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Thursday, April 9, 2015

What Not to Say to An Expecting Mom (After a Miscarriage)

This pregnancy is a blessing. An unexpected, sometimes terrifying, wonderful and amazing gift. But it's much much different for me than when I carried Jace. The pregnancy in between changed a lot.

When I got a positive pregnancy test in October, I was overjoyed. We had been trying for a baby, and I was thrilled. When March 3 came and I took a test, the positive line confused me. I didn't feel that carefree joy, I felt fear. I wondered if I could possibly do this again, if I could risk that pain another time. Part of me even thought it was false, so I took another test the following morning.

In October I went in for my first doctor's appointment confidently, hoping they'd do an ultrasound so I could see the little heartbeat and then announce to the world that we were expecting. This time I went in timidly. Despite trying not to, still detached from it. Hoping for an ultrasound for reassurance, but also afraid that they would because what if I saw no heartbeat again?

I know that this whole pregnancy, this entire experience, will be framed with the loss. But at the same time, I'm trying very hard to not let fear steal my joy, I'm working to be connected to and content in this pregnancy and with God (harder than it sounds for a control freak like me).

However, there are some moments that don't make it easier for me, and I know they aren't said to be mean, they're said because since miscarriage is such a hush-hush topic, no one knows what to say the next time around.

For me, personally, these are the things that get to me. And yes, they've been said to me.

1.) How's baby #2?
I know this is never said in a way meant to be hurtful, but in my mind and heart, I am not carrying baby #2. I'm carrying baby #3, while baby #2 resides in heaven. I was careful in all my announcement pictures, in everything, to never number this baby, because I no longer really know how to count. My pain, grief and love assure me that the one in heaven is and will forever be my baby #2. But to the world? Well if they never saw it, not even a bump, then to everyone else, it never really existed.

2.) So this one's legit? You're for real pregnant?
I was for real pregnant last time too. That baby just stopped developing too soon for me to even have ultrasound pictures. Having a miscarriage wasn't me crying wolf, it was me going through a tragedy.

3.) Again? Already?
Is there ever a "good" time to have a baby? A perfect or a right time? I don't believe there is, and I definitely don't think there's a perfect time to try for another baby after losing one. In fact, if I'm being very honest, I was actively not trying to get pregnant out of fear and uncertainty. That's where I firmly believe God stepped in because the plan for this baby, for its' whole life, does not lie in my hands.

4.) Do you think this one will be okay?
I have no idea. I fervently pray daily for baby Kouris' health and growth, but I prayed for the last one too. The bottom line is that whether this baby arrives perfectly healthy or not at all does not lie in my hands, no matter how religiously I take my prenatal vitamins and drink 64 oz. of water daily. Reminding me of that does nothing to help.

Otherwise I'm happy to talk about this baby: its' fruit comparison for the week, the strange cravings (pasta at 9:00am), and to image rocking her in my arms or nursing him to sleep. As I said before, I'm battling fear, but determined to win over it. I just wanted to point out some of the less helpful things that have been said to me because if I don't make it known that they bother me, how would anyone ever know?