One of the greatest joys in life is bringing up a child. I am so blessed to have Kai in my life and to be a Mom! Many have heard me say “One & done”, “Kelly and I don’t plan to have any” etc, and kindly argued with me that you can see the joy I get from being a mom…don’t I just want one more??? Well, it turns out I do! And for all of fall 2011- summer 2012, I was convinced my wish would come true.
You see, I shared my heart with my husband who was tentative to say the least to expand our family (beyond the 4-legged additions), and after spending some time with his own Dad and kindly considering my suggestion to think about that amazing relationship (& that I’d changed my mind), we decided to give it a go– yay!!
1– I wasn’t to tell anyone we were trying…… Hahahahaha ok, I won’t put it on FB…does he KNOW me? Good point though, down the path I didn’t need people asking me all the time if we were pregnant yet.
2– There was a timeline: 1 year
3– No fertility, no adoption, only one
And we got busy…. 😉
I was Absolutely convinced I would NOT need a full year. I downloaded the Get Pregnant App, and started “paying attention”. I remember several sly conversations where he had me completely figured out…again, does he KNOW me? I set a goal and I go for it!
Month 1 passed, then months 2, 3 & 4… Every few weeks placing me in a grumpy mood with chick flicks on the TV and chocolate in my lap. And then I deleted the app…. Obsessing was not helping me, this should just be fun. I had envisioned us raising a child together and I knew God knew my heart.
About this time I was laid off from my job and the sad conversation was had in our kitchen that our little “project” should be put on hold…. Fine… Month 5…. I was rehired quickly and we were back in the races!
Month 6,7,8,9…..10…..11…. 4 friends/ family share the fabulous news that they are expecting in the spring…. I’m happy for them, allowed myself a pity party and started to believe this may not be in the cards after all. Why was this not happening?? Kai was not “planned”– and what a blessing her surprise was!!! What was TAKING SO LONG???
Throughout the latter months, several friends prayed with me, supported and encouraged me– It’s 10 years later, life is different, I am different, I haven’t been trying that long…. Don’t give up.
Month 12…. Stretched into the start of 13 (we’d taken one month off after all right? I get a time credit on the back end!!) and I made a joke while making dinner “We’ll, it’s been a year, my time is up- what should we do next? Wouldn’t it be funny if we got pregnant now?!?” Hahahahaha
Not 2 weeks later I found myself realizing that 4 weeks hadn’t passed (I’d stopped tracking or paying attention) …5 had! For someone who really wanted this, I have to be honest, I was nervous. I thought I’d picked up the stomach bug going around and had even taken a day off work. 2 days later, I’m driving around with a test in my purse, running unnecessary errands because I just wasn’t quite ready to go home…… The longest hour later… I was home playing chemist. I barely got the lid on and **POOF!!** there was the cross! I was shocked to be honest—-and then quickly elated….This was what I’d dreamed of!!! Now the next longest hour…waiting for Kelly to get home! And who was waiting at the door wagging their nubbin’ with a big goofy grin?! Willie! But a grinning goofy wife was standing right behind him and in true Mandy style had a speech planned out and barely let poor Kelly in the door (sometimes he just doesn’t move fast enough!!). “I don’t expect you to react like me, and I know you’ll need time for this to sink in (I’d had a WHOLE hour already!!) but we are going to have a baby!!!” This may have been proceeded by some kind of jumping hug, maybe some screeching, fast talking, and shoving something I’d recently pee’d on in a germ-a-phobes face!
Kelly, being the practical science minded individual/ MAN he is, needed more proof. Doesn’t the Dr have to confirm this, lets not get ahead if ourselves– fair statement, I’d already made years worth of plans in that WHOLE hour….. And so our journey began. We shared the news with Kai in a way that was all about her, and told her this was between us for now. Being so close to Thanksgiving, we shared with our families as we got to visit and started to talk to some close friends. I told him, I was too excited and I know the advice is wait through the 1st trimester, but don’t you want those close to you to be able to celebrate you? And if something does go wrong, ant I going to want their support and love…?? That’s just who I am.
Over the next month we were both sharing as we ran into or had the opportunity to have conversations with sweet friends. In that time- surprise #2 came! My first Dr appt. confirmed pregnancy—- and twins!! I’m not sure what my feelings of shock were– fear, excitement and worry for Kelly (see guidelines above…we could have 1) all mixed together. The Dr informed me one could vanish so I decided this news should stay on the DL; if one did vanish, we could still be excited with everyone that we were pregnant!! 4 days later I found myself in the middle of a panic attack and just “knew” something was wrong. I called, encouraged them to let me come back, saw a new (to me) Dr I loved immediately and along came surprise #3…. We weren’t just expecting twins…. We were pregnant with QUADRUPLETS!! (Please refer to guidelines again- no fertility treatments allowed).
Well….. This was way too rare and crazy not to share. You may imagine that news wouldn’t have helped my panic attack, however, 2 didn’t look viable so worst case we end up with 1. I now got to come in every week and look for those sweet heartbeats and watch these little guys grow. Yay! In an effort to not allow my “worry” to win out, I excitedly increased the pace in which I was sharing with friends. I was showing like 12 weeks, calendar said 8 and they were measuring at 5 1/2. What an exciting week! Watching people’s jaws drop and they couldn’t help themselves not to ask “I didn’t know you were doing fertility!?!”
3rd appointment came, Kelly was able to attend this time and help my hand as Dr Lennon brought up the picture of our precious Quads. I prepared myself they could still be too small to see their heartbeats and we wouldn’t really know still, 4?, 3?, 2?, 1?…… Unfortunately the picture was alarming as it appeared none of them were making it, my deepest fear I had been suppressing. As I cried, I wondered if their had been validity to my panic attack – some intuition maybe? We had another chance to see if something may show differently, and my “realist” husband somewhere rented an Optimist’s hat and told me to hold onto hope that at least one would be ok. I swear I didn’t know him in those 2 hours but I’ve never loved him more. He stayed right with me and showed me the support I needed. “I don’t show emotion like you, I’m worried too….it’s ok to cry, but don’t give up yet.”
2 hours later we met the sweetest sonographer, sensitive to both of us in the situation. And man did she try- 3D, sound, checking every angle she could, but it only confirmed the sad news. This pregnancy was no longer viable. Not wanting to wait for the excruciating (physical) pain to set in, plans were quickly made to medically assist my body with a D&C. I shared the news as best I could, held Kai as she cried after school, and we busied ourselves with cookie decorating. Disappointed is not quite a strong enough word…. But life had to keep moving on…we used these moments to create memories with my beloved daughter and used this time to cradle her heart through a loss she was working to comprehend – just as Kelly had been doing for me.
I’ll spare you the details, but it was a rough day. Many tears were shed through the night, as I woke up and through my morning routine. My heart was aching. I got Kai off to school, Kelly off to work and busied myself as I waited for it to be time.
My dear friend Jen assisted me to the hospital so she could sit with me until Kelly could arrive (somebody has to get some work done between us!!). Over the last few years, God has strategically made Jen available during some very unsettling times. Its one way He shows me He is there and I’m so blessed to have wonderful friends who step in like family!! Kelly could be where he needed to be, then be with me and thanks to Brenda Kai would be in great hands after school.
Paperwork and prep takes forever… And the outfit you get for surgery- sexy!! Sorry, no photos allowed! Kelly arrived in plenty of time, we met with the chaplain who shared that our babies would be taken care of in heaven and their ashes would be placed under a memorial bench at Littleton Cemetery. There were some hard moments, but never having any surgery before, I was anxious to get it over with. And surprise again! My Dr decided under the circumstances he would come in on his day off to be with me instead of the on-call Dr. So sweet! All of the staff was great– and the anesthesiologist assured me he’d mix just the right cocktail for me. An hour later I was alert, and recovering. Obviously this is not where I wanted to be, but I am so grateful for amazing care and no complications.
So as I lay here resting for 48 hours (yawn…) I wonder– why is this so taboo?
Is it that unlike me, so many others find it too painful to share?
Do I just love attention? (Maybe a little- my name means one who must be loved)
And wouldn’t women find more comfort and less fear in knowing they are not alone?
I’ve never truly understood the hurt someone must have suffered through miscarriage-especially in the beginning. That may mainly be due to the fact that I wasn’t there with them and either found out well after it was over…. Or maybe even never.
That is not me– I deeply love my friends and I want to celebrate the joys, the milestones, the everyday challenges and silliness– and the grief….together. Isn’t that what relationships are for?
Maybe I air too much, but I like to live life on my sleeve. I like to connect stories and relatable situations, build many relationships, and Experience life with those around me. I find comfort in that and although I’m sure more tears will come, I’m able to heal emotionally, faster thanks to the prayers, love, support and caring of my friends and family. Although I called out a few in here – my longest blog ever- you know who you are and how you are there for me, and it doesn’t go unnoticed. The texts, cryptic FB messages, voicemails, notes, hand holding, visits, prayers etc….. Although my heart is hurting, it’s cushioned by your love and support and I’m forever grateful.
In our excitement and special bond (and 30 hours in the car) Kai and I had started a list of names. Before we even knew there was a chance of twins, we selected a few boy/girl twin names which were then veto’d by Kelly…. Boo…. But, we found comfort yesterday in naming our quadruplets with those names, Hannah & Hayden, Austin & Ashlynn. Rest in peace sweet innocent souls– we will meet again one day in heaven! What a wonderful place for you to be now!
I am hopeful for the future. There are many beloved kids in my life, who wouldn’t be here if not for the loss of a few before them, including my own sister Emily. God always has a plan, whether or not we can understand.
Faith is trusting when you can’t see.
I look forward to holding Baby Henry one day and sharing that experience with Kelly. And I find comfort knowing I will have all of you along for the ride with us!!
*Carried over from my old blog; part of my journey as I have & will blog about ALL of my kids. Angels and all.