In late December, we learned 2019 was going to kick off just the way we had hoped and prayed. After over a year of trying, we were pregnant! Those two lines on the pregnancy test sent me spinning into a million happy tears, and I was overjoyed that Crue would be welcoming a brother or sister. I had started losing hope that we may ever get the chance to do this again. After more than a year of ovulation tests, false pregnancy tests, and a lot of frustration and sadness … it happened!
Todd was cautiously optimistic, afraid to tell me how excited he was out of fear that we would lose the baby and I would be sad that I had let him down in some way. My husband has a million different smiles that I love, but at the top of that list has to be the smile thats so big it’s hard for him to contain. You know, the ones that even have a giggle and need to be hidden by a hand half covering the mouth. That’s the one. The one I saw for 10 weeks until that fateful Thursday night in the shower when I saw something else … the thing no pregnant woman wants to see … blood.
I cried and yelled for Todd. With as much as we have been through, I hadn’t worried about losing the baby. Two years ago, our last baby had died at 14 weeks due to complications of the flu and later we found out he had Down syndrome … but my body still didn’t miscarry without help. I truly felt that was a freak incident … something was wrong with the baby and I got very ill. That would not happen this time. I was more worried about the genetic testing. Making sure the baby was healthy … but we wouldn’t carry it long enough to find out. We were heartbroken. Although I started bleeding, no cramping happened and the doctor schedule a D&C for first thing Monday morning. That meant my body would have to hold off for three days or I would be doing this at home. I know lots of women chose that option. They would rather be in the comfort of their own home without having an unnecessary and invasive medical procedure. I felt the opposite. Every small cramp or drop of blood had my anxiety at an all-time high and the fear of blood loss like the last time had me on edge.
Luckily my body did wait for Monday. The silver lining if there was one, I guess. On the way to the hospital Todd said, “I was really excited about this baby.” I knew how he felt. After so many years of struggles it felt like everything was finally lining up in our favor. No way would we be handed another blow. I think if I have an overwhelming emotion, it’s anger. I’ve actually yelled out to nothing “what the fuck” more times than I can count. I’m seriously dumbfounded by the amount of crap that’s been thrown at us … I go between laughing in disbelief and swearing at the universe.
We had decided to keep this pregnancy a secret. We both were concerned about the added stress of telling the people close to us and their worries adding to our own. We would tell them when we were in the second trimester and genetic testing was done, so we could share our news with confidence and reassure our family and friends that they should be nothing but happy and excited for us. So imagine Todd’s family and mine when we called to tell them the night before surgery what was happening. I felt so much relief in telling them. For almost three months we had walked around with a secret that was so very important and exciting for us. We had hoped in a couple more weeks to be giving them a much different phone call. When you are going through any kind of emotional turmoil it’s hard to keep that from the ones you love.Keeping the secret of pregnancy was easier. It’s a good secret, between the two of you … it’s almost fun … but when it all goes to hell … you want to have those people to lean on. It’s a very weird parallel to know you are going through this terrible loss and your family is carrying on with their normal lives unaware of what is happening in yours.
Our OB, although no longer delivering babies, told us she would be delivering ours. Dr. Hardas had said, “There are some things you just can’t say no to.” I saw the disappointment in the her face and the faces of her office staff. They were rooting for us. Everyone was rooting for our happy ending … and here we were again.
Not even days after, I asked Todd if he wanted to try again. He answered the question with a question, my husbands typical response to a tricky question. “Do you?”
I smiled and surprisingly without reservation said, “Yes.” My only fear was I have now had 2 C-sections and 2 D&C’s. I’m 39 years old … from a health standpoint was this even safe? I intended to ask all of this to Dr. Hardas at our follow-up appointment.
She told me the risks. We had a slightly higher risk of uterine rupture or placenta accreta. Our chance of miscarriage after two was now 25%. She smiled and said, “What that means is that you have a 75% chance of having a healthy baby if you try again.” I liked those odds. She also said she worried more about the emotional toll it would have on us than the physical one. Could we handle another loss?
I’ve thought about this a lot … what people don’t understand is the emotional toll of not trying again far exceeds that of another loss. I feel like I am being robbed of the family I have always wanted. First with Nash, and now with multiple miscarriages. I want this … more then anything I want this.
Its hard to explain but I feel this voice, this little person calling out to me … “Just one more time Mama, I’m waiting, I’m going to be worth it.” That voice keeps me going. So we have decided to give this one more go. See if we can complete our family and end this difficult chapter in our lives. I’m hoping five years from now I can see my family pictures and smile, knowing it was all worth it. That even though it wasn’t handed to us … especially because it wasn’t handed to us … I will look back in awe of what we went through to have the family we have always wanted.
Whether that’s just the three of us, or four, I want to know that we did everything we could. That we didn’t give up in spite of what the universe threw at us. So Baby … whether it’s Nash urging us on from afar or the baby that’s waiting for us … we hear you … loud and clear. One more time. God, just give us one more chance. We are waiting with open arms and open hearts.