You may be thinking that my guilt of pregnancy after loss would be that I’m holding onto the hopes of having this beautiful daughter in my arms soon when I have two babies in heaven. Do I feel guilty about loving another child? No. It’s the same as a mother with 4 living children loving all 4 children.
No, my guilt is that I’m pregnant with my rainbow while so many other mothers are still struggling to conceive and carry their rainbow. I know I shouldn’t feel guilty, but I do. And maybe it’s not guilt but sorrow for the so many mamas that continue to struggle. I have friends, in real life friends, who continue with this struggle. I have virtual acquaintances that struggle to get pregnant and stay pregnant. I’m part of a pregnancy after loss group on Facebook and a trying to conceive after loss group on Facebook. I don’t visit the TTC group anymore, but there’s a part of me that can’t leave it yet. Maybe after our baby girl is in my arms I’ll have the confidence to leave that group. I’ll stay in the pregnancy after loss group though because I love seeing moms post their pregnancy updates and eventual picture of their rainbow baby. It makes my heart smile.
But still, the guilt is there, the sorrow is there. Why did it only take me a year and a half to get pregnant with our rainbow while others it takes years and years? A year and a half is kind of a long time too! And in reality, it took me over 2 years to conceive a healthy pregnancy. If I hadn’t been pregnant twice in that time we would have been questioning my fertility, which it came into question anyway since I did have 2 losses. I know of women who have had more losses than I care to remember and who have been trying for over 5 years.
My heart breaks for my fellow pregnancy loss mamas. They are certainly stronger than I am, I’m pretty sure that if we would have a 3rd loss, that would be it for us. I’m fairly certain that another loss would break me beyond repair and I’d stick with our family of 3. And since baby girl isn’t here yet, I still think of these things. Sure, you may think that’s depressing, that I should stay positive. But, ya know what, that’s easier than it sounds. I’m generally a very positive person. I see the bright side in everything, I look for the good in the worst people, but this, my positive spirit has been broken and I go to those depressing negative places in my head. And ya know what? That’s okay. So, please, don’t judge me for my thoughts. It’s my way of protecting my heart; and while I know logically that no matter how much I try to protect my heart, if something were to happen, my heart would be shattered and no protection would ever be enough.
So how do other mothers do it? How do they keep going, keep trying, keep staying positive? I don’t know. And so, I feel guilty. I feel so many things in this pregnancy and I do a terrible job of hiding the fear and anxiety from those who ask and don’t know of my losses. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me if I was excited, I’d be at least $50 richer! And every time someone asks me, I think “Wow! I’m a terrible person for not being more excited.” I mean, of course we’re excited, but the fear (and guilt) are just more prominent right now.
You know what I’ve allowed myself to feel excited about, just a little bit? Breastfeeding. You have no idea how heartbroken I was when M didn’t nurse. I’m excited to nurse a baby, to feel that closeness, it was so perfect for the brief time that M did nurse and I want the chance to really experience breastfeeding in all it’s glory. But even that excitement, I squash down with my fear.
Enough rambling. Fellow mamas who have experienced pregnancy loss, how do you keep going? How do you stay positive that your rainbow will come? How do you not feel guilty for having something that others don’t have?