Sunday, September 9, 2012

Three years later

Excuse the radio silence, but you know how it is when you're trying not to talk about something? Baby Waldo was a bit like that. We had a bit of a rough start. But now that we're solidly past the first trimester, I'm hugely showing, and I've started to feel the tiny rolls that suggest it's not just a food-baby, I feel like I can publicly document Waldo's introduction to our family.

On the fourth of July we started thinking, "Hmmmm." July 7th and we were thinking, "Oh crap! What have we done?" I called to make the doctor's appointment and laughed when we couldn't find a day that didn't conflict with my vacation plans. "Ha ha! This isn't my first rodeo! Remember with Eli I was practically sitting in front of the office for six weeks?" We scheduled our first appointment for the Friday before our epic road trip.

Fast forward to that appointment. The doctor was lovely. I smugly reported that I'd been feeling great! Can I keep training for my 10K? Oh no, this isn't my first. This'll be number three. Yep, a six year old and a two year old. How many pregnancies? Three. Wait. Four. Oh.

That one. We don't talk about That one. It was three years ago. Six weeks pregnant and excited to give Eli a little brother or sister. C, Eli, and I went on a road trip to Duluth, where we had grand plans of seeing the Great Lakes and the Duluth Zoo. On the way up, C and I joked that we needed to come up with a nickname for this one before he/she was forever branded "New one." We stayed in some hotel that had vacancies when we pulled in at 9:00 that night. The next morning I ran downstairs to grab breakfast before they closed up the donut cases. For some reason there wasn't an elevator. Walking back up the stairs, balancing plates of donuts, waffles, and orange juice glasses I had an unmistakable feeling. Back in the room I quietly put down the plates and went to the bathroom. There, staring at the yellow speckled linoleum peeling on the floor, I knew. I frantically tried to convince myself otherwise, but I knew. We called the doctor and they gave us the generic, "Nothing we can do. Keep your feet up. Hope for the best. Go to the hospital if..."

For some reason, probably hoping that normalcy would change reality, we didn't cut our trip short. C and Eli went to the Zoo while I laid in bed with my feet as high as I could get them. We drove by the Great Lakes and C brought a cup of the water to the car so I could feel how cold it was. I cried, a lot. I remember thinking that I hadn't "earned" the right to be this sad, that we'd only just found out about this little being of potential, that I'd never truly understood grief before. Finally home, I continued to cry. There kept being this sliver of hope, this chorus of "Too early for a heartbeat" and "it might be fines." But we knew. And the tests confirmed it. We cried, we grieved, and three weeks later (against conventional advice) we were pregnant with Syd. You all know how that turned out.

All that came rushing back as I sat in the doctor's office, waiting for the big reveal. The doctor pulled out the ultrasound and, somewhat apologetically said, "I prefer to jump right in and we can talk about the other stuff after." And I flippantly said, "Let's make sure there's someone in there." She started the ultrasound and there was silence. And more silence. She told me not to judge anything by her face and I told her that I knew what we weren't seeing. She finished and apologized, saying that it was still a little early but that it didn't look good. Come in for the tests. Your trip isn't timed well. I'd be cautious about telling people unless you want the extra support. Go to the hospital if...

That appointment was three years, almost to the day, after that weekend in Duluth. Another weekend, this time just waiting. More tests. More waiting. Bracing myself for what may be coming. And then, an e-mail on Monday morning saying, "Your tests look great. Let's do a better ultrasound." And then Monday afternoon, in a darkened room, with a tech and I both making polite chitchat and avoiding the elephant in the room, there was Waldo. Heart beating like a tiny little beacon. Strong and clear.

I was so relieved I almost puked. Although that might have been the morning sickness, which hit with a vengeance the next day.


  1. I can't ever know what that was like. I only know how it felt to be the mother of the mommy and it was a heart-hurt.

  2. Made me cry. Love you!

  3. Corey, I don't even know where to begin. Thank you for sharing this... I'm still crying. When I first saw your post about being pregnant with #3 I was so excited for you and your family (of course!) and then immediately after starting thinking about how far along I'd be right now with our #3 that we lost in May. I ended up staying up all night thinking about him/her and same as you, wondering if I'd "earned" the right to feel this way. I had a similar experience as you did with Waldo but our follow up wasn't as happy. I am certainly not happy that we share that grief experience of losing a baby but I can tell you that it certainly helps ease the pain to know I'm not alone and I thank you for being open enough to share your story. Love you all so much and am SO SO happy and excited to follow your journey with this new little one!!!!

  4. We had nearly exactly the same experience, 3 week prior to starting L. It was horrible. I cried till we found out L was coming and then I spent the next 9 months in fear of loosing her. Thanks for sharing, your wrote it so perfectly.