“I’m here, I just feel a little broken right now.” These words came out of my mouth when Charlie cried out for me. I hadn’t even placed him in his crib yet after he had fallen asleep in my arms. I love soaking in cuddly snuggles with him right after he falls asleep. It’s the only time he isn’t squirming around. This sweet boy has had many momma tears fall onto his head this past week. Thank God, he is the sweetest, most caring little soul and doesn’t mind at all.
About 10 days post ovulation, I was laying in bed and praying and I said, “God I wish I could just know now if we made a baby this month. I hate waiting.” Immediately, what I can only describe as a feeling of butterflies and electricity shot across my womb. I have never experienced such a connection or sign from God before. I knew right then we had conceived. A few days later a pregnancy test, and several subsequent tests, confirmed what I already knew.
The funny thing. When I prayed asking for a sign that we conceived a baby, I didn’t ask if I’d get to love them on earth. If I’d get to experience them growing and stretching out my already stretched out belly even more. If I would be able to feel them flipping and kicking around. If I would get to breathe in the sweet smell of their newborn head. If I would get to introduce them to Adaline and Charlie. God decided this baby would be called home before we got to meet them.
As a woman in her mid thirties (oof), I unfortunately know many women who have experienced pregnancy loss. I’ve always wondered, “How the hell do you move on from that?” “How can you function knowing you lost your baby?” “Does the pain just consume you?”
As with most grief, you just wade through it. Some days you do so numbly. You make it to the end of the day and wonder how you got there. Life keeps moving. Work still needs done. My children still need their mother. One moment I’m fine. One moment I’m snapping at my kids for no good reason. One moment I’m fine. One moment I’m crying. One moment I’m fine. One moment I want to punch my fist through a wall. The hormone plunge after a miscarriage is like PMS on steroids and not something I was prepared for. This combined with the headaches and cramping only exasperated the emotional pain.
Thinking about how much I love Adaline and Charlie I can’t believe I won’t get to hold this baby and love them the same way. No special midnight moments nursing, when the rest of the house is finally quiet. No comparing whom they look like more, mom or dad. So far we are two for two looking like mom, although Charlie is basically a little Adaline clone. They both seem to have their Dad’s personality though!
I’m saddened this baby will not get to experience Charlie’s goofy laugh when he knows he is being naughty. They won’t get to wake up to Adaline serenading us with her made up songs. I won’t get to dress them in ridiculous matching outfits. They won’t get to play in the backyard, sway away afternoons in the tree swing or chase the dogs around.
As soon as I saw those two pink lines, I started to plan. Should we name you Magnolia or Charlotte? Michael after my dad? I couldn’t wait to tell family on Christmas that we were expecting our book end baby. I thought about showing up with a huge bow on my belly, which is still stretched out from your sister and brother. I ended up buying picture frames that Adaline painted. We were going to put a picture of Addy and Charlie in the frame, holding a sign announcing you as the final member of our pack.
Instead, this Christmas I sit with an empty womb and a shattered heart. I know God will provide us comfort and God will use this pain. I know I am so incredibly blessed to have two, healthy and thriving children. I know if it is in His plan, we will have a third to love here during our time on earth.
I often say my motivation for writing and sharing pieces of my heart, other than self serving catharsis, is to share both the beautiful and the ugly of motherhood. I do so to encourage other mommas. So they know they are very much not alone in their journey as it can so often seem. To help moms recognize their hard days, their ugly thoughts, their weak moments, are all part of it. It’s the journey. It’s harsh and beautiful and I really wish I could have had you as part of it on earth.