Tuesday, June 26, 2012

In the Storm


As I write, a storm rages outside.  Tumultuous clouds, scathing wind, thunder and falling branches, power lost, sideways rain -- I love it.  I love a good storm.

But personal storms?  Storms in which clouds blacken my heart instead of the sky?  I'm not such a fan of those.

I feel like I am at the beginning of a very stormy season.  Although maybe it began when Eve died, or when I became pregnant again just a few months after her stillbirth?  I'm not sure.  The beginning of this pregnancy was very tumultuous after all, fraught with fear and a perpetual sense of falling.

But then things got better.  Baby and I arrived safely in trimester two, and I began to be able to feel the sun warm against my skin once again.

Now I'm nearly at the end of the second trimester, and I am afraid.  We are quickly approaching the gestation that Eve died at (31 weeks), and that fact makes me tremble.  I thought that perhaps the fear and anxiety would ratchet back up as we reached 28 weeks, but I'm realizing that it has already begun to balloon.

I just returned from a last-minute trip to see my O.B., convinced that something was wrong because Baby has been moving less.  She reassured me that everything was well, that I should not be monitoring movement patterns until 26 weeks, that right now I'm just to feel for any movement, not a set amount each day.  She said this kindly, knowingly.  Her first baby was stillborn, too.

But I don't feel reassured.  I have become convinced that this baby, just like our first, will not survive his stay in my body.  I don't trust this body, and don't trust the process of pregnancy.  This baby, he could die so easily, so silently -- and because I know this from experience, the truth of that is all the more terrifying.

Many women whose babies die before or shortly after birth report "aching arms" -- where the arms and chest physically hurt, a manifestation of grief and the longing to hold the child who can never be held again.  I have not experienced the aching arms -- until now.

Now, I ache.  I ache to hold this baby who is living within me, whom I am so afraid will die within me.  I ache to enter labor with the hope of meeting my living baby for the first time face-to-face, not with the despair and fear that come as you are forced to birth your dead child.  I ache for pregnancy to end with messy diapers and sleeplessness born of baby cries and swollen breasts and hope for the future.

I ache.  Terribly.  Could this be love? 

I am trying to trust.  But oh, it hurts, my friends.  It hurts.

 * * *

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  1. I wish I had the right words to bring you comfort. I wish it wasn't storming now so you could just enjoy your baby and the bump he has created. I am thinking of you Beth. I am thinking of you! I know it is not enough. I wish I could offer more.

    I am praying for you. I am asking that God provide you shelter in Him as you wait for the rain to pass and the sun to shine. I am praying for the rainbow to arrive safely in your arms.

  2. Oh Beth, I remember this so well. I'm not sure there is anything I can say that will reassure you right now honestly. Maybe I can say it's normal, perfectly normal to be scared, and even angry that you feel you need to be scared because you shouldn't know the pain you've known. Try focus on his face, picture him growing strong in your womb, see him screaming as he takes his first breaths and he is placed on your chest. I'll be praying for you to get through these next few weeks and go on to have a perfect baby to hold in your arms. HUGS

  3. Oh how I understand what you are feeling. My rainbow pregnancy was emotionally tough. I was convinced I would lose her too. I know there are no words to help with where you are right now but please know you aren't alone in those feelings. Praying that the rest of your pregnancy will go by fast and your son will soon by screaming & healthy in your arms. (((hugs)))

    -visiting from Tesha's

  4. Beth I am sorry this is such a stormy season. I know it is so hard but remember those storms produce beautiful rainbows and flowers. I believe with all of my heart this storm will breaks the clouds will part and the aftermath will not be devastation but BEAUTY! Praying for you Beth and sweet baby brother :)

  5. Will be continuing to pray for you all! I totally get the not trusting your body and pregnancy. So much could go wrong! I often mourn my lost innocence as well. Thank you for continuing to share. It ministers to my soul!

  6. Your analogies are solid. I often hear people say they get aches with weather changes. These changes, these fears and expectations and hormone things and emotions...weather. You can weather this storm, and the aches that come with. He will steady your boat through it, call out to Him!

    Jesus Calms the Storm- Matthew Ch. 8

    23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

    26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
    27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

  7. Oh Beth, I am sure pregnancy after loss is so nervewracking! I feel for you, and am sending you a big hug. <3

  8. I feel your pain. I'm just now 9 weeks pregnant after my loss and although it has been hard so far, I know I still have a long road to go. Thinking of you!!

  9. Thinking of you and so sorry that I'm behind on your news.... I know what you mean about an ache. Your anxiety is completely understandable and is all part of your love for both your babies. My heart goes out to you xoxo


"I am glad you are here with me."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King