When Sam was about a year old, Dave and I decided we wanted to start trying for Baby #2. Ever since Dave had nicknamed Sam "Attila" in utero, we had already decided that our second baby would be "Genghis." So we hoped and prayed for Genghis to arrive. After about four months (which seems like forever when you're trying to conceive at age 38), on July 24, 2010, very early in the morning, I took a pregnancy test.
I thought it was positive. The second line was very faint. So I took another one. After all, the first one was one I had gotten for free and maybe that made it defective somehow. The second test also showed a very faint second line. My parents were visiting and when I showed them the tests, they were convinced our second child was on the way.
Me and my mom, the day we discovered we were pregnant for the second time.
The following weekend, Dave's parents came to visit us. We shared our news of Genghis and they bought me a maternity shirt to celebrate. We were excitedly calculating due dates and trying to figure out if Genghis and Sam would share a birthday. We figured it would be close!
And then on Saturday night I started spotting. I called our midwife and she said not to worry, because it was completely normal. If I was still spotting in a couple of days I should let her know. I did not sleep well that night.
Me and Sam, Sunday, August 8, 2010.
On Monday I was still spotting and our midwife got us an appointment for an ultrasound on Wednesday, August 11. I knew within about a minute of the tech laying the wand on my stomach. She looked for a good long time but couldn't find any evidence of pregnancy. We were so sad.
The next few days I lay on the couch, cried a lot, and ate chocolate. My friend Sheri brought us a meal that night and it was one of the sweetest things that happened to us during that time. As I was writing this story out, I looked at the e-mail I had sent out to people announcing our loss. It turned out that the day we found out that our pregnancy with Genghis had ended, was also the day Sam officially started walking. I had forgotten that there was joy mixed with the sorrow that day.
I wanted to share this story because, after our miscarriage, so many people told me, "We had a miscarriage too." It feels like it is a silent burden people bear. Obviously, when someone announces "We're pregnant!" you don't want to share your miscarriage story but there should be a space for us to share our stories. I sometimes feel like on Infant and Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Day I want to focus on my friends who have lost babies. I don't feel like my sorrow is as great as theirs. However, that's not a healthy attitude. We were really looking forward to Genghis joining our family. We celebrated him/her and excitedly shared our joy with our friends. Genghis' story did not end the way we wanted it to -- ideally with him/her getting a more appropriate name and living for 95 years after his/her birth. So that's why I wanted to share this today.
I don't need a special day to think about Genghis. I think about him/her a lot. I realize that if Genghis had survived, we wouldn't have Rachel, and that thought makes me really sad. But I also look forward to getting to heaven and seeing my son or daughter approach me, saying, "Hi Mom!" The thought of that reunion makes me smile.