I’m sure many of you long time readers have noticed my absence over the last year, and especially over the last few months. Although I do write, I hardly consider myself a writer, and yet writing is where I find my greatest healing.
Many of you also know that I got pregnant late last summer, after a miscarriage and two more years of infertility. And with my pregnancy it seemed that I just couldn’t get my thoughts out. I tried many times, but it all came out jumbled, barely making sense to even me. I choose not to write about my children and pregnancy here on my blog as I know how very hurtful it can be to hear pregnancy updates when you want nothing more than a baby of your own. I also make this choice because women who are hurting can sometimes say very hurtful things (I know I’ve said things I shouldn’t), and opening up about my children often times brings about hurtful comments directed toward me.
I stopped writing, even for myself in my journals, which saddens me because I so wanted to make sure I remembered every moment of this pregnancy.
I still don’t know what to write or where to start, but I know that making myself put words to screen is important. I have to start somewhere.
I’m in this weird place where infertility and loss are still deeply etched into my heart. The pain is still fresh, though far from new.
Yet I am ever so grateful that our little boy is here, finally here. The gratefulness I feel each day is often overwhelming. His sweet little head has caught more of my tears than I can count. Tears of joy and love for this new little soul. Tears of sorrow as I remember our little one I wasn’t given the opportunity to care for.
These conflicting emotions making it difficult for me to know how I feel, let alone write it down.
There is this saying in the babyloss community that “After every storm there is a rainbow of hope”, and before I share a bit of my pregnancy and birth story, I want you to know, the baby isn’t always the rainbow. You can find healing and your rainbow of hope without a “rainbow baby”.
This pregnancy was the hardest by far, both emotionally and physically. I was put on progesterone immediately after a positive pregnancy test, more for “insurance” that my levels wouldn’t drop since we didn’t know the cause of my miscarriage. (Though I’m fairly certain it wasn’t due to low progesterone.) Having the progesterone as backup lessened my anxiety a bit and I am grateful that it was available for me. The downfall was that the high levels of progesterone also triggered migraines that rendered me almost useless, laying in bed, at least twice each week for 18 weeks. The nausea was far worse this pregnancy as well and for weeks I maintained a mostly vegan diet and left much of the cooking up to Todd.
I was so thankful for my contributors during this time as I had little time to write while spending most days laying on the couch. I was also thankful for friends that knew what I was going through during this pregnancy as they had been there before.
Soon after our holiday break however I began to experience symphasis pubic dysfunction which is, if I may add, horribly painful. Progressively getting worse, even with weekly chiropractic adjustments and medical massage every few weeks, it became difficult to walk, sleep, stand, or sit in the same place. I was truly amazed at how chronic pain was affecting every aspect of my life! I could barely cook, clean, or even put my kids to bed as the stairs bothered me so much.
But I was surrounded (both virtually and in ‘real life’) by supportive friends. The culmination of this support in the way of a Blessingway.
And then on April 17th, two weeks before my estimated due date, it became time for our little guy to be born.
My water broke early in the morning on the 16th yet I had no contractions all day long. Labor didn’t start until after midnight on the 17th, with active labor beginning within an hour of the first contraction. I was surprised at the pain this time as my previous birth went so smoothly and I was able to focus and relax during each contraction. I was expecting another peaceful birth, especially since we had planned on having him at home, but the pain sometimes seemed more than I could manage and I knew I was fighting with my self, both mentally and physically. Within a couple of hours Todd called the midwife, even though I thought I still had plenty of time left. It’s a good thing he did because an hour later when she got there we knew baby was coming soon.
The contractions were coming one right after the other with little to no break in between so I went into the birthing tub… which slowed them right down. Heh. Looking back I think that he would have been born sooner had I not gotten in the water (my midwife agreed!), and yet I also think it was helpful as I worked through a lot of the emotional aspects of birthing a baby after loss.
I had spent so much time during my pregnancy just trying to make it through the pregnancy that I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about the actual birth. This time I knew how quickly pregnancy could go wrong, how quickly devastation could come in and take everything away. I needed that extra time to process.
In the end, with help from my midwife, and the worst labor pains I’ve had, I was finally able to pull my baby up out of the water and hold him in my arms. My baby was finally here.
He’s currently growing big, and faster than our other two grew! Only two months old and long enough for 6 months clothes. These newborn days are both difficult and fantastic all in one moment. We are learning how to be a family of five, I’m learning how to leave the house with more kids than I have hands.
I also wonder how I live in this moment yet still honor the struggle of my heart and the baby I never held but for a short time in my womb?
How do I work to enjoy the hard parts of parenting and never take it for granted?
And how can I claim struggles of infertility when my arms hold three and others struggle for one?
This dance of emotions is confusing at best.
I truly love this space I’ve created online and the community that has become of it. I can’t ever imagine not writing here. Though after having planned on only taking a few weeks off of all my admin and editor responsibilities, I’ve realized that even that has been too much for me right now. Women take a maternity leave for a reason.
As you may remember, I have dealt with adrenal fatigue, finally beginning to see some healing before I conceived last summer. I’m finding that I need to spend more time relaxing (read: napping!) and enjoying and less time on the computer right now. I need to make my health the prime focus in this season as I continue to deal with a few post partum issues (joint pain and plantar fasciitis) so that I can later continue to pursue my passions (like blogging!). My plan for now is to take July off from any blog responsibilities, checking email only weekly and maybe sending out a quick letter to subscribers every couple of weeks.
It may seem like blog suicide, but since Google killed half my traffic in January and Facebook only shows my updates to a few hundred instead of the 10k + that like the page, I’m thinking it can’t get much worse!
In the meantime, I have a few more contributor posts to publish, and you can always follow me on Instagram or subscribe to my personal account on Facebook. (I don’t accept friend requests, but you can follow my public posts)
I plan on catching up on my to-read book pile and spending some time outside and at the beach! I pray you have a fantastic summer.