I remember how excited I was at every ultrasound of my first pregnancy. I couldn’t wait to see him move around, such a cute little thing. My mind was not consumed by thoughts of fearing a stopped heart, or possible abnormalities or anything that would get in the way of a happy ending with a baby in my arms. In my second pregnancy I was cautiously optimistic but also relied on my faith in life, and statistics and the universe, that I would not suffer trauma and loss two pregnancies in a row. I did my time in grieftown. I paid my dues in depression and tears. But to my complete shock, it didn’t matter how much I had already suffered. I was there suffering again. Sadly, I learned the hard way. The very hard, painful, devastating way, that pregnancy doesn’t necessarily mean you get to have a baby.
But here I am now with pregnancy number three. I’m trying to wade through recurring grief and memories that have been triggered while re-experiencing the first trimester. With each heavy step through (and against) fear, I’m walking closer to hopefulness. I’m trying to remind myself that I can enjoy this pregnancy one day at a time. I’m doing everything in my power to keep my baby’s heartbeat strong. I’m fighting the scary thoughts away and looking at this as a new and different pregnancy.
On Friday, I celebrated my 42nd birthday. It’s the first time I’ve been pregnant on my birthday and what an amazing gift! While it made me very happy to celebrate this new little life with me, it wasn’t easy to stop the thoughts of my first loss which happened two days before my 39th birthday. But I also realized that my baby now has three angels watching over him or her. All that pain and loss has left us with a lot of love from these sweet little souls. I was able to really enjoy the day and the entire weekend looking in the forward direction, enjoying the sun and spring flowers which allowed me to push away the darkness from the past.
My first ultrasound is on Wednesday. I’m excited, nervous, and hopeful. This will feel real when I can see a heartbeat.
I crumbled into a heap of tears when I saw the number.
Compared to my two previous pregnancies, this is my highest HCG number. We were thrilled, relieved, happy and terrified. The first big hurdle of many to come. Now, to calm my anxieties for the second HCG test 48 hours later. The number is supposed to at least double and that did not happen with my other two pregnancies, resulting in early ultrasounds, extra blood tests and a lot of extra worry. Anxiously waiting one more dreaded hour for the results to come through the lab and there it was.
In that instant the weight and misery of infertility and pregnancy loss lifted off of me, leaving me with happiness. In that moment the stress on our marriage dissipated and there we were, sitting together as a happy husband and wife with a lot of hope.
So, here we go. Our first ultrasound will be at 7 weeks. Our due date is November 16. Please baby, hang in there. Be our rainbow baby. We love you already.
It seems that at this point I should have lost count, but I can’t because I know how many I have lost. I try to let the numbers and dates stay blurry, but I know how old my first baby should be. He should be 2 and a half. I purposely try not to remember the due date of the twins. But I can still see their heartbeats. There are six other embryos that disappeared somewhere in between the transfer to my body and the pregnancy test. On Monday, I had my ninth embryo transfer. Two more embryos.
On Monday morning before the transfer, I went for a walk with my dog. I had a choice to go left or right on the trail and decided to go right. We ended up near a beach where she loves to play catch but we didn’t have time for that…but she pulled me out to the beach anyway, looking back at me expectantly with a huge wide smile and tongue hanging out. The beach was empty except for the stroller in this photo. For a second I thought, well maybe my baby is right there waiting for me! Well, no that wasn’t the case, but I tried to view this as a hopeful moment. Somehow, maybe this is a sign. My babies that are watching over me and the baby that is still to be is here with me in this moment. A moment to give me courage to try again. To wait those nine hopeful, yet agonizing days again waiting for the pregnancy test.
The sun was blinding me, but I snapped a photo anyway, not quite sure what I would end up with. I wanted to be reminded of the stroller that was in my path. As I faced the stroller and the rock wall where we had once stood to spread our baby Jaxon’s ashes, I could feel them all with me. A little white light ended up in the photo and I choose to see the souls that I love so much in that light.
One little white light, Two embryos, Nine days to wait. Trying one more time.