Tonight I went to a monthly local support group for subsequent pregnancy after a loss (SPAL). It's a branch off group from the pregnancy/infant loss group that I've gone to on and off since I had Marco. The SPAL group is usually relatively small, and we meet at a Nordstrom's Cafe of all places. It's very informal. I was about 15 minutes late tonight, and when I walked in I saw that the group was much bigger than it has been since I've been going for this pregnancy. There were 4 new women there, and one father. When I got there, the one new couple was sharing their story. I didn't hear it from the beginning, but it was heavy (I mean all loss stories are heavy - but I came in at a heavy moment), and I think their baby had made it to term when they lost him. For the next 30 minutes or so, the meeting continued to have just a heavy/ominous feel. Not that this meeting is supposed to be "light" or anything - part of the reason I go to these meetings because you can lean into the fear there in a way that you can't with your mom friend Susie who has had 3 perfect pregnancies - but it seemed like it was very heavily focused on loss rather than on the subsequent pregnancies....it's hard to explain the way it felt different tonight. I started kind of zoning out and then I just felt myself about to cry and felt a strong urge to leave the meeting, which isn't like me. Somehow, the feel of the meeting changed, and I made it through. I didn't share much, but in the end I was glad I stayed.
Over the last 5.5 years, I've dived heavily into the loss community. From SYS to the local loss support group, the the SPAL group during Lucia's and now this pregnancy, and writing about loss on an online blog and magazine....I've really been IN it. When you become a part of the loss community, and especially when so immersed, you learn about ALL the things that can go wrong during pregnancy. And just when you've thought you've heard it all, you hear something you never thought about before.
I'm not sure what it was about tonight - maybe the stories or maybe the fact that I'm further along now, but it just all seemed like a little too much. All of it. At 34 weeks now, the stakes feel so high. A loss is a loss is a loss, no matter how far along in the pregnancy you are....but being in the home stretch...it's just scary. Partly because I think a part of me is feeling more confident as I get closer. And since this is now my 2nd baby after having Marco, maybe a part of me is more relaxed in general. But then that hope can get stopped in its tracks VERY quickly by fear. And that's what happened tonight. This is also the same thing that has kept me from reading hardly anything here on Share here lately. It's hard to know which blogs might trigger more fear. Certainly new ones, but even some of you that I know. So I've had to keep a bit of a distance for self-preservation.
If anything, one reason I'm glad I went to the group tonight is that I got to see a girl who I met in our loss group shortly after I had Marco. She has had so many losses now and no living children as of yet. She is now using a surrogate and expecting twins. I have wondered how she has been doing, and so it was good to see her.
So, yes - we are in the home stretch. I am 34w 1d, which makes 4w 2d from my c-section date! We have been very busy getting things ready around our house for this baby. I have to try hard not to get too far ahead of myself lest it trigger more fear. Trying to stay in the moment. My mom said to me the other day (she's so excited, she just can hardly help herself), "Oh Libby, you're going to have so much fun with these girls". And yes, yes! I am, and I so look forward to having this new little girl join our family. But I let that excitement create a vision in my head of a future with these 2 amazing girls and all the fun we're going to have. And then I got scared. And I had to bring myself back to the moment and just be thankful for where I'm at.
So that's what I'm going to keep doing. Stay in the moment. I'll let myself dream and hope when I can, but when I get scared, I'll bring myself back. We are in the home stretch - I've got this! And speaking of being in the moment, as I type this, little baby Sparky has the hiccups :)
Marco - I love you and I feel you with me and your sisters. You are in our heart always.
I have been thinking of you a lot. When I was pregnant with Keira I had so many of these same feelings. I had to distance myself from posts on share also. Especially the further along I got and when the loss posts involved women who were further along than I was. I remember driving to the hospital the morning I had my c-section in silence. Neither Jerry or I spoke a word. There was no chit chat about what our baby would look like, how much hair she would have etc. There was just silence. We were both wondering if we would be bringing home a baby.
I will be keeping you in my thoughts as the next four weeks fly by. I know it will be filled with emotional ups and downs. I can't wait to see pictures of your new little princess and hear all about how Lucia's first moments of a big sister are.
Your words are so raw and honest. Thank you for sharing that. I was never able to have another baby after I lost George Daniel, so I can only imagine what is going through your heart and mind these last weeks/upcoming weeks.
I like how you think though. Live in the moment, stay in that moment, and do what YOU need to do to get through this pregnancy. I know Marco is up there rooting on his baby sister, watching her grow inside of you, and loving you all from up above!!
I look forward to following you through this and seeing pictures of your new baby!! HUGS!!
Libby, thinking about you and wishing you uneventfulness as you make your way to your EDD. I can only imagine all of those feelings and thoughts. I love that you are just being in the moment and taking each passing day and week as they come. Prop your feet, nap when you can, and give yourself permission to eat that extra scoop of ice cream. Girls like ice cream:)
Sending you hugs,
Libby, this is such a thoughtful post. You're in the homestretch, you know that the odds are in your favor and yet we all get why the fears settle in. Maybe it's a little bit of knowing too much. You've suffered the absolute worst a mother can suffer and you can't, no matter how much you want to, undo that, or take it away or rewind and have a different outcome during Marco's pregnancy.
You're doing the best you can. Remind yourself of that when you get scared. You're a very strong woman and you're doing the absolute best you can. One day at a time.
So much love,
Libby, my heart is with you. It is truly hard not to let our heads get so far past our feet when we've experienced the things we have. I wish you well over these last few weeks, as you learn to live more in the moment and get ever closer to the finish line and bringing baby Sparky home.
That is a great attitude, to live in the moment. I like that! You are getting so close to the due date, way to go! Try to block out all the stresses but the fear that sometimes creeps in is normal. I remember I was a roller coaster of emotions high and low those last few weeks of pregnancy with my rainbow baby. Thinking of you!
Good for you for working so hard to stay in the moment. That is such a hard thing to do. I wish you all the best.
hugs! I think staying in the moment is the best thing to do but also so hard to do. I have been thinking about you and wish you all the best in the coming weeks. I think I actually get what you were saying about the group if it's for people who are pregnant after a loss it seems like it may have veered a little off topic the night you were there and just focused on the loss and not the pregnancy the women are currently experiencing. Although you all are there for the same reasons it's fine line and seems like it went to far in one direction. Nicki
I've been thinking about you. Sending love <3
Thank you so much for saying this the way that you did. I attended three support group meetings after I lost Josie and never really found a niche there. It could have been because her dad was very un-supportive, or that I was so young and felt that my presence made it worse on some of the older parents who had their last chances used up for a baby. What I do remember is realizing all the things that could go wrong during pregnancy. I actually began to be thankful that I knew her diagnosis before she was born so I could mentally prepare myself. I was thankful I didn't come home to a nursery as the parents of the 9 month stillborn baby boy did; thankful I didn't come home to two of everything with only one baby boy as the parents of the twins did.
I too kept living in the moment of my pregnancy with Abbey. I still had a shower and I set up a room and bassinet and put a car seat in my car. I also went crazy cleaning the apartment the weekend before the induction. But I was super silent on the way to the hospital; and my first words when I heard her cry were "Is she okay??"
Once you experience a loss it never leaves, its always a shadow behind the joy. But I also believe it makes they joy so much better.
Keep us updated on the arrival of new baby girl!
Love and Hugs
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