Barely Here

This is an unusual and very personal post for me. It's certainly a departure from our home updates but I think it's time to share. As many of you know, Corey and I had some challenges while trying to bring Baby M to our family. We know many women who have gone through far more traumatic experiences (and I was shocked at the number of friends who had experienced miscarriage when I shared our own struggles) but I'm a firm believer in sharing, discussing and normalizing experiences like this, so I'm sharing mine.

Before I was pregnant with Baby M, I had three miscarriages. For us, all three miscarriages occurred very early on in each pregnancy. Because of this, I experienced very little physical trauma but it still hurt emotionally. By the third, I was actually dreading seeing the double pink line on the pregnancy test because I felt that a loss was inevitable. 

Now that I'm farther along in my pregnancy with Baby M and she's kicking up a storm (another Bruiser like her sister, I suspect), the losses feel farther away and sometimes (especially with very early miscarriages) it's hard to know what to call them or how to label them in my own mind. At the hospital, when they ask which pregnancy this is for me, I find myself saying "Two... I mean five... I mean... I don't know how you want to count them..."  That's always a little upsetting because it means that even I question how "real" they were. Our first miscarriage was from a pregnancy last spring (almost exactly one year ago) that was totally unexpected but it really helped us to decide that it was time to add to our family when we otherwise may not have.

The experiences sting less these days and it's easy to almost forget that they happened. But they were (and are) real and I came across a poem I wrote after my first miscarriage last spring. I was too upset to post it at the time but I'd like to share it now. Big hugs to all the families dealing with similar (or different) challenges and big thank yous to my supportive family and friends.

Barely Here

We almost thought we had imagined you. But you were here: a faint pink line that threw our universe upside down and laughed in the face of our carefully planned timeline.  It's always the most ordinary days that end up changing the course of your life.

A faint positive is still a positive and I had been sick and emotional for a week.

We hadn't expected you. We weren't ready, and yet, we felt excited about the idea quickly.

But everything about your stay with us was too small. Too short. Too few. Too brief.

For a few days, we imagined you playing with your big sister. Tree forts and whispered secrets and obstacle courses in the yard. We knew your name: A name that is entirely yours and we will never give to another child. We thought you were fate. How amazing that our family would grow sooner than planned! How perfect that you and your sister would be so close in age. Inseparable buddies!

For a few days, we budgeted for your education. Our life. Your future. You would be expensive but we would make it work.

For a few days, we enjoyed our happy little secret. We glowed on the inside and felt so so lucky! I imagined you growing strong in my belly. An entire life, your life, filled with potential, flashed through my mind.

Then suddenly, you were gone and our small bubble burst. Our hearts fell because we would never get to meet you.

You were the size of a pin prick, with immeasurably small mass, but we still felt the weight of your loss. Our world went on and we still woke up the next morning. We joked and laughed and pretended to be dinosaurs and we made your sister breakfast. I went to work. It was just like any normal Sunday. Mostly normal. Maybe a little sad. We were okay, but we wouldn't forget you.

You were gone and I suppose we were meant to stay just three for now. Three musketeers. Three against the world. Not four. Not yet.

You were barely here but a faint positive is still positive. An early miscarriage is still a miscarriage. You were barely here but you were here.

Maybe everything happens for a reason. And maybe you taught us that we're a little more ready to be parents again than we had thought...

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