A strange series of events prompted me to write this entry, something I always knew I would do, but just didn't know when...........
But first, some history......many people don't know this but I had a miscarriage between my pregnancies with Hayley and Hannah. I was seven weeks pregnant and had already spread the happy news to my family and friends. Sadly, that pregnancy ended, and the absolute worst part of it all was the "untelling". It went on for months, because I had told so many people, that I would run into someone months later who would eye me suspiciously and say "aren't you....?" to which I'd have to run down the whole story again. It was a really sad and confusing time for me, but happily I got pregnant with Hannah just two months later, and so I had something else to occupy my time and emotions. On Mother's day that year, I was very pregnant and had mixed emotions because that would have been my due date with the previous pregnancy. But there I was, six months into another healthy pregnancy, so I had a lot to be happy about as well.
Lucky for me, my next pregnancy, with Harrison, was also healthy. And then I was "done" - I had my girls, I had a boy, and I thought my family was complete. But life throws us curveballs, and how was I to know I'd get divorced, remarry, gain a bonus daughter, and start to think about having another baby? Of course, having a baby is something Jeff and I talked about, as any marrying couple would, and the possibility was still there for us. But as our lives slowly untangled themselves from divorce proceedings to adjusting to a new, blended family, adding another baby to our brood seemed an impossibility, or at the very least, an improbability. And we were both getting older. So, we had to decide - baby or not? We decided baby but that didn't work out like we planned. So we sought help in the form of the dreaded fertility clinic! We did medicine, shots, and finally an IUI (intrauterine insemination) which was unsuccessful.
There was talk of a surgery - to remove a dermoid cyst I had on my left ovary. We had been watching it for a couple of years and I finally felt it was time to get it out and just be done worrying about it. The cyst was wrapped around my ovary and the doctor said it would be a much less complicated surgery if we removed the ovary along with it. Figuring I didn't "need" that ovary anymore (seeing as it appeared we could not have a baby together), I opted to have it removed. The surgery was successful.........and ten days later, I got pregnant! I did not discover this until my post-op visit, at which time my jaw hit the floor. I had a mixture of emotions - fear, disbelief, total joy. We finally got what we wanted so badly! But sadly, that pregnancy also ended in miscarriage last November. We had discussed all the different ways to tell the kids, who so badly wanted a sibling, and had decided to tape ultrasound pictures into a gift box, wrap it up, and put it under the Christmas tree for the kids to open. We would explain it was a gift for the whole family and watch their faces as they realized they were finally getting THE gift they'd been asking for all this time. Needless to say we were SO excited about this, and then it all suddenly ended. And we didn't know what to say. To anyone. Because we didn't TELL anyone. The only people who knew were my doctor, us, and the bartender at The Rock (because I went out with my friends and had to ask him to "fake" a drink for me, because I wasn't ready to tell them I was pregnant and did not want to raise suspicions!). We simply did not tell anyone else, choosing to wait until Christmas to tell the kids first. So, it seemed weird to even bring it up to anyone else at that point. It was just something Jeff and I dealt with ourselves. I always KNEW I'd tell my family and friends, but when is a good time to say "oh, by the way, I WAS pregnant but I'm not now"? Next thing I knew, time went by...........and here it is, a whole year later.
I noticed I'd been thinking about it a lot and realized it's been a year so it seemed natural to think about what would have been near the one-year anniversary of that sad day. But we also learned that Arlie's mom just found out she's pregnant. So, of course, it made us sad that we can't give Arlie that ultimate gift of a sibling that she's been so wanting, but her mom can. And it made me sad that Jeff just has one child. Because I know he's always wanted more than one child. And I can't help but wonder why it hasn't worked for us? I never had any trouble getting pregnant before, and we've been checked out every which way and there does not seem to be a good reason why we can't get pregnant, but now that I'm almost 42, it seems my fertile days are behind me.
Sure, there are a MILLION reasons why having another baby at our age and stage in life is completely crazy (not the least of which is the fact that we already have four healthy children). But if there's one regret I have, it's that we couldn't give our kids a sibling, and have our own baby that would tie us all together. What a beautiful gift that would have been for us, such a neat way to complete our family! I so wanted to give Jeff another child and raise a child with him from birth - OUR baby. And we had those two blissful weeks where we planned and dreamed and laughed about the fact that it was really happening. And then it was over. So, a year later, it's hard not to think about what would have been, even though we are forever grateful for what we do have - four beautiful kids! It's just that a baby in this family would have been so loved and so cherished and woven a common thread through us all. But it wasn't meant to be. I wonder if you are ever really at peace with that? The what-ifs and could-have-been's go on forever. All I know is, a baby would have been the best gift we ever could have given our kids and ourselves, and it would have been a very loved baby, indeed.