Through the process of sharing my miscarriage story I've heard from many of you -- words of support and empathy -- many of you have experienced a miscarriage of your own. I couldn't respond to each of you but I truly appreciate that you opened up to me, bonding us in womanhood.
My story concludes below.
The positive pregnancy test in Michigan this past August threw me into a panicked loop. I wasn't ready to be pregnant again only to risk finding out 6 weeks later there was no baby. There's no way I was emotionally stable enough to handle that. Tears fell the rest of the family vacation and I confided in my brother (I needed to talk to someone other than my husband). He let me cry through my fears -- the obvious fear being this another failed pregnancy (it had already failed in my mind) -- then calmly and lovingly advised that I not take counsel from my doubts. He knew I was swimming in doubt and, in that moment, they were crippling me. I told him if this pregnancy didn't go full term, I'd be done. He looked at me, hugged me tightly, and told me he loved me.
Once we were home in San Francisco, I scheduled my prenatal appointment. Anxious and numb, I sat in the observation room with my husband -- a scene too familiar and cold, a room of bad news. But, unlike the two times before, we left the hospital with good news, the best news: at this point in my pregnancy, albeit early, baby was where he was supposed to be and all looked good.
images courtesy of the animal print shop blog
I proceeded with an emotional seatbelt, sharing the good news with only a few people (I wasn't yet out of the miscarriage woods -- the risk of miscarriage dwindles less and less with each week -- and purposefully limited who I told). As the weeks passed, the expected pregnancy symptoms came and went -- miserable morning sickness, aching fatigue, confusing body changes -- and with each my doctor applauded.
And then the most amazing thing happened: at my 10-week appointment, I heard baby's heartbeat. My baby's heartbeat. The baby inside me -- he was growing and healthy and his heart was beating, steady and strong. I cried, and giggled in disbelief, and grabbed my husband's hand. Hearing the rhythm of baby's heartbeat confirmed to me this was real, that baby was there, and it was ok to get excited now.
Now I'm 20 weeks (halfway to full term), I'm showing beyond being able to hide baby Brooks, and I'm thrilled. And it feels so good -- having the personal allowance to be excited about baby. We're shopping for car seats and strollers and a rocking chair, and gladly accepting newborn onesies from baby's cousins. I'm building my baby library and reading to him -- The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen -- and trying on babybjorns. I come across cute baby stuff, like this snuggly elephant, and picture him tucked away during a nap.
Being pregnant is hard, but when I hear his heartbeat or feel him moving, the hard stuff disappears from memory and is immediately replaced with a swelling of joy and being totally worth it.
I'm going to be a mom. (!)
Yours truly, with hugs and love,