Navigating Pregnancy After Loss
* This blog post is written by the co-director of the Vancouver Butterfly Run, Kimberly Lockhart. Kim's son Wilder was born still in 2017. She is currently braving her way through her second pregnancy following the loss of her son.
Today I faced the room where they told us Wilder died. It’s just an ordinary hospital assessment room - but this room has carried a lot of weight for me.
Once, during my pregnancy with my twins, they tried to bring me into this room for an appointment. I burst into tears and said I wanted a different room. Then, I was so embarrassed to be so emotional in front of these nurses (who for the record were lovely and understanding). I usually keep my emotions neatly under wraps.
It was just too soon.
Driving to the hospital today for a scheduled NST, I thought about what if they brought me to this dreaded room. I decided I would be ok and I could do it today - I kept repeating to myself : “different pregnancy, different baby, different outcome”
Sure enough, today they did bring me to this room and they asked me for a urine sample first. So I go into the bathroom- and think to myself that the last time I was in this bathroom I was pregnant with him. It was still in the "before times"- before I knew that he died, before our world crashed around us, before our life was forever changed. Tears filled my eyes thinking about that day. I just keep repeating this mantra to myself : “different pregnancy, different baby, different outcome”
Outside of losing Wilder, and the lifetime of grief and longing that comes with that -pregnancy after loss is the hardest thing to walk through. It’s a constant battle of heart and mind - fluctuating between such love, hope and dreams for our life with this little one, and the fear of something going wrong, the worry whether this baby will come home, and the hesitation to get too attached just in case. It is freaking hard.
I’ve heard that the right time to get pregnant again after loss is when the desire for another baby outweighs your fear of another pregnancy. Our desire for this baby is so big - we are all so excited and we can’t wait to see who this little Lockhart is. But there are still fears, especially as I approach the end of the pregnancy. That’s when it feels the hardest. For me there is no safe zone, there is no point in pregnancy which when I reach it that I can breathe a sigh of relief - that moment will not come until I am holding an alive, crying baby in my arms. We can not wait for that day. Even sharing this - I feel superstitious - like am I jinxing myself?
I can’t count my blessings quite yet.
Today - I sit in this room and listen to the sound of my sweet baby’s heartbeat. Thinking about who he or she may be. I am feeling grateful for these appointments that give me some peace of mind that will last a few days, until the next appointment. I remember the last moments I spent in this room with Wilder - and how much I love and long for him too. I remind myself how he too, will always be a part of our family no matter how much time passes, that he is always our son and brother.
If you or someone is also going through pregnancy after loss, I send you all the love and strength to do this very hard thing. It is such a huge act of faith and bravery to carry a new baby, while holding space for another whom you desperately miss and wish was here.
“Different pregnancy, different baby, different outcome”