Despite being utterly gobsmacked by this news, it wasn't long before I was warming to the idea. After losing our first pregnancy back in July of 2012, we'd kept the news of our second pregnancy - and Caleb's impending arrival - quiet until 17 weeks. Not even our parents knew. We wanted to to be sure that he would stick around before we let the cat out of the bag. This time around, instead of waiting, we decided to throw caution to the wind, and told our parents the day that we got the positive result. After all, third time's a charm, right? We basked in their surprised joy. We talked about whether we would be adding another precious boy to the mix, or whether it would be a little princess making an arrival this time. I began perusing websites, planning a much cuter maternity wardrobe this time around. I imagined carting a round baby bump around at Christmas. March seemed like the perfect time to have a baby. My sister is getting married in June of next year, so the timing was perfect. A spring baby. All was well.
Until Sunday, July 20.
I'd seen a light brown spot - just a tiny one - the day before. I'd mentioned it to B, but thought nothing of it, as spotting in early pregnancy is a fairly common symptom. As long as the spotting is not bright red, I'd been told there was nothing to worry about. On Sunday, the spots became a bit more frequent, and I began seeing a faint pink tinge. B was on call (of course), so I called him at work to update him. He seemed to think that it was nothing to worry about. I wasn't cramping, there was still no bright red blood, so all seemed to be alright for the time being. He told me to relax, keep my feet up and try not to stress. I did what he said. The spotting continued. And a sinking feeling began to fill me with dread. A mama just knows.
By the time B came home that evening, I was fighting off the panic - a losing battle. He grabbed the grocery list that I'd never gotten around to and Caleb, and headed out the door. And about 20 minutes after he'd left, I was calling him in the grocery store, sobbing and begging him to come home, as I'd started seeing some red. He called his mom, headed home, and shortly after that, we headed to the ER. On the ten minute drive to the hospital, I remember looking up at the faintly purple-tinged, 9:30 night sky and thinking to myself, "Surely this can't be happening again. I'm not cramping, so surely this can't be happening again." You see, Hope is a fickle mistress. Even in the worst scenarios - even when we know better - we allow her to creep in. Hope kept whispering in my ear, "This time it's different. This time, it's ok."
But it wasn't.
Two years and 10 days after I'd lost our first baby, I found myself in an eerily similar situation. Sitting on an uncomfortable hospital bed, my husband by my side, as we waited for a doctor to confirm what I'd already known in my heart. This time, I was earlier along in the pregnancy. My blood levels were low - my beta hcg just 192. They said they weren't sure if I'd already miscarried and my levels were dropping, or if I was just much earlier along than I'd thought. The ultrasound was inconclusive. I felt Hope trying to creep her way back in. She kept me from falling apart on the table. She helped me keep my composure as I pulled off the ugly hospital gown and put on the plain clothing I'd thrown on to make the trip. She held my head up as B took my hand and we left the ugly, colorless, sterile environment of the ER. But as soon as we exited the sliding glass doors, Hope disappeared. She stepped aside for reality. A reality that hit me as hard as the humid, steaming air we stepped into at 2 am to return home. A reality that stole every breath in my body, and squeezed like a fist around my heart - so hard that I didn't even know if I could get the tears that were welling behind my eyes out.
Once again, my baby was gone.
I'd been surprised by this baby. Shocked. Scared. Worried. A bit stressed. But above all, I'd allowed myself to be a mama again. I'd allowed myself to love another baby. Caleb's little brother or sister. One that would make me a mother, yet again. As any mother can tell you, that love is all encompassing. And when that love is dashed, well, it's brutal. It's devastating and disappointing and sad all at the same time. It's hard. It hurts. It's isolating.
This time around, I at least knew what to expect. When the severe cramping and bleeding began at 6 am Monday morning, it didn't scare me like it did the first time. I knew that my body was just doing its job. A job that I hate, as it means that I am officially no longer pregnant, but a job that I am trying to be thankful for, as it means that I can hopefully avoid a D&C. The pain is still fresh and raw, but it's not as traumatic as it was the first time around. I have a beautiful little boy that is doing wonders in keeping me busy and engaged, and I am more thankful than ever for the miracle that he is. Of course I wonder if I will be able to have more children. I worry about it, and wonder if there is something wrong with me. I will never be one of those lucky ladies that gets to have a completely worry-free pregnancy. I know what can go wrong. And I know that it goes wrong so often. Even when you think you've paid your dues.
So, instead of sharing a fun pregnancy announcement like we were hoping to do in the coming weeks, I find myself writing yet another blog post full of grief, sadness and loss. Please bare with us as we navigate this tough time in our lives yet again. We're trying not to wonder why this happened again. We're trying to avoid the, "Why us?" questions. That can be a slippery slope, and one that will mostly likely lead to no answers. It's just one of those things. One of those hard, unfair things in life that we may never understand. I know that some of you precious ladies are dealing with very similar things - be it infertility, or losses of your own, just like mine. My heart goes out to you. I am right here with you. If you'd like to share your story with me, please email me or leave a comment below. It's always comforting to know that you are not alone - even in the ugliest of circumstances - and I would love to hear that I am not alone right now.
Here's to Hope. That fickle mistress.