Mike had the idea to buy me a necklace with an emerald, May's birthstone. Had I not lost this pregnancy, we would have had a May baby. I loved the idea and added that I'd like to honor our first loss too, which would have been a September baby. A sapphire. We bought this on Etsy.
I actually had the thought, "Maybe I should wait to buy this, just in case I lose more pregnancies." Terrible that one has to think that way. But I decided to change my thinking, think positive. Only healthy pregnancies and babies from here on out! I can order another charm if I need to. But I won't need to! I hope.
Here's the thing about pregnancy loss. Nobody talks about it. Not really, not enough. I've been striving to be open about my experience, hoping to empower others to do the same. It shouldn't be such a lonely and isolating thing. But even with all the talking and sharing, it's lonely.
I've cried a couple times in front of other people, but usually the busyness of being with others keeps my mind off it. It's when I'm alone that I cry. At night when everyone else is asleep, I think about how I'll never have a May baby. At least not a May 2015 baby. I think about how one minute I was pregnant, and then I wasn't. And I can never be pregnant with that baby again. And I cry. In the car, thoughts creep in about how two of my three pregnancies have failed. And how both times it was just plain bad luck. No reason, no explanation, just stupid bad luck. And I cry. Sometimes when I'm alone with Mo, I think about how unfair it all is, how stupid it is such a thing as miscarriage would exist, and I cry. And Mo looks at me with tears running down my face and she just says, "wawa." And then I smile and scoop her up because thank god I have her.
Or that week, that month, that year...
The pregnancy announcements with May due dates are starting to roll in. All pregnancy announcements sting a little, but now I'm starting to watch people announce a happiness that should have been paralleling mine. I dislike cutesy, elaborate pregnancy announcements in general - for some reason they just, yuck, I don't know, they annoy me. But the May babies hurt. Birth announcements sting too. Baby bump photos. Pregnant ladies everywhere. Maybe these things shouldn't bother me - I was pregnant once, I celebrated - but they do.
I said before that with this pregnancy, I wanted to simply enjoy it. Not worry all the time, not fear I might jinx it, not feel guilty. Just enjoy as much as possible. So from the beginning, I celebrated. We took some family photos (For our own use, of course, not for a cutesy announcement.)
And I started taking belly pictures as soon as I found out. Here I am at just four weeks:
Oddly, despite my determination to be positive and enjoy everything, some strange things happened. At the time they could be easily explained away, but in hindsight I wonder if I had a premonition. For instance, I planned to wear that tank top for each weekly photo to watch it grow and stretch as I did. A few weeks in I thought, "Shoot, I should have chosen this other shirt, it's cuter." And then I immediately thought, "Don't worry, you'll get to use that one because this pregnancy won't last." What the hell? Where did that come from? Ignore! Celebrate! Enjoy! Another time I was thinking about the fact that my baby would be born in May, and suddenly my brain said, "No it won't." Ignore! Celebrate! Enjoy! When I bought my pregnancy test, it was a two pack. By the time we took the family pictures with the test, the digital screen had gone blank. I could have used the other one to get a Pregnant reading for the photos, but I thought, "No, I need to hold on to that. I'll need it." Ignore. Celebrate. Enjoy. I pushed all these things from my mind because they made no sense and were just useless clutter. But isn't that strange?
Hello baby brother or sister! Mo thought the pregnancy test was a phone.
There's no good reason this happened. I know there are silver linings, there are positive ways to spin it. But there is no reason. If someone thought I needed to learn a lesson about the preciousness and fragility of pregnancy and babies, I already learned that lesson. If I wasn't meant to have a baby just yet, there are other ways to accomplish that. Why get my hopes up and then crush them? I believe things will work out, I really do. I believe they'll work out even better than I can imagine. But I don't believe there is a reason this happened.
I remember when I was about 6 weeks pregnant, I overheard a group of women talking about how there is no good time to be pregnant. Either you're pregnant in the heat of summer, or you're trying not to slip and fall on the ice with your giant belly. But I thought to myself, maybe there is a perfect time to be pregnant, and I've nailed it. I started pregnancy at the end of summer, August, when the heat is wearing off. I wouldn't be too huge during the icy winter, not too wobbly yet, no worries about needing a maternity coat. Then I'd give birth in spring before it gets too hot. And it was nearly perfect as far as my work calendar goes. I really couldn't have planned it better if I tried.
Or I guess one of my favorite "what ifs"...
Do you remember that my sister and I were pregnant with Mo (and my sister's son Will) at the same time? Well, we have similar timelines I guess. We were ready to start trying for a second at around the same time, and we managed to get pregnant, again, within a few weeks of each other. It was amazing and thrilling, and it seemed too good to be true. We acknowledged that, but we chose to believe we are allowed good things, we are allowed this happiness, and amazing things can happen!
Damn it, I should have known. I feel foolish even. I know that's not how life works, but really, isn't that just how life works sometimes? My dear sister, when she found out about my loss, said it should have been her. She had an easy time getting pregant both times, and hasn't had any pregnancy-related complications with either so far. That's how it should be for everyone. But of course it makes no sense that it should have been her that screwed up our fairy tale, that's not how it works. Some of us have shitty luck with this stuff, some of us have even shittier luck with this stuff (I know several out there!), and some of us have shitty luck with other things.
A text to my sisters. This was after we already knew my sister was pregnant (hence, two babies). Crossing fingers is, apparently, not full proof.
I have a great marriage, a nice house, a job I love, a healthy daughter. I have good luck in so many other things. When I'm feeling really sad, I count my blessings. So cliche, but sometimes it works. My husband is awesome. My family is great and so are my friends. I have a job, and I enjoy my work. I'm healthy, my husband is healthy. I had a great pregnancy, a healthy birth, a healthy baby. Mo is healthy and thriving. I know people who have children with devestating diseases. My daughter and my daughter's health are my biggest blessings. I have so many things to be thankful for, and I know that. They don't erase my losses, but they do help ease the pain.