“Aren’t you in the safe zone, yet?” a colleague recently inquired.
“There is no safe zone,” I candidly replied. It’s a myth really. Well, a myth in my world. I’ve met too many women, virtually and in real life, to know that this is a falsehood. I wish I could return to the place where I was blissfully happy, unaware of the fear that would overtake my life in the hopes of one day bringing a child into our family.
I am now 16 weeks into a fourth pregnancy and I cannot allow myself to feel excitement, hope, or anticipation for this little one’s impending arrival in September. I’ve tried, or I should say I’m trying, but it’s difficult. I want to celebrate this pregnancy. But it hasn’t happened for me yet. It’s obvious now that I am pregnant (or appear extremely round to others!), and those around me are overjoyed when we share our news. Their excitement does not ease my fears.
I let down my guard once this pregnancy. As M. and drove into the mountains for a weekend escape from the city, we bantered back and forth about names, discussing maternity leave, making decisions about our finances. This joy was short lived for the next evening we found ourselves in the emergency room after I had discovered red blood on my liner. I once again found myself in a situation that felt surreal. Walking into the medical center. Watching the admissions girl fumble with my name, not once, not twice, but three times. Silent as the nurses poked and prodded me to find a vein. Throughout this, I could only think about how this could not be the end. I refused to accept this outcome again. But inevitably, despite my generally optimistic outlook, my mind wandered and settled upon the worst case scenario.
A childhood friend recently contacted me to share with me how my baby boys affected her life. A few months ago I might not have been ready to hear what she had to say. I still don’t know how to put into words that I understand her point of view, and that I am grateful my angel babies are the reason for her happiness. I do know that my experience has made a difference in other people’s lives. S. tells me I am her pregnancy hero and will use me as an example in her practice with other struggling women. She is confident that we will see this pregnancy through to the end. But I’ve yet to uncover my reason for this journey. I envy the woman from my support group who holds on tight to her religion. If I had a strong belief system to fall back on, I may not be in this place of uncertainty and fear.
But throughout each obstacle I’ve faced during this time, I’ve remained strong, allowing myself to crumble when needed; giving myself permission to feel. Perhaps that’s the lesson. I give myself permission to be me. I’m not too sensitive anymore. I’m simply a person who feels deeply. I only hope that I can pass this along to our little bug who will hopefully remain nestled inside of me until he makes his appearance in the fall.