When my youngest child was born, many people didn’t know I was pregnant until after he arrived. We did our best to keep news of the pregnancy under wraps, even concealing the news from our children until 28 weeks.
I posted no ultrasound photos on Facebook. We didn’t announce anything via an elated tweet. There were no bump pictures on Instagram or maternity photo shoots.
For me, it was never a matter of “when” the baby would be born. It was a matter of “if.”
“Secondary Recurrent Miscarriage”
My first two pregnancies were unplanned and went smoothly. Our troubles began when we decided to try for a third.
We went on to lose 3 pregnancies at 18, 14 and 11 weeks. Two baby girls, the other too early to tell.
Tests were run. Specialists were seen. No answers were found.
After the third loss, we decided to find another way to grow our family. We adopted two amazing kids and assumed our family was complete.
Five years later I was in for the shock of my life. I was pregnant again, and terrified. My doctor suggested a treatment of baby aspirin and progesterone. There was no guarantee it would work.
I braced myself for what I thought was the inevitable. It didn’t help that I experienced episodes of spotting and was put on bed rest.
I was induced at 39 weeks. He arrived safely, and we finally posted a photo on Facebook.
We decided to name him Jude. People tell us they love his name. They ask us if we are Beatles fans, and we are. But the truth is, he is named for Saint Jude; the patron saint of lost causes, hopeless situations, and miraculous healing.
The Lessons of Grief
Even though our story has a happy ending, the emotional scar tissue will remain forever. When you lose a child, you’re never the same again.
You become an expert in grief.
Grief isn’t something that ever goes away. It’s something you learn to live with, something you learn to navigate. And even though things do get easier with time, you learn that grief is sneaky. You learn what your triggers are and how to avoid them if possible. You learn how to manage your emotions.
You learn that sometimes you can’t manage your emotions. Sometimes you need to grieve and wait for the storm to pass.
You learn that anger and sadness are two sides of the same coin.
You develop a heightened sensitivity to the feelings of others. Even as write this, I realize how lucky I am. I understand others could look at my family and feel the same jealousy I felt towards women with easy pregnancies.
But most importantly, you learn that grief can pave the way for gratitude.
You learn to celebrate every boring, uneventful day.
You discover the simplest moments can be filled with beauty and joy.
In fact, some days your heart feels so full of love you just might share it on Facebook.