This post is hard to write. I can already feel my emotions tumbling around like the balls in a giant lotto machine.
I’ve gotten a few requests for belly pics. After all, I did it religiously every two weeks with my twins.
But you see, this time is different.
This time, that giddy excitement…that happy-go-lucky-floating-on-clouds feeling is gone.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m SUPER excited to be having a fourth baby. I cannot tell you.
But…that naive, just countdown the weeks and you’ll be fine, way of looking at a pregnancy are gone.
It was fairly early (8 weeks), but that doesn’t matter. It could’ve been 2 days and been just as devastating.
I couldn’t believe I had miscarried after two successful pregnancies…but, then again, just about everyone I knew had had a miscarriage, so I suppose it was “my turn” to be in this awful little club.
And then, a few months later, we were pregnant again.
And we were terrified.
We didn’t tell anyone. It was a secret. We didn’t want to go through all the phone calls and emails and sweet gestures…all coming from a place of love, but all making it just a little more real…and prolonged.
At 10 weeks, I said to Andy “Hey, it’s almost time to spill the beans…”
It looked like things were moving right along…but I was still really scared to tell people. It didn’t feel right. Deep down in my soul, I didn’t think it was right.
And a week later, at 11 weeks along, I started bleeding.
I literally ran into our closet and just stood there. In the corner. I was in shock. Complete and utter shock.
AGAIN?! Twice in a row?! So far along? So close to that magical 12 week mark?! TWICE?!
To add insult to injury, it happened just a few days before we were supposed to fly out to Washington DC…a splurge trip for some much needed alone time…Andy had a conference and I was going to tag along a few days early so we could hang out and then I’d hop back on a plane when the conference started. We were SO looking forward to this trip. It would be the first time we would have more than one night alone. I had never seen the sights, but we could have been going to a corn field in Idaho…I just wanted some one on one time wandering around hand in hand with my husband. I can’t tell you how excited I was to go on this trip.
So when the doctors forbade me from getting on a five hour plane ride unless I completed the miscarriage “You could start hemorrhaging and die before the plane was able to land!”, I was frantic. I called the midwife we used with Henry (a dear friend who has since moved) and she agreed…it was a slight chance, but because I was so far along, it wasn’t the safest option. Even if I didn’t hemorrhage, did I really want to risk having labor pains on a plane?
Of course, non-refundable tickets and hotel rooms meant that while I was able to cancel my flight for medical emergency reasons, Andy could not. Even changing his ticket to closer to the conference would have cost us an additional $1,000 so late in the game.
So he left for DC.
And I was home.
As he wandered through museums and landmarks alone and processing the events of the week, he admitted he had a miserable time. He couldn’t stop thinking about it. This time was much harder than the last for him.
I slowly bled at home and finally miscarried…when I would have been on a plane home. Alone. God knows.
(Luckily, my sister and Andy’s cousins were there to help with the kids…they were going to babysit for us while we were gone, and we had them come anyway so I wouldn’t be alone. What a way to announce a pregnancy, right?)
The whole thing…the horrible circumstances of the trip…how we were separated at a time when I needed my husband the most…how we were SO CLOSE to that “safe zone”…how it was the SECOND TIME IN A ROW…had me reeling.
Was there something wrong with me? What is going on? Why is this happening?
Andy came home days later and we went about our business.
We never really talked about what we were going to do next.
Adoption has always had a place near and dear to both of our hearts, and something we were always open to, but we never imagined it would be under these circumstances.
Neither of us knew what this meant. Were we prepared to go through this again and try again? Was this a sign that we should follow the nudge to adoption? Were we reading too much into this? Were we giving up too early? There were so many questions. All of them painful.
And then, while he was in South Korea on business a few months later, I found myself taking another test. We hadn’t been trying…nor had we been avoiding. We didn’t know what we were doing.
I was so scared. I didn’t even want to tell him. I wanted to spare him the pain in a few weeks when it all came crashing down again. But it was his baby too and he deserved to know, right?
So, while we chatted on Skype one day, I texted him the picture of the positive test. And I got to see that million-watt smile…and it didn’t go away the entire conversation.
And that was when I knew it would be alright.
But even still, today at 17 weeks, I expect the other shoe to drop. I look at the paper every time I go to the bathroom with one eye open, terrified at what I might see. Every OB appointment I hold my breath when they pull out the doppler…convinced it will be silent. People ask me about baby showers and I cringe, afraid they will plan for nothing.
I don’t think that feeling will ever go away.
To this day, I have yet to utter the words “I am pr…” I can’t even TYPE them. It’s as if I will jinx it. Which I know is ridiculous.
But it is.
And for now, while it’s public and we are open about it, there is still a very real part of me that doesn’t want to allow myself to get too excited. A part of me that feels like it’s my way of protecting my little bean…our little world where I wrap my hands around my belly like a cocoon. It’s our little “secret”. A secret everyone is in on…but somehow still our little secret where we whisper in hushed tones and giggle. I feel like a kid under a fort made of sheets…where everyone can hear you and knows exactly what’s going on, but somehow you feel protected and safe.
So, all of that to say: I’m excited. But I’m scared too. So this time it’s gonna be a little different.