Tuesday, June 29, 2010

If, not when

Dear Stevie,
I was watching one of those "Entertainment Tonight" shows with my friend Lisa yesterday evening. Before you say anything, I must defend myself. We have like, seven channels and only three of them actually come in without having to constantly mess around with the antenna, so our TV viewing choices were extremely limited. Anyway, after hearing all about the cheating scandal that is soon to erupt on "The Bachelorette," and how Angelina and Brad are ready to adopt another baby (or are about to break up, I can't remember which one it was), Mario Lopez (a host on the show, also of "Saved By the Bell" fame) announced he and his fake-tanned girlfriend (who is also apparently a host on the show?) are "HAVING A BABY!!" That's right, folks, there will soon be a little mini-A.C. Slater running around! After the big announcement, they went into the most obnoxious "look at us getting ready for the baby" video montage ever. Mario and Fake-Tanned Pregnant Girlfriend getting a sonogram. Mario and Fake-Tanned Pregnant Girlfriend shopping for baby clothes. Mario rubbing Fake-Tanned Pregnant Girlfriend's little baby bump for the cameras. Finally, I said to Lisa, "I'm sorry, I can't take anymore of this..." and switched over to an "Everybody Loves Raymond" re-run.

Mario Lopez, back in his "Saved By the Bell"/AC Slater days

Once again, I wanted to jump inside the TV, go up to Mario and the orange-skinned chick he knocked up, and ask them, "how can you be so sure!?" I'd like to enlighten them that being four months pregnant doesn't necessarily mean you're "HAVING A BABY!" Believe me, I would know.

It's weird. Before you died, I totally assumed being pregnant meant "HAVING A BABY!" I mean sure, you want to be careful who you tell at the beginning, but once you hit the second trimester, bringing home a baby six months later is pretty much a guarantee. According to Dr. Google, my stack of pregnancy books, and even my own Doctor, there was absolutely no reason for me to have any doubt that I would give birth to a living, breathing baby come August. We never said "if we have the baby..." it was always, "when we have the baby..." It was always, "when Stevie gets here..." not "if Stevie gets here..."

Pregnancy was a when, not an if, kind of thing.

But now that I've had my perfectly normal pregnancy end with the death of my first baby, pregnancy is an if, not a when, concept. Now, whenever someone announces they are pregnant, I automatically think, "well, I sure hope their baby doesn't die," or "well, I sure hope they don't end up with blood clots in the umbilical cord." When someone says, "we're HAVING A BABY!" I'm not filled with excitement, I'm filled with dread, so scared that what happened to me might happen to them.

I hate it. I hate that pregnancy will never again be the beautiful, miraculous thing it was to me before you died. I hate that I will never be able to enjoy my own future pregnancies, or even my friend's pregnancies the same way I did before I knew, first-hand, how quickly such a beautiful experience could end in such ugly heartbreak. I hate that I will never be blissfully niave, ever again.

I wish that the next time I was pregnant I could loudly shout, "We're HAVING A BABY!" for the world to hear. But I know it'll be more like a quiet, shaky, "I guess we're pregnant, for the time being anyway..." whispered to our closest friends. That is, if we ever even get pregnant again (I am fully aware that's no guarantee either).

I guess the only six months of beautiful, niave pregnant bliss I'll ever have belong to you. And I kind of like that. I'm glad that I was unaware of all that could go wrong when I was carrying you. I'm glad I was able to enjoy and revel in every second of the time we had together. I'm glad I took all those dorky belly photos every week and plastered them all over facebook. I'm glad I told everyone I met, "I'm HAVING A BABY!" I just wish it would have been true.

It's beautiful outside today, Baby. I wish you were here to enjoy the sunshine with me.

Love always,


Julie said...

this just makes me cry. i hate that we can't enjoy pregnancy anymore. it occurred to me recently to wish that if this HAD to happen to me, then why couldn't it have waited until my second pregnancy, so that i would have been able to fully enjoy just one?

Dana said...

I am exactly the same way. Before losing Jacob, whenever I saw a pregnant woman I would think something like how lucky they are (before I got pregnant) that they are having a baby. When I was pregnant, I would look at the other pregnant woman and try to figure out how far along they were and when they would have their baby. Now I see them and I think to myself that they might not get a living baby out of it, even if they look like they are about to give birth. Or I think that they are so naive, they have no idea. They are going through their days thinking that they will have a baby is so many weeks. I know firsthand that anything could happen between now and than.

I am very pessimistic about the whole thing. I can't imagine just enjoying my next pregnancy like I did with Jacob, but I do sort of like that that is something special that he has. I just enjoyed him, I loved knowing that I was actually pregnant, that my baby was actually inside of me. It was amazing.

If I can get pregnant again, I won't feel safe until I have that living baby in my arms and he/she has been checked out by the doctors. Even then I probably won't feel at ease until the baby is older and the chances of SIDS goes way down.

I wish I wasn't so pessimistic about the whole thing now, that I could just enjoy it again. I just know the minute I find out I am pregnant again, it will be 9 months of constant worry. Never again will I go to the doctor or for an ultrasound just looking forward to seeing my baby. I will be anxious for the words that my baby is still alive.

No one should have to live in our world.


Kelley and Chris said...

Yep, that's what I said. If we decide we'd like to try again, it will be nothing but fear and nerves for 40 weeks. I talk to my mom about this all the time and all she says is that those 40 weeks of fear would be worth it when you have that healthy baby at the end. Yeah, I agree...but what if I don't?? What if it happens again?? I can't even think about it without losing my breath. Ugh...

Danae said...

The whole idea that it's now an "if" instead of a "when" is unfair. And I know how you feel about unfairness. Unfortunately for me, most of my pregnancy with Bailey was an "if"...and just at the moment, when I finally felt like it was a "when", everything went sour.

I'm willing to take the risk, and put my heart out there, and hope for "when". But "if" something horrible like this happens again, I don't know how I'll handle it, and if I would even be willing to do this again.

It's not fair...I want to be blissfully ignorant.

Emily said...

Yep, I get this exactly. Only my pregnancy was not bliss, ever, right from pre-conception when all I was worried about was whether a baby would wreck my heart health. Then when we had spotting at 5 weeks my stomach was in my throat and pretty much never left. My pregnancy was always an if, and never a when. And you know what? I kind of regret feeling that way. I wish I had been more excited and 'out there' about Aidan. Yes it would have sucked to take it all back. But you know what? He deserved to be celebrated and I never really did it while pregnant. So 'next time' as long as there is no major indicator that we aren't going to be an 'if' instead of a 'when' I'm going to try to let go a little more, try to be a little more excited. If my insane anxiety will let me of course. But yeah, I thought that exactly when I saw Celine Dion and Kelly Preston announce their pregnancies at like 13 or 14 weeks...I'm like seriously chickies...you are 'pregnant'. Don't get all excited and think you're having a baby.

Jane said...

You're right... Pregnancy isn't the same again. We never can get that innocent bliss of pregnancy back- it will never be when, but if... we'll never look at our pregnant friends, or pregnant strangers the same way.. I am still, even after a subsequent baby, jealous in a weird way of pregnant women... actually, I'm not sure if it's jealousy, or fear.. I'm scared for them- for what they don't know and may happen.. I hope it doesn't, but it may.. it happened to us.
But then again.. nothing is the same is it?
I"ll tell you- pregnancy after is hard, it's the longest 9 months EVER... now that I have my rainbow baby, I'm so happy that I did it, and had the courage to have 9 months of anxiety and worry.. she's worth it.

Michelle said...

I know with Liam I was a wreck until I hit 17 weeks and the doc told me "your out of the woods..I was a nervous wreck with him up until that point mainly because I had a miscarriage at 8 weeks two months I found out I was pregnant with him....We are being given the go ahead to TTC in august and I wonder if I could take this happening 3 times in a row, but I am willing to take the risk...call me a crazy woman!!

Michelle said...

two month BEFORE I found out I was pregnant with him

Anonymous said...

Kristin... this:
"I'm glad I told everyone I met, "I'm HAVING A BABY!" I just wish it would have been true."

broke my heart just now. I literally for an instant, when I read that, could FEEL the corners of the laptop in my arms- I practically hallucinated hugging a laptop because I so desperately wanted to hug you. And because I so desperately wanted "I'm having a baby!" to be true for you. And me. And all of our sisters.

I know its dangerous to claim to know anything now. But somehow I know you will have your rainbow. <3 Knock on wood if you like, but I feel it so strongly.

Andrea said...

I feel all those things as well....the innocence is gone, as I know there are no gurantees. It's sad, it's my reality these days.

However, I'm very hopeful for your Rainbow.

Annie said...

Every time someone announces "I'm expecting!", I cringe. They're so sure and naive. I want to tell them "Never expect. Only hope."

Maggie said...

Know what, for some reason Mario Lopez declaring he's going to have a baby irritated me too when I heard!!! As do all those other "famous" people...they make it look so easy. And I remember in my book, "if you hear a heartbeat, that almost guarantees a healthy baby"...uhh, yeah right. I hate we lose our innocence. And in this last week, know what I said to my bosses? I said, "I'm 'supposedly' pregnant...but I don't believe it yet". That's how I broke the news, "supposedly"! Ugh!! ((((HUGS))))

MamaE said...

I just found your blog... I can relate so much to this post. I lost a baby at 21 weeks to a chromosome abnormality. I did go on to have a beautiful, healthy daughter later, but I couldn't enjoy pregnancy at all. You just get such a sense of how fragile it all is, don't you? It know how hard it is. You are an inspiration. Thanks.
My story is here: www.mystorytour.blogspot.com
if you are interested. My son was named Noah. Take care.

dhammer said...

Kristen -

I know this is an old post but I have to comment...I know exactly what you mean by feeling dread instead of excitement when someone announces their pregnancy. I always hope that they will NOT have to live thru a loss. They will not have to feel like I do every single day. It has been 5 years....and I still ache. It is better but I still hurt.

Danielle <3

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