Last year, I was pregnant with a boy who we wanted very much to join our family. Roan, my 6-year-old, couldn’t contain his excitement at being a big brother. I was dreamy-eyed thinking of having two sons – and life really seemed so simple, so happy and good. All the early tests and exams with this boy were as right as rain, until we hit the 20-week anatomy scan. And then things got really heavy, really fast.
Our son’s kidneys had very little function, due to a chromosomal abnormality which couldn’t really be named. Test after test after test revealed that he had little chance of survival, and if he did survive, he would likely lead a life that would be painful. And that life would probably not be long. After days and nights of crying, hand wringing, and utter helplessness, my husband and I decided to end the pregnancy. I was exactly 6 months pregnant.
And making that choice was devastating, and explaining to my boy Roan in the simplest and least detailed way I could that his brother wasn’t going to be joining us afterall – these were the darkest days of my entire life.
While this experience is well behind me, and it is seven months later now, it is part of my story and it is now part of me. Which is why I’ve waited until I was past the first trimester to write about this new pregnancy….
I am pregnant again. I am 13 weeks in. And the punchline is…..
Am I serious? Why yes I am.
Well. Just go ahead and laugh at me now because it does feel like a punchline. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Are you done?
Ok, that’s enough, honestly. Pull yourself together.
Being pregnant this time has been drastically different from last time, for obvious reasons. The biggest change was that I didn’t tell Roan until this past Friday night. And I’ve only told a few close friends, and have hidden my bigger and bigger belly in Anson’s clothes more and more, just praying that people thought I was only getting fat. I haven’t been ready to celebrate this. I haven’t been able to think of it as real, and I most definitely haven’t been able to count on it. I’ve lived in a darkness created by my last experience, and it has absolutely suffocated the joy out of what should be an amazing time in my life.
Then my friend Lauren sent me an email after I told her. She’s had her own devastations, much more intense than mine. She lost a son who was only 12 years old, to cancer. And if anyone deserves to live in their own devastation, it would be her. But she chooses not to. This is what she wrote to me – getcher thinking caps on, though. Lauren gets all smart on us here:
In trying to make sense of the prior loss…who knows….but from my alchemical and esoteric past, I bring the notion that dissolution of matter needs to occur to free up energy to create new life. It’s not always clear what’s dying – old patterns of being, physical life, a shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico…..but I do believe there’s something to it. I didn’t make this up - I think science calls it the first law of thermodynamics: “energy can be transferred from one system to another in many forms. Also, it can not be created or destroyed. Thus, the total amount of energy available in the Universe is constant.”
Now that science has backed me up and I have some cred, I can go on to say….I think PERHAPS that some of our previous losses, at least mine….have played a part in clearing the way for some truly magnificent things to come through.
And so. Lauren found a way to let me open my heart up to this new baby these new babies. I am thinking that as my body expands to help them grow, they will be expanding my heart and reconnecting it to my mind and some peace will be brokered between these two casualties of my last pregnancy. I have been in a static place of my hard-wired optomist’s heart warring with my newly cynical mind. And maybe? Just maybe – this punchline of a pregnancy is the magic it takes to reunite them.
I will write about telling Roan on Wednesday. I will tell you this – it was healing, funny, and just makes me cry thinking about it. Happy tears. Or cuckoo hormones. Whatever.