This time around, every single time my phone rings I almost hold my breath if its a doctors office. Today I had a voicemail saying the testing we had done last week was all good and there were no signs of down syndrome and baby was perfectly healthy. As I listened to the voicemail in my car I felt myself tearing up. I felt the same feeling of relief when I got a similar phone call when I was pregnant with Harper. Then I realized today I should have an 9 month old, she would be 9 months old today. Then I thought back on the past 9 months, all of the tears, fights, sadness, laughter and helplessness we felt. Its so fucking hard to navigate a new pregnancy after losing my daughter so far along. Everyone keeps assuring me that they are going to keep a close eye on us and I’ll be induced early and everything will be fine. Yet inside I just keep screaming why the fuck didn’t that happen last time?! Why the fuck wasn’t my daughters cord more closely monitored. Its just so infuriating because at the end of the day there is no one I can blame. There is still no explanation as to why it happened. All we are told is it was a freak thing. And I think theres a part of me that keeps going over every part of my pregnancy, and I feel a sense of guilt like why didn’t I feel something was off… why didn’t I notice. But then my Mom Kindly reminds me that I can’t blame myself, Harper wasn’t meant for this world, and one way or another that was how it was meant to be, and at least she went peacefully and god forbid we didn’t bring her home and something happen like SIDS at home. How is that for trying to find a “Oh well at least that didn’t happen” situation when it comes to the death of my daughter. I honestly never thought at 30 years old I would have already gone through this. I think I had always imagined myself having two kids at 30 and planning for a third in the future. Instead I’m 30, I’ve filled out a death certificate for my daughter and picked up her ashes, how fucked is that. I mean genuinely a fucking nightmare, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I am beyond excited for this new baby, Im just terrified and trying not to compare every little detail of this pregnancy to my last. I just want a healthy, living baby and I find myself praying to something, who knows what or what kind of god, but something that this baby is okay. Who knows maybe all of my religious friends are right and Harper is going to be an guardian angel big sister for this baby.
The strangest thing that I’ve been trying to figure out is how to answer questions. When people see I am visibly pregnant they ask if it’s my first, then when I respond no they ask how old my other children are… and part of me wants to just say its my first to avoid awkward questions, but then again I don’t want to deny Harper… So whats an appropriate way to answer? I’ve replied with yeah I had a daughter and she was stillborn and then I get those sad eyes and the person is shocked and doesn’t know what to say at this point.. they just try and get away. This would be another great time for this non existent handbook for bereaved parents… whats an appropriate response ?