I’ll always hate July 4th despite the barbecue and fireworks that accompany it. July 4th was the day I lost my miracle baby. In May of that same year, my husband and I started trying to have a second child. It had taken me years to convince my husband to try to have another one. He is seven years older than I am and really, really likes having one child. It is less work he says, and he has more freedom knowing he has only one child to dote upon. I had always felt a void in our family, but I have come to grips with the fact that my family is and will always be a family of 3, but more on that later.
Party of 4?
I was doubtful that it was even possible to get pregnant. I am of “advanced maternal age” and have lost a baby before. It also took a long time to get pregnant with our daughter Madison, but low and behold, once my husband agreed to start trying, we got pregnant quickly. I was beyond excited. I experienced nausea and severe headaches, so I felt hopeful that my hormones were doing their thing and everything was progressing as it should. I told my parents right away and they were overjoyed. I even planned my pregnancy photos, booked a baby shower venue and ordered a Future Big Sister shirt for my daughter. Granted, I was only a few weeks and not out of the woods, but I just knew everything would go fine. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Gradually, I started to notice that the nausea faded and headaches disappeared.
I chose to ignore the lack of symptoms for as long as I could. I chugged along, eager to go to my first OB appointment to make sure that my baby boy (I was sure it was a boy) was healthy. Then one afternoon on a Monday, I started spotting. I googled spotting and found stories of people online who experienced the same thing and had perfect pregnancies. I searched for those positive stories only, but deep down I knew that this would not end well. I started to feel … not pregnant. Weeks would pass and I eventually bought a pregnancy test. It came out negative. I knew it would, but the confirmation that I was no longer pregnant was devastating.
After denial, came depression. I cried A LOT and I’m not a crier. I’d be doing something normal like making dinner and I would start bawling. My poor daughter didn’t know what was wrong. She would cry because her mom was crying. Needless to say, it was a really bad time. My husband and I never told her why mommy was sad. We felt that she was too young to really process it, but she knew something was up. One evening, we were all watching television and she drew a picture of the three of us as flying birds. She titled it “My Family.” It was and will forever be the most meaningful drawing she has ever given me. I look at it every day to remember my tribe. Yes, my two lost babies will forever be a part of me and I still grieve them, but I must also be strong for those who are present. I will never ever try to get pregnant again. The pain was too much. However, this whole experience has had a positive aspect to it. It made me realize how fortunate I am to have my smart, funny, beautiful daughter whom I love unconditionally. She is my world and she makes me feel like the luckiest person on earth every single day.