Let me tell you a story about fear.
There’s something that happens when you begin to feel a baby move inside you. The womb jumps, your spirit catches and you wonder.
You wonder if it’s really the baby – or actually just gas or muscle twitches or any of the myriad of other things it could be. But when you’ve lost a baby, especially one you birthed and held and said goodbye to before you even got to say hello…there’s something more to those wiggles.
The wiggles and flutters and swooshes are the most epic reassurance you can imagine. But honestly, I almost feel guilty about how reassuring they are.
Because I’ve had two months of an epic battle with fear.
I came out the winner, but let me tell you a story about fear.
I would get the wrong twinge, the wrong spotting, the wrong day off from throwing up – and the knee jerk reaction in my heart was something I didn’t even realize I was capable of. Panic attacks in the waiting room at an OB I hadn’t met (whom I have to see twice during the pregnancy per South Carolina’s regulations on homebirths). Utterly paralyzed under the weight of the what-ifs.
How could surrender feel like it’s harder now than when I lost Mabel?
It’s like I could see myself falling apart and couldn’t even stop it. I could not surrender it. No matter how bad I wanted to.
The oppression was so thick, and my head so fogged from being sick all the time (throwing up daily) that it was all I could do to keep my kids fed and do our daily homeschool lessons.
I lost all interest in being online, so there was no support to find here because I couldn’t read or write or really participate in the community at all. I was too sick. I was too scared. I didn’t want to tell you all any of it. Because what if I talk about things here and something bad happens? What if I talk about my joy here and have another loss? The thoughts have tormented me.
It’s felt like an eternity. I have felt completely isolated.
So let me tell you a story about fear.
I don’t know how moms with loss handle this kind of fear for an entire pregnancy.
But here’s what I do know.
I will no longer believe the lies that I’m horribly weak to be battling this fear.
I hear whispers about how pathetic I must be, that I made it through the loss of my daughter only to be an emotional wreck through the next baby’s pregnancy.
“Where is your faith now?”, evil voices lick their tongues of doubt and unbelief into my all too willing ears.
And I listened. For way more than is acceptable to me, I listened. I let them sink around me, taking up residence, finding a foothold. A heavy fog like a second skin, just attached to me on every inch. It was suffocating.
Until one day, I heard a different voice. It said “freedom” and “no more chains” and “no more bondage”.
That still small voice made its way to my ears.
And in one giant on my knees sobbing session I found that He did break me free. I found the verses about not putting on bondage again after being free, and it clicked. That still small voice grew louder. It spoke truth instead of lies.
I am so strong to go through this. It is strength to be pregnant again after what I’ve experienced. I am anything but weak.
And the fear is gone now.
I can tell this baby is a quiet one. I’ve never had a quiet one. So instead of thinking about how long it’s been since another wiggle, I’m fully experiencing each one. Oh the joy! I can hardly remember great big kicks – I can’t believe that is in my future, but I’m choosing to believe it is.
I don’t feel less isolated or less up in my head, because I’m still isolated and up in my head. But the view there is much more peaceful.
As the sick part of this pregnancy wears off I feel like I can once again rejoin society – but I wonder if I am the same? I have more battle wounds, more things I’ve learned. I feel different.
My knee jerk is no longer to fear, but I won’t sit here and tell you it never makes the rounds in my mind. It does. It makes grand attempts to win me back again. So I still need your prayers. I covet them madly. You’ve been here for me for so many months, propping me up through loss and so much suffering and healing and victory. I come to you again for help.
I tell you this story on fear, but I know the storyis not yet over. Will you pray for me in this battle?