Saturday, January 22, 2011

For better or long as we both shall live

Had a meaningful chat with an Angel Mommy yesterday, who I didn't know was an Angel Mommy.  She shared her experience of pregnancy after her loss and how she and her husband coped.  It's always a bittersweet moment to find out someone is an Angel Mommy, bitter because you never want to hear of yet ANOTHER person having that kind of nightmare and heartache, and sweet because they are willing to share their experience  with you and allow you in so you can support each other.

Usually conversations with other Angel Mommies don't journey too much into the topic of my husband or my marriage, so this one was a new one for me, but it was welcomed.  She shared that she too was riddled with the same emotions I am feeling throughout the pregnancy after her loss.  She went on to relay how her and husband had to come to a point of accepting things as they were and trying to (without putting words in her mouth) enjoy the pregnancy with as little stress and anxiety as possible.  I am sure it wasn't easy to remember those days so that she could relay them to me, it never is for Angel Mommies, but we do it so that we can reach out to others, if only to help them hurt a little less.  At least that's why I share my experiences with other Angel Mommies, we know our own hurt and would do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to take even a speck of hurt away from other Angel Mommies by being there for them and sharing our experiences.  I am so glad she came to talk to me, not only because no one has ever shared with me any insight on getting through this with my husband and marriage, but also, it gave me pause to really think about where my husband and I are with our emotions regarding this pregnancy.  I am so proud of her and her husband for coming together and choosing to get through their pregnancy with their chins up, no matter how difficult that must have been at times (I would imagine).

Often, I write these things down and leave them on the page, which most of the time is a good thing.  It wears me down keeping these emotions and realities inside and to get them out in this format allows me to release them.  Yet, sometimes when I release, I owe it to myself to revisit and re-evaluate where these emotions and realities stand and how are they changing if they are at all.  The conversation with my fellow Angel Mommy forced me to think about where my husband and I are emotionally and relationship wise at this point in the pregnancy and how far we have come, if at all.

From the very moment that pregnancy test came out positive, my husband and I felt a joy that hadn't been present in our hearts in lives since we were expecting our son Trey.  Our first pregnancy, for the most part, was footloose and fancy free (had to Google that phrase to make sure I said it right, I REALLY wanted to use it because it certainly describes our situation).  For six months we had not a worry in the world, excitably awaiting the arrival of the child we had wanted and tried for for years.  We spent each day of the pregnancy planning for and dreaming of a life with our beloved son.  It was one of the happiest times of our life together. One would expect for all sequential pregnancies to be blessed with the same happiness.  This pregnancy, however, began on heels of an emotionally scarring time for my husband and I.  This child was created with the deep love of a devoted husband and wife, whose hearts, though together in love always, were shattered to the tiniest of pieces when we lost our son.  Yet in time, these two hearts picked up the pieces and put them back together again, even helping each other pick up the pieces and put them back into place.

Through our celebration at our second pregnancy, we retreated to our respective emotional corners, holding the same worries, the same fears, the same anxieties, and worst of all, the same nightmares and horrible memories of a joyous pregnancy gone terribly wrong and the life of an innocent cherished child lost.  We stewed there, in our corners alone, yet celebrated together for quite some time.  For someone like me, who has been know to be forthcoming, sometimes to a fault, with my thoughts and emotions, this was a torturous time and an emotional spiral I had no idea how to get out of.  My husband, ever the strong man, maintained a certain element of strength as to be strong for his unborn child and his wife. No doubt, it was just as hard for him to process all that was involved with this pregnancy on his own.

When I could take it no more, I forced the conversation.  We FINALLY aired out our fears, worries, and anxieties surrounding this pregnancy, having to unfortunately relive the nightmare that was our son's birth and untimely passing.  It took this conversation to remind us of the sole reason we got through our son's death, we went through EVERYTHING together.  There was not an emotion we did not talk through, and though we were seldom left alone with our own mourning, there were hardly any tears that weren't shared together.  Every step of that horrible journey, we were side by side, even making sure that the other was never alone.  John used all of his off days and devoted them to keeping me from being alone during maternity leave.  I remember worrying about him to no end while he was at work and not being settled in my heart until he was back at home and we were together.  We were a united front facing our grief and took it one at a day a time together.  Our love grew through our pain and marriage became stronger as we healed from our tragedy together.

The common threads were togetherness and love, and that was the only way we would get through all the emotions and anxieties during this pregnancy.  We remembered how we got through the hardest time that any parent or married couple can ever imagine together and in tact and we concluded that together we can weather the ups and downs of this pregnancy and hopefully get to a point where we can start each day together with a deep breath and more peace in our hearts than the day before.   We decided that the only way the dark emotional clouds will clear is if we are open and honest with each other about EVERYTHING so we never have to go at it alone.  We can't pretend that this is the typical second pregnancy, but we can strive to celebrate every moment of this pregnancy and get through the bumps in the road together.  We might not be at a point where we can always forget our worries, come on get happy, but when we hold our child in our arms for the first time, we can look back and remember with fondness how, once again, we did it together, through thick and thin, better or worse.

As for myself, I have expressed all that I think and feel, it's all truth and reality in the moment.  As these moments come and go, and we pass each milestone with flying colors and encouraging news, I am able relax that more and focus on the joy that is this pregnancy.  The emotions and worries will be there, hopefully lessening in capacity, but these weeks will turn in to months and before I know it, we will be loving on a child created with and surrounded by love.  But most importantly, I will not be alone, the baby and I will have the WORLD'S BEST DADDY (and husband) and our own personal guardian angel by our long as we both shall live.

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