Hours of name choosing. Dreams of what features our little one would have. Nights of planning the absolute perfect way to announce our beautifully kept surprise to the world. Scheduling trips home to let Kevin’s father know he’s going to be a grandpa, because what better way to tell someone the best news you’ve ever had to offer than in person? Nothing has ever brought me more joy than knowing Kevin and I were meant to bring this perfect life into the world. Please let me note that I am not a woman who has always dreamt of being pregnant. I didn’t have visions of a belly bump dancing in my head, or images of flawlessly decorating a nursery. Nevertheless, the happiness I felt over the 9 weeks I carried our little one is something I will never quite be able to put into words. I now know that my hesitation in wanting to be a mom came from fear. Fear that the most precious moment in your life could be torn from you in a matter of seconds. On February 6th, that fear came to life in the most horrifying, intrusive, gut-wrenching way imaginable.
Rewind two days prior, Kevin and I arrived at our doctor’s office hand-in-hand. The elevator ride felt as if it took 20 years to reach the 8th floor because I could nearly contain my anticipation. Today was the day we were going to see our blueberry baby for the first time! And within minutes there he/she was; heart fluttering away. In fact, our doctor thought there were two for brief period! We explained our family history of twins (both my parents and Kevin’s mother are twins) and she ran to get a second opinion. The second nurse confirmed one strong heart beat and we couldn’t be more elated. Lying there in that exam room, I have never in our 9 years together been more in love with my husband. The idea of him being a father was one that I thought about for a while, but at no time had it been more real than in that very moment. Kevin is not only the love of my life, but he is the most incredible person I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. He cares about humanity, he is fair (unless of course you are playing any board game in which he’ll declare his loss as some form of conspiracy theory against him), he is bold, he is driven, he is organized, he is humble, he is funny. Above all else he is the most loving person that I have ever known. He is the epitome of what a husband should be; the exact description of what a dad must be. I swear my heart doubled in size when I saw the love he already had for our unborn child. We left the hospital that day feeling on top of the world. Once I had the assurance of seeing that perfect heartbeat, I wanted to shout it from the rooftops that we were going to be parents.
The next day, I woke up feeling extra tired. As I slowly got out of bed I continued to tell myself it’s simply the hormones; I’ll be fine as soon as I’m in front of 18 5-year-old children who require my complete attention and excitement all day. Around 10:00am I noticed spotting. I immediately called the doctor and they assured me that it was normal. I made it until 2:30 and I had to leave. The drive home was uncomfortable but was nothing compared to what was about to come. I immediately laid down and kept telling myself I’d be fine. Within two hours I was in an ambulance, suffering from pain I’ve never felt, as my blood pressure continued to drop, I remained hopeful. 24 hours after I heard our baby’s heartbeat, I was lying in a hospital bed for what felt like an eternity while a tech performed an ultrasound. This time, instead of happiness I felt extreme sorrow. This time, the ultrasound showed nothing. It was hours before we received the results and in that time my mother and Kevin sat in the hospital room with me. We sat in silence because the thought of talking was too difficult a task for any of us to bear.
The next morning, we had to return to the doctor’s office. The same place that had just given us the best news of our lives only to have it torn away from us two days later. As I approached the elevator this time, I wanted it to close and never open again. I thought the longer I could avoid that room, the longer I could hold on. As the doors opened I began to cry and trust me there are times to this day that they still come. They subside most of the time, but the overall feeling of loss it still there. The feeling that I didn’t sleep enough. The thought that I told people too early, or maybe I should’ve started eating meat again rushes through my head. That one time I took ibuprofen before I knew I was pregnant haunts me and the tears rush back. I would see a baby and the tears would roll down. Baby ad after baby ad on my social media popped up and I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs how unfair this all was. Our box of “Mommy and Me” shirts and onesies we designed showed up on our doorstep and without realizing what they were I opened them. As I wept on our living room floor I felt as if someone had ripped my heart out. That box remained in our closest untouched for months. But in the end, everyone was right. It was not my fault. There is nothing in the world I could have done to change this outcome. And now, 6 months later we are expecting our beautifully perfect rainbow baby. Our little girl will grace our presence this December and we couldn’t ask for a better Christmas gift. And trust me, we recognize how lucky we are to have become pregnant again right away. Still, this hasn’t made our loss any less real. Above all else I remind myself that I am not alone and neither are you.
To the woman who has been trying to conceive and hasn’t, I am rooting for you. To the woman who doesn’t want children but feels pressured due to societal norms, I am rooting for you. To all the single moms, I am rooting for you. To all the kickass parents out there in the world, I am rooting for you. And to the parents who just experienced a horrific loss, I am right here with you. Thank you to all the brave women in my life, some of which I’ve never even met, for sharing your stories with me. You have provided me the courage to share mine. So, please know, you are NOT alone. Keep fighting, hold your partner tight, laugh, and cry; soon you will be stronger. We are stronger. Six months ago, I thought it would be impossible to love my husband any more than I did after hearing that heartbeat. Boy was I wrong. He has given me hope while I feel hopeless, strength at my weakest point, love when I feel unloved. He has proven more now than ever that he is in fact not only the most incredible partner, but he is already the most wonderful father our little girl could ever ask for.