoughts are this pregnancy. I so badly want to focus on the joy of this baby and I try every single day to visualize and mentally chant, "This baby will come. This baby will be healthy and full of life."

But it is so hard for me to believe that now. You see, to accept the reality of this pregnancy, I had to accept the fact that I could put in another nine months of my life, sacrificing my body to grow another all for it to end in sadness again.

Maybe that is depressing, but for pregnancy after loss, that is now my pregnancy reality.

Ultimately, faith is the only thing that allows for glimmers of that joy that I see other expecting mothers expressing so easily. I have prayed often for peace and comfort and gratefully, I have received it. I have received the knowledge that despite whatever the outcome of this pregnancy is, that choosing joy is ALWAYS possible.

Choosing joy is another post entirely, one that I will get to I am sure. But for now, I guess I felt it necessary to help others understand the reality of this pregnancy that I am experiencing. I can't say that I have perfect knowledge that this baby will arrive alive in my arms. I can say that I have faith that Heavenly Father loves me and cares for me and wants me to be happy. However my life continues to play out, that will ALWAYS be true. It will be true if this baby arrives safely and it will be true if I put in another nine months for empty arms all over again.

So yes, I still dream and imagine this baby arriving joyfully, tearfully into our family, but I cannot expect that. What I can do is know that God is aware of me, He knows me, and I trust in Him. I know that all that I will experience, "shall by for [my] good" (D&C 122:7). This alone brings me comfort: knowing that my willingness to accept the pains of this life joined with His power to help me overcome all of that pain is what allows me to experience pure joy. Joy that is made more real because of my awareness and experience of sadness and grief.

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