Choosing joy isn’t easy. I fight fear each time I use the bathroom, concerned I might find blood signaling the end of the little life inside of me. I fight fear whenever I feel a twinge in my abdomen or whenever I mistake indigestion for cramps. I fight fear daily which is why choosing joy is so important in the weeks leading up to my due date.
When we feed ourselves with positive thoughts fear has a harder time invading our lives. I spent twenty years living a life of fear, scared of every little thing. Most of the time, I wasn’t really living. In the last five years, I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone, kicked fear to the curb, and decided to live instead of watching life pass me by. So even in a difficult situation I have to look for joy or I’ll never have peace.
As I’ve shared the news with friends and family most people have responded positively and with promises of prayers. They’ve taken the time to see how I’m doing with it emotionally, making sure I’m doing okay. They’ve taken the time to embrace joy with me. If you encounter someone experiencing pregnancy after loss, choose joy with them. The few who have responded with no joy and a large dose of negativity cut me deeply.
When a woman becomes pregnant, more often than not she begins dreaming of her child and its future. The few who have responded with no joy, a large dose of negativity, and phrases like, “Wait to see what happens” or “Don’t get your hopes up” are asking me to not only spend time in a fearful and negative place but they’re also robbing this child of my hopes and dreams for them. Why does this child not deserve its mother’s hopes and dreams? Because there’s a chance it won’t live?
Franchesca Cox is author of Celebrating Pregnancy Again, a woman who went through a pregnancy after loss. She writes, “I deserve this. It is OK to dream. It is OK to hope. Pregnancy can and will be beautiful—for as many days as that may be.”
Will this pregnancy make it to October or end in grief? I do not know. I do know that at this moment in time there is a child growing inside of me. Just like with my other four children, I will continue to hope, dream, and pray for the positive rather than dwelling on the possible negative. This baby’s pregnancy is beautiful—for as many days as that may be.