Friday, May 6, 2011

Pregnancy after miscarriage, learning to exhale

Baby Brooks, last sonogram at 11 weeks and 3 days
We’ve heard the baby’s heartbeat twice and I’m three days away from the second trimester. So I keep telling myself to stop holding my breath. 

But each time I face that dreaded ultrasound machine, the same machine that told us over a year ago that our first baby stopped growing at 6 weeks and 2 days, I think I’m going to hurl. I’m a nervous wreck. I pray, I plead with God, I squirm uncomfortably.

I should look forward to these appointments. I’m fascinated by seeing this baby-like thing swim and flip and make movements I can’t feel or physically realize yet. It makes me feel like a wonderful walking science experiment. But worry tends to take over and spoil this.

I’ve been listening intently to my body for over 12 weeks as if that’s going to give me some semblance of control over anything. Perhaps if I just would have paid better attention last time, I think to myself, I would have noticed something was off and wouldn’t have been so sock-you-in-the-face surprised. I keep fretting about not “feeling pregnant enough,” whatever that means. I feel queasy but am not throwing up. My boobs are sore off and on. It’s like I’m convinced I have to feel utterly miserable every moment of the day or else that means something’s wrong and it's all going to disappear. I keep thinking about all the women who’ve said they had two or even three miscarriages before they were able to carry a healthy baby. The idea haunts me, but not as badly as this question: will I ever enjoy being pregnant?

As Mother’s Day approaches, I think of the way my mother still worries about me at 28 years old and my older brothers at 34 and 36 years old. And I realize, this worry isn’t the result of a failed pregnancy experience – this is a result of motherhood. This is the result of loving something more than you can bear. No, this won’t go away. This is just part of the package. Maybe it's a responsibility given to mothers because we’re somehow magically equipped to handle it, even if there are moments we seriously doubt we can. Like when you want to scream in a sonogram room. 

So for the next seven months, eighteen years, infinity and beyond, I have to accept that worry will be my resented companion, keeping me on my toes at every milestone. All I can do is breathe, and try to enjoy pregnancy regardless. What choice do I have, really?

How do you manage the worries of motherhood?

Megan Brooks is a Sr. Public Relations Specialist for Texas Health Resources, Stepmom, and Mom-to-be due in November.


  1. My answer to that question, my dear mom-to-be?


    Sure, there are some things we can control; but for those we can't, I lean on faith. Not faith that absolutely everything will always be the way I want it to be (rats); but faith that the One who IS in control loves me and the ones I love in a way I could never understand. That's how I can still survive and feel joy with a daughter half a world a way who's suffering through heartbreak; family members fighting horrific disease; and loved ones struggling with life issues that none of are immune to.

    So just trust. And enjoy every moment, from those first flutterings (... or was that just gas?) to that joyous day when you get to first meet your little one. And know that you aren't alone -- you belong to this wonderful sisterhood of moms, who are walking alongside you.

    Congratulations ... may these days be filled with love, joy ... and peace.

  2. how do i manage the worries of motherhood...

    Snuggles, Hugs & Kisses from that little one
    Whiskey... (did I already say that?!)

    Loving that little person so much your body literally aches will sometimes seem scary and other times it will bring you so much comfort. Give yourself moments in the day where you can just take a deep breath, put your hands on your tummy and think happy, peaceful, loving thoughts and don't let any of the doubt or worry creep into those precious few minutes.
    XOXO Laina

  3. I couldn't be happier for you! I love you!!

  4. I'm so excited for you! I had no idea! I'll echo the sentiments of both Dinah and Laina - the worry never truly goes away, but it's all worth it. You'll enjoy being pregnant (in fact, try to enjoy that you're not feeling miserable all the time - many ladies aren't that lucky!) very soon. The feeling of the baby moving is something completely indescribable! Congratulations again!