We’re having another baby. We found out in July, before the 6 month anniversary of losing Laurence & Flannery. And my first thought was, “What if I lose 3 babies in one year?” But Graham’s fears about becoming a Hermit-Man taught me some things about myself. Dave and I were equal parts elated and nervous-out-of-our-minds. We decided to keep it between us.
We needed time to process. I needed to process that I was going to be pregnant on the due date of my dead children. Surreal. Or maybe I wouldn’t be. Maybe we would lose this baby and I’d be having another D & C on their due date. My mind was full of muddled emotions.
With Graham, I was excited from Day One. With Adelaide, I was excited from Day One. With Bess, I was overwhelmed. Excited, but scared. Would my third baby also have disabilities? How would I handle that? A double wheelchair? How was I going to handle three kids, even if it didn’t have any abnormalities? Pregnancy hormones sent my brain in a hundred directions.
When I became pregnant with the twins, I was happy and nervous. Because it never felt the same. My body was off. I remember feeling two babies quicken just days before we lost them. One felt strong, one felt weak. And then they were gone.
This time, I found myself almost unable to celebrate. Still reeling from the trauma of burying my children in February.
I decided to be proactive. Long gone were the days of showing up at my 8 week appointment and feeling normal. I requested bloodwork. Right away. They squeezed me in.
One of my best friends dropped everything to watch the kids. Heather bought popsicles and set up a kiddie pool. No questions asked.
And the first batch of bloodwork was great.
We announced to family, but decided not to tell Graham. He has always had Baby Fever and I couldn’t put him through that again. We weren’t going to keep anything from him long-term, but wanted to avoid a repeat scenario of Mommy leaving the house pregnant and coming home, well, not. We decided to wait. If the baby died, we would tell him later. That was our plan. But we were starting to feel optimistic.
Then my second batch of bloodwork came back with issues. There was talk of baby being ectopic. If not ectopic, my uterus was not doing its job to keep the baby. I needed to go on meds right away in order to give baby any chance of surviving the first 3 months.
Basically, my fears had come true. They scheduled an ultrasound. We were expecting to see a tubal pregnancy or no baby or, my worst fear, a baby who had already passed away. We had family praying, but I told Dave I was keeping my expectations as low as possible. I bawled through church. Praying verses over my growing belly, hidden under my clothes. I cleaned my entire house, because I just knew I was losing my third baby in one year and our LifeGroup would bring food. That’s what LifeGroups do. You live life together. And you bring food when life ends. Our LifeGroup leader came to watch our kids. Knowing we were most likely getting bad news. That’s bravery.
The day before, I took my first baby bump photo. Decided it was probably the first and last. The only photo from my final pregnancy. We had no idea if there was anything alive in there.
We went to the appointment. It wasn’t all smiles and peeing in a cup and happy times. We barely talked while we waited. I had been praying Baby would make it, but I couldn’t bring myself to hope for it. We went through the motions and I was literally holding my breath as they put the gel on my belly. I prayed verses over Baby. And then we saw something. With a heartbeat. And she said, “There’s a fetus in the uterus!”
And I’ve never been so overcome with joy by six clinical words. Dave and I were crying and laughing. Our worst case scenario visit had suddenly done a 180. They did measurements and checked everything: uterus, sac, umbilical cord, and baby. Everything looked exactly the way it was supposed to look. But I’m not naive and I knew there was still a chance for loss. The medication was working, but would it continue to work? We left and I got a Sonic drink. We were still in shock. We went home and had breakfast with Jenny. Our kids running around and playing. All of us just breathing a sigh of relief.
And that afternoon, we got the call from the fetal specialist reviewing all our images and video. He was more than pleased. We dropped to a 3% chance of loss.
And that should’ve been the end of my anxiety. But I focused on that 3%. Because pregnancy changes after miscarriage. I was still struggling with the fact that we would most likely have a child in our arms on Resurrection Sunday. But we might not.
Graham was getting really suspicious of my growing midsection, but I didn’t want to tell him. And I tried to hide my belly from him. “I know you and Daddy are keeping a secwet fwom me.” Bess started talking to my belly and said she had a Baby Brother in there.
On August 25th, I went to see my hair stylist. And she said something that changed me. “Lyndse, you could lose this baby. We can all lose babies. But if you don’t, and you’ve spent your whole pregnancy dreading the loss, you could be holding a baby in April, but full of regret from never celebrating your last pregnancy. Celebrate. And you’ll have good days and bad days, but live the days. Don’t regret not living them.”
So we decided to go public that weekend. On the twins’ due date, we announced that we were having another baby. On the last Friday in August, I mourned two children and celebrated another.
We were blessed with calls and messages and congratulations from so many people. Some people didn’t congratulate us. At all. Either dealing with fertility issues or loss or just didn’t care. I chose to focus on the people who joined us in celebration. They were the same people who had been there during our grief, and I was blessed by their commitment to mourn when we mourned and dance when we danced. Family, friends, and people we’ve never met. They joined us in praying over this Baby.
We told Adelaide. She asked for fries. She’s definitely my daughter.
Then we announced to Graham and Bess when they returned from a sleepover at Grandma’s house. It was something I will treasure always.
Graham’s excitement and smiles. His questions about the twins’ death and this baby’s chances at life. “Mommy and Daddy can’t promise, but everything is looking good with this baby.”
Bess was too tired. Proclaimed she didn’t want to be a Big Sister. But changed her tune about 40 minutes later and hasn’t stopped talking about the new baby.
Everyday, Graham asks if we’ve lost the Baby yet. I hate that my 6-year-old says yet. Expecting loss. I keep reminding him that we celebrate. We can’t know exactly what will happen.
Today, I went for another follow-up appointment. We were checking to make sure the medication was still doing its job. And I saw my baby kicking and moving and the heartbeat was thumping away.
And everyone was so happy. Nurses were congratulating me. And I wanted to put that 3% out of my head. But then they said I needed to stay on the medication longer, just to be safe. “We’re not taking any chances.” But I fill the prescription and I keep celebrating. No matter what happens, I’m celebrating my last time carrying life in my womb. Pregnancy after miscarriage is a whole new world. And I thank the person who thought to put a box fan in the OB room. Bless that person forever.