I have a confession to make… everyone I know seems to be pregnant. Or has someone under one in their house. Or talks about wanting to be pregnant. And I’ll admit, with my biggest boy reaching school age years, I’ve had thoughts of how fast they’ve grown and how soon Littlest will leave the Toddler-Baby years, and be a full fledged Toddler-Boy. And gone will be the days of babies in my house and in my arms. No tears had been shed, just a heart, hanging a little heavier. And then yesterday happened. I was way overtired, and the kids were way over-wired. Not a good combination. On the way home, hubbyman and I were talking about people who can’t put aside their own feelings to be happy for other people. Or something along those lines. And I said something about how much time had gone by and moving on in life, and he countered with, I can see you feeling that way. And at first, I was annoyed, because he was wrong. I would never display my emotions so publicly, especially in a way that would take away some of anyone’s happiness. But that’s me, and we all feel differently and express ourselves differently. And I had no right to judge someone for their feelings. (And if I’m really honest, I’ll own that I feel a little guilty about my judgmental thoughts.) After being annoyed for him being wrong, then I just felt sad about him being right. I still hold to the fact that I would not have behaved in the same manner, but he is right in the fact that I would have felt the same way; I just wouldn’t have shown it. But that’s because it’s not my way. My way is passive, my way is to hide and continue on. My way is probably not healthy. Even writing this, I find myself, opening new tabs and looking over things to organize closets on pinterest. And a fabulous sweatshirt that not only would keep me warm, but actually looks cute and not just another jeans and oversized sweatshirt outfit. Because those things are easy and feeling things are hard. And if I’m really honest, I’m afraid once I start feeling things, I won’t know how to stop.
And that’s precisely what happened. I started thinking about why the evening’s incident had rattled me, and what I found surprised me. I expected sadness, but I had not anticipated all the anger. As I think happy thoughts of my friends and family that are carrying their growing babies in their growing bellies (my sister in law is looking so cute as her baby belly is growing and becoming more pronounced and I cannot wait to see my friend as her belly grows as well!), I cannot help but feel a bit… of everything. I feel nostalgic thinking of when I had my biggest boy in my belly, I feel sadness when I think about the baby I did not get to meet, I feel happy when I think of how much I enjoyed my growing belly (even thought I felt miserable) with my girl, I feel anxious when I think about how scared I was during littlest’s pregnancy. And then it finally hits me. I feel angry that I will never experience any of that again. Maybe a better choice of words is that I feel angry that I cannot experience those things again. Maybe explanations are necessary, but just to clear up any misgivings (and should hubbyman happen to be reading this), I am not angry with him. This is not about him being happy with our three, or the fact that he had a vasectomy. This is about the fact that I had that choice taken from me, by a Dr. who was more worried about being able to make his other patients’ birth than the care I was receiving. Is it possible I could carry to term, well, I am the first to admit that miracles happen. But the more likely outcome is that I would lose another pregnancy; I would lose another baby. And I know that enduring another miscarriage would be more than I could handle as I cannot imagine a day where I wouldn’t give everything just to see and hold the baby I never got to know, just for a day, an hour, even just one minute.
I knew these feelings would come. I knew that one day Littlest would be grown enough that I would start to miss the days of newborn things. I knew that one day I would have to face the fact that I cannot carry anymore children, no matter if I were planning on more or not. I knew one day I feel the feelings I am feeling now. Anger, loss, sadness, and more anger. I’ve only allowed myself to think of it as our choice until this point. But now that I’ve gone there, I’m having a hard time gaining my control back. All I can think of is the emotions of getting to tell the people you love that you’re adding another person to the group, the look on hubbyman’s face the first time he feels the baby kick, the look on his face the first time he holds his babies, the first cries, the first kisses, the first hugs. I look at my three sweet babies and it’s not that they are not enough, it is that they are so overwhelmingly wonderful that I can’t help but imagine it would be that way with any number of children we should have. It’s the knowledge of how it could be. And the knowledge of how it can’t. And I didn’t get to make that decision.
I don’t know how to get past that. I don’t know if it’s something I can get past. But when Littlest woke up in the middle of the night, I brought him into bed with me, cuddled him close and whispered sincere prayers of thankfulness. It’s not fair that I don’t get to choose. It’s not. It’s not fair that I have one baby who’ll remain in my heart, but never in my arms. But was it fair that despite all the medical failings, along with my own body, that my littlest boy is here, alive, and so healthy? I don’t know about its fairness, but miraculous, yes, it is that. My boy who they didn’t pay the proper attention to (multiple medical professionals knew that he was not growing properly and that his cord wasn’t inserted by much and yet no information was shared with me, nor was complete bedrest mandated as it should have been, among many other things that accured before and after his birth), my boy that my body couldn’t provide for (his cord wasn’t inserted at all and my placenta was crumbling), my boy that has his sweet, soft, chubby little cheek nestled in my neck. His birth ended in the ending of birthing for me, and obviously I would never trade that for his sweet self. So maybe that’s how I get past it. Maybe that’s what gets me through the anger. I’m still sad. And I still think it’s unfair. But I am thankful that I have my boy out of that whole awful situation. And maybe that is what will get me through. That and probably a few glasses of good wine.
(To read more on the birth of my miraculous Littlest man, go here.)