Pregnancy after loss is an experience no one can prepare for. I have been where you are. I have stood in the place where it feels like you are pressed against dark glass and there is only a small hole through which to view the other side. But you stand there anyway, because the other side is where you once lived fully in the sun. You are an unwilling resident and are trying your best to shrink yourself through that small hole, as if it were possible to belong there again. And I am going to tell you something that may be hard to believe . . . but eventually, the glass becomes translucent and the light will begin to illuminate your world again.
So, forgive yourself right now. You have beaten yourself up over how many tears you have shed in fear. You have lost sleep due to anxiety. You have most likely worried yourself sick over how your emotions may be affecting your unborn baby. You have probably had a difﬁcult time feeling any real, unadulterated joy. I am guessing you keep your heart protected because you are waiting for another tragedy, yet you dare not give voice to it. Have you thought of planning another funeral instead of preparing a nursery? I did. I experienced all of this and more with both of my pregnancies after the death of my daughter. And guess what? It is completely normal.
So, dear one, remember to breathe deeply and to let it all go every once in a while. Try to ﬁnd little things that make you smile, that inspire you, that make your heart ﬂutter with joy. Try to sit in a quiet place and let yourself hum a lullaby as you caress your belly. Seek out ways to commemorate to the process of this pregnancy. This is your baby’s story, like it or not.
I cannot promise it will be easy, but I can tell you that it is necessary. Finding little bits of hope to nourish you can make all the difference when you’re stuck ~ blooming in the dark.
Mother, Grief survivor, Artist, Advocate
Stephanie Dyer, a mother of seven children with five who walk on earth and two with angel wings, spends her days homeschooling and her nights painting. She has used her years of training and counseling as a LMSW to help her children deal with the loss of their sisters. A self-taught artist, Stephanie currently owns and operates www.BeyondWordsDesigns.com, the company through which she publishes her artistry and runs the Donate Art project, a charity begun in honor of her daughters Amelia and Alice. You can also find Stephanie on Twitter and Facebook.
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