Counting Every Kick

What is it like to be pregnant again after a baby has already died in your womb? It’s terrifying. Some days it’s almost crippling.

I know what some of you are thinking – Get over it! I can’t. My pregnancy consumes me. It worries me both day and night.

I have a handful of amazing friends who can relate. Who have dared to bear another child after losing one while pregnant. But for the rest of you I thought I’d give you a glimpse into what it’s like for me these days.

I’m about 24 weeks along now and each day is a stressful waiting, watching game.

Most of you probably already know that my third son, Luca, was born stillborn at 37 weeks. I noticed he stopped moving around as frequently and one day couldn’t feel him move. I had been getting really bad side aches for a while and the day he died I felt achy and sick all over.

He had a true knot in his extra long umbilical cord. Something that is extremely rare. And he couldn’t live with it. It closed off too tight – something that is even more rare.

But no matter how rare, it still happened to my baby. I don’t care how uncommon, it happened to our family.

The odds of something like that happening a second time are microscopic. But I can’t get my mind to realize that. Besides, I have had friends who have lost more than one child.

And so I walk around stressed out each and every day these days while playing a constant movement waiting game. That’s really the only way I can tell if my baby – a little girl – is alive and well.

I wake up in the morning and wait. I think she’s probably a lot like me and likes to sleep in because many mornings I have to wait a long time before I first feel her move. Some days I’d like to lie and wait in my bed all day. But obviously I cant.

I wait while I cook my boys breakfast. I wait while I get them dressed. I wait while we’re watching TV or reading a book. I wait while I’m getting ready and I wait while we’re playing a game. I’m always waiting and watching the clock. Trying to feel her move and note what time it was when I last noticed.

It’s exhausting. Some days it’s nearly paralyzing. But I can’t stop.

There will be days when I’m really busy running errands or working in my yard. Hours will go by and I don’t realize it. Some days I’d like to stay busy and distracted all day but then I pay for it later. When I finally stop and sit down I am terrified. Did I feel her move while at the grocery store? Did she kick me while I was weeding the flowerbed?

If I’m ever feeling sick I get really worried. Is it because something is going wrong? Does my side ache because there’s a problem?

Sometimes I sit and wonder why I put myself through this – again! Sometimes I could scream.

My husband and I have been blessed with four boys – this will be our first girl. I know I should be getting ready for pink and purple to enter our home, but I just can’t. Not yet. I just can’t wrap my mind around bringing her home until I actually do.

People ask me all the time if I’m excited for this baby. Excited? That’s not the word I would choose. They look at me funny when I just shrug my shoulders. It’s hard to get excited about something I’m unsure about. If I knew without a doubt that my little baby girl was going to come home and sleep in her crib, that she’d wear the clothes and suck on the binkies I buy for her, that she’d snuggle up to me while wrapped in her new pink blankets, then yes! I’d be excited! But as the mom of an angel baby I know that doesn’t always happen.

So right now I’m just taking it one day at a time. One hour at a time.

At my last doctor’s appointment my doctor told me to make sure I felt her move at least once a day. Ha! I kind of chuckled at him and told him that I make sure she moves a lot more than that – if he only knew.

I have 16 weeks left. How am I going to make it? Why did I do this?

Probably because I love my kids and I knew I wanted one more. I’ve been blessed with the cutest little 2-year-old who was born two years after we lost Luca. Every time I think that I’m not going to make it through the day, when I’m stressed out beyond belief, I think of my toddler. He is the cutest, happiest, sweetest little thing you will ever meet. He brings me love and peace. Hopefully his little sister will too.

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jessica Parke
    Jun 19, 2014 @ 09:19:36

    This post is beautiful! Love and hugs!


  2. Michelle
    Jun 19, 2014 @ 11:05:36

    Oh Nat, I think I comment everytime about you being an inspiration but I really believe it. One day at a time is a great plan. You’ll be in my prayers!


  3. Zina
    Jun 19, 2014 @ 18:09:43

    Natalie, thinking of you with happy thoughts and prayers. God bless. xoxo


  4. Anonymous
    Jun 20, 2014 @ 10:19:44

    You are always in my prayers. Life is so different from what we think it will be. But you are amazing. I am always here if you need me. I know that you got me through so many hard times when Ralph died, just by a touch of your hand I knew what you were saying. Love you.


  5. Anonymous
    Jun 20, 2014 @ 15:52:21

    Oh, what a blessing that cute little guy is! That was my favorite part! And I can’t even imagine what it would be like. I hope and pray everything will go okay and that it will go fast! 🙂


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