33 Weeks Pregnant and Ultra-Emotional

I am not a crier, but yesterday I bawled—twice. I recognize that I am hormonal and exhausted, but I shocked myself at my reactions to, first, seeing triplets and, second, hearing that my friend is pregnant with twins, both of whom are boys.

I was pregnant with twin boys for almost nine weeks, yet I truly thought that I had moved past actively mourning Baby B, whom I lost in September.

From then until mid-January, when my placenta-previa-related pre-term bleeding led to bed rest, I didn’t get emotional when I babysat for 4-year-old twin boys once a week, plus drove them to and/or from school three days a week.

As a room parent, I was able to organize bowling playdates for my son’s preschool class—in which one, two or three sets of twins would participate—without losing it afterward.

Just a week and a half ago, a friend—whose post-IVF HCG numbers convinced us that two embryos had implanted—was concerned about my loss of Baby B, expressing fear that discussing her twin pregnancy might be difficult for me.

I responded, “Thanks for being sensitive about the loss of Baby B, but I’m really fine. I get sad sometimes, usually when sometime asks me if I’m pregnant with twins because I’m so big, but otherwise I’m just focusing on the little man I’m carrying. I think I’m coping because I have perspective: There are so many who never have children—or lose one late in a pregnancy, or even at birth. My loss was early, and I’m still pregnant, so I have something positive to focus on. So, hearing about you doesn’t upset me at all. You and your husband have been through hell and back and deserve all good things with this pregnancy.”

But yesterday afternoon, I took my 5-year-old son to a birthday party in which parents were invited to stay and socialize. As I sat in a cushy chair, I watched 8-month-old triplets—identical twin boys and their sister—play on the floor below me, doing tummy time, rolling around and biting on toys for two hours, without crying.

Witnessing these babies and their contentment, for they amuse and entertain each other, made me realize that I’d somehow separated the older twins, the ones I see on a regular basis, from my loss. Maybe this was my subconscious emotional-survival technique.

But the combination of seeing multiples who are babies, two of whom are boys, which is what I would have experienced, plus being sleep-deprived and hormone-fueled did me in. I walked into my house post-party, cried, then took a much-needed two-hour nap.

Then last night, I learned that my friend, who lives one block away, is pregnant with twin boys, and the death of Baby B hit me again for I had just been exposed, hours earlier, to what I will never experience as a parent.

My friend said that, when she revealed her pregnancy to her work colleagues, one was particularly affected: The woman who had lost a twin 18 years ago.

Obviously, the lesson I need to learn here is, bottom line, a mother doesn’t ever “get over” losing a child. I need to remind myself that it’s natural to mourn, that I need to stop feeling guilty as if mourning makes me selfish considering that I am still carrying a child. Being pregnant with one son doesn’t invalidate the loss of his brother. I can be thankful for what I’ve been given, while simultaneously feeling a sense of loss for what could have been.

I believe the other issue playing into my emotional instability is that I know too much to feel confident that I’ll be bringing a baby home at all. So, as I prepare for my baby’s arrival, I leave on price tags and keep items in their boxes, just in case I need to return it all.

It’s a terrible feeling, this inability to relax and enjoy nesting, as most other women do. And the loss of my little Baby B—for reasons I will never know—reinforces that there are no guarantees. I hate that there are no guarantees.

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