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Challenge: Pregnancy and Infant Loss

It's Hard to Remember What Life Was Like Before Loss

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I remember when I thought pregnancy guaranteed a baby.

I was 27 years old and had just reached the second trimester of my first pregnancy. This was the coveted safe zone I had heard about, meaning the point in a pregnancy when it’s safe to announce it. When the threat of miscarriage, of loss, has supposedly passed.

It wasn’t until four years later that I discovered any talk about a safe zone in pregnancy was a lie.

By then I had experienced a six week loss, which I suppose made sense to me in some capacity. After all, I knew the first trimester could be a precarious stretch of pregnancy.

But what didn’t make sense was when my next pregnancy ended well into the second trimester. I was over 20 weeks pregnant when I gave birth to a stillborn baby.

Whatever guarantee I thought the second trimester offered crumbled that day along with my heart.

When I became pregnant again less than a year later, the woman who thought pregnancy guaranteed a baby no longer existed.

During my pregnancy after two losses, I couldn’t forget all the things that could go wrong.

And even now, five years into raising my rainbow baby, I haven’t forgotten. Not my losses or the uncertainty of pregnancy after loss.

These experiences stick with a mother.

I know with certainty there won’t be any more babies for me. But my motherhood experience still causes me to question every pregnancy announcement that comes my way. There’s a sense of certainty that accompanies each one, though that certainty doesn’t belong to me.

Sure, I celebrate such occasions. I truly am happy for the woman who shares with the world her growing bump and ultrasound images of her baby.

But I always find myself silently asking, “Will this baby make it?”

Because when you’re a mom who has lost a baby, it’s hard to remember what life was like before loss. And it’s hard to forget that not every baby makes it into this world alive.

This post originally appeared here. Jenny Albers is the founder of the Still Loved community and author of Courageously Expecting. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

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