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.