I Miss It.

Every morning when I wake up I pull up Timehop to look at my social media memories from the past years.

And every morning I am greeted with another bump pic from 2 and 4 years ago (occasionally 6 years ago too...wasn't as good about documenting the bump with P as I was with the girls' pregnancies) and it just rips me apart.  I should still be pregnant now.  I should be approaching week 25, feeling great deep into the second trimester, taking bump mirror selfies with Annie, buying adorable gender-neutral baby clothes and swaddle blankets, even though we have so many, but each baby deserves to have a few new things, plotting out my c-section plan with a clear drape and immediate skin-to-skin and where Victoria will stand in the OR to get the best pics and just getting more and more excited each day about welcoming our little one in the late winter.

But I don't have that anymore.

And it hurts...so greatly hurts.

I know some people HATE pregnancy and truly tolerate it because the end result is worth it, but honestly, I freaking love being pregnant, even the early months when I'm typically not feeling well.  I just love it, and every time I found out I was pregnant again, I was so excited for everything that came with it.  Unboxing my uber-comfy maternity clothes, festive holiday bump shirts, and maternity leggings that truly never really actually go away, pregnant or not.

But I don't have that now.  Clark arrived 17 weeks earlier than anticipated and he arrived sleeping.  Even after delivering the older 3 kiddos I'd feel a sense of yearning, missing being pregnant.  But it was okay, calmed by the notion that I had a brand new babe to care for now and cuddling that sweet little one was even better than carrying them on the inside.  And I always held onto the fact, after my last 3 kiddos were born, that we'd have another -- I'd have another chance at carrying another one so it wasn't going to be too long before I got to experience pregnancy again. 

Not this time.  My pregnancy was cut drastically short, and I don't have a baby to satisfy my missings of being pregnant this go'round.  And truly, I don't know if there will be another pregnancy.  I mean, I hope there will be, but mentally can I do it again?!  Physically I'm cleared to after letting my body heal and recover for 6+ months...but emotionally?  Mentally?  Can I do this again?  Can I get pregnant (and that's hoping it's as easy to get pregnant again as it has been the past 4 times) and chance doing this again, going through another potential heartbreak?!  I just don't know.  And truly, I don't know if I can even entertain answering this even remotely sanely right now, as we are still waiting on so many test results and answers to come back that will HOPEFULLY give us some insight into what happened and IF it could happen again.

It just really sucks.  A lot.

And I am genuinely so happy for my friends who are expecting -- absolutely no ill-feelings towards them as they are celebrating their pregnancies and welcoming a new one into their families.  Honestly I'm thrilled, because for many that means opportunities for me to snap their new addition and we all know how happy taking pictures makes me.

However, it hits me whenever I see announcements or bump pics or heck even my Timehop ones: I feel such a longing and missing of my pregnancy, of carrying Clark, of all of the dreams about adding #4 to our family and everything that comes with it. 

I can't stop looking back at these pics we took 24 hours before Clark was born.  I am SO SO SO glad we did them (because I still very much remember not wanting to get out that evening) and I will forever cherish them.  But man, I miss that bump.  I miss his little {big} bump.  I miss knowing that he was in there clearly growing away (cause how big was I for 22 weeks?!??!) despite not ever really feeling him move.  I miss it so so so much.

This has been one of the physical gut-wrenching things for me: not only the postpartum things I've talked about before, but also the actual missing of my stomach and what was there and the constant mind-racing of what could have been.  It is so consuming.  And I hate it and love it both.  I hate that it makes me so sad to think about my little boy not being here anymore and not growing away in me like he should still be doing, but also love that I did get to carry him for those 22 weeks and did get to be his mama for the time we got with him and will forever be as he looks down on us from Heaven.  It is so bittersweet and almost hard to really put into words here everything I'm feeling about it.

I guess I just want to put it out there how much I miss it.  All of it.  And I feel like I got cheated out of something I love doing so much and it just hurts.  It stings.  It makes me yearn for my bump and belly and little baby boy growing away in there and all of the exciting anticipation of his late February arrival.  And even with how open I've been, there are some people that still don't know what happened -- they just saw me with a huge bump one day and now it's gone...and those looks, the questioning "what happened but I don't want to ask" looks just are like ice daggers through me.  So friends, if you're reading this and I am not up for doing something or bailed on plans, please understand it's not you.  It's me.  And it may take me a bit of time to get back to myself, but I promise I will.  It's just so hard for me now, in a spot that I feel like I got cheated into being that I wasn't suppose to be (well, in my mind wasn't suppose to...obviously I know that my plans aren't always THE plans in the grand scheme of life). 

Truly, these past 19 days have been so so so hard.  And there are so many reasons they have been, some of which I haven't even hinted at here...that are honestly, too painful and hurtful to even open myself up to a blog post about right now.  But perhaps in time I'll get it all out.  Just know that they've been tough.  But, as I've said in the past, and will continue to keep saying, I'm hanging in there.  I know time will help, and even at 2.5 weeks out it is still very raw and fresh, but I keep on trucking.  Keep on trying to focus on the good, remembering the good, celebrating the good, and have positive thoughts and sights on what's to come in the future.  There's a reason for all of this, and I'm slowlyyyyyyyy starting to get glimpses into what it is.  But is still doesn't take away from my feelings and, like I've said here, my missing of things...a lot of things.

So hug those babes of yours, take pictures, share them, celebrate the good right now, and I'm going to do my best to do the same.

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