I’m still here. Thank you to the people who have emailed to check in on me. Silence is never fair to this blog, but I admit I haven’t really been able to muster the words. It’s been a slog to get through the days, much more than anything else. I just haven’t been able to be eloquent.
Until now- because I have something to unpack, and this is the only space in which I can really do so.
29 weeks today. This puts me in a relatively safe space. I say relatively, because no one knows better than I that safety in pregnancy is an illusion. I’ve got a cerclage, a killer case of gestational diabetes, and more anxiety than any human can possibly carry without losing their mind.
That being said – I have to start behaving as if I have a baby on the way. Because if all goes well – that’s happening.
I kind of dislike birth announcements on Facebook that come with no advance warning. “Baby!?!? I didn’t even know she was pregnant!” is not a reaction I like to have. I don’t know why – I just find it dissonant and off-putting somehow.
However, I am well on my way to being one of those people that out of nowhere announces a birth. Because I have not said a peep about being pregnant.
Oh – I’ve wanted to. I’ve wanted to share a cute story or two about how my daughter is reacting to the news of being a big sister. I’ve wanted to wax philosophical. I’ve wanted to bitch and complain about sugar withdrawal.
But each time the urge to post a status comes over me, I stop short. Because – I can’t. I just can’t.
Social media gives a snapshot of a moment, without an iota of complexity and nuance. How many friends do I have on Facebook, who don’t know my history, who may be silently suffering through infertility or loss? How many of those will see these snappy musings and feel sick, because all they’re seeing is a snapshot without knowing the whole story?
They don’t know the complexity. They don’t know about the losses. They don’t know about the messy, tangled feelings that I’m grappling with at the moment because I lost a son, and yet I’m about to (please please please) give birth to a son.
They don’t know how I struggle with giving the little boy I carry his own identity. Or the fear I feel because I don’t want to lose touch with the little boy I lost.
All they would see are vapid musings. Little snaps of joy or grumbling with no true feelings. No complexity.
And yet – I don’t think I can stay silent. If all goes well I’ll want to shout about this little boy from the rooftops (please, please, please, please be ok). And then I’m guilty of a custom I loath. The pregnancy announcement blindside. Which often, for people suffering through IF or loss, can be just as cruel as those little missives and announcements in between.
Yesterday I composed a long facebook post, after quite a long time with little to no status updates. This is what I wrote:
There are moments that I’ve wanted to post some news here. It’s not bad news. It’s the kind of messy, wonderful, often sad and scary complicated thing that people don’t post because of all that baggage. But that doesn’t currently feel right to me. So bear with me if you can. This goes deep.
I’m 20 weeks pregnant with a son. He will be the first baby brother to my furiously magical little girl.
He will be my sixth baby.
My fifth, of course, being the amazing creature you see popping up on my feed on occasion My fiercely unique and extraordinary daughter.
My first three were lost too soon. My Fourth was lost too late. A boy – our son – who entered this world at 22 weeks and didn’t make it. My eldest son, who I never got to introduce to the world, because there was no celebration to be had.
I am due March 27th. A month before – February 21st – would have been my son Nadav’s 5th birthday.
How do you mourn a person who you’ve never truly met, but loved so deeply? How do you embrace joy and celebrate the love you have when there is so much underlying grief?
How do you do that while leaving space to celebrate the life that is about to come into this world?
All I know is this: The next few months may have some cute pics of my daughter marveling at my growing frame. Or cynical throwaways about physical symptoms. Hopefully ending in a wonderful post introducing our little boy. Hopefully. Hopefully. Hopefully.
But that’s not a simple and straightforward thing.
On February 21st I will be mourning the little boy I lost while still hoping to embrace the little boy about to (please please please) enter the world.
Trying to do everything in my power to make sure that each of them is loved on their own, as individuals.
So whatever you see here from me, know that it’s messy. And scary. And is making me unendingly grateful for everything I have, had, and have lost. Grateful and terrified. But grateful.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
I wrote it. I posted it. I deleted it about 20 seconds later.
Because just as social media is fit for bite-sized missives, I think it’s unfit for long and complex musings on loss, grief, and joy.
Maybe. Or maybe I’m wrong.
Or maybe, (hopefully, if all goes well), sometime in the next few months, there are going to be a whole lot of people thinking “Baby?!? I didn’t even know she was pregnant!”
For better or for worse. And I don’t know how I feel about that.