One of the most pressing questions a couple has to answer after becoming newly pregnant is: when are we going to spill the beans? Let the cat out of the bag? Let our joy be trumpeted amongst the hills? How long do we keep this pregnancy a secret? Especially the first time around, because it’s SO EXCITING. Especially if we’ve been trying for a while because IT FINALLY HAPPENED. Especially if you’re experiencing a pregnancy after loss because, well…it’s scary.
It’s still magical, don’t get me wrong. What is less magical is the fact that one in five pregnancies end in a miscarriage. That’s 20% you guys. 20% of women who’ve had kids has lost a baby. What a heartbreaking statistic! You want to know what I think about that statistic? I think it’s cruel and unfair and I don’t like it.
Here’s the thing: I had a miscarriage at seven weeks. And I lost a baby at 22 weeks with less than 1% (because they can’t ever say you’re 100% safe) chance of what had happened taking place. So those statistics? They really are junk.
And that’s why I don’t let them get to me. You want to know why I have the confidence (even with a pregnancy after loss) to announce my pregnancies to whomever I feel excited around at the time?
Life is Always Beautiful
If I’m only going to be pregnant for 7 weeks, then you can bet that I’m going to celebrate that tiny life while it’s with me. I’m going to dream and be joyful and let myself get excited because life is always beautiful, no matter its length. I have the blessing, the incredible gift of life growing inside of me. I refuse to let past trauma rain on my life building parade.
Support is Engaged
When you lose someone, it is vital to have a support system. You need people who love you and understand you and who can hold you up when you’ve been beaten down.
If I were to tell no one about my pregnancy, then there would be no one to check in on me, no one to see how I’m doing emotionally, and no one’s shoulder to cry on if something were to go wrong. They wouldn’t know, and I need them to know. And you know what? They want to know.
People that love you aren’t in your life to look pretty, they’re there to be your spare tire when you’ve got a flat. Let them! They’re great life mechanics.
Community is Developed
One of the most difficult aspects of losing a child is the loneliness you feel afterward. Sometimes it feels like you can’t relate to those around you because your world has screeched to grinding halt and theirs smoothly spins on. They’re affected by your pain and they empathize, but that depth of ache inside of you; they can’t grasp it. And you don’t want them to, so you keep it to yourself.
This is so wrong. #Sorrynotsorry, but you guys, why do we keep something so painful buried? When 20% of women have suffered the tragedy of losing a child (more if you look outside of miscarriage stats), why should we have to feel so alone? Psychologically speaking, I’m pretty sure it’s frowned upon to bottle up feelings. I haven’t got a PhD, but I’ve been around long enough to have learned that much. So can we re-route this system and form some community here?
I hope you said, “YES PLEASE, CAITLIN!” If you didn’t and you need to sift through your pain on your own, that is certainly your prerogative. Healing is by no means a one size fits all garment. But I firmly believe that community breeds healing. It may take us a while to reach that point of realization, but holding hands with someone fighting the same battles you are makes you stronger. They give you hope when you see their face lifted up, and you give them courage when you boldly and joyfully live in spite of sorrow.
Our God is Still on the Throne
This has been a recurring theme for my life. Personally, politically, and globally the winds are wild, you guys. Between those rays of sunshine are some wicked storms and I sometimes let myself feel fear when I look at all that can go wrong in life. I’m like Peter walking on the water and I take my eyes off of Jesus…I start to sink.
But then I remember that this one thing always remains true: God is still on His throne. He still rules. He has still claimed the victory. No matter what this chaotically beautiful world throws at my little family, I know that my God sees it all and that He cares. I may not understand what He’s up to all of the time (try most of the time), but I do trust Him.
Pregnancy After Loss Redeemed
So yeah, I do get a little irrational about telling people I’m pregnant. Like right now: I’m pregnant, you guys! This is pregnancy number four for us, and we are overjoyed that we get another chance to grow a life. At five and half weeks along, this is well under the recommended timeframe to publically announce, but I’d be making myself a hypocrite otherwise, yeah?
And no matter the outcome of this new life, we stand firm knowing that God loves this little one even more than we do. We know that this life is in His hands and He will sustain us whether we’re facing peace like a river or sorrows like sea billows. He’s just that good, friend.
Be well today!
Are you experiencing or hoping for a pregnancy after loss? What keeps you going and helps you stay positive?