I had two wonderful pregnancies that went smoothly and were perfect… until they weren’t. I got severe pre-eclampsia and the kids came early. Really early. It was a scary time and there are several experiences I have never had as a pregnant woman that are milestone type events. I have two kids but don’t know what a good solid rib kick feels like. I have never even felt a braxton hicks contraction, let alone a real one. Because of the downhill nature my pregnancies take, it was advised with extreme sincerity that I should really not have more kids. And, considering I had to take fertility medication to get both of them in the first place, I figured this was a no brainer and no problem. I even became extremely happy and content with the idea of just two kids. How does anyone manage more anyway?
Then last Tuesday happened. I had my IUD taken out at the beginning of the year because I was sick of side effects. Remember though, I am broken and we tried to be careful anyway. Still, I hadn’t been feeling great and I had any other number of symptoms I could excuse away. Then I just had a strange suspicion that something was up. I got a pregnancy test while I was grabbing some other groceries- the cheapest one at Target because there was no way I was pregnant anyway, why spend the money on it. I grabbed a coffee and went home to unload groceries and went ahead to do the test just because I had it and why not.
I can’t describe the shock and awe I experienced when that positive test line showed up. I had such a mixed range of emotions all colliding into each other at the same time. Mostly, I was scared.to.death. Pregnancies are great for me, until they aren’t after all. And, where am I going to put another kid in my already lacking space split foyer home? FIVE YEARS between the two youngest. I am starting over again. I don’t know how to start over and I don’t know how to juggle 3 children. These are all thoughts that managed to jumble around in such a short time frame. And yet, there was a hint of “oh my gosh, I can’t believe this happened. I always wanted a third kid and I don’t know how this miracle happened!”.
I got the lab work at the OB done and went to my moms office where I broke the news to her in a very tearful weepy manner- not my proudest moment. She was immediately excited and then just as quickly worried or scared. She calmed me and said that we will figure it out. That’s all there is and how amazing this is. All things happen for a reason. I called another friend and yes, finally let my husband in on the news. He took it surprisingly better than I but was also skeptical that it could be true.
The next couple of days I spent coping with the idea of having three kids. But, we told our daughter and she was over the moon excited. She promptly thought of at least 4 names and drew me a picture in a frame of the baby. We told some family members and everyone had the same reaction. Such excitement and joy! Then worry and concern. Still, this one will be different because it is just so miraculous.
The more people I told the more excited I got. I was still scared and I still had doubts on how I could possibly manage it. Still, I started to look at craigslist to see how much people were charging. I looked into bassinets since we don’t have a lot of space and needed to figure something out. I knew for sure we would use a space saver high chair because what a hassle to have that huge high chair taking up space. I had friends super excited for me and wanted to throw a baby shower because… duh… it’s a baby shower and I got rid of everything so I’m starting completely over.
On Saturday we got bad news about my grandfather so I rushed up to his hospital to say goodbye. He was only 5 days shy of his 91st birthday. After visiting with family that could make it and say goodbye to grandpa I had to get back to my house to do some work on the bathroom we have been fixing up. Grandpa died 20 minutes after I left.
The rest of the weekend was uneventful albeit sad but I focused on the baby. I still had panicky moments and the more of them I had the more guilty I felt for it. I am a mother of two. I stay at home and always have. Why would I be so apprehensive about adding another one? I always wanted another one for goodness sake! I started to question my hesitancy and did the typical pregnant woman thing of wondering if everything was actually okay. I have had two kids and something didn’t seem right. If I was 12 weeks pregnant I should feel some kind of heaviness in my abdomen. I focused on my appointment Tuesday even though it was just for routine history info.
Tuesday came and I was nervous. I had to pay and met with the OB history person. She seemed concerned about a couple things and figured since I should be 12 weeks along it made sense to see if I could get an ultrasound scheduled. I had to get some lab work done first and then went out to schedule. I was already there for well over an hour but luckily they got me in for one just 15 minutes later.
I have had two kids before. So, I knew. My little perfectly baby shaped thing was on screen and I got to see the screen the whole time and the tech did the measuring with all the numbers visible. 9 weeks, 4 days. She zoomed in on the heart to get a doppler reading. It didn’t move. The doppler lines didn’t move. The tech looked stoic the whole time and didn’t say a word. I knew better than to ask since I knew she couldn’t tell me anything anyway, that was the doctors job. I honestly did my very best not to cry in the waiting room to back to the doctors room but I’m sure I looked scary to any other expectant woman.
The rest was the routine stuff. My doctor came in and confirmed it – a missed miscarriage. Again, I held it together the best I could. I have always been someone who will mostly put on a brave face when publicly dealing with hard things. She explained that given the size it would probably be too much blood loss to miscarry naturally at home and asked if I preferred an in-office D&C or one at the hospital. I have a high threshold for pain and honestly I can’t afford the hospital and anesthesia charges to do it at the hospital so I opted for the in-office procedure.
My husband was waiting for me when I got home. It isn’t the type of news you want over a text message but I couldn’t talk and he needed to know why he had to go pick our son up from pre-school. He is amazing. He is my rock. I didn’t make it up the stairs before he embraced me and shared my grief. It is not something any couple should have to share but I truly feel so fortunate to have him by my side for this.
The worst of this is that I found out on the day of my grandfathers funeral visitation. On the one hand, I already had a really good excuse to be crying all day. On the other, I looked like I had been crying for a week solid before I even walked in the door. The other sad aspect is having to contact everyone you already told about the baby and now say it wont be.
One week. In one week I had the shock of my life. I had to process it and wonder why. I had to deal with the loss of my grandfather who I will miss dearly. In one week I got to think of what could be and what it would be like to be a family of 5. I got to think of all the new things I needed and what I could definitely do without. I thought of the plans that would be put on hold but I got think of the baby I would be holding instead. In one week I got my hopes up and then dreams crushed.
I cannot express the pain I have felt in the past two days and know that Friday will probably be the worst day of my life so far. No one should hurt this badly. I have a new appreciation for so many women that have been in my shoes. I know I will not get over it, but I will get past it. I have loving family and friends and I know they will understand the need to grieve. I know I will meet people who don’t understand and won’t know how to react. But, that is okay.
It may not seem like much to anyone else, but for one week I was pregnant.