After I lost my first child at 6 months of pregnancy, I was totally and completely traumatized. Up until then, the worst thing that had happened to me was becoming pregnant before being married in the first place. There were days I literally would somehow end up on the floor and could not get up. I had never felt such a terrible feeling in all my life, and I didn't even *know* this child yet. But I am a very sensitive soul, and having someone I already loved so very much ripped from me was..just..unspeakable pain.
Three months later, I somehow managed to become pregnant again. The plan had been to wait a year and then try again. We were already so young, newlyweds, and yet here I was, again. My only experience with pregnancy was it ending in loss and heartache. Even though nothing had really been wrong with me or the baby, it had happened...and that was all I knew.
I spent the first six months in a total panic. I barely moved out of fear of doing something to harm my child. I showed up at the dr's office and emergency room several times because I just *knew* the baby had stopped moving. The 23rd week, the week I had lost my first baby, I sat in my doctor's office and cried to him. I've never made it this far, I don't know how I'm going to make it through this, I told him.
Had I not accidentally become pregnant, I may never have had another child again, out of fear of the tragic occurring once again. Yet I did. Not only did I deliver my son full term, healthy and happy and perfect, but in later years, both of my daughters as well. Each pregnancy became the new normal. Yes, if time went by without movement, my heart would beat a little faster...I was more cautious than most. But I started to trust that it would be ok. And that worrying about my baby and thinking of what could happen would not only not help, but actually cause me so much stress that it could hurt.
And so I have taken this lesson again in my life. Two major, traumatic personal experiences, from the time I was 12, wired my brain to believe that relationships are unhappy and doomed. That the people in my life will live double lives. That there will be no good relationships for me.
Maybe I wasn't ready for Mr. Wonderful, just like I wasn't ready to become pregnant again. But if I hadn't jumped right in...maybe I would have been too scared...and would have missed out on this, on him....on what I believe now is going to be my own personal fairy tale.
And just like with my successful pregnancies, I am learning each day to trust that relationships CAN succeed, and that worrying about what can go wrong not only doesn't help the relationship, but it creates more harm and stress.
It gets a little easier everyday.