This piece was originally published in September of 2014, ten days before the first anniversary of my first miscarriage. Today is the sixth anniversary of that miscarriage. I’ve had a few more pregnancy losses since I originally wrote it. But reading this piece and my letter to the mom who’s just suffered a miscarriage helps me get through the harder days. Thank you to everyone who has read along or visited the site since then. I started this blog as a way to distract myself from – and heal – from that event.
I worry that I am getting too old to have more children, that my days of fertility have passed. I am turning 37 really soon. No spring chicken here–just me and my “old eggs.” That’s what my Ob/Gyn called them, “old eggs.” Eggs that are still in the fridge long past that faintly stamped sell by date.
Most days, I’m pretty happy of where we are in our parenting stage. Seven years ago, my doctor gave me bleak news about my chances at motherhood. He said the only chance I had at having a baby would be through in vitro. And that chance, wasn’t that high — only 20%!
That was the first time he discussed Infertility with me.
A few weeks later, I came down with the flu and went to my primary care physician. It turns out that my Ob/Gyn was 100% wrong when he crushed my dreams of carrying and bearing a child of my own. My flu test was negative but I was very pregnant.
Then just over a year after having my son, I went back to the doctor with a stomach bug. We named her, Piper.
Four years later, when I suddenly fell ill again and noticed my period was late, I took a pregnancy test and lo and behold, it said, “PREGNANT.”
And just over two months later, that all changed when I glanced at the ultrasound machine and saw no blood flow to the embryo.
Sometimes, I tell myself that everything is better this way. My life is so much easier than it would be if I had carried that baby (and the others I lost in 2018) to term.
Did you know you could have children and still be diagnosed with infertility? Infertility, after you’ve already had children is apparently called “secondary infertility.” And as a friend said to me a week after my first miscarriage, “at least you already have kids.” I do. And I am eternally grateful for them. They are my heart and soul. But loving them doesn’t make me love the babies I didn’t get to hold any less. I am lucky that I have two beautiful, loving children. I know that. But whether you are suffering from infertility or secondary infertility, the pain and loss are still there.
The good news is that it fades away.
There are only two days a year when I think about the losses more than other days. This one – and Valentine’s Day. (The anniversary of my second miscarriage is on Valentines Day.)
Life isn’t how I expected but it could be worse.
My kids are independent. I don’t have to worry about diapers. Better yet, they can actually “hold it” now so we don’t have to go to the restroom at every place we visit. I’m not chasing babies or toddlers around all day anymore. My kids are tweens now.
They are both in school and doing well. They never lack for a playmate. A family of four really is a nice and easy-to-seat size in restaurants.
I’m living the dream, folks!
I long for what might have been.
Some days I remember when my son, then 7 years old, said, “when you have another baby in your belly, I have a good name for him.”
I was in a down moment and replied, “Buddy, I may not get pregnant again.”
“Yes, you will,” he said. “I know you will because you had one in there before but it got sick so God had to take care of him. He has to give us another baby. And we can name him Clyde! Don’t you think that’s a good name?”
“Ummm isn’t that the name of the sea lion at Sea World?”
“Yeah, I saw it on sign there. It’s still a good name. I like it a lot. Clyde.”
He was so sure of himself and bouncing in excitement that Hubs and I exchanged smiles. Pork Chop absolutely adores babies, always has and always will.
He has faith. He wants a brother. He wants to name him Clyde. (I have name veto power and am not afraid to use it.)
I’m not the only family member that was hoping for more.
The kids only know about the first loss. They don’t know about any of the others. Regardless, we already have names picked out (Clyde is not one of them. Neither is Bonnie.) Unlikely as it may be, if we do happen to get pregnant again one day, I might have to consider Pork Chop’s name choice.
This month, say a little prayer for all of the women who have silently suffered through a pregnancy loss. Chances are high that a number of the women you know have been through at least one.
PS. If you are like me, you may find comfort in knowing that you are not alone. That is likely how you found this. I started this site in the days following my miscarriage when I found myself online at all hours of the night — but reluctant to log into Facebook because then I would have to “face” people I actually knew and the life that wasn’t going how I expected. I scrolled through blogs and on Pinterest to avoid sitting alone all night, unable to sleep, crying in the dark.
My friend Becky of Your Modern Family is one of the authors of Blessings Through Raindrops–Stories of Hope after Loss. I chose to become an affiliate of the book and share it with my readers because it helped me. My goal is to bring pregnancy loss out of the shadows so that grieving mothers don’t suffer alone. I’m thinking about you all today and wishing you peace.