Here I am again. Miraculously, I am hugely pregnant awaiting the arrival of my sweet baby. Things can go wrong still. I know this. But I am choosing to think that we will hold our Sunshine and listen to her breathe softly. I am choosing to believe that I will introduce her to her siblings and watch them grow and interact. I am choosing to believe in a future.
We’ve been preparing the kids. Telling them about Sunshine. Showing them the ultrasound pictures. She is excited. He is indifferent. Neither have a clue about how their world will change soon. Soon their little group of two will be three. Soon our family will be complete. Soon it will be over for good. Finally we will have reached the end.
At the beginning of this year, I couldn’t picture this. I couldn’t picture being here again. But here I am again. Wonderfully, miraculously, awaiting my Sunshine.
It happened. We got through it. The heartbeat was strong and beautiful. I can breathe for a little longer. Things can still happen. I’m not at viability yet. But for now I can breathe.
It’s a girl. My beautiful rainbow girl. We have a name but here she will be Sunshine. My beautiful ray of Sunshine after a horrible storm.
Still here. 18 weeks now. One more week until we reach the dreaded milestone. The week we found out we lost Arwen. I haven’t scheduled my anatomy scan. I can’t yet. Its just too damn close. I need to get to week 20 at least. I need to know I can get that far.
I want to live with the doppler attached to me. I want to make sure baby is always there. Alive. Heart beating swiftly. But I can’t. I have to live. I have to take care of Penny and Turkey. They are growing so fast. I don’t want to miss this time with them. I’m just torn. I feel kicks. Baby lets me know it’s alive. Every now and then. It is a good reminder.
We haven’t found out the sex this time. I need to get past 19 weeks. Then we’ll find out. Maybe. I know I should find out. It will help me bond. But part of me doesn’t want to bond. Babies die sometimes. Babies die and take huge chunks of my heart with them. My heart can’t take that any more.
I’m a mess. But I’m still here.
I found that beautiful sound. There’s a baby in there with a beautiful heartbeat pumping away. After all the fears, all the blood, there it was. It sounds strong. It sounds like hope.
I know it means nothing. A heartbeat can stop so quickly still. It can stopnat any time. But for today my baby is alive. Today my baby’s heart is beating. That has to be enough. Its enough to get me through today.
I hate this part of pregnancy. The limbo. The gray area. I hate it so much. Its compounded by the fact that we vowed to not do the infertile thing. No betas, no early ultrasounds, nothing. I haven’t even called my OB yet. But I hate it. I wish I hadn’t made that promise.
“Today you are pregnant and that’s enough,” K said this morning. He’s said it every morning. He’s watched me agonize over lines and pop prenatals like they can save my baby. He hasn’t watched me obsessively check after every wipe but he knows I do that. He knows the crazy runs deep.
I’m still spotting occasionally. Just when I wipe. Sometimes pink, sometimes dark red, but mostly brown. Not all the time either. Just when I think I can breathe a little easier it rears its head again.
But I am kidding myself anyway. I can’t ever breathe easier. Babies die all the time. I won’t breathe until the baby is here. As if holding my breath will keep it from all falling apart.
Just breathe. I need to just breathe.
I conceived. I was surprised when I saw the super faint line on Sunday. I didn’t expect it to happen quickly. Its early still. I’m only 11DPO at the most. But I’m spotting. I know it could be nothing. I know many healthy pregnancies start with bleeding. I know that many unhealthy pregnancies have no issues until the heartbeat is silenced. I know brown and pink arent signs of impending doom. But I’m spotting. I’m terrified. I can’t do this again.
She was perfect. She was so incredibly tiny but so perfect. Her picture sits on our dresser beside her brother and sister’s pictures. She was gone too soon but she will never be forgotten .
I went in for the induction without a name. We had tried for weeks to agree. K wanted something traditional. I wanted something that would flow well with Penny and Turkey’s names. We just hadn’t found the right name. And when we found out we had lost her, I honestly didn’t want to give her a name. I wanted to detach. I wanted to protect myself from the pain I knew was coming. If we didnt have a name to call her then it didn’t have to be real. The pain didn’t have to come. I was fooling myself but I was just barely clinging to sanity.
During labor I refused pain medication. The contractions got stronger, the pain got worse, but I wanted to feel it all. I wanted to punish myself. It was me who had decided not to use Lovenox this time. It was me who had decided against extra monitoring. It was me who decided that my body could do this. It had done it before. It must be able to do it again without the cocktail of drugs I was on before. I selfishly wanted a normal pregnancy. I should have known it would all go to hell. I should have known we’d lose her. I should have known I would kill her if I didn’t take the Lovenox. I think I did know. But I went ahead and my daughter paid the price. She died for my selfishness.
I didn’t want to pick a name. I wanted to forgo the guilt. Giving her a name made the pain worse. It made the guilt worse. I didn’t want that. I didn’t want to hurt that much. I told K this but he insisted. He knew I would regret it even more if I said goodbye to our little girl without a name. If I let her slip away without speaking her name I would never forgive myself.
When I was a little girl, my mom read the Lord of the Rings to me. For weeks afterwards I pretended I was Arwen. I told my mom I was going to name my daughter Arwen one day. My mom told me she thought that was a beautiful name. She hoped I would have a daughter one day to name Arwen.
I told K I wanted to name her Arwen. I told him I didn’t want her to be alone after. I didn’t want her to not have anyone to hold her. I couldn’t bear that thought. I wanted my mom to be with her. So her name had to be Arwen. That way my mom would find her and they’d never be alone again. In my state of emotional and physical pain I wanted more than anything to cling to the hope that they would be together. So I did. I clung to that hope and we named her Arwen.
She came into the world without a sound. She was so still. She was perfect and tiny and so quiet. I kissed her and held her and said her name. I said goodbye to my precious Arwen.
Her name is written on the tiny box that sits on our dresser beside her picture. The tiny box that holds the tiny ashes. The box that holds what remains of my daughter. I’ve begun to let go of the guilt but I can’t let go of the ashes yet. I know she’s not there. She’s not in those ashes any more. She’s with my mom. But I can’t let go yet. Maybe one day but not yet.