Just Out Of Arm’s Reach

It’s difficult to reconcile being so happy for one baby, while nursing a broken heart over another. I keep waiting for it to get easier, but all I can picture these days is Clara at 15 months old. Would she be walking yet? Talking? Unpacking our laundry basket all over the floor? I wish so much that we could know her now.

I dreamed of Clara the other night. I dream of her fairly often, though I usually don’t remember the details. This last dream was vivid enough that when I woke up, I could still see the scene in my head. She was sitting on the floor in our living room, rolling a ball with Addah. David came in from work and she said “dada!” while scrambling to her chubby feet. She had dark curls all over the back of her head, just like Lakin used to have. She was beautiful. I woke up before David got to her. Neither of us ever gets to hug her or hold her in my dreams. She’s always just out of arm’s reach.

The next morning, I told David about the dream. We smiled sadly, happy to have these little pictures of what could have been, but still so fragile and hurt because we have to cobble together moments that will never be.

This pregnancy is much more difficult, emotionally, then I had imagined it would be.

I could swear that I felt a little flutter of movement the other night, just for a moment. I know 11 weeks is really too early for that, but it made me smile and feel such hope. We weren’t sure if we’d ever have another baby after Clara — if we’d be able to, if we even wanted to — but I could not be more grateful for this little life within me.

I’m a ball of anxiety though. I feel like I’m afraid to get too attached to this baby, because I know now that nothing is certain, at the same time that I am already so attached to this baby. I’m terrified all the time that something will go wrong and I won’t know it. I used to say, “I’m the mother, I would know if something was wrong; it’s mother’s instinct” — but now I know differently. Every cramp, every twinge, everything sends me into a spiral of fear and worry.

I’m working through so many emotions, not the least of which is feeling like, when I meet this baby, I will finally get to meet Clara, in a way. My older girls are half sisters to this baby and Clara, but this baby is Clara’s full-blooded sibling. I just don’t want to catch myself thinking of this baby as Clara, and sometimes I almost do think that way.

Maybe that sounds a little crazy. Maybe I’m just not putting it into words well.

I didn’t feel any anxiety during my pregnancy with Clara. Even after having multiple early miscarriages, I just knew that everything was okay. I am hoping the anxiety I feel this time will prove to be a good thing, that it will keep me more vigilant and careful in the decisions that we make.

There is a part of me that thinks it would be so much easier if I could skip the next 6 months of pregnancy and get to the part where I can hold this baby in my arms. Unfortunately, “easy” is also just out of arm’s reach.

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I'm Heather, a married mama of two tween girls, a stillborn baby girl (7/1/12), and a sweet rainbow baby girl (4/2/14). I've been blogging at The Destiny Manifest since 2001. I like to write about appreciating all of the beautiful little things that surround us, particularly in the face of grief, infant loss and mental health issues. Every day is an adventure!

Latest posts by Heather O. (see all)

  • http://janinehuldie.com/ Janine Huldie

    Heather, I can’t completely imagine what you are feeling, but will say after being high risk with Lily and worrying for weeks on end that I would lose her before getting to hold her, I now never want to have to go through that again. That is one of the biggest reasons, I am not trying to have anymore kids, because I just feel like against all odds Lily made it into this world perfectly and don’t want to ever have to worry like that again. My heart goes out for you on this and I know my feelings are different, but still I just want you to know I am thinking about you and that you aren’t alone with certain fears and worries. That said I am totally keeping you and this pregnancy in my prayers, that the six months will fly by and you will be holding your sweet, little baby in your arms!

    • http://www.thedestinymanifest.com/ Heather O.

      Thank you so much, Janine. I can completely understand your feelings on not having any more kids after Lily, after only 3 months of this pregnancy. It’s hard, not knowing if everything will be okay, and knowing that we won’t know for many months. I appreciate your words and your prayers, very much. <3

  • Karen

    I also remember those days when I was pregnant the first time after we lost Rebekah. Rebekah came early, and a lot of that was lifted after I got further along than I had made it with her. I know that won’t apply for you since you made it to term. I also remember it all came flooding back once I was in labor. A part of me feared I would get to the end only to find out he wasn’t there anymore. All went well. The following pregnancy also went well, and I wasn’t as worried that time. For me, it got easier. I don’t know about others. Try not to let it get too bad if you can. Remember, the odds are that things will be fine. I know you may have to tell yourself that a lot because the odds aren’t as meaningful once they have gone against you before, but I’m sure things will be fine. You have lots of people sending good vibes your way! We are all looking forward to hearing wonderful news in a few months. Continue to be grateful and plan for the best. :)
    Karen

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  • Ann

    We lost our sun Samual three years ago to stillbirth at 40 weeks.I got pregnant again way too soon (about 4 months later). Our youngest son is now 2 and I still struggle with mixed up emotions.There is not a day that goes past that I don’t think about Samuel. All i can say is enjoy your pregnancy as much as you can because it’s the greatest feeling ever. And be prepared for the rush of emotions that will hit you once your baby is born and suround yourself with people that will understand that your emotions will be all over the place.
    x Ann

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