A Voice

Harvey's two. I feel a societal pressure, it might be imagined, but I feel that we need to start thinking about a second child because of our son's age. No one really asks but almost everyone I know either is pregnant or has an infant. Babies are everywhere. I'm not joking. A few weeks ago, in the matter of 10 days, SIX people told me they were expecting. I found out about a seventh yesterday. The season change must be an aphrodisiac... And it's not like we don't think about having a second child. But the thing is. We already have one. For an online community of parental loss in any stage, please visit harlynnsheart.org

Last summer, we were unexpectedly expecting. This child would have made Harvey a big brother at just under 18 months old, something in my mind that seemed completely too close in age for us. I know it's really not but I was brand new in my role as a stay at home mom when we found out. I didn't even know how I would fare at home with ONE child let alone TWO so close in age. Let's be honest, motherhood isn't my strong suit. No, I don't need supportive comments, messages, or texts. I am being honest. This really isn't my thing and I can tell you more about that later. Back to the message of tonight. I have never felt the need to talk about this gain and loss roller coaster. While there are moments that make me take a step back and reflect on 'what might have been', it's not something on my mind all the time. Just occasionally. Just like today.

When we found out, our reaction was completely, "Oh shit" surrounded by nervous giggles and wide eyes.

After a few days of that, it was "Well, I guess we are going to be done after this. Second one and done."

Those moments transitioned to pure joy. It turned into us telling our friends and family much sooner than the taboo 12 week mark. I mean, after all. Our first pregnancy couldn't have gone more perfectly. Why wait this time?

But something didn't feel right. The few weeks, it just didn't feel right. I shrugged it off thinking each pregnancy can be different. How was I to really know?

Then one weekend, right before my 30th birthday and almost 9 weeks along, things took a turn. I took it as easy as I could but just kind of knew. Hindsight, I maybe should have went in at that time. Or maybe it was already too late.

That Sunday morning, we woke up and instead of going to church, we went to the emergency room. Before we left, I went to the bathroom and I knew it was over. I immediately started crying, looking towards the heavens, and started apologizing. Apologizing to God for not being more careful. Apologizing for not immediately being excited for this baby. Apologizing for not feeling complete joy. Apologizing for not appreciating this gift that we were given. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry...

As time went on, things went back to normal. However, as we neared what would have been our little one's due date, we were reminded of what could have been. A close friend and a close family member were both due that same week. Two little ones were brought into this world and I love them both very much. As these beautiful babies grow and I place a pretend baby of that age into our family, I think about how we're okay with how things turned out. And then I think, "Am I a horrible person for feeling that way? I must be a horrible person." Our loss is different yet emotional all the same. I was reminded that life is precious. It can be given to you and taken away in the blink of an eye.

I'm not sure if our family will grow again for many reasons. Currently, I don't feel our family is incomplete but that feeling can certainly change. I don't know if Harvey will ever be a big brother on earth. Maybe he will be a big brother long after the traditional 2-3 year mark. Maybe he won't. And the thing is, we already have a second child. While he or she (I feel a she) is not physically with us, she really is with us. Every day. All around us. Now I've given her a voice.