As I write this, I am six weeks pregnant, and I haven’t told a single soul. Not a doctor, not my husband, and not my parents.
After losing three pregnancies over the last two years from miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy, this new pregnancy feels less like a blessing and more like a disappointment waiting to happen.
With the first two pregnancies, I was plenty positive.
My first pregnancy was filled with joy, hope, and excitement. By this time point (6 weeks), I was already planning pregnancy announcements, researching names and filling Pinterest boards with inspiration pictures of my dream nursery.
You see, when you get pregnant, no matter how early, you start building a world that includes your baby. The mind naturally does this.
You think about how your baby might look, when he or she will be born, how your family and friends will receive them, how you’ll announce the news, what room you will convert – each thought a building block that makes up this new reality.
Losing a pregnancy is like an apocalypse to this world. All of those plans and aspirations come crashing down into a big pile of nothing.
That’s exactly what has happened to me three times now.
At my worst, I had spiraled down to a place where I questioned my worth and purpose.
It was a dark place that I never want to return to as long as I live.
So, I’ve built walls to protect my heart. It was only recently that I realized what is on the other side of the wall that I built.
HOPE is on the other side of that wall.
Hope is what I’m protecting myself from.
Hope is a luxury I cannot afford.
She brings excitement.
She makes you plan.
She encourages you to daydream.
Three times she has taken me on a high-high, making the eventual crash of pregnancy loss that much more devastating and life-shattering.
Hope has let me down and embarrassed me.
She was supposed to materialize into a child as she did for everyone else, but instead, she teased me, then disappointed me.
Hope is a high I can’t afford.
So I’ve chosen to become numb and to keep her out.
This fourth time around, there are no baby plans. I’m taking it one day at a time and avoiding any thoughts of “what might be.”
It’s a constant tug of war:
‘Our parents will be so happy, I should fly home to surprise them.’
Don’t think about it. You might lose the baby…
‘I’ll be pregnant during the holidays’
Don’t think about that. It’s too early to tell…
‘I wonder when the morning sickness will start?’
Don’t think about it. You might not make it till then.
Sometimes, hope will get the upper hand and a daydream about my could-be baby will slip through.
But, as quickly as the thought came, I chase it away and reprimand myself for being so careless with my heart.
Sure, it’s morbid, negative and unnatural. But what can you do when each repeat loss of life has made you a little less interested in living your own?
At times, I do get frustrated with this ongoing mental battle. Contrary to what it may seem, I don’t want to be at war with hope.
I want to embrace the joy of pregnancy without obsessing over the “maybes.” I desperately want to share pregnancy announcements and let my heart be warmed by the “congratulations.”
What I wouldn’t give to be blissfully ignorant about pregnancy loss and enjoy each week and milestone as they come along.
I want to be hopeful. I really really do. But my sanity and my heart can’t afford more disappointment.
So for now, I’ve locked hope up and guarded her with fear. Because I don’t know how else to protect my heart.