29 weeks and 3 days. Today feels like an enormous milestone reached in this pregnancy after loss. You see, this is the point in pregnancy that Ellie came barreling into the world entirely too soon; the day that marked the beginning of the end of her short life. This is the milestone we have been praying to meet and hopefully exceed with this pregnancy, and each day leading up to this one has brought fear and uncertainty.
Choosing to grow our family again has been the most mentally and emotionally challenging roller coaster ride I have ever embarked on. In the early weeks, we were unsure if I was pregnant or experiencing a cancer recurrence, and that was only the beginning of the emotional ups and downs of the last 7 months. Despite my best efforts to remain unattached to this child as long as possible, I now find myself experiencing the love that can only be shared between a mother and her child. There’s no turning back: I’m attached. I love him unconditionally and will be devastated if I lose him.
The next 7 or so weeks are critical. They will make or break what happens with our son – whether he is able to be carried to his delivery at 37 weeks or whether he will have a premature birth and perhaps a repeat of our past. We are are scared to lose him – because we know it can happen in the blink of an eye. Babies sometimes die, you know. I can still feel the weight of Ellie’s body growing cold in my arms and I’m no longer naive enough to think it could never happen to me.
Even though I feel like I’ve paid a lifetime of dues for the loss I’ve experienced, that in no way makes me immune to future loss and hardship. I may feel like in some way I “deserve” something positive in my life, but that’s just not how life works. Sometimes life is hard and unfair. Just because your heart is still broken it doesn’t mean it can’t be shattered again.
Each morning I wake up and pray that God will give me another day. Another day pregnant so this baby can continue to grow bigger and stronger. Another day of “enough” of whatever I need to make it until I fall asleep at night, whether that’s physical or emotional strength. I am trying my best to trust God’s plan for our family, yet fearful that it may not look anything like what I hope and dream for. Most days I get it completely wrong, but I will continue asking Him for help to get me through. I will continue asking Him to allow me to meet our baby Rhett and to have the opportunity to raise him. These may seem like such basic requests, however we’ve learned not to take these things for granted.
Until then, I put one foot in front of the other and take life one day at a time. I am forever grateful to have made it to this milestone.