Thursday, October 4, 2012

Not Alone

Oh, boy.  I have been wrestling with myself all night over whether to blog or not to blog on this topic.  I tell you this because I believe VERY strongly in being open, honest and sharing our experiences with one another.  However, this is a sensitive subject.  I have many close friends who have walked this road and experienced things MUCH more difficult than I have.  It is because it is more common than I ever thought that I am going to write today.

My husband and I are extremely blessed to have four amazing kids.  They are strong, independent and individual.  Love them!  People often ask us if we are "done".  My reply is always a definite yes.  Sometimes I even say "Four is perfect.  I know that I don't want 5!".  Then I give myself a mental kick in the head.  Don't want 5?!?  We had 5. 

I always hate going to the doctor and filling out the questionnaire:  How many children do you have?  How many pregnancies?  How many live births?  Ugh.  My stomach always sinks.  And I know I'm not alone.  Or the inner debate that goes on in your head when someone asks you how many kids you have.  I've had this discussion with several friends.  To answer with the number of "alive" children is easiest, but leaves you with a little feeling of guilt.  However, to answer with the "real" number invites a discussion that the asking party was not prepared for!

Our story is pretty simple, pretty straight forward.  We had 3 healthy kids, healthy pregnancies, normal deliveries.  So, when Baby #4 was on the way, we wasted no time telling our happy news to the World.  {This is a decision that I do not regret, by the way!}  I was only 6 weeks along, but felt like I had no reason to worry.  Then came week 7.  My husband and kids left for Wednesday night activities and I stayed home, not feeling very well.  By the time they got home, I knew what was happening.  I could go into detail here, but I don't feel that is necessary.  By morning, the baby was gone.  We still had to go to the hospital, have an ultrasound and meet with our midwife.  It's one of those memories that I still see in slow motion.  It was the longest morning we have ever had. 

The following days were filled with surprise for me.  As we began telling people about our loss, we found that we were not alone.  I honestly did not know how many women {and men} have had to endure this journey.  It simply wasn't a topic of discussion until it had to be. 

Clearly, we healed and were soon expecting Baby #5, now known in our house as Squirt.  She is a joy and delight and I cannot imagine life without her!  But I have to admit that I have thoughts sometimes of Baby #4 and what he/she would have been.  We wouldn't have our Squirt today, would we?  I don't have an answer for that.  And I can't get lost in the land of "what-ifs".  All I can do is enjoy the sweet family that I have, love the little lost angel and help those who have shared in similar loss. 

This month is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, which has prompted this post.  The statistic is that 1 in 4 women suffer a miscarraige or pregnancy and infant loss.  If you are one of the four, you are not alone.  If you would like more information or need help, please email me or click one of the links below:

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