Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thursday: The last milestone

Thursday is Thanksgiving.

On Thursday we will be spending time with family, giving thanks, eating deliciousness, and celebrating my little miracle rainbow with a lot of excited people.

But Thursday is also the 27th of the month. I hate the 27th.  It will be exactly 8 months since we said goodbye to Petey.

Thursday is also the 27th of November: Exactly one year to the day that we got pregnant with Petey. The day I finally became PUPO. A day of hope. The day that started a chain of events that led to an unbelievably difficult year for me: A year of extreme happiness and extreme sadness.  A year that has changed me forever.

Last but not least, on Thursday I will be 19weeks 6days pregnant: The exact day when my last pregnancy ended. The day we had to say goodbye to Petey.  The hardest day I have ever had to endure. 

How will I feel on Thursday?

I want to be able to celebrate.  Our family is going to be overjoyed with our news. I want to be able to enjoy that and to feel the excitement. But I also want to honor what this day means for Petey and for us. I don't know how to do both.

This will be our last milestone. By Friday it will be over.  On Friday I will be 20 weeks pregnant: Half baked.  One day more pregnant than I have ever been.  On Friday the comparisons with this pregnancy to Petey's pregnancy will stop because I will have nothing else to compare. I will be entering uncharted territory.

I think I'm a little afraid to let go and move on. Now that there will be no way to compare, does this mean I will just need to simply trust? I'm always afraid now to trust that things will be okay (though I am constantly working on that), and don't know how to feel about this new blank slate that's about to be stretched out in front of me. This blank slate should signify hope and excitement and anticipation for the future. But it's not truly blank because fear encroaches on the edges.  My therapist (Amy) calls FEAR: False Experiences Appearing Real. And she's right.  I had a very bad experience with Petey's pregnancy. But everything I now fear with this pregnancy is false. None of it has happened, and none of it is likely to happen. I need to stop focusing on my fear.

During my last therapy appointment, Amy gave me a pair of little plastic children's binoculars and told me to look through them and focus on something in the room. I chose a funny little toy animal on the windowsill and described to her every tiny magnified detail that I could see: the silly feet and googly eyes and orange afro and polka dots. Then I described everything else I could see through the binoculars: The plant that was sitting next to the toy and part of the book that was propped up behind it and the top of the pillow resting against the sill.  She then told me to turn the binoculars around and look again - to change my perspective.  This time the little toy was still there. I could still see each detail if I looked closely but it was further away. And it was placed amongst a greater context of items. This time I could see the whole windowsill, with the sun streaming in and all of the plants and all of the books and the fishbowl and the ottoman in front of the sill holding the 2 smooshy pillows.  I couldn't see any of that before when I was so focused on that one little toy. That one detail. That pain and fear.  Changing my perspective and placing the pain of my loss and my fear with this pregnancy in a greater context doesn't mean that it's not still there or that I'm not still affected by it but it allows me to not amplify it quite so much. It allows me to enjoy other things in my life instead of only focusing on the sadness.

I think on Thursday I need to grant myself permission to be happy. To enjoy where we now find ourselves and to truly celebrate our good news. It doesn't mean the pain isn't still there but it would mean that I'm not allowing myself to let that pain overtake something else that is also important, and is positive, and is exciting.

I love my Petey and I miss him every single day. But I am also happy and I love this little baby boy I am carrying. I am going to try to allow myself to celebrate and be THANKFUL for that on Thursday. 


  1. Thank you for this post and sharing your expirience with the binoculars. Great analogy. Grief so often blinds us.

    I've had a lot of milestones since losing Preston, the latest being his birthday; the next being Thanksgiving which is the day we brought him home after his stay in the NICU.

    I've found most milestones easier to deal with than the anticipation of them. Just remember, that even once the milestone has come and gone, it doesn't mean Petey will be forgotten. You won't be able to compare. The new territory that comes with that is scary, but Petey is always with you, and you will think of him every day. He lives in your heart forever.

    Wishing you a nice, peaceful, and happy Thanksgiving. You deserve it!

    1. Thank you Cat <3 Thinking of you too with your milestone tomorrow. ((Hugs))

  2. That is a lot to deal with on a single day. I can only imagine what the struggle must be like for you and I'm sure that my imagination doesn't even come close. I think I've said this before (I've definitely thought it many, many times), but you are an amazing person with such a big heart and I know that there is plenty of room in there for both Petey and this baby boy.They are both so, so lucky to have you as their mother. Hugs and love <3

  3. Oh wow, that makes so much sense sounds like you have a very insightful counselor. Coming up on that day after is tough....I think I've almost been more paranoid now since I don't know what is normal and whats not. Maybe that's a topic for MY counselor, haha :)

    Happy early Turkey Day :)

  4. Sending big love and hugs to you this week. I really hope you are able to have a happy Thanksgiving with everything going on. I hope sharing the happy news of the new baby brings a new sense of peace to the day.

    I will be thinking of you guys!

  5. Sending you so much love tomorrow and every day. I can only imagine the mix of emotions you are going through, but I know you have SO MUCH love for both Petey and Rainbow that you will get through this milestone too. Thinking of you! <3 <3 <3

  6. Thinking of you today on such an incredible milestone. I like what Cat said - the milestones passing does not mean that Petey is forgotten. You do such a great job as a mother keeping his memory alive. Do you know how amazing that is? So many other mothers are not able to do what you do. Big hugs to you.