The appointment is over and your doctor or midwife has just told you that everything looks great. Your baby is doing well and everything is okay. One hand on your bump, you schedule your next appointment with a sense of relief that feels dangerously close to bliss. You turn to leave and you are barely two steps past the door when anxiety comes crashing back. Yes, everything’s okay but you know that, in your experience with pregnancy, everything’s okay until it isn’t.
The loss of a pregnancy, like any loss, always happens in a moment.
Even if it is an anticipated loss, there is always that one second in time when you found out that everything wasn’t okay. There is a point when you crossed a line and you can longer regard the world with the innocence of certainty. Losing a pregnancy or a child and facing infertility opens your eyes to the fleeting nature of life. You know how quickly everything can change.
This is why it’s so hard to celebrate when you are pregnant after a loss.
It’s not because you’re a pessimist or because you dwell in the negative. It’s hard to celebrate because you remember how it feels to have your heart break when it was overflowing with love. To feel this is agony and you are worried that your heart cannot withstand the devastation of another loss.
All that you are feeling is hard to convey to a person who has not experienced the loss of their baby. When they hear the good news from your appointment, they simply want to revel in the positive. It’s not because they are ill-intentioned, it’s because positivity is a more comfortable place to be. Don’t be afraid to pull them away from there. If you feel safe in doing so, it is okay to bring them to your place of anxiety and worry. It may not be comfortable, but their stay is temporary. This is where you spend your days and you deserve some company.
Did you know that your ability to embrace uncertainty is a beautiful thing?
Understanding that everything’s okay until it’s not is what allows you to acknowledge, and generally appreciate, the tiniest details of a pregnancy. Your awareness of time enables you to be grateful for every week, every day, every minute of this experience. Even when everything is unpredictable, these qualities are the constants of a courageous mother, just like you.
Originally titled Everything’s Okay Until It Isn’t and published on Pregnancy After Loss Support