Why We Waited

Friday, September 13th, 2019 at 1:43 pm

I’ve never been one to delay telling the world I’m pregnant.

A baby’s a baby no matter how small – and I’m no good at secrets after all.

But after we miscarried in April, life has been hard. We didn’t get pregnant for several cycles (okay, just three – but we’d always gotten pregnant on first try before). We’ve had uncertainties with our foster daughter. We’ve traveled a lot, which kept me off-kilter. And I’ve been depressed – debilitatingly so.

I spent the summer worried we wouldn’t be able to get pregnant again. Worried that Beth-Ellen would be our last biologically. Worried that we’d also lose our foster daughter and that it would tear me apart.

We found out we were pregnant the day Daniel left town to pick up our beef. I started bleeding the next day.

The bleeding stopped, but my worry didn’t. My basal body temperature has never been consistent (probably because I never sleep for 3-4 hours at a stretch), but it bounced up and down instead of staying high like it should for a pregnant woman. I stopped measuring it after a month. It wasn’t serving me – but the worry remained.

My depression deepened. I was grieving I wasn’t sure what. Grieving the baby, certainly. Grieving the closely-spaced family I’d dreamed of. Grieving the difficulties our foster daughter has faced and still may. Grieving saying goodbye to two foster children already. Grieving the things I used to be able to do but couldn’t now.

How could I share the joy of a new baby in the womb when joy wasn’t even half the emotion I was feeling? When I thought of saying something, I contemplated what I might say: “We’re pregnant again and I’m just hoping the baby’s alive. No, I haven’t had any morning sickness, really, I just can’t function after 11 in the morning because I’m too exhausted and everything is overwhelming and all I want to do is cry and scream and cry some more.”

When they offered me an appointment on Daniel’s birthday, I thought “Great. Daniel can get the news that this baby is dead on his birthday.” But I didn’t ask for a different day. I know that only means waiting longer, and I’d much rather know than keep worrying.

I’ve never had an early ultrasound before. I know exactly when I ovulate – no need for an ultrasound to check dates. But this time, I didn’t have any of my normal questions prepared. I had one main question: is our baby alive?

After I knew that, I had decided, I would tell the world. Then they could rejoice with me or grieve with me with some level of surety as to which I ought to be experiencing.

The baby is alive. Moving around enough my OB couldn’t really show us what was what in real time.

A weight off my heart.

But not the whole weight. No, this weight is much heavier than one baby or even two.

And that is why I, so unused to delay, waited so long (okay, nine weeks gestation) to tell you all that we were pregnant.

It was complicated. It still is.

Please pray.


Reader Comments (4):

  1. Rachel says:

    Rebecca,I will be praying for you. I am walking through my own grieving and struggling with depression. I understand the weight.

  2. Nellie says:

    What you’re describing is so familiar, Rebekah. I spotted right away with Tabitha, and since it was after the miscarriage and I was scared we had an ultrasound when Tabitha still looked like a clothespin. I couldn’t look at the screen, didn’t want to see the heartbeat missing again, like the last time.

    It’s hard to hope again after losing someone you loved so much. The empty spot doesn’t go away but it gets bearable over time. Sometimes still when my whole nuclear family is together I look around and say, “Who’s missing? It feels like somebody is missing.”

    After Melinda Rose died, your mom told me I would have a love-hate relationship with dishwashing – because I wouldn’t feel like doing it but the pressing need would force me to do it anyway. And she was right. Slogging through depression, with no motivation or energy, is sometimes just doing the bare minimum that we have to do even though we don’t feel like doing it. And that’s OK. It’s OK to just do what you have to, until hope returns.

    It’s not a small thing that you’re grieving. You’re grieving things that mean the world to you. Loving another person costs as much as they are worth to you, and the rainbow child, your foster daughter, the family of your dreams… are all worth SO much to you. Your love is so evident. Your grieving for that is part of your love – a painful labor of love. As Natalie Grant sings in “Held”, “This is what it means to be held, when the sacred is torn from your life and you survive.”

    I, too, will be praying for you. You’re not alone in your grief, fear, and turmoil. I remember when Melinda Rose died, and you said you cried for an hour when you heard. That’s a detail I’ve held close to my heart all these years, because it said that you loved my baby too. And you are surrounded by people, including me, who love you and your kids and also feel the weight of the loss, though not as keenly as you do.

    You’re an amazing person, Rebekah.

  3. Lisa notes says:

    My heart was in my throat the whole time as I was reading this. I’m grateful for the life you are carrying, and I pray that all will go well. I understand your hesitancy in telling the world. After my Kali died, we waited awhile before we told of the next pregnancy. I guess it’s a protective measure because you feel so vulnerable. Praying that you will find peace during this pregnancy and that your depression will lift sooner rather than later. Life can be hard even when we know God is with us.

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