While I was pregnant with my son, I was terrified of becoming a mom. Would I be a good mom? Would it be hard? Would I be enough for them? Would kids change things completely? So.many.questions. The entire pregnancy, my mind raced and I was more scared than I was excited. Sure, I took the obligatory pictures, swooned over ultrasound photos and enjoyed the fuss but my excitement was only to a point because I knew my life was going to change and that scared the crap out of me.
Then Ryan was born. I fell more deeply in love than I ever could have imagined was possible. Motherhood was so much better than I anticipated and my little guy brought so much joy to our lives. I couldn’t wait to do it again. While I had always said I wanted 3 years between kids, I quickly went into baby fever mode and wanted another asap.
My husband and I started trying to conceive #2 when Ryan was 15 months old. While I was nervous to add another to the mix, I was excited. I couldn’t wait to have another and I couldn’t wait to try for that VBAC birth that I had missed out on with my emergency c-section with Ryan. I couldn’t wait to be pregnant and feel the movement, go to the ultrasounds and spend 9 months in anticipation of this little person I knew I would fall in love with.
I found out I was pregnant on my second cycle TTC. With Ryan, I found out really early- 8 days past ovulation. This time, it took a bit longer and I got my positive at 12 days past ovulation. Still, I was thrilled. I had a dentist appointment that morning and I remember excitedly answering “I’m pregnant!” when they said they needed to take x-rays. We joked that they were finding out before my husband since he was at work and my plan was to tell him in person later that day.
I went to the store later that afternoon and bought a big brother book. I’m pregnant!!!! I could hardly contain my excitement when my husband came home. Once he had settled in, I had my son take the book to him– “Ryan has a new book he wants you to read him” I said. It took a moment to register but I still remember the look on my husband’s face as he realized what it meant. Finally, he said “really?!” with a grin. We hugged with my son in the middle and it was an amazing moment. My heart was full.
I had continued to take pregnancy tests (because I am a paranoid freak) and the lines never seemed to get darker. Google didn’t help but I still downloaded pregnancy apps on my phone, joined a March internet birth month group and brought all my pregnancy books down from the attic. This pregnancy was going to be different I will allow myself to be excited. When I was about 6 weeks pregnant, I took another digital pregnancy test just to ease my mind. Not pregnant. I started bleeding the next day.
I was crushed.
An early loss is tough. On one hand, you feel guilty being so devastated because you never made it to an ultrasound. You didn’t have that first appointment. There are people who were much further along than you and lost their pregnancy. Despite all those thoughts, the emotional pain was almost unbearable those first couple days. All the excitement, the planning (and oh, I had planned), and feelings of happiness came crashing down. I was shocked at how well I WASN’T. I knew we would try again, I knew it was early and I knew we would have another…but at the time I didn’t want another baby. I wanted that March baby.
The pain subsided and we tried again. We conceived Ava 2 cycles after my loss. I told my husband while standing in the kitchen instead of in some cutesy way like I did with my other 2 pregnancies. Her pregnancy was more guarded. While I had always been on edge in the first tri, this time was different. I knew the pain a loss would cause and I was terrified. Thankfully, everything went smoothly with her pregnancy, but I always wonder about the “what ifs” of my March baby that wasn’t meant to be.
October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. I share this story with you all because many people don’t share their story of loss with others, especially if it is an early loss. I grieved alone because not many people even knew of the pregnancy. So, to any of you mamas who have gone through a loss, I am so sorry and I want to give you all a great big virtual hug. You are not alone.