On Subsequent Pregnancy...
by Jen Mountney

Let's talk about the reality of a subsequent pregnancy

Reality is that during your subsequent pregnancy you will FREAK OUT, you will be FRIGHTENED, even TERRIFIED. Reality is that you love your baby so much and are so afraid for their life that you can't help but freak out. And you know what? THAT'S OKAY!!!!!!!

Yes you will have moments where you feel happy and excited and you can't wait until the baby is born and they are safe in your arms. And yes you will be so happy to feel them moving around and listening to their heartbeat. You'll feel so relieved and happy to see them on the ultrasound. You'll feel so excited to get baby gifts. And yet the pain just doesn't go away!!! Sorry for the reality check but it doesn't! You will feel devastated at the same time for all of these things, thinking about how your first child didn't get to wear the baby clothes, how no one gave you a shower for her, how you wish you had tape recorded her heartbeat, the regrets just don't go away and neither does the pain. It just doesn't.

You get to deal with both sides of it at once. There is the happiness, the excitement, the joy, the hope, the promise of a future all intertwined with the pain and the grief and the anger, the pure sadness, the ache. It all goes together. And anyone who pretends that it's any different is just lying to themselves.

You love your baby so much, you are so scared and yet so happy. People don't understand how you can be two different emotions at once but it doesn't mean that you can't. You can.

And no matter how many living children you have you will always ache for the child that never got the chance to come home. It may not be comfortable for others to realize but damn it it's the truth. And as happy as you are there will always be that sadness and grief for the child that never came home. That's the reality of a subsequent pregnancy.


Coming Up To The Moment of Truth

I'm 35 weeks today. Five weeks more or less to go. And along with that comes many many fears. What if this baby doesn't come home? What if we have to leave the hospital without our child? I find myself going between feeling so unprepared for this baby's homecoming and their death. At some moments I feel so happy and excited, sometimes so overwhelmed with all that I have to accomplish before this baby comes home and at other times I worry because I don't know how I will ever survive if this baby were to die too. I don't have faith that I will have the support I need. I don't even know a good funeral home. It's really petrifying.

The moment of truth comes....the clock is ticking, time is running out, the pregnancy is coming to an end, and does that mean that this will be the end of our time with this child? Will we get to look this baby in the eyes and tell them how much we love them and how much they are wanted? We won't know until we get through the labour and birth and that is what I find so terrifying.

As you all know you can do everything right, you can follow the rules, and your child can still die. There are no guarantees. And knowing that in only a few short weeks this child will either live or die is the most scary thing I have ever and will ever experience. I have so much love for this little baby. I just hope that this time can be different, that this child will come home alive and well in December like I hope that they will.

We've made it so far, now I worry because things have gone so well. It's like I'm waiting for tragedy. I don't want it to be this way. I don't want to think about what would happen if this baby were to die, I don't want to have to choose another funeral home, I don't want to think about how awful it would be if this baby were to die and yet I can't stop thinking of it. I need to know what we'll do if the unthinkable were to happen again. I just hope that these overwhelming fears are not foreseers of what is to come.

There are so many dreams waiting for this little one. So many hopes, so much love. I'm trying to get ready, trying to set things up with the doula, the midwives, go over the birth plan and yet I fear that it will be all in vain. I don't know how to see a future with this child. I don't know how to see a happy healthy baby coming home. I hope this baby comes home, with all my heart, I long for them to come home alive and well in December. And yet I fear that because I love this child so much I will once again be denied the chance to have a lifetime with my child.

I thought that the further along I got in my pregnancy that it would get easier. I thought that once I passed the significant mark, the 22 and 23 week marks, that I would be able to relax. That's not the way it is, once you've been hit by tragedy, you know that anything can happen whether it's at the same point or at a different point in the pregnancy or after the baby is born. I'd like to think that if the baby is born alive and well that I will be able to relax after that point, but I know better. I'm sure I will be paranoid for my child's health and life. I just hope I have the chance to have that lifetime with our baby, to watch our little boy or girl grow up.

Five weeks to go. We scramble to get everything together. Our bedroom is being renovated, our house is a disaster, there will be a large Avon order coming in not long before my due date and there are the fears and hopes, the longing for our child to come home alive and well in December. Sometimes everything comes together and really stresses me out, I don't know how I'll get all the Avon orders together before the baby comes, I don't know if our room will be finished, I don't know if we'll have everything we need. All I know, all that is important to me is that this baby comes home alive and well in December. Nothing else matters. I try to hold onto that hope, that promise of a future. It is so difficult.

We are coming up to the moment of truth. The day I go into labour could bring such joy and happiness or utter devastation and tragedy. We won't know which it will be until we get there. I hope that somehow we will be able to hang on until then.



About the Author:
Jen Mountney is currently 36 weeks pregnant with her second child. Her first child, Amy Dawn, was stillborn at 23 weeks on February 5, 2000. Jen awaits the day when she will be able to hold this child in her arms. Jen's baby is due December 23, 2002. All she wants is for this baby to come home alive and well in December.

If you are currently pregnant again and want to e-mail Jen, please e-mail her at hellogoodbye@crosswinds.net

For more resources on subsequent pregnancy, please see these pages from Jen's site, Hello, Goodbye., in memory of Amy Dawn.

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