On My Mind

Five years ago, on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, I found out I was pregnant for the first time. I was overflowing with joy. I told everyone I saw. I even told random strangers because I couldn't help myself. We'd been trying for a little while, and the negative results in the previous months has been devastating.

The timing was perfect. Tell all of the family on Thanksgiving. It was what we were grateful for. In early December, morning sickness sank in and stayed with me for weeks. We were able to go to Arizona for Christmas, and it was wonderful to share our joy with my family in person.

On New Year's Day, everything started to come a part. I wrote about it back then, so I won't relay the entire experience again, but I've been thinking about it a lot. I'm sure part of it is the time of year. In the midst of these thoughts, I found that two sweet couples in our families have miscarried. For one couple, it's still very new, they're still waiting on the results of the last blood test. That was the worst part. Not having a definitive answer for several days. Two ultrasounds, two rounds of blood tests, dopplers, hours and hours in hospitals and doctors offices.

I'll always be glad my doctor said he wanted to see what my body would do on its own before we scheduled a d&c. My body handled it perfectly, and it was a great part of my healing. I was able to see the form that would have been my baby, and because of that, I was able to disassociate what actually was from the idea that it was going to be my sweet warm pink cuddly baby.

The reality was a little walnut-sized fetus, curled up inside of its sac. Still in "seahorse" stage (around eight weeks if you have an embryonic chart handy), but about the size of what an eleven week fetus should be. I actually miscarried at 12 weeks. Something had gone wrong. I knew it. And seeing it for myself made it all less mysterious. Having a visual was also pretty traumatic at the time, but like I said, it was a big part of my healing.

A few days before it actually happened, I told a friend that we were more than likely miscarrying, and she told me the thing that brought me the most peace, especially after being able to see this little thing I'd had such high hopes for. She told me God was just waiting for the right body for my baby. I felt less like I'd lost a child, and more like I just had to wait longer for Cora.

When I got pregnant with Cora, there was less fanfare. We were so cautious with who we told. I started spotting when I was ten weeks pregnant with her, and for as well as I thought I handled everything emotionally when I miscarried, I completely fell a part at the thought of losing her. I already knew she was a girl, I felt a connection to her. I knew she was alive inside of me.

Last night, I walked out of the bathroom after starting a bath, and I looked out to two beautiful sets of eyes staring right at me. It was so touching. We stayed there for several seconds. Their eyes locked with mine, and this Thanksgiving season, I can hardly comprehend the the ways I've been blessed.

I guess the growth that has come in the nearly five years since I miscarried has transformed its meaning for me, especially now that I'm a mother, and in the throes of motherhood with small children (one night this week I got 5 hours of sleep, another night 3.5 - and yes, all the while fighting a sinus infection). A while back a friend posted a quote from an advice blog of a mother of 11 children. It's talking about how every little thing we do as a mother is important.

"They all add up to beauty -- your little touches, moments of eye contact, stories read, cookies baked, laundry folded, legos picked up (again). Your presence means security. Your are the sun -- the center of their world. A lot of responsibility, I know -- but a warm place to be."

These two sweet girls are the babies I prayed for. The ones I toiled over, fought for. They're here, and they're mine, and they sit at my dining table every night.

1 comment:

  1. You and I must have been pregnant at the same time and miscarried at the same time! I also passed naturally and had to do the blood draws every week and then every 2 weeks to make sure the hormone levels were dropping! Even though I now have two amazing, wonderful-meant to be with our family children. I still wonder about the other who could have been :) I wish I could write like you and express myself so articulately!



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