Pregnancy After Stillbirth

I can’t hold it in (my excitement or my tummy) ANY longer… James and I are SO excited to announce to the world that we’re expecting baby #2 due early Feb.

My period was about a minute late when I decided to take a pregnancy test. Now, being late is nothing out of the ordinary given that my cycle is never on point. Some months it’s 28 days and the next it’s 35. Only this time I was curious.

It was May 2017, 6 months after losing Link and it was the second month in a row that we had ‘tried’ for baby number 2, but I was CONVINCED that we didn’t fall. For two reasons…

  1. My husband, James and I liked each other for a sum total of 1 day during that month.

  2. I feel like I’m pretty in tune with my body and I know what’s up most of the time. Only this time, I couldn’t feel myself ovulate like I usually do. There were no physical signs and I just thought “ah well, I guess not”.

Yet there was that little inner voice that popped into my head whilst I was sitting on the toilet that all of sudden whispered “do the test”. I peed on the stick and left the bathroom. I spent the next 15 minutes tidying the house and it was only that the bathroom was next on the list that I remembered to go back and check.

I looked, I saw 2 red lines, I put it down. I left the bathroom and walked down the hallway and into the kitchen. I think I spent the next few minutes just moving dishes and rearranging the fruit bowl. I was in total shock.

I walked back down the hallway and back into the bathroom. I picked up the test again and still, 2 red lines. I put it down and then picked it straight back up.

Still!!! TWO, RED, LINES.

I mean I’d be dishonest if I said that my first thoughts weren’t “fuck”. I don’t know why. We planned for it, I just wasn’t expecting it. We wanted this, I thought I was ready, but was I really ready?

The reality for me was so different to the dream.

When Link died, it really wasn’t too long after that I opened up the conversation about falling pregnant again. In fact it was Dec, Boxing Day (about 6 weeks after Link was born) we were at the beach trying to have a good day, but like most things in those early days, it felt so forced.

I was SO desperate to plan, to know, to be reassured that it would happen again soon. Like not in 2 years time soon, as in soon, soon. I was and am impatient and I was desperate. I had waited MY WHOLE LIFE to have a baby and finally, I did, just not the way I’d hoped for. 

In those early days I felt frantic almost, like ‘waiting until the right time’ or ‘waiting until we’re ready’ wasn’t good enough. I needed to know when it was on the cards, I couldn’t wait in limbo. I needed to know so I could adjust my expectations accordingly. I guess I needed to control it because I felt like my life was no longer in my hands and controlling things is my default fear management plan.

Surrender? Trust? NO way! Control? Uh huh! You know?

James and I would butt heads about it for all the months that would follow. Around the 14th of every month (Link’s anniversary) I would ovulate, on or around the full moon (the moon was full the night Link was born). So every month, the full moon energy would super charge my emotions and the pregnancy conversation would resurface. Only to be disappointed by James’s excuses as to why it wasn’t a good time. I would not only mourn the loss of my Son, but i’d mourn the loss of another opportunity to fall pregnant again and the increasing disconnection between the two of us would make me feel more and more alone.

It was around March that James finally broke. As in, he finally faced his grief and let it allllllllllll out. He finally realised that he had been throwing himself into work to escape the chaos that had become our life. He finally accepted that he had been scared to try again, scared to move on, scared of the instability and confusion and pressure it had all created but after some time and a few really heartfelt and honest realisations, he was ready.

But with James and I now on the same page, something in me changed. The desperation escaped me. The impatience melted away. And this new feeling, a sense of surrender, washed over me like a warm ocean breeze. I could relax, finally. I was reassured, we were finally on the same page and now it didn’t really matter to me when it happened. I could finally be honest in saying “it’ll happen when it’s supposed to” and I truly believed it and I was truly ok with that.

Fast forward 4 months and I’m now 10 weeks pregnant.

And let me tell you, it gives me ALL, THE, FEELS. As in, literally all of them. I feel excited, nervous, happy, sad, guilty, relieved, joyful, anxious, grateful & lucky.

When I got over the initial shock, I felt relief. So much relief. But then, there are days when I feel so much guilt. I feel guilty for moving on. I feel sad that’s it’s another soul and not his. I feel sad it’s another body and not his. And sometimes my brain tricks me and I feel joy because it’s as if I am pregnant with him again, but then the reality hits me that i’m not. And then I don’t just feel guilt for moving on from him, I feel guilt towards this new little babe who I am yet to create space for. ‘Fuck’ I think… ‘Am I capable of creating space for them, or will I forever wish it was Link’.

It was the day before I gave birth to Link, the day after we found out he had died and my girlfriends came over to be with me. I remember being strong, not really letting go in front of them. I don’t know why, I guess I’d cried so god damn much up until that point, I was having a breather.

I remember saying to them “how am I ever going to have another baby. I don’t want another baby. I won’t ever be able to love another baby. Link was it, I love him, I want him”. I couldn’t hold back the tears.

For all the fear that I feel, there’s also a level of calm that I haven’t felt before. A level of trust I didn’t have last time. A level of understanding that I gained through this experience and also, a perspective and sense of gratitude that James and I don’t have to struggle through IVF, other major health concerns or some of the other pregnancy related battles that so many families have to face. We fell quickly and without struggle both times and for that, we feel so so lucky.

So, although it might be different this time around and although at times I may have to adjust and although at times I feel nervous or scared, for the most part I feel excited and I have unwavering faith. Faith in my body, faith in the process, faith in the universe & the outcome.

I hold onto the feeling that I had when I saw Link for the first time. That intoxicating bond that binds you for life. That all encompassing rush of the pure LOVE that envelopes you in that moment and I realise that that love is in my heart and I have more of it to share. Because although that moment, this experience, the bond between Link and I is undeniably unique and special, all of my love is not just reserved for him. It’s possible for me to love again, with my whole heart, all in.

I do have more love to give and I can’t wait.

To follow my pregnancy journey, sign up to the newsletter or follow @link_and_luna on Insta. Please feel free to leave a comment or connect via the form below.

Laura Xx

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