A Surprising Desire

Once I finally accepted that this whole wanting a baby thing was not just a passing whim, I realized that I was going to have to try to convince my husband to go along with this crazy plan. This scared the crap out of me. I had an inkling that he might not be quite ready to jump on board, and that it was going to take some convincing. This idea would be coming from left field and would be especially surprising, considering the source.

But if it was going to happen, it was going to have to happen soon.  I was sitting square in the middle of my late thirties, with the big 4-0 looming on the horizon.  Biologically, I didn’t have a lot of time to waste.  It was almost exactly one year since my miscarriage when I decided to discuss the topic with him.

To say that he was “surprised” would be a vast understatement.  He was almost struck speechless by my unexpected desire for another child.  He then made many valid and logical arguments against it;  our age, the cost of a child, the physical and mental strain I would need to go through, the sleepless nights, his travel schedule, the possibility of losing another baby.

I couldn’t deny any of his points.  I absolutely agreed with him on every one.  He was correct.  It was an insane idea.  Yet . . . all of that logic and reason didn’t for one second diminish the persistent and aching need that I had to have another child.  It was beyond logic.  Something I never thought I’d experience.  But there it was.

I didn’t push the issue. I laid out my arguments and then gave him time with it.  I hoped fervently that the idea would settle in his mind and start to grow in his heart.  I had made my case, and there was nothing left for me to say to try to convince him.  He would either accept the idea or reject it.

The next time the issue came up, I realized that he had accepted it.  Although hesitantly and just barely, he was on board.  So we tried.  With no success for the first couple of months.  Until I took a test at the beginning of February and saw a positive result.  This time, my reaction was vastly different than the previous time.  I was overjoyed.  Cautiously overjoyed, but extremely happy just the same.

But it didn’t last.  I lost the baby on Valentine’s Day.

I was beginning to think that it was physically impossible for me to have a baby at this point.  I could get pregnant, obviously, but both miscarriages happened around 5 weeks.  So maybe I just couldn’t sustain a pregnancy past that point.  However, although I was discouraged, I wasn’t quite ready to concede.  My goal was to have this baby before I was 40, so I figured we had a couple more months to make that happen.  So we tried again.  And I got pregnant once again in March.

But five weeks in, I started bleeding again. Just to be safe, I scheduled an appointment with my doctor that day to get it checked out. I didn’t have high hopes, but I wanted to be sure. A sonogram revealed that the baby was still alive, but there was a lot of blood flowing around it. The doctor very gravely explained to me that it appeared that a miscarriage was imminent and that I should return later in the week for another sonogram, with the possibility of a DNC to be scheduled at that time. I was heartbroken.

I waited 2 days to find out the fate of this child. Forty eight hours. Two thousand, eight hundred and eight minutes. One hundred and seventy-two thousand, eight hundred seconds. I felt every single one of those seconds tick by. It was the longest 2 days of my life.

When I returned to the doctor’s office, a nurse took my blood pressure, as is routine. She noted that it was pretty high.  “Are you nervous?” she asked.  Yeah, I think I am.  I wonder why that might be.

I happened to have the same sonogram tech perform the second sonogram. She remembered me, and I remembered how kind she had been at my previous visit, when I couldn’t stop crying after the doctor told me the news.  She had allowed me time alone in the room to compose myself, while I’m sure others were waiting to use it. I was glad it was her again.

When the images came on the screen, I saw something quite surprising.  The baby was moving.  And there was a heartbeat.  The tech very excitedly said that the heartbeat was much stronger than 2 days prior and that the blood was congealing and not flowing as much as before.  This was very good news.  I have never been more relieved than I was at that moment.  When the doctor saw the results, she was very hopeful.  She wanted me to return in a week for a follow-up sonogram, but she said that it looked good. Once I got dressed, I may have floated out of the office.  It felt like a 2 ton elephant had been surgically removed from my heart.  I’m pretty sure my blood pressure had gone down by then as well.

All of that has led me to this point.  The moment when I can tell you that I am now at 12 weeks and counting, and baby #3 is due on November 30th.

sono12wkshoes

Looks JUST like me.

Something I Didn’t Know I Wanted

The following is the first in a series of posts that I will be writing in the next few weeks.  They are neither funny nor snarky.  Together, they will form the story of what has been happening with me over the past year and a half.  I have not been ready to write about it until now.  The posts are serious, and can be a bit dark, just so you are forewarned.  However, by the end of the story, all is right with my world, so just hang in there and take the journey with me to reach the end. 

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When I first found out that I was pregnant, I experienced many overlapping emotions.  Shock.  Disbelief.  Confusion.  Horror.

This was not a planned pregnancy, obviously.  I wasn’t expecting, nor did I desire, to have a third child.  My boys were 4 and 7 at the time.  If and when anyone had asked me over the years if I was going to have another baby, I usually responded that I was done.  And I meant it.  I started my relationship with my husband by declaring to him that I neither wanted marriage nor children.  I felt that our two kids were a good compromise between zero and the huge brood he had originally wanted.  Our family was complete.  We were content, comfortable and settled.  This new development threw us for a major loop.

When I informed my husband of the news, he was happy, but I could also see the trepidation in his eyes.  He could see that I was upset, so he tried his best to comfort and calm me.  Then he left for a business trip for a week.

During that week, I went through all of the stages of grief.

– Denial:  That test couldn’t possibly be right!  No way was I pregnant.  Not even possible.  This stage lasted as long as it took to take another test, with identical results.

– Anger:  Yeah, I was angry, dammit!  How could this happen to me?  I didn’t want to be pregnant or have another baby!  Pregnancy sucks.  Giving birth sucks!  Sleepless nights suck!  I hated this pregnancy and the baby.

– Bargaining:  I don’t believe in god, so there weren’t any deals with some imaginary guy in the sky, but there were definitely some proposals of action to the universe that I thought might be a better outcome than having another baby.  And yes, losing the baby was one of them, I’m ashamed to say.

– Depression:  And then the sadness came.  I kept thinking of all the things I would have to give up for this unwanted child.  Drinking, sushi, my body, sleep.  Every time I thought of another thing that this pregnancy would take away from my life, I sank deeper into the abyss.

– Acceptance:  A funny thing about acceptance . . . it sneaks up on you.  One minute, I was thinking about how difficult my life was going to be because of this accident, and then I turned around and found myself thinking about how sweet a baby is, and how my boys were growing up and were way past that baby stage, and how I missed that.  After just a few days, I realized that I had come to terms with this formerly perceived tragedy, and I was starting to look at it as an incredible gift.  Not planned for or initially wanted, but wonderful all the same.

And then, just as I started settling into the idea of it and began making mental plans, I started to bleed.  And just like that . . . it was over.  Gone.

That’s when the guilt started.  Everyone will tell you that it’s not your fault.  That you didn’t do anything to make it happen.  That it just wasn’t meant to be.  And while logically, I knew that was probably true, I also remembered.  I remembered all those glasses of wine I had before I knew I was pregnant.  The sushi dinner I had 2 weeks prior.  And the time I wished for this very thing to happen before I got over the shock of it.  I thought of those things, and I wasn’t certain that I didn’t somehow have a hand in this.

And then the darkness set in.