Friday, January 13, 2012


Dear Elliot,
You'd think that the further past the point of 'viability' I got, the less and less nervous I'd become. Turns out that's not the case at all. Now that I'm 29 weeks pregnant, and the odds of you being able to survive and thrive outside of my body are very high, I am getting more and more anxious. The sane, logical part of me wants you to stay inside my womb for as long as possible, because I know its what's best for you. But the other part of me--the scared mama whose first baby died inside of her--that part of me just wants you out right now.

Now before anyone starts lecturing me about how awful I am to wish my baby to be born prematurely, I don't actually want that (obviously, I hope!). But I can't help but wonder: if you were born today, would you be safer? Would it be saving you from your sister's fate?

A woman's body is supposed to be the safest, most perfect place for a baby to be. But my body failed your sister. I feel like my body is a dangerous, scary place; that it's a ticking time bomb, waiting to explode once again. While you're in my womb, I have no real control over what happens to you. I mean yes, I can take care of myself, take my shots and my pills, eat my protein and veggies, and hope for the best, but I can't see you, watch you, monitor you 24/7 to make sure you are okay.

At 29 weeks (measuring more like 32 weeks), and well over three pounds, you'd more than likely spend a couple months in the NICU and have no major long-term complications if you were born right now. On the outside, we'd be able to watch you so closely, ready to step in at the first sign of any type of distress. Of course I'm not saying having a baby in the NICU would be easy (at all!), or that I want that for you, but I'd take that over losing you inside of me in a heartbeat.

I just want you to be safe, and I hate myself sometimes for feeling like I can't provide that for you.

It's been a hard couple days (I swear, every time I start feeling really confident, these kind of thoughts swiftly follow). We're getting so close I can almost taste it, and I'm just so terrified we won't quite get there again. I've been waiting to look into my child's eyes for over two years now (since I found out I was pregnant with Stevie). I know waiting just nine more weeks shouldn't be all that difficult. But those nine weeks are feeling like an eternity right about now.

Please just continue to be okay, baby boy. I want you, I need you, I love you. So much.



Jessica said...

I continue to be terrified too :( UGH it's annoying! (((hugs))) to you! <3

Melissa said...

I've never lost a baby (I'm a fellow Aug. 2010 BBC mom) so I have no idea how you feel, but I just wanted to let you know I'm praying for you and Elliot. May you have lots of confident days until little Elliot is finally in your arms!

rebecca said...

I remember becoming more frightened the farther we got with Ian's pregnancy as well. Hang in there Momma, hoping these last nine weeks go by quickly for you. I completely understand were your thoughts were going on this but trust me the 2mth NICU stay is horribly emotional & stressful and I hope something you guys are able to avoid. Sending positive thoughts your way, that you feel strengthened & calm in spirit ((hugs))

Sheri said...

Once again, you've captured my thoughts and fears exactly and I want to make all of my friends/coworkers who don't "get it" read what you've written. I'm a week behind you with my own pregnancy. My identical twins were stillborn in September 2010. Maybe a difference is that I can't. stop. eating. gets this baby moving! Sending positive vibes your way.

Katy said...

This post gave me a lump in my throat and brought tears to my eyes. I am not there yet, but someday when I hopefully get pregnant again, I know I will share these feelings. I hope you are able to find some contentment and keep the faith that all is going to be fine.

B. Wilson said...

Only 2 weeks ahead of you and just as frightened. I also feel like my body failed Andrew and I just want this baby out... like now. But of course that's not healthy either to choose that. And, no doctor would allow for it and I know you wouldn't either. But I completely understand the anxiety as I feel like my uterus kills babies. :(

I talked over the induction with my OB the other day and she said she'd even do a 36ish week induction. While that sounds lovely, I chose the late 37-week instead because I know that it's probably the best decision, despite my insane anxiety as we get farther along into the 100% viable and stable category. I just fear so much having to release my baby into the arms of NICU nurses for stability when I should've waited a few days more. But then there's the struggle of... what if we should remove him before and just give him a steroid... at least he's alive.

AGH. Just get us through the next couple months already.

Tiffany said...

praying for you every step of the way. i do understand how anxious you must be. every day i felt like i became more and more scared. now that she is here the worry has not gone away. it's just so exhausting worrying so much.

btw, i can't believe how quickly your pregnancy has passed. i can't wait until you are holding little E.

CourtneyAnna said...

Hang in there. I was anxious the entire time too, but it will be ok. Be positive!

CMD said...

Anyone in your shoes would feel the same way as you do. I posted a comment/question under your MTHFR blog. If you have time, can you please take a glance. XO

Shan said...

I just want to say that I think what you're feeling must be completely normal. Someday soon you'll be able to stop holding your breath, I just know it.

Dannii said...

I dont know what to say other than i love you! you're so fantastic in so many ways and i wish i was there to see that big belly! give Elliot a poke for me ... you're doing an amazing job :)

Danae said...

i REALLY wish I could tell you that it gets easier, but I would be lying. I guess maybe for some it does, but for me it never did. I was anxious and worried up until the second Cameron was out and we heard that beautiful scream we longed to hear with Bailey. I cried just as much as she did.

Hang in there, and I'm thinking of you my friend!

Brooke said...

I know just what you mean. It is so hard not to be able to trust our bodies and believe they can keep a baby safe. Thinking of you.

Violet1122 said...

I can relate to everything you wrote in this post. I wish I could say I found some magic way of dealing with the stress, but I had to take it day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. During the really bad times, I whipped out my doppler and just listened for awhile.

When my doctor offered to induce me at 39 weeks I jumped at the chance. Now, I got a lecture from some family members about that... but once you've lost a baby, you really don't have much trust in your body anymore. I just wanted him out, where I could have much more control of his care and well-being.

Saying lots of prayers for you and your little one!

Renee said...

Sweetie, I'm praying for a peaceful heart for you!

kb said...

hang in there- you will get there! it was the longest 9 months of my life! one thing I would suggest is to see if you can start NST's, they helped my anxiety a lot. Also, you can go to L&D any time you feel the need, of course it can get expensive, but that would help ease my fears a lot. Another thing is I went into preterm labor at 31 weeks and the doctor did everything they could to stop the labor, and they did! It is ok if baby is born now for you, but it is so much better for them to stay inside until their lungs are fully developed. I wish it got easier for me, but it did not. Not until my baby was safe in my arms did I finally feel joy and relief!

Anonymous said...

I understand this feeling well. I got more scared as my pregnancy progressed. My twins were induced at 37 weeks, and as I'd lost my last baby at 36w, that final week was definitely the hardest. But we made it. And so will you.

I second the recommendation for NSTs. They were expensive, but they really helped.

Hang in there, Mama.


Nicole said...

Hang in there. I have not been where you are but I understand what you are feeling. It is okay to feel this, I think. We all know you truly do not want your son to be born now or anytime to soon however you choose that over a loss - I agree. I would to and I will in th future. You will be fine hun. I won't say I promise but my gut feeling tells me everything will be okay. I can't wait to see pictures of you, your hubsand and family as well as friends surrounding your little one.

Lori said...

I know. It's normal. New normal, that is. Of course you don't want him to be premature, but yet...there's something about them being OUT and us being able to have some sort of control over it (ha ha, like we ever really do, right????) that give us some type of peace of mind...that illusion that we have control. It's totally understandable, and absolutely relatable.

I don't think I really breathed until we hooked me up to the monitor at the hospital two hours before the section. Then I felt like we were somewhat 'safe', which is really strange, considering Matthew died as a result of LABOR complications, hours later...when you'd THINK he'd be safe.

Which just goes to show that the unknown is so freaking scary, especially when it's proven before to just break our hearts.

You look adorable, and that sweet little boy is one lucky thing to have you as his Mama. The time will drag and fly at the same moment. I had a BPP and an NST every week (two sep. appointments—one at the beginning and one at the end of the week) from 32 weeks on. For my nerves alone. (Well, that, and the nerves of my doctors, who did not want a repeat either.) They somewhat help, but really, I just kept popping candy every hour or so just to make him move and give me some reassurance.

Which is probably why he's such a sugar hound now!

Michelle said...

This is such a beautiful post with so much honesty. It takes a very strong person to talk about these fears. I recently lost my son...along the way we started to find out there were problems and I remember having very similar thoughts...that I, as his mother, was failing him and that maybe he would be better off on the outside. Lots of prayers that the next 9 weeks fly by for you. Best Wishes!

SG said...

"But my body failed your sister. I feel like my body is a dangerous, scary place" - ditto. This is how I feel about myself, too. Hang in there. I don't think there is an easy way down this path.

Anonymous said...

I wish that this was easier for you - I just don't think there is an easy pregnancy once you have had a baby die. Sending you peace and hugs ( I wish I could send you a time machine to get you to March as fast as possible). Take care.

Crystal said...

I haven't been pregnant since my loss but if/when I do... I'm sure I'll feel the same way. I was 16 weeks when I lost Nathan (6 months ago today) and I still struggle with the fact that my body wasn't able to keep him safe and alive.

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