“Mommy, do you remember when you were crying because you wanted to hold the baby that died in your tummy?”
This is weird timing for him to bring that up, I thought. I was getting ready to head out the door for a pregnancy test confirming my positive home test, but my four-year-old didn’t know. It had been several months since he had mentioned the miscarriage from earlier that year.
“Yes, I do,” I said.
“Yeah, I remember that too,” he said.
That was all. He just wanted me to know he remembered. I was remembering a little too well. Pregnancy after miscarriage was feeling vulnerable. I wasn’t expecting another miscarriage, and didn’t feel noticeably worried. But somewhere inside of me has nestled a very deep fear that said, “Don’t get too attached. You can’t be sure how this will turn out. What if you mess this up somehow?”
After my proof of pregnancy, I scheduled my first prenatal appointment.
“Your blood pressure’s a little high,” my doctor commented. “We’ll re-check it.” It was even higher the second time.
“I think I’m nervous being here now that I’ve been through miscarriage.” I told him. “This probably won’t be a problem later in the pregnancy.”
“Why don’t you get a blood pressure cuff and check at home for awhile, just to be sure,” he said.
I really didn’t want to, but obediently charted the numbers, and was grateful to find they were normal. My doctor was pleased, and asked that I continue tracking the numbers for reassurance. I was also grateful for the early return of nausea, fatigue, and other familiar discomforts of pregnancy.
The sonographer from the pregnancy help center I had visited during my miscarriage had encouraged me to come back for another ultrasound.
“It will be good for you to see this baby,” she said.
I took her up on the offer and watched with happiness as the same screen that had shown me my baby’s deteriorating body now showed me one that kicked and stretched.
David and I decided to wrap up the ultrasound pictures and give them to Brayden and Lily to open.
“A picture of Baby Lily!” said Brayden.
“No, that’s not Baby Lily,” I said. “It’s another baby.”
“Is it Aunt Elizabeth’s baby?” he asked.
“Is it Aunt Amy’s new baby?” he guessed again.
“No. It’s our new baby!” I said.
His eyes widened and he grinned.
Lily smiled too, but seemed kind of distracted by the box and wrapping paper. After the usual forty-three picture attempts, we finally got the ever-elusive photo of both kids looking and mostly smiling at the same time, holding a photo of their sibling. We announced the baby to the rest of our family at Thanksgiving, and they celebrated with us.
My twenty-week ultrasound came quickly. David and I were captivated all over again by the intricacies of fetal development as the sonographer pointed out the stomach, kidneys, bladder, limbs, bones, fingers, brain, eyes and ears, and measured the blood flow and heart-rate.
“How about a girl?” the sonographer asked after further investigation.
“I thought that’s what you were going to say!” I said. “That’s wonderful, thank you!” (I don’t know why I said ‘thank you’ — I was trying to be polite, but technically David deserved the ‘thank you’ for the baby’s gender.)
Later one evening, David and I headed to a restaurant to choose our daughter’s name.
To be continued . . .
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