Hi there, it has been awhile since I have updated my blog. My last post was right before the 2 year anniversary of Grey’s passing. It has now been over 3 years and I literally can’t believe that much time as gone by. My sweet boy should have been filling our hearts with so much life and joy, I just miss him so much. I think of him every day and is absence is always felt. I can’t say what I thought I would feel, over time, in the immediate after because I was numb and in shock for so long. I know now that the pain will never go away. Nothing is like losing a child. It is natural to want to compare your feelings to something, but…there is nothing. I still wonder why? Why my Grey? Why me? Why do I have to live with this pain? I know that the first two years were the hardest years of my life. I avoided friends and family and constantly felt insecure, sad, lonely and lost. I wondered how I could live out the rest of my life. The passing of time hasn’t made it any better, but the intensity of the pain has lifted.
In the English language there are orphans and widows, but there is no word for the parents who lose a child. That is how awful the loss is.
I did have a mission that kept me motivated and pushing forward and that was to give him a sibling. If you know me, this is not news, we are expecting a baby girl in May! After the disaster of our first fertility clinic we sought out a second opinion and found a new doctor and a new plan. By that time, however, we had spent all our extra money and needed revenue to move forward. I knew we had equity in our house but we first tried to get a grant but, unfortunately, we did not get selected. We then went forward with a refi on our house and started with our new clinic in February 2019. We had our first embryo transfer in March and it failed. I wanted to start again right away and we were scheduled for another transfer in July. I developed a cyst that had to get aspirated while we were prepping my lining for the embryo. The procedure to drain the cyst was supposed to be easy peasy but my body had an intense reaction to the internal pain. I almost passed out after getting off the elevator after the procedure and had to be assisted walking to a sitting area where I promptly puked in a super stinky garbage can. I suppose I am happy I got it in the can. I was in pretty bad pain for the next 2 days. Then, just days before the transfer the doctor stopped all meds to “give my body a rest” and I ovulated. That meant our transfer was canceled. I mean, are you kidding me? We were getting real tired of all the appointments and waiting. So much waiting. It would be another 3 months until we could try again but, the wait was worth it! We had a positive pregnancy test at the end of last September.
Let me discuss what it is like to be pregnant after infant loss and infertility treatment. It is terrifying. When I was pregnant with Grey it was the happiest time in my life. I would laugh and laugh and go to sleep dreaming about our future lives. I wanted that back and I thought I would get it back. But, no — that is not how it worked. After getting my positive test I was scared to go to the bathroom, my hands would shake and I was certain I would see red. I was scared to sneeze or cough, to exercise or do yoga. My husband and I barely talked about the pregnancy for the first 3 months. In fact, I had kept quiet to most of my friends and family that we were even still trying. I only confided in my best friend, mother-in-law and aunt. The pain of the previous attempts and all the sharing was just too much. I wanted to simply tell my loved ones we were pregnant. We finally told our families on Thanksgiving and the announced to the world (via facebook) in mid-December. After our announcement I was convinced something would go wrong. I was absolutely terrified that the baby’s heart would stop beating. I was getting myself so worked up and crying and panicking daily. A co-worker asked me how I was doing and I burst into tears and let all my feelings out. This woman had a late pregnancy loss with one of her children and she knew exactly how I was feeling, which was so comforting. We bought a baby doppler that night so I could listen for her heartbeat whenever I wanted and that provided so much relief. I told myself to pull it together as I did not want my nervousness and fear passing to the baby. Getting pregnant is just one step in the process.
Right now I am 31.5 weeks pregnant. Since I started to feel her move I have finally been able to feel excited and looking forward to our future. Loss mom’s will say that your next baby is not a replacement baby. That is so very true. I will admit that I really understood that after finding out we were having a girl. I wanted a boy. I want my Grey. I knew once that pink balloon popped that I had hoped for a boy, a baby who might look like Grey. I had to come to terms that he will only live in my heart. It sounds so silly an petty to have those thoughts, but I did. Now, I am just so very, very grateful and so happy that we get to be parents to our little girl. I can’t wait to meet her, to see her personality, to watch her grow and to be her mommy. What have other loss mom’s felt during their subsequent pregnancies? I would love to hear from you.