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Challenge: Pregnancy and Infant Loss

What could have been

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5 years ago, we lost two pregnancies within 4 months. It was some of the darkest days I’ve lived through. The guilt that my body had failed me and failed my family, nearly broke me. It was an emotional time for me as those two looming due dates continued to pop up in my thoughts.

August 16, 2014

November 23, 2014

Those were dates I was supposed to be meeting a baby, but instead, my husband and I spent those days planting rose bushes in our yard in their memories.

Aside from the physical and emotional recovery I faced, the what-ifs were the hardest thoughts to force from my mind. Although time did heal, it has not let me forget. Not that I want to, because I never want to feel as though they didn’t exist. But after 5 years and two healthy pregnancies later, I still look at my family today, and wonder how life would be had the outcomes been different.

With each passing year, I celebrate my boys here on earth, while silently calculating how old my heaven babies would be, and trying to picture what life would be like with them in my arms. During the tough days, I kept thinking everything would one day make sense, and in some ways, it does. I honestly believe my current family portrait is exactly who I was intended to hold in my every day life. I truly believe I was meant to be a mom to my middle and the baby of our family. Had those lost pregnancies gone differently, the timing of them would have prevented me from meeting my middle and my baby. Two boys that I simply cannot imagine my life without.

But I couldn’t push the wonder from my mind. You see, modern technology had provided us with some answers to help us heal. Although I may never understand why a mother’s heart can’t save every baby they long to hold, I was able to get answers to the medical reasons.

Miscarriage #1 we did genetic testing but weren’t able to get solid answers. Miscarriage #2, we did genetic testing and found out our angel baby was trisomy 21. I’ve always known that my medical records contained the gender of that baby but we never asked. We talked about finding out, but ultimately feared that knowing would make it harder for me to recover emotionally.

But after 5 years, every time I saw a trisomy 21 child rocking that extra chromosome in front of me, I wondered what my extra chromosome baby would have looked like. I still couldn’t shake the wonder of who my baby is that’s waiting for me in Heaven.

Sometimes too much knowledge is the thing that keeps us up at night. And in my case, knowing that my medical records contained the information about my baby’s gender, was too much to turn away from. It bothered me that my doctors and nurses knew more about my baby than I did. It hurt my heart that they saw it’s face, and I never got to.

I saw this baby’s heartbeat on a screen twice. I have two pictures of this angel baby tucked away in a file at home. It has always bothered me that I didn’t know who to picture but thought that feeling would go away.

It didn’t.
So I did a scary thing. I requested the genetic lab results knowing it would answer the looming question of the past 5 years.

Boy or girl?

My heart raced as I opened the file this week. I was so worried it would reopen wounds I wasn’t ready to face again. I was so worried it would open a floodgate if emotions I wouldn’t be able to stop. BUT all I felt was happy and peace. My husband and I hugged and smiled and cried happy tears knowing he was a person. A specific person we can pray for and picture HIS face.

Now, I find peace in knowing I was only ever destined to be a BOY mom!

All boys.

I only make boys!

A fact that makes me smile and my heart beam with pride and joy.

*October 9-15 is Baby Loss Awareness week. October also happens to be Down Syndrome Awareness Month. I share this very intimate story as a celebration of my heavenly, Trisomy-21 baby on the days that these two observances collide.

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