Déjà Vu: Baby Loss, Infertility, and a Global Pandemic

I keep having this feeling that I’ve been here before. This is somehow familiar. I see how everyone else around doesn’t know how to act or what to say about it, and that feels familiar too.

Plans are being cancelled. Yep, I’ve dealt with this disappointment.

Nowhere to go. Mhm, I’ve seen this one.

Delaying things, but not having any clue how far out to plan, or when you can safely commit to any plans again. Definitely something I already deal with.

When Ava died, I stayed in the house as much as possible. I was afraid to go to the store or anywhere really because I would inevitably run into someone I know. And that’s not something I was ready to deal with. No one ever knew what to say and either stumbled(no judgement I still don’t know what to say either) or they say nothing at all and seem to deny anything wrong happened.

All our plans for the next few months, next year, next lifetime were effectively cancelled.

I struggled with feeling like I have nowhere to go. I couldn’t escape my reality, and I no longer fit in anywhere. I’m the lady whose baby was stillborn. It’s the constant elephant in the room. Even if no one feels that way when they see me, I still do. I feel like everyone around is afraid they’ll catch my “sickness” too.

For the last three years we have put countless plans on hold in the hopes that I would be too pregnant to travel or we’d have a newborn. I’ve looked at events months out from where we are and think, Well if we say we’ll go and then I’m pregnant and can’t, it’s a waste of money, or letting the others down.

There’s no exact timeline, no magical day when I know I’ll finally know what I can and can’t plan. We’ve been here in this space for three years now. We’ve had moments where we see the other side and start planning again. When I got pregnant the first time, we started planning for life after a baby would arrive in June. That quickly disappeared as did knowing when to expect a “new normal” again. We put off plans while we tried again, and then I fell pregnant with Ava. Again we planned for life in the coming months and what life would look like after welcoming a baby home in March. Well, those plans were all cancelled too. Following that, months were spent only planning for upcoming doctors appointments to figure out our next steps. You know, only the essentials.

For the last year now we have been in yet another limbo of waiting to make any plans. We get invites to weddings and I think well I could possibly be 12 weeks at that point, so it’ll be okay to travel. Or maybe it’s further out and I think, well if I’m pregnant this month, then I will be second trimester by then and won’t want to travel that far away from my doctor, so what do I plan for?

Do I commit and then cancel plans or do I turn down opportunities and then find out it was for no reason at all?

Even though I know that COVID-19 is new and no one knows how to navigate it, and we are all grieving for cancelled plans, this somehow doesn’t seem new or different to me. Our life hasn’t changed in those ways. I suppose perhaps I should be thankful I’ve been preparing for this for the last three years. I’m thankful it hasn’t impacted me or those I love in terms of sickness, job loss, or worse.

It’s just an odd place to be in when everyone else is shocked by all that surrounds the pandemic, and here I am still doing the same postponing and cancelling I’ve been doing. The difference is that once the pandemic subsides and everyone can start making plans again, I’ll still be here in this gray area. I’ve practically made a home in this gray area of life, but I desperately want out. Please let this be the year we get out, too.

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