If I had seen those two pink lines just 13 days later, it would have been exactly a year since losing my dad that I found out I was pregnant. To suddenly have this precious gift presented to us so shortly after experiencing such a devastating loss was not something I was prepared to navigate.
Although I was so thankful for this little baby, I was overwhelmed by the fear that he or she would also be taken away from me.
Navigating the fear of loss in the first trimester is a challenge that all mamas-to-be take on in early pregnancy. For those of us who have experienced previous loss the fear is all the more real. Staying hopeful has been the biggest struggle for me in this pregnancy journey.
I don’t want loss to cloud the joy and excitement of this season for us but, to some extent, it inevitably will. For me, half of the battle is accepting this and having grace with myself when fear and sadness arise. The other half is living fully in this opportunity for hope we have been given right now.
I learned to choose hope when my dad was sick. We lived in a season of hope that he would heal and, although the outcome was not what we wanted, that hope got us through some really scary days. When we lost him, we lived in the hope that we will know joy again and that we’ll be able to live full lives with his memory.
Pregnancy is another time for me when it’s so important to prioritize hope. But I’m trying to be in the habit of prioritizing hope all the time because life is always uncertain and rarely goes according to our plans.
Again, accepting this is half the battle. Holding onto the blessings that we have right now, knowing that we could lose them, is the second half.
Choosing hope over fear is something I know will be even harder to practice after our little one enters the world. But for now what helps me to stay hopeful is staying grateful. So far during my pregnancy that has looked like slowing down and taking time to appreciate the miracle that is happening inside my belly. I’m sleeping in, reading in bed, taking baths, baking sweet treats, meditating, snuggling with my husband, talking to our baby, and treating myself with products to help me feel good about my changing body.
These practices help me to feel grateful for the present and hopeful for the future.
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