Today marks the date of a significant event in our lives...I certainly wouldn't call it an anniversary because, to me, anniversaries mark exciting times or events...anniversaries are something you want to remember every year however this event is something that, unfortunately, we will never forget. In case you don't already know, my hubby and I are high school sweethearts! We started dating our 11th grade year but decided very early on that we had plans for our life...we thought we had something special but knew that there were A LOT of things that had to happen in order for us to live "happily ever after"...finish high school, go to college, get married, graduate, get jobs, buy a house and SETTLE! Not sure if the "Settle" will ever happen but Welcome to the Navy! For the longest time the idea of starting a family was not even a topic of conversation! It just wasn't in "The Plan"!!! However, like most people say, one day it just hit me...it was time! I will never forget the day...August 15th 2007...that "baby" truck just side swiped me one night while I was sleeping and I woke up "ready" to try! Our road to pregnancy wasn't a, shall I say, "wam bam thank you ma'am" event...it took some time but that is neither here nor there! Eventually we got pregnant....I will never forget buying the test and taking it...PREGNANT!...and buying another 3 tests and taking 2 of them...PREGNANT!...PREGNANT!...running into the kitchen and jumping into Leif's arms! He swung me around and I just remember saying "I can't believe it...we are pregnant"...Finally we were pregnant! YES, I cried...and I am crying now at the memory of my innocent excitement! I shared the news with a VERY select few people...about 6 people knew...what can I say...I am superstitious! My pregnancy was picture perfect...I had the usual early symptoms but nothing too crazy! The weeks flew by and I figured that before I knew it I would be holding my baby...unfortunately that wasn't in "The Plan". We lost our baby...or shall I say we lost our pregnancy! I will spare you the very gory and painful details of everything that happened but will share with you the moment we knew...in the ER...Doc examines me..."Well" she says "your cervix size is consistent with a women who is approximately 10-12 weeks pregnant but I will do blood work and a sonogram to be sure"....I will never forget those words because my wonderful husband was sitting right beside me holding my hand and he gave me a really tight squeeze when she said that I "felt" pregnant...it is almost like he "squeezed" that moment into my mind...we had a sonogram and waited for the results...there was a fetal pole...but no heartbeat...blood work showed elevated hormone levels but not enough to be "as pregnant" as I was...they were dropping! We were no longer pregnant! I followed up with my regular doctor and she recommended a DNC...I declined! It took about 8 days but at my next follow up my cervix was empty...the "Good News" she said is "that we now know that you can get pregnant"...what's the bad news? Well the bad news is that your body did what is called a "spontaneous abortion"...Yes, I cried again...I cried a lot over the next 2 weeks..."WHY?" I asked...she gave me an answer that FOR ME makes a lot of sense but unfortunately does not make things any easier! This miscarriage was your body's way of saying that something isn't right...this pregnancy would not be viable outside of the womb, there was a defect in the fetus..."it is for the best that you miscarried"...I heard those words a lot over the next few weeks...Now let me be very honest...I was ANGRY! I am not sure who I was angry with but I was angry...I was angry with the world, with myself, with God, with every person that said the wrong thing while trying to comfort me...I seriously wanted to crawl into a hole and die! I am not sure why...maybe I am a masochist (gratification gained from pain, deprivation, degradation, etc., inflicted or imposed on oneself)...but a few days later I secretly took that last pregnancy test...that last one in the pack of 3 that I mentioned above...PREGNANT...knife through the heart! Would this pain ever end?
I am a firm believer that each and every experience is unique...my marriage is not the same as yours, my experience with cancer is not the same as yours, my college experience is not the same as yours, my pregnancy is not the same as yours and my miscarriage is not the same as yours... or your moms, or your sisters, or your friends! I know that in hard times it is very difficult to know what to say but sometimes I think a simple "I am sorry" or "I am here for you" would suffice. I had one person tell me to "get over it" another said that I didn't really lose a baby so I shouldn't be sad...she was right in a way...no baby at 10-12 weeks would survive outside the womb but here is the conclusion that I have come to...I was pregnant, I was excited, I was ready, I had plans, I had hope...and then I lost it all! Sometimes in my mind I think I lost a baby, and sometimes I think the biggest thing I lost was hope! I was hopeful for the future, I had made plans and as much as I was told not to...I got excited! How can you not? You try for over a year to get pregnant...you can't help but get excited...HECK if you try for 5 minutes to get pregnant and you do, you are excited! I was going to be a Mommy and Leif a Daddy...we had made something together...we had planted roots...from the first sonogram to the first cry, love at first sight, long nights, birthdays, Christmas, play dates and FOREVER...I had hopes of forever! From the moment that little stick read "PREGNANT" you start thinking, planning, and hoping...want to or not...you do...and when it is gone you either mourn the loss or move on...and I mourned! I am forever changed...for the good and for the bad! I will never have the same innocent excitement about a pregnancy, I will never be so hopeful, I will never let my mind "plan" for the future and most importantly I PROMISE that I will never ever ever take the gift of life for granted!
Sometimes at night when Aiden can't sleep and I have been rocking, nursing, shushing and swaying him, I remind myself of that day, November 14, the day that changed me forever. The night I begged to God "Please let me still be pregnant" and then just cried out "why?". When I look into his eyes and tear up, when I talk about him and tear up, when I call him "the chosen" one, MY miracle baby...I think people think I am crazy and in some ways I AM! But this is MY experience...my struggles, my hardship...in someways the miscarriage was the end of one struggle and in some ways it was only the beginning but either way it was was a defining moment in my pursuit to be the best mother I can absolutely be. It doesn't define me, Teresa, but it does mark a change in who I am....Who am I? I am THANKFUL!!!