Worldwide Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I thought I would take a minute and reflect here about the two babies I lost between Casey and Christa because sometimes I think it warrants therapy and sometimes I don't and you all know what this blog is for me so here it goes.
In December of 2009, right before we were headed to Michigan for Christmas, I found out that I was pregnant with Casey. We were ecstatic and had Husband's niece draw a picture of us pushing a carriage to give to his parents. It was a pretty rad Christmas gift. In October of 2011, when Casey was just a little over a year old, we found out we were expecting again. Flash forward to December of 2011 and we were getting ready to once again spend another Christmas in Michigan only to find out the day before we were leaving that over 12 weeks into my second pregnancy, I had miscarried. By that point we'd decided on names and were anxious to see if the baby would be a boy or a girl. Twelve weeks is supposed to be the safe number but clearly that was not the case. I had already said something about the pregnancy on Facebook and I remember silently deleting those posts, never acknowledging what had happened, relying on posts about drinking to let "the people" come to their own conclusions.
We waited quite a while to try again but in early March of 2013, after a month off birth control, I had a positive pregnancy test. I never really publicly announced that pregnancy because I was worried about hitting my safe 12 weeks again. I knew I would not have peace of mind until I saw a heartbeat on an ultrasound and worried constantly that this pregnancy would also fail. The pregnancy was considered "high risk" because of my age and because my last pregnancy had ended in miscarriage so there was an early ultrasound at six weeks. Prior to that, though, we'd had a blood draw with low numbers so there was already concern. The ultrasound just so happened to be on April Fool's Day and they found an empty gestational sac. Not the best "prank" to learn we'd lost another baby.
I felt so many things when I lost the second baby. I felt relief like it was a sign that Casey was our blessing and that should be that. I felt like a failure because I couldn't fulfill my duty as a woman to make babies. It was awful. After the D&C that followed my second miscarriage, I was pretty firmly convinced I would get my tubes tied. I couldn't imagine surviving another loss, what that would do to me and Husband and our marriage. I scheduled an appointment to go in to get my tubes tied after the next period. Only that period never came. Husband and I had sex ONE time and I'd gotten pregnant with Christa. It was June of 2013 when I had a positive pregnancy test and I was convinced that stress had given me a false positive. What were the chances I could be pregnant again so quickly and after only one attempt!? I remember spotting shortly after and thinking I'd lost another one. We were rushed to an ultrasound and there was a penny on the floor of the exam room. I thought it was a lucky omen and we went to the ultrasound and saw her heart beating and the rest is history. I still have that penny.
Husband and I both took measures to ensure Christa would be our last child. I can't imagine another pregnancy or rolling the dice to see if another chance would be successful. When I finished nursing Christa I headed to the tattoo parlor to add her name to an existing piece I had of Casey's name under an anchor. The artist had stenciled her name above the anchor and something was missing so I added two stars to represent the babies we'd lost. It basically made it a full circle, a fitting end to this wild ride of reproduction. I wish miscarriage wasn't so taboo. I wish there wasn't such a stigma and that more women felt freer to talk about their loss and feelings of inadequacy. I'm so grateful for my rainbow baby, Christa, and that I got a chance at a happy ending but my heart goes out to all the ladies that just couldn't bear to try again.