33 weeks: Loss, and respect and awe for new life

Loss Remembrance

It’s Pregnancy and Infant Loss day—I believe this is the date I found out I’d lost “little star,” our first DE pregnancy, last year. Allow me to take a moment and feel the fathoms-deep gratitude for the enormous changes that have occurred between then and now.

That was the only loss I had of a life with a fetal pole and heartbeat. The other losses were pre-fetal pole or heartbeat. Blighted ovums were more difficult to mourn publicly for me–definitely less recognized as something tragic by mainstream society. But they are losses all the same, of course. None of them had nicknames, but I’d daydreamed about who they would be, felt their potential inside me. Repeatedly losing those dreams and that potential and wandering barren and literally bleeding through the aftermath is something it might take me a lifetime to synthesize, understand, and find lasting peace about. The moments of peace and grace I have found have been profound, and I can hunt for and find silver linings, now, like a single-minded sleuth, which is the greatest gift to come out of all this.

My empathy for those still suffering is with me always. I think about women who are caught in limbo—not conceiving, miscarrying, or childless not-by-choice—every day and do my versions of prayers, my efforts at advocacy. I love to see that women find my blog every day while looking for answers and sometimes finding guidance here. I know for certain that I would not have taken the path that I took, tried the alternatives that I did, without having read the blogs that I did.

I’m not going to light candles for my six losses because seeing all of that candlelight is a little too sad for me right now.

The truth is, although I’ve had moments, I haven’t thought of my losses all that much while being pregnant. And sometimes I’ve felt a little funny about that, but it’s not as though I have amnesia. It’s all still with me, but I choose to focus on healing and moving on—not just for me, but for this baby.

He didn’t ask to come into the world

In the past few days, I’ve been having these new sorts of thoughts. They go something like this:

This baby did not ask to come into the world. He did not ask to exist. To be. DH and I are asking him to be. We are calling him into the world. You could even say that we are forcing him into the world.

That’s colossal responsibility.

That’s partly why parents feel that sense responsibility for the rest of their lives, I bet.

We are making this happen. This little guy has to be. He has no choice. He has no agency. And when he comes into this world, this fragile, helpless life form will depend on us for survival–literally. I mean, he will actually die if we don’t take care of him properly.

I know this stuff probably sounds really basic. And it’s not that I haven’t thought of it before. But now that he is here, really here and kicking inside me, falling asleep and waking up inside me (and I know when he’s waking up, I know when he’s playing, etc.) this has become no longer abstract, absolutely real.

No longer worried about what mentors, teachers, parents think of me and what I’m doing

Alongside these thoughts are new feelings toward authority figures—be that my yoga instructor or parents/parental figures.

I have always been rather concerned with pleasing the authority figure—that is, being a “good girl.” Especially when I was younger, when it came to things like academic performance, art, music, dance, and so on.

My prenatal yoga instructor is good on many levels, but she can also be a bit of a know-it-all and somewhat condescending. I’ve been able to laugh it off mostly, because I get so many fantastic things out of that class, and it’s not black and white—she can be really great. But she has this way of watching us closely, sending mixed messages like “this is your practice, listen to your body,” along with “you’re always so guarded, don’t be afraid, reach, stretch!”

These are the kind of mixed messages that drive the “striving to be a good girl” in me crazy. Or used to. I would have tried to figure out what she wanted from me, what she was looking for in a given moment, in order to elicit as little criticism or corrective instruction as possible.

But now? I am 100% doing the yoga for me and my baby (and for DH, who reaps the benefits of my yoga via my good mood afterward). I listen to my body much, much more than I listen to the instructor. If my legs don’t want do that, I don’t do that, period. I check in with baby at all times to make sure he’s digging what’s happening.

It’s so freeing. Perhaps for the first time, it really is my practice. Mine and baby’s. I didn’t realize how concerned I am, automatically, with authority until I started experiencing this change.

His presence is larger

I think some of these new thoughts and feelings are coming about because of how much bigger he is getting, physically, and in turn, how much bigger his multi-faceted presence is in my life.

I can feel him on my bladder. I can feel him pressing up against my organs, my lungs. Sometimes, it’s really uncomfortable! Sometimes I can’t breathe very well and must catch my breath. He is so….there. 

More than ever, I feel our connection, our bond. It’s so beautiful and powerful. How to describe? It’s no longer….cute. You know? It’s not like, “Aw, the little guy is kicking!” It’s like, “Holy crow, he’s here, he’s rolling over, he’s so strong.” 

It commands respect from me, and awe.

And I know he hears me. I feel him respond directly to my voice! I talk, he jiggles. I put my hand on my right side, and he presses against it. I then put my hand on my left side, and he presses there.

If I move my hand, he follows it.

Yeah.

Awe.

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5 Comments

  1. I love reading about your bond with this little guy!

    Reply
  2. So much love for this post. Thinking of you always, as you get so close to meeting this little guy you’re bringing to life! You are so thoughtful and reflective, and it is a joy to read. Yours is one of the blogs that keeps me from feeling utterly hopeless.

    Reply
  3. NotSoNewtoIVF

     /  October 27, 2014

    Just so beautiful xxx

    Reply

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