sharing your stories and remembering your children
By: Emily Carrington EPLA President and Founder
“Is the nursery done!?” A woman asked cheerfully at Bible Study.
“Oh, no. I guess I have been behind on that. I am not really sure it will be done before she gets here,” I responded politely.
“Oh! But you will want a place to put her stuff, and nest! It is just so nice to be organized before the baby gets here. I am sure you will be more motivated soon!”
I smiled and was glad the conversation had come to a natural close.
I was in my third trimester of my fourth pregnancy. This was the furthest I had ever made it, and I had every reason to believe that our little girl would be joining us in a few weeks.
But I couldn’t be sure enough to completely finish her nursery.
It wasn’t like I had ignored all of the preparations for the room. We had taken the wallpaper down and painted the walls. I had sorted clothes on a folding table in the corner, and I had thought about where to hang some of the art on the walls. Eventually, my best friend from childhood came to visit, and we spent the weekend washing and sorting clothes.
Over the next few weeks I did gain some motivation to prepare more. We put up the bassinet, and we opened some gifts. We bought a car seat and packed our bags.
But when we brought our beautiful baby home from the hospital, the nursery was far from done. There was no crib, there was no rocking chair, there were hardly any pictures on the walls.
The truth was, I just couldn’t. I couldn’t find the emotional energy to complete a nursery because deep down, I didn’t believe we were bringing home a baby.
I did not have gruesome thoughts; there were no medical worries. I had no logical reason to be so pessimistic. But after three pregnancies that seemed to vanish — why should this one miraculously end in a baby?
I did not complete her nursery until she was nearly 9 months old. By the time I was done, it was my favorite room in the house, a beautiful room laced with memories, love, and LIFE!
Now I see that even though I had lost each of my first three babies in the first trimester, their losses haunted me throughout my whole pregnancy with my daughter.
Pregnancy after loss is a unique experience full of unexpected challenges. Well-meaning people may not understand your lack of excitement or preparedness. Luckily, we are not alone.
I am thankful for organizations such as PALS that exist to help women walk through pregnancies after loss.
Check out their amazing mission:
“Pregnancy After Loss Support is dedicated to ensuring that every mom and her partner who is experiencing pregnancy after loss is able to find support and connection among both peers and health care professionals who understand and validate the unique and complex experience of pregnancy after a previous perinatal or child death.”
If you or a loved one are struggling with a pregnancy after loss I encourage you to reach out to PALS for support.
Emily Carrington is a freelance writer, wife, mother, and founder of the EPLA.