I had a gut feeling, I guess. From the moment that second line showed up I was skeptical. The part of me jaded by loss whispered in my ear, “it won’t work out.” Arick insisted that I stay strong and grounded. I tried. I tried so hard to be positive. But that nagging feeling wouldn’t leave me.
While I can’t say this baby was planned, I will say it wasn’t prevented. For the first time in three years we weren’t surprised by a pregnancy. We embraced it, both truly happy to have chosen to add this child to our family. We’ve never been disappointed or unhappy without our surprises but this one felt different in that we knew it was a possibility.
My previous losses have always been late. Neferious losses that caused me to endure induction, labor and emergency d and c’s. Eleven weeks, sixteen weeks, twenty-one weeks. I was always past that “safe zone.” We’d heard heartbeats, seen squirmy little legs on grainy ultrasound screens. And then they were gone. We were forced to retract our announcements. To tell the world the news that we were sadly no longer expecting.
Now, once again, we are no longer expecting.
With each loss I would swear I’d never tell a soul should I ever be pregnant again. Not until the baby was snuggled safely in our arms. Like a fool, each time I go back on my word. I get too happy and end up sharing the news. It was no different this time. I’ve never had an early miscarriage so that fear wasn’t strong. It’s weeks 10-20 that terrify me. Yes, I had that nagging feeling. But I always made it safely through the first trimester. So we shared our joy with our loved ones. Now, we shamefully take it back.
It’s embarrassing, humiliating and demoralizing. I cannot adequately perform what my very body was made to do. I am woman…I should grow and give birth to children. But for some reason the ability to do so effortlessly was lost on me. Instead I am a wasteland. A dry, unwelcoming desert. And there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.
The hardest part has been seeing Arick as heartbroken as I but unable to express his pain. It isn’t the same for a man, I know that. He’s got the added burden of being my protector and source of strength. Meanwhile, not only does he hurt but my pain causes him to hurt more. This time I told him, he doesn’t deserve to be going through all of this. He said,”No one does. YOU don’t.”
I stopped asking myself “why me?” long ago. I never want to grow calloused to the gravity of loss. Each and every child has been very much loved, and very much wanted. But when is enough, enough? I know Arick struggles most with this. Why get pregnant at all if you don’t know that you’ll bring home a child in the end? My answer to this is faith. I have faith that whatever is in God’s plan will be. I’m not super religious but I believe each life created is sanctioned by Him. And it is His to take away.
I’d like to say that I’ll never again tell you that we are pregnant. I despise the way I feel right now. It’s so uncomfortable, so raw. But I can’t say that with certainty. We both feel as if there is room for one more child in our family.
So our plan going forward is to not have a plan. I don’t know where that will take us. I just pray that the road is paved smoothly, with less bumps and more sunshine. And maybe, if we’re lucky, there will be a rainbow on the other side.