Today. January eighteenth. Is a day in our house. A day that holds meaning. Meaning for each of my children.
For Preston, every single year, it's his half birthday. The day that he can officially start adding that extra half to how old he is. Because that extra half, it's a big deal. It's a day of adventure and my big boy growing older.
For Olivia, last year it was the day of her big second trimester ultrasound. The day we were told that she was healthy and developing right on track and that she was without a doubt a girl. It's a day of excitement about our lives changing and all of the pink that was for sure coming our way.
Two years ago, January eighteenth was the day that at exactly six weeks along I miscarried what would have been our second baby. A day that I wish I could not remember.
It's amazing to me how one single day can hold so many feelings.
While I feel all of the joy at what the day holds for Preston and Olivia, I am also overwhelmed with the sadness of what could have been.
It is such a strange feeling to both desperately wish to have that baby and to change what is for what could have been. But at the same time to be so grateful for what is and unwilling to change a single thing because we wouldn't have Olivia and I can't imagine life without her.
Our plan had always been for our second baby to arrive as Preston was starting kindergarten. So that I would be able to have the one on one time I loved so much with Preston with baby number two. For Preston to be old enough to help and to understand that our family was growing. But not so old that it would be like the two had separate lives. It had been the plan for us for a long time.
Until baby fever hit me hard. After months of thinking about another baby and then finding out some information about having babies later in life in my family prompted Brad and I to throw the plan out and start trying. Two months later I took a pregnancy test that I very much so didn't expect to be positive. Only it was. Which left me running to the store to buy three different brands of pregnancy tests to know for sure that we were pregnant.
For a week, there was this feeling of happiness that our family was growing. As well as this feeling of disbelief. Where as with Preston we told the world we were pregnant as soon as we found out. With this baby we only told those closest to us. My parents, my siblings, Brad's sister, and my best friend. There was this out of place feeling to not tell everyone just yet.
A week after finding out we were pregnant, I started spotting. Not a lot. But consistently. Spotting that didn't go away. No matter how much I rested. Even when the only thing I was doing was resting.
And a week after that. What could have been, just wasn't anymore.
Man plans. God laughs.
It's an awful feeling to lose something you never fully got to have. Miscarriage is just that. Losing someone you never had the fortune to meet face to face. Never getting to snuggle. Or smell. Or even hold. It's the worst kind of what if.
I was surprised by how much it hurt. But even more surprised by how angry it made me. I was filled with this rage at what was taken from me and how unfair it was. We deserved a baby. We wanted a baby. The injustice of not being allowed to actually have that baby was just so overwhelming.
To be left only with a box containing positive pregnancy tests and a big brother t-shirt that Preston only got to wear once is just heartbreaking.
Miscarriage also came with the realization of just how blessed I am by the people in my life.
For My Mom. Who came over and climbed into bed with me when climbing out of bed was just too much. My best friend. Who seemed to know all of the right things to say. Who literally understood exactly how I was feeling. And didn't judge me for it. The friend that went out for drinks and dancing when I just wanted to stop being sad and do things I couldn't do if I were pregnant. My sister-in-law who called to let me know she was thinking about me and sent chocolate covered things. The friends that had no idea how much they were helping me just by making me laugh or meeting me for nights out.
For Preston. The most perfect little boy. For giving me all of the snuggles just because. And providing the best kind of distraction. Who forced me to get back to life, in a way that was just what I needed. A little boy who had been so excited to be a big brother. A little boy who so perfectly explained to a cousin that asked him a year later why he didn't have any brothers or sisters that, "My Mommy was pregnant. But the baby went to live with God." Thinking of my little four year old summing things up in such a simple and yet complete way is almost just too much.
Most importantly, Brad. Brad who was going through all of it with me. Who picked up the slack when it was all too much for me. Who comforted. He lived with my mood swings. My tears. And my inability to put away the positive pregnancy tests, because it just made it all so final. Who sat on the bathroom floor with me while I cried. Who just understood that there wasn't a fix, that it would just take time.
Blessed by Olivia. The little girl that is because of the baby that isn't.
Man plans. God laughs.
For our family miscarriage is just a part of our story. It seems impossible not to acknowledge how much. I record our family's moments and tell our stories and this is one of our moments and stories. To not include this part of our story doesn't really tell the story.
So two years later, I'm telling the story.