Ever since we started trying to have children I have been terrified of miscarriages. After waiting five long years to get pregnant with the twins, I had read a lot about pregnancy, infertility and miscarriage. I knew the stats. I knew it was a terrible and horribly common thing that many people didn't openly talk about. I knew that statistically it was bound to happen to me.
When I was six weeks pregnant with the twins we became aware of a potential problem. Baby B (Olivia) was measuring days smaller than Baby A (Stella) and had a weaker heartbeat. The doctor told us straight out that she has a 50/50 shot of making it over the next two weeks. From weeks 6-8 I was on pins and needles. I was so afraid that I was going to lose Baby B, which may make it easier to lose Baby A. When those two weeks were up we got another ultrasound and saw two beautiful heartbeats and two healthy looking babies. I felt like we had dodged a bullet and was so happy that the twins were going to make it.
We were lucky enough to get pregnant with Ezra without fertility drugs and treatments like we had to with the twins. We were told that we had less than a 1% chance of conceiving on our own. I knew that I wanted more children and that I couldn't go through the emotional nightmare of fertility treatments. I call those five years of my life my deep, dark place. I couldn't go back.
One night I prayed that if He was willing, I would have as many babies as I could handle and I would love them with all of my being. Not even two weeks later I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. I couldn't stop laughing and smiling. I called my husband and he had the same reaction. We were over the moon.
When I got pregnant with Ezra I never really thought I'd miscarry. I knew it was a possibility, but I never even gave it much thought. I was occupied with two toddler girls and trying to figure out how in the world I was going to juggle it all.
After Ezra was born I was 95% sure we were done having kids. I could've had my tubes tied during his c-section, but who gets their tubes tied at 28 years old? That just seemed too permanent a choice for me to make at 28. As the kids grew it convinced me a little more that I could totally have another baby. Ezra had some health stuff that really threw us for a loop, but he was such an easy, happy baby. I didn't feel the ease with the twins and I did with him and it changed me.
I don't know how to explain it, but I knew right away that I was pregnant again. My husband knew too and we laughed how we both felt the same way for weeks but didn't tell each other. I even took a pregnancy test one night and saw the outline of a positive line. This test was at least a week too early, but I knew. And I knew I saw that little line in the positive window. The line was pretty much clear, like the difference between flat and satin paint, but it was there. I thought I was going crazy. I didn't tell anyone about my late-night discovery (who would even believe me?!), so I waited several days and took another test. POSITIVE. I was like, "Duhhh!" I told my husband before I even left the bathroom because I was so ecstatic. I was bursting to tell him. It was such wonderful news I wanted to share it with everyone.
I went to the doctor and had tests, exams and the like and yes, hooray, yippee, I was pregnant.
I was so happy. Like that Pharrell song "Happy" was on constant loop in my head. I was so preoccupied with baby thoughts that sometimes I would just let my mind wander and think about our future. I saw Ezra as a protective big brother and I saw Stella and Olivia act like little mommies in ways they never did with Ezra. I saw a complete and happy family with three little girls and a boy. I was measuring the crib, dresser and walls of Ezra's tiny room to see if we could squeeze another little person in there. We sold our old infant car seats so I was researching the newest and best car seats on the market. I was planning my business calendar around the holidays and when our December baby would make her grand entrance. I was dreaming of a new and slightly different life.
On Thursday I noticed what no woman wants to notice when she's pregnant. I'll spare you the details, but in an instant I knew that I was having a miscarriage. My brain tried to convince my heart that plenty of people go through what I was going through and have perfectly "normal" pregnancies and healthy babies. But my heart knew better; my heart knew I was losing this baby.
I waited a day and then called my doctor. They wanted me to go to the ER to get checked out (so dramatic, right?), but I knew there was nothing they'd be able to do for me. My husband was out of town and I didn't want to bother anyone with having to watch my kids as I wait and stay at the hospital for a few hours. I waited another day and at my doctor's insisting I went to get an ultrasound, so off I went. Oddly enough, Pharrell's song "Happy" was playing on the radio during the ultrasound. I was hoping that maybe my heart was wrong, maybe she was still with us. Maybe she'd appear on the screen any instant. Maybe? Please?
The tech confirmed what I already knew; the baby was gone. She was gone. I couldn't get dressed and get out of that office fast enough. The tears started flowing before I even made it to the elevator. Luckily I had the one pair of sunglasses the twins hadn't broken yet and could shield my tears from the eyes staring at me in the waiting room. I got in my car and I bet you can guess what song was on the radio. AGAIN. I wasn't happy, shut up Pharrell. I'm not going to clap along with you. I know what happiness is to me and this isn't it.
(Here's the music video if you have NO idea what I'm talking about.)
However sad I was, the song got me thinking. My wonderful husband makes me so happy (even if he travels three weeks a month, he's around enough to make me very happy). My kids make me insanely happy most of the time. I am so lucky that I didn't miscarry either of their pregnancies. Had I lost the twins, or even just Baby B or Ezra, I would have been devastated beyond words. I really don't think I would have been able to handle it. This, I can handle. It sucks, but I can still function.
Because of my faith I know that death is not the end. I know I will be reunited with this little baby one day and what a sweet reunion it will be. But even having this knowledge doesn't take away the pain. A little part of me has died and that deep, dark place is trying to find it's way back to me. That old familiar grief and pain has made it's way back. The heaviness is back.
I bought myself a two dozen pink roses and put them in one of my favorite vases. Those poor roses come with me to every room I go to. They sit on my nightstand when I sleep, they sit on the kitchen counter when I cook, they sit on the dining room table as I sew and they're sitting on my desk as I type this. It probably wasn't the wisest thing to buy myself roses because we all know that roses die. I'll probably keep them in the basket on top of the kitchen cabinet where my wedding bouquet resides.
Staying busy has it's perks. My mind gets preoccupied and doesn't rehash everything I've been through the last week. After the kids go to bed the house quiet and still. My mind drifts. My eyes well up with tears and somehow I end up here, typing on a little keyboard when I really should be letting my mind and body rest before my two little monkeys come jumping on my bed asking for fruit snacks and strawberry shortcake episodes on the iPad. All I want to do is lay in my bed. If I could do that all day (and have someone insert new DVDs for me so I wouldn't have to get up), I'd be set. I don't even get hungry when I get like this, so I could survive for the day off of the bag of tropical Starbust on my nightstand I "accidentally" left out of the kids' Easter baskets. But that can't happen because life goes on. Kids need attention, food needs to be prepared and clothes need to be washed. The world continues to move so I probably should too.