Our second baby was supposed to be born this month. We found out at an ultrasound at nine weeks that there was no heartbeat anymore and that my body hadn’t gotten the message and kept me pregnant for three extra and unnecessary weeks—with all the symptoms that came with it.
As October slowly crept closer and closer I wondered how I would feel about the due date that will never be. And I have to be honest—I cannot stop thinking about this baby that we will never have.
It was a surprise pregnancy. We naively believed those who told us that getting pregnant the second time usually takes longer and to not be discouraged by that, so we started trying way before we were ready to commit to a newborn.
I still remember the feeling of shock when I peed on a stick and it came back positive. I walked out of the bathroom, jaw wide open, and showed my husband the test. Our 10-month-old ripped it out of my hand and started playing with it.
I was cautious. My husband was beyond excited. I knew there was a polyp in my uterus that needed to be removed and that could cause pregnancy complications so I tried really hard not to get my hopes up. I failed. I started looking at summer pregnancy clothes, imagined what maternity leave would be like in the fall and pictured our adorable family of four.
Then our hearts were broken.
Even though a tiny bit of me was preparing for the worst-case scenario, I was still devastated when my fears were confirmed. I was booked for a D&C the next day because I needed to not carry this baby inside of me any longer than I already had. It was a feeling I couldn’t stop, I just wanted it done so I could start healing, both physically and emotionally. The surgery happened the day after my son’s first birthday.
I’ve talked openly about my miscarriage because I felt so alone while going through it as if I were the only person to have ever lived through one (which I know I’m not, but it felt that way.) I received so much support and love from my friends and family, but mostly from strangers who opened up about their own losses and gave me comfort in reminding me that I did nothing wrong.
I healed physically and we resumed trying.
It was heartbreaking to get negative after negative tests for months. One day I saw a rainbow over the highway we were driving on during a family vacation, and even though I had told myself there would be no testing during the time we had together (because if I got yet another negative test I would be devastated) I broke the rules and peed on a stick in a public bathroom in the middle of nowhere in Maine.
It was positive.
I was walking on eggshells, knowing that things could go wrong but also holding to the desire of everything working out this time around. And so far things are working out.
We found out there is not just one rainbow baby, but two rainbow babies! I’ve also come to accept that, in our particular case, it wasn’t the right time for the baby we lost to join our family. Our first was still too little, I shortly after lost my job and health insurance, maybe it was the universe telling us to wait for the twins.
However, I find it hard to open up about my emotions around the due date. As if being blessed with being pregnant again invalidates my sadness for what that other pregnancy could’ve been.
So in all honesty, I think about them all the time. What they’d look like. Who they’d be. It’s weird because I’m so beyond excited and happy to be pregnant with our twins, and yet I can’t move past the pain of losing our baby.
I’ve come to the realization that no one will be able to take the place of that baby, even if they were with us for a short nine weeks. But for those weeks they were part of our family, and because of that, they will always have a place in my heart.