This is a story I never really intended to write. If I am honest, I have tried, and failed, to push it into a packed drawer of memories and pretend it didn't happen. We all cope differently with loss. I am not proud of how I dealt with mine. But it has made me so much stronger than I ever thought I could be.
In 1999 I found out I was expecting. I was terrified and excited all at the same time. I had a sweet 3 yr old son already and thought it would be amazing to give him a sibling so close in age. I had a relatively uneventful pregnancy. Matthew was a very active baby and loved music, his father played with a band, he would kick and move endlessly whenever they played. I went for a regular checkup and mentioned to the Doctor that I had felt less movement. He assured me that it was normal at 33 weeks. When I again expressed concerns, because that had not been normal with my first baby, he informed me "he had delivered more babies then I had birthed". I left feeling slightly better if not totally put off by his lack of bedside manner.
We realized something was totally off when we went to a concert the next night and there was not as much movement as usual. We tried to not worry too much though since I was close to 8 months along and I had just had my checkup a day before keeping in mind the doctor's reassurance. We decided to go to the hospital the following day. Just to put our minds at ease. That was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I remember laying on the bed and the tech searching for a heartbeat. I knew. I knew before they even said a word that we had lost him.
I was broken and so was his father.
My doctor had very little compassion. He scheduled my delivery for 2 days later, four days after we actually lost him, and treated me like I was a failure. We spent time with Matthew before they had to take him away and I remember thinking there is nothing that will ever come close to this feeling. Broken. Sometimes, no matter how much we may want them, broken things can't be fixed and we went our separate ways.
Years later I met my now husband and we decided to try for a family. I really didn't think it would prove difficult. But boy did it. Due to things that happened during Matthews delivery my new doctor advised me there could be complications. Add that to me being over 30 and I should have expected a hard ride. We tried unsuccessfully for over a year to conceive. Then we tried fertility drugs. I got pregnant easily. We were thrilled. Then the day before my 12 week checkup I began to spot. I remember feeling numb as I called my doctors office. My Dr. wasn't in but they immediately put me in with someone else for a checkup. We still had a heartbeat and they said it was a "wait and see situation". When we went the next day to my 12 week checkup the heartbeat was gone. I could not believe this was happening again. There was no words to describe how I felt. Much less how my husband felt losing his first child.
We were fortunate to conceive right away again and had a chubby baby boy. Then 3.5 years later we were blessed again with another boy. I find myself often thinking what it would have been like had Matthew lived. As I write this it is Nov 7th 2020. Tomorrow is his birthday. He would be 21 years old. I often feel robbed of time with him. I don't get angry about it anymore though. I just feel like I missed out. Something tells me he would have been amazing. My second angel would be almost 12. But then we wouldn't have the amazing child we were gifted who will be 12 in March. But I wonder what that baby would be. Boy or Girl, funny or serious, I will always have those questions.