…but I’ve GIVEN birth before!

I’m so thrilled to be at a healthy place with this pregnancy. It’s going well. He’s healthy. He kicks and punches and kicks some more. Pregnancy and birth pop up all the time when I’m with friends, family, acquaintances. People share their birth stories. It’s what they do.

Ladies – I’VE GIVEN BIRTH BEFORE!!!! Just because my son is dead and I didn’t get to bring him home doesn’t mean I’m not a mother. But I’ve given birth. I’ve had contractions. My water broke. A baby came out of my birth canal.

I know it’s hard to remember, because you don’t see my son, because he’s dead. But I HAVE given birth.

It’s hard for a loss mom to hear your birth stories and not feel like she can contribute. You might say, “Well you need to feel what it’s like at 8,9 months,” (said by one family member recently. Punch you in the face, very much). You might just look at me with sad puppy dog eyes. You might feel bad for not realizing that what you’re saying is hard for me to hear. You might not realize I’m not a newbie, and feel like my experience giving birth is less valid than yours.

It sucks.

I have given birth. We have given birth. I’m just like you. I have a birth story, and it’s a lot harder than yours, no matter what ways you were split, no matter whether your epidural took effect or not. No matter how much you bled, pooped, screamed at your husband. You got to take your baby home.

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Something new

I have a secret to share with you.

I haven’t been writing here the last few months, only a few posts here and there, because a different blog has absorbed me. It’s a bit of news I haven’t wanted to share, and I’m still uncomfortable sharing it, so please go easy on me. I squeaked it in a few months ago, hoping no one would notice, and only a few people did, so I’m happy about that.

I’m sharing because I’m passing through a milestone.

I lost Henry at 21 weeks, and I’m currently 21 weeks pregnant with his brother. I find it’s an important thing to write about, because I have been so terrified.

From here on out, pregnancy is all new to me. I’ve never done this for more than 21 weeks. I haven’t shared my news because it isn’t all glow and happy anticipation for me.

I’ve also been hiding to avoid the questions all pregnant women face, with my answers in brackets.

When is baby due? (Hopefully October 27, but I’m not convinced I will hold baby in my arms, because all I’ve known of pregnancy has ended in tragic, heart-bleeding, life-suffocating loss.)

Is it a boy or a girl? (It’s a dinosaur. Honestly, what does it matter to you if it’s a boy or a girl? It’s a baby.)

What are you going to name him/her? (If it’s a boy, none of your business, and if it’s a girl, nona of your business.)

Is this your first? (I can write a TEXTBOOK on how awful, though innocently asked, this question is. I wish I could erase it from the collective psyche. No, this isn’t my first. My first is dead. His name is Henry. He had a genetic disease and he was ripped away from me. Pause for awkward “oh, I’m so sorry!” before moving on to the next invasive question. In addition, I’ve also been a step-mom for the past seven years, so my first wasn’t even my first.)

Also of note in my avoidance column: Touching my belly, predicting gender, suggesting names (like Henry the second for a boy. Um… no?) sympathetic puppy-dog eyes, saying how cute it is this baby has a brother in heaven, asking me every time you see me how my pregnancy is going, and questions in general. I’m an antisocial grump when it comes to my pregnancy, due to my private nature. Because pregnancy is so public, it makes us introverts squirm to be outside. Just ignore my belly, please. It’s enough to induce second trimester nausea.

The best things I’ve heard so far: I wish you an uneventful pregnancy. Easy, simple, direct, no squishy cheesy talk of angels, the universe, or how I’m going to be such a good mom. No thanks.

So forgive me for my silence, but now you know!

Living in two zones

It’s been an interesting few months. I’ve been very quiet about some new developments because it’s something I once simultaneously seethed jealously over while feeling repulsed, and yearned for with every fibre of my being.

I’ve been expressing these confusing emotions on another blog, and that’s all I’ll say for now!

I’m living in grief for my beloved one who is gone, terror because of what I know could happen next, and happiness for what could be.

I still want to be quiet about it, which is why I’m only publishing this on WordPress and not my usual channels. But putting this out now feels right.

Thanks for reading!