A heart beats in my belly, the flicker climbs quickly into peaks and drops into valleys on the screen and the quick thump, thump whispers through the monitor. New heart, new life, new love.
Twenty-three weeks into my fourth pregnancy, I have a moderate but growing bump. My doctor's appointments and pregnancy tests, all point to a healthy baby, but still I carry a heavy, emotional weight. Pregnancy after miscarriage is such a strange tug of war. I'm excited and eager to have another baby and add a child to our family, but I also have this fear that is dimming my hope. I'm not much of a worrier, but with this pregnancy I live from appointment to appointment, test result to test result. I constantly wonder if baby Jack is ok; and I face thoughts that I didn't worry about in previous pregnancies, because I didn't personally understand the reality that a baby could be lost. It is so much to feel. Doubt, worry, fear. It clouds my judgement and my happiness, and it steals my peace.
I recently watched the movie Tully, which is about a mother who has two children, and is pregnant with her third. The movie shares what she experiences after the birth of her baby. This film was one of the first times I felt that the challenges of motherhood were so honestly and clearly portrayed, and I practically cried through the entire movie. The truth was overwhelming for me, including the reminders of how life changes with a new baby—how the responsibility and love is all-consuming.
For me, being a parent, is the hardest, best thing I have ever done. It’s so heavy, and sometimes you feel like you are going to break, but love for a child is so fulfilling and overwhelming and purposeful, and it makes you want to give it as much as you can give—even when that means sacrificing yourself.