sharing your stories and remembering your children
The Haunting *IF
By: Emily Carrington EPLA Founder
I have lost three babies in early pregnancy, and I have had one healthy pregnancy. When I was pregnant with my daughter the first trimester was plagued by when. My thoughts were consumed with things like: when I miscarry, when this baby dies, when they can’t find the heartbeat… Loss had been my only experience, and I could not believe this pregnancy would end any other way.
Fast forward three years and I have a healthy two year old, and I am pregnant again. This time I am not so bleak, but I am still haunted by my reality. I can now imagine a full term baby and a pregnancy ending in a successful birth because I now believe that pregnancy can end well. But everything is haunted with an *IF.
When I was pregnant with my daughter I couldn’t even imagine these things. I couldn’t think about holding her or bringing her home. It all felt impossible. Now that part is better. I can imagine this baby, but every dream comes with an asterisk.
Maybe we will announce the gender at Christmas.*
*IF I am still pregnant.
I need to get some maternity clothes from my sister.*
*IF we make it out of the first trimester.
I can’t wait to enjoy spring with my newborn* and three-year-old daughter.
*IF this baby comes.
The baby can sleep with us, then in the playroom, and then the kids will share a room.
*IF we have a baby.
I was surprised by the *IF. I thought I would either sink into my previous fatalist mood of all doom or I would be completely okay. I was not expecting this middle ground, oscillating between my previous realities: the baby will die and the baby will live.
But here we are and I am trying to give myself space to feel all of my feelings, the happy, the sad, the scared, and the unsure.
Emily Carrington is a freelance writer, wife, mother, and founder of the EPLA.
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