For My Birthday

... Two weeks before my 32nd birthday I miscarried the baby I had so desperately wanted.  We spent the summer before that talking in whispers about the fourth baby we were going to try for, and by the time we were back in our village in Alaska, it was time to start trying.  I got pregnant on the first try (as is my luck with each & every pregnancy) and was elated to get that positive pregnancy test.  I flew out (to Anchorage) in October at ten weeks to check on Babyham's progress only to discover he had stopped growing a week earlier.

I arrived home to my husband and our children amidst the insanity of Halloween and just carried myself through each day, feeling hollow and empty.  And like a failure.

Fast forward two months, just past my last birthday, and there again was the positive pregnancy test.  Another trip to Anchorage.  Another routine exam.  And this time, instead of a bad ultrasound, it was a bad blood test.  I was only five weeks along, but the numbers weren't adding up.

A few days after I got home, I lost another baby.

As I struggled to fight (what I now think was) vertigo, depression & anxiety, my hope felt like it had been put on pause.  I knew that I should hope, and that I needed to hope, but it was so very hard to hold on when it felt a bit like catching mist.

Finally in the spring, I decided that any heartache (like that I had endured for both miscarriages) was worth the possible reward of another baby.  I found out the day before we flew home to Washington from Alaska that I was, for the fifth time, pregnant.  (For those who are trying to keep up with the math-- #1: The twin pregnancy #2: Wyatt's pregnancy #3: the first miscarriage #4: the second miscarriage & #5: my current pregnancy)  At the airport I told all our loved ones that we were expecting, not caring that I was only four weeks along.  I decided that this pregnancy was going to be celebrated for however many days it lasted, whether it resulted in a baby in my arms or not.

It took a lot of faith to go for it again.  To trust God, to ignore my anxiety & my worries.  But it has been so worth it.  From first seeing her on the screen at 8 weeks, to hearing her heartbeat at 12; from finding out she was a girl (!!!) to ordering her first baby blanket... It's all felt surreal and beautiful and like a gift from God.

I guess I write all this to say, it's been a hard year.  A roller coaster year.  Loss & joy.  Loneliness & fun.  Heartache & hope.  It's all part of the journey.

For my 33rd year, I am hoping for: a healthy baby to join our family (even one that's "born wrong"-- per Wyatt's prayers --meaning born a boy instead of a girl); our family to be reunited and living together somewhere that is the perfect fit for us; and for me to remember that everyday I'm here on earth is a gift.  Especially if that day is spent with the ones I love.


Ashley B said...

Happy Birthday friend!

Holly Parlier said...

Happy happy happy birthday, Beautiful Shelly!!!