My husband and I started talking about having kids before we ever even got engaged. I was twenty-eight when we started dating, and he was thirty. We dated about a year and a half, and were engaged for eighteen months before getting married. Our first anniversary was September 8th of last year, which means we’ve been together about four and a half years. At the end of last summer, we decided it was finally time to start trying to get pregnant. I think it took exactly three months.
On Thanksgiving I worked. I always work on Thanksgiving, and the day after. Such is the life in retail. I got off at four, went home, and took a pregnancy test. My period wasn’t late. In fact, it was supposed to start the following day, on Black Friday. But, I had a good feeling about this month. You see, I had made a few arrangements to make sure that I would be with my husband (who was working in another state at the time) at the time of ovulation. I traveled to where he was staying, we made love on his lunch break, then I got in the car and made the seven-hour drive home so that I could work the next day. When I got home, I checked to see if I was ovulating. And I was. So I had a good feeling about this test. And it was positive.
Chris, my husband, didn’t want to tell anyone right away. That lasted about an hour. Once we got to our friends’ house for dinner, he was spilling the beans. So much for secrecy, but I love him anyway. Our due date fell on his thirty-fifth birthday.
It would be three weeks before I would fly home to collect my kids and see my family, so I had to keep the news off of Facebook for twenty-three days. Those were the longest twenty-three days ever. I told a few co-workers and close friends, but warned everyone to keep it off of social media. Chris called home and told his family. He was quite stoked. He has no children of his own, and my kids were a bit beyond the baby years when we met.
I had it planned out. I bought my daughter a “Big Sister” shirt, and presented it to her when I got there. My son was more excited about the news, but my daughter was thrilled when I told her she was going to get to tell everyone else. So she told my mom, who cried. Then she told my niece, and my sister, and my aunt, and my cousin, and so on, until she was blue in the face. At the end of the evening, after a small family get-together, I posted a picture of the kids, and the new t-shirt announcing who would soon be a “big sister”, on Facebook. Four days before Christmas, it was out there for the world to see. Chris and I were expecting a baby.
I think it’s fair to say that all new parents are anxious until the first doctor appointment. We saw my primary care doctor first for the formal test and to discuss my current medications. I then set an appointment with an OB/GYN for December 30th. It was on that day that we saw our little jelly bean and the beautiful little heartbeat. Everything looked good. But just over a week later, things started to look less hopeful. Three weeks from the day we saw our child’s heartbeat, the doctors were scraping what was left of the placenta out of me. Technically I would have been about eleven weeks along when we found out we had lost the baby.
I don’t think that devastated is the right word. We were both a little crushed, and terribly disappointed. But we did our best to stay positive, and have done well remaining that way. There was no reason for it, nothing obvious anyway. Everything seemed to be as it should have been. There must have been something wrong, a defect that would have made an unhealthy child, and everyone hopes for a healthy baby. So we have kept our chins up, so to speak.
But as the one solely responsible for providing the fetus with everything it needs to develop, the mother of a lost baby can’t help to think that she did something wrong. Had I taken some medicine that I shouldn’t have? Was it the cough drops that I was taking when I had that cold? Was it because I wasn’t able to take my vitamins every day? Or because I wasn’t already taking them before I knew I was pregnant. I mean, we were trying to conceive, so why wasn’t I already taking them? Should I really have listened when everyone (I mean everyone) at work told me to stop lifting? Did I kill my baby?
But I am not one to linger on negativity. If it wasn’t for being medically restricted from doing so, we would have been trying again in just a day or two. It is unfortunate that the body takes so long to recover. I think the worst part of all of this for me is the fact that my husband and I suffered a huge loss, and we can’t even comfort each other in intimacy. I mean, it just sucks.
However, we must push forward. I’m still not getting any younger. That’s another cause of concern for me. My oldest is almost twelve. I’m no spring chicken, though at thirty-three, I’m just under the age where doctors would caution patients about age-related risks. But how fine a line can you draw here? Am I young enough the day before my thirty-fifth birthday, but too old the day after? Then you have to consider my other health issues. I’ve been on thyroid replacement therapy since I was eighteen. Last summer, I found out I have fibromyalgia. The funny thing about that is that I was pain free while I was pregnant. Literally two days after the procedure that cleaned out my uterus, I had widespread joint pain again. Pregnancy actually helped my fibro. I can’t wait to get pregnant again.
My husband feels the same way.
One of the fun parts of baby-making (outside of the bedroom part), is timing. Our unfinished pregnancy was supposed to come to an end in August, around the time of Chris’ birthday. By the time we are allowed to start trying again, it’ll be nearly March, which will put a due date near Christmas. No one wants a birthday close to Christmas. I think that if we are going to plan our baby, we should spare the kid the agony of sharing a birthday with Christmas. So that pushes the trying part back to April. That’s sooo far away! It makes me kind of hope that we can get knocked up in February as soon as it’s physically possible. But we will see.
I was asked again today if I’m pregnant. I guess the gossip mill at work needs a little grease. Spreading the news of pregnancy is exciting and fun. Breaking the news of pregnancy loss is sad and no fun at all. People don’t like to talk about it, it seems like they don’t think it’s any fun either. So that leaves newly un-expecting parents the dirty job of answering the usual questions, “How far along are you?” “Are you pregnant?” “So when are you due?” with the sad news. I’d prefer it if everyone told everyone as soon as they could, behind my back where I couldn’t hear it. If ever there was an appropriate time to do it, this would be it. But alas, it isn’t so. And so we push forward.
My husband is still talking about making arrangements for our next arrival, even though we don’t know when that arrival will occur. He even mentioned, back before we conceived, that if we could not have one of our own, we could adopt. He is a good man, and an amazing husband (even when he watches cartoons in bed on his iPad.) He is perfect. I love him. I cannot wait to give him a baby. And so we push on.