On our way home from the restaurant, Rob and I stop in at Target to pick up some prescriptions I need. After picking them up, I pull on Rob’s sleeve and nudge him over to the baby section. I run my fingers over the onesies, some socks, a little sweater.
Then I see it. It’s a little outfit, a soft green waffle-knit sweater paired with green and white striped pants. On the sweater it says, “Snuggle Bunny”. It could work for a boy or a girl. I pick up the 0-3 month size.
I haven’t let myself dream yet. I haven’t let myself go there.
Buying this outfit feels like I am buying a little hope.
After seeing those two pink lines, I wish I could say I’ve been happy. Instead, I’ve been an anxious hot mess.
I’ve had bad anxiety in the past, but it’s been a couple years. Anxiety is back in full force, and it feels like I am simultaneously choking from worry and being paralyzed with the “what ifs”. It feels very, very physical—like an all body experience— even though it’s all in my mind. It all stems from the pregnancy, I know, but it turns into generalized anxiety, so I become anxious over little random things throughout the day. I ruminate on what I know are stupid intrusive thoughts. My therapist suggests I don’t push the anxiety away, that I make peace with the anxiety, but that doesn’t feel helpful because I really don’t want to.
I am so scared that I will miscarry again.
I know it is very possible I could miscarry again, but also very possible that I won’t. The unknown of it, the fact that I just don’t know feels too much, too much to handle.
For the first week, I feel detached from the pregnancy. I know it’s my brain’s way of protecting myself. I don’t think about the baby much. I feel all the anxiety, yes, but I don’t let myself hope or dream or do anything that will make it “hurt more” if I miscarry. When I see someone else’s pregnancy announcement, I inwardly cringe and then have to remind myself I am pregnant too; I haven’t miscarried again (yet).
God says, “Trust me.”
I say, “But how can I trust you? You let Isla die! What if you let it happen again?!”
I take the “Snuggle Bunny” outfit out of the bag and stare at it for a while. As I do, I start to feel something hard inside of me start to thaw, as if the protection my brain has placed around my heart was simply a sheet of ice.
I want to be excited about this pregnancy. I want to be hopeful.
Maybe I can be?
I run my fingers up and down the soft waffle knit fabric. I imagine the outfit on a little girl with a giant pink bow; I imagine the outfit on a boy who looks like his brothers.
Something shifts inside me—I know it does right when it happens. It’s a glimmer of something, a moment of connection to the tiny poppy seed sized baby that is inside of me.
God is still saying “Trust me.”
I think I learned the hard way that God never promises that bad things won’t happen. God doesn’t promise me I won’t miscarry my baby. He’s never going to make me that promise.
So then how can I trust God?
I turn to the Psalms, paging through cry out after cry out to God.
I can trust God because He promises to be with me.
He was with me after the last miscarriage. As hard as it was, He was there. And if I carry this baby to term, He will be with me. And if I miscarry again, He will be with me.
I’m trying, okay?
I hang the Snuggle Bunny outfit in the spare bedroom closet the next day. It looks so tiny on the hanger. It hangs next to the few clothes I’d gotten for Isla. The anxiety feels a tiny bit less today, and for that I am grateful.
This could be an exciting year, full of kicks and ultrasound pictures and a growing belly. I could have a baby in October—will he or she share George’s birthday??—or it could be a really hard year, with more tears and another operating room.
I don’t know if I will miscarry again. I’m early in my first trimester, and I’ve got a long way to go until I feel “safe.” But I tentatively choose hope.
Most people wait until the safe point to share a pregnancy, but I want to share now. I want to choose hope, choose to celebrate this teeny tiny baby inside of me that may or may not make it. Whether I get mere weeks with this baby, or a lifetime, this baby deserves to be cherished. Hoped for. Dreamed about.