This is a story I have put off writing for an entire year now because it’s incredibly painful.
It makes me so sad.
I have so many emotions and feelings still deeply tied to this experience.
Even with therapy, even with time, even with Lochlan.
It is still so painful.
On August 3rd, 2020 after months and months (well beyond a year) of trying for a 4th baby, after a PTSD dx, going on anxiety meds and back off of them again. After hours of therapy and diet changes and supplements and prayer and healing….
my body finally trusted itself enough to let life back in
I was shocked, stunned, and surprised. I had no symptoms or suspicions that anything was happening. I just knew that it was long enough that I could get a positive test if I was. So I waited until Jim took the kids to go play at the park with some friends and quickly took a test around 7:30 pm.
For anyone who has ever taken a bunch of pregnancy tests- y’all know that taking a test at night is unconventional and crazy. You always take a test first thing in the morning! But here I was- and look at that dark second line!
I was SHOOK.
I face-timed my dear from Jessica and talked through some of the shock over it. It was so crazy. We had a 4th baby coming! In April! What perfect and beautiful timing.
I waited until we put the kids to bed that night and then recorded telling Jim that I was pregnant again. His reaction was so priceless (you can see it on my Instagram!)
A few days later we told the kids- their reactions were even better ( you can also see those on my instagram account!)
This baby was SO so so loved and SO so so wanted, by all of us.
I started to bustle around and prepare for the inevitable sickness that always comes somewhere between 6-8 weeks and began to document this new little life.
We were headed to Destin for family vacation at the end of August and thought that would be SO fun to get to tell my parents in person and take an announcement picture for all of our friends and family.
We told my brother and his wife in person, so they could be in on surprising my parents with our announcement.
I ordered this hat that said “baby on board” to use during our family photo shoot.
It was never used.
It is collecting dust in our basement.
We made it to Florida and we told my parents- it was SO special and SO sweet.
We had one precious, special, so much fun day at the beach.
I had called and talked to my midwife because I was starting to get concerned. I just felt too good. I felt great. Where was my sickness that I have always had?
Was it because I was the healthiest I’ve ever been? was it the vitamins? or was….something wrong?
She told me that it was really too early to know either way, these things just take time. But all signs pointed to a healthy baby and a healthy mommy, and to just relax if I could.
And then Monday night, right before we left for dinner- there was blood.
It was just spotting. It was so faint, but it was there.
And my greatest fears were staring right back at me.
I promptly called my midwife again to ask what I should do-
Emergency room (keep in mind, this is 2020) for an ultrasound
blood work the following day to check my levels
do nothing and wait and see
I opted to get blood work done the next day- so at the start of our Florida vacation, my husband was driving me to a clinic to get my HCG levels drawn to see if I was still pregnant or not.
And then, while we waited for the results,
we had family pictures
as we took the pictures, and me- feeling like I was actually dying inside, because I knew that my baby had- I cringed knowing how these pictures would look
One of the few pictures I have of the 6 of us- it breaks my heart, but I’m also so glad to have them. When our baby was still physically with me.
We knew what we were facing.
The following day, I got my HCG results, and they were in a perfectly normal range for an 8 week pregnancy.
But I was still spotting. Nothing heavy, just a constant presence anytime I went to the bathroom.
Then, on August 26th, our way to dinner, I noticed I was having some cramping in my back. Nothing too intense, but enough that I noticed it and worried more.
I took pictures of the kids when we sat down and then I had the strangest sensation that I needed to go to the bathroom.
So I did.
I sat down and there was a distinct “pop” and I just thought to myself- there is no way. there is no way. there is no way.
I looked in the toilet and thought- this can’t be real this can’t be real this can’t be real.
I reached into the toilet and thought- how is this happening how is this happening how is this happening
I held my perfectly formed baby, in a perfectly formed sac, in my hands.
What could I possibly do? This was my child and what was I supposed to do?
I carried it out in my hands to Jim, in tears, in a daze, and told him I needed his help.
He looked me in the eyes and said, “the baby?”
and I just nodded.
He guided me to the back of the restaurant where I wept and wept and wept-
what can you possibly do in a moment like that? with something so precious. so sacred. so dearly loved.
we talked through our options- we couldn’t just throw it away or flush it. we couldn’t keep it. we already knew we wouldn’t be staying in our kansas city house, so where could we bury it?
we decided to take pictures of our precious baby- which are too sacred and holy to ever share on the internet, but this is the face of complete and utter heartbreak
We decided to walk across the street to the harbor and release our baby into the ocean together.
I sobbed the entire way
We sat on the dock, and prayed, and cried, and Jim put our baby into the ocean
and we walked away
and I’ve never been the same
We had to tell the kids, which made no sense to them- I remember Abigail being concerned for me, “if the baby is dead, how is Mom still alive?”
She also promptly said, “Mom, you’re going to need to get another tattoo!”
To add further insult to injury, I couldn’t participate in any of the rest of our vacation because of pain, passing, and bleeding. No swimming in the pool, no playing on the beach. Our entire vacation, the joy of my three children- all spent in bed, aching, hurting, losing.
On our last night, I went and got that tattoo.
A wave, for my ocean baby.
There is no tidy bow to wrap up a story like this- I spent a lot of hours in therapy afterwards (so thankful I was already going when this happened!), and while a lot of the grief has shifted to gratitude, it is still grief.
I truly believe this baby was sent to us to set a lot of things in motion that wouldn’t have happened without them. They are a gift to us.
Lochlan wouldn’t be here if this hadn’t happened. We wouldn’t have moved or be in the home we’re in now if this hadn’t happened.
But golly, I am so sad that it had to happen this way.
Anniversaries are hard, and today is hard.
You are loved and cherished and missed, little baby. We all can’t wait to hold you and kiss you and see you again someday.