Today is my due date. If my pregnancy in October had stuck, I would be having a baby today.
I had thought that would make me sad. That I would shed some tears today and feel down. Instead I find myself feeling optimistic about the future and more understanding of women who have suffered loss as I have.
Before I miscarried I thought that the earlier you miscarried, the less it hurt. I thought that a miscarriage wasn't really a big deal, that that baby didn't count, and that the person should just be happy to try again.
Now? Now I get it. Now I understand that 11 weeks or 5 weeks, it doesn't matter. As soon as those pink lines show up on the First Response stick, you are picturing your life nine months down the road. You are buying car seats, soothing teething tears & taking pictures of that baby like a paparazzi in your mind. The loss of the baby (at any age) is really the loss of the dreams you had for that baby. When my baby's heart stopped beating (as in my first miscarriage) or when its cells stopped multiplying (as in my second miscarriage) the age of the pregnancy didn't matter. All that I knew was that my dreams were shattered. My hopes, scattered in the wind.
I also understand now (especially since I miscarried after having children) that that baby did count. Oh, it so counted. Each of those babies I lost last year was a little bit of magic our DNA created together. Another Wyatt or another Jack. A little being with a soul and a story all its own. And I hate missing out on that story.
And as for trying again... Oh, it is just.so.hard. At first I went directly to "We're done". My thinking was, "I tried. I failed. Game over." I don't think I could imagine risking the heartache again, whatever the rewards. So I pretended to accept my family as it is. I tried to be content. To feel grateful.
But the truth is, I want more. I want to have another baby, to experience nursing again, to give my boys the gift of yet another sibling. And as scary as that is, I have to say that the reward is worth the risk. I believe now that grief is the price we pay for loving hard. I grieved the loss of those pregnancies because I loved those little beings, and I had imagined a future with them. I wouldn't trade that love for grief. It was worth it.
So I am choosing, for the future, to have hope. And while it's scary to hope when things look bleak, it's even more scary to lose hope when things look bleak.