A year ago today we found out we were pregnant for the third time. It came as a surprise during an ultrasound to check on an ovarian cyst. We were six weeks. It was exactly 39 weeks after we found out we had lost Carter, the same amount of time I had carried him for. We went upstairs to see the doctor and had a far different appointment than we had planned on. We were so excited, and shocked. We hadn't expected to get pregnant so quickly after losing little bean.
We left the appointment on a high. Almost instantly I knew I wanted to treat the pregnancy as a "when" instead of an "if." I remember going on a few walks that weekend and having talks about what we would do with this baby once it got here, seeing tiny airplanes and thinking they were there to reassure us that everything would be okay. We let ourselves get excited. I let myself get my hopes up.
In a matter of minutes, that all changed.
For some reason, losing our little five day baby was really hard. Compared to everything else we'd been through, I would think it would have been easy, but it wasn't. I got too excited. I let myself think that I was deserving of a baby, and that things would work out this time. Seeing the blood that day was like a slap in the face. I felt like God was trying to tell me that I was unfit for motherhood. With each loss, we had less and less time with the babies. First 39 weeks. Then 15. Then just one. It was like he was saying "I don't know how many times I have to tell you, but I guess I'll have to tell you sooner this time."
I know that miscarriages are common, but I couldn't (and still can't, honestly) help but feel like the miscarriage was my fault. I'm pretty sure we got pregnant in Disney World, which means that I rode rides for at least a day after. Later that month, I sat in a hot tub, went for an extremely bumpy car ride, and went to the top of a mountain with less oxygen than I was used to. There's nothing that can tell me I didn't cause us to lose that baby.
After the third loss, I started to question whether I would be a good mom, or if I even wanted kids. When I asked myself if I wanted kids, I would just cry. How could I miss my children so much if I didn't want others? I knew I wanted kids. So what was I doing that made it so I didn't deserve them? Apparently God knew more about my motherhood skills than I thought I did. It was the only reason I could think that we had to lose three babies. I felt bad for Brandon. He deserved those babies more than I did, and I had failed him. Not just once, but three times. Not only that, but I had failed myself.
With each loss, I felt myself sinking further and further. This third loss hit me really hard, I think because it caused me to question everything I thought I knew about myself and where my life and marriage were headed. We'd had a plan, and it just kept changing. I am so lucky to have Brandon, because he constantly reassured me that however our family grew, it would, and no matter what, we were in it together. He helped me maintain a level of confidence in my role as a mother that allowed me to keep moving forward, and to keep trying to bring a baby home. He's the reason our family is where we are today. Two sweet babies in the cemetery, a third pregnancy that we won't forget, and our little Hudson at home safe and sound.
July 26, 2017 was the final marker of our loss journey. It was the day we found out about the last baby we would lose. We may have only had that baby for a few days, but he or she made a difference, and continues to make a difference, in everything we do.