Kristy: Many of you know my personality…when it comes to exciting times in life I’m all about making a big deal about it! I thrive on holiday crafts, with my son and his friends, I live for the time of year when I can start planning my son’s birthday party. I’ve even been known to get fun and creative with gifts; My husband and I have been married for years and one year for Valentine’s I knew he wanted a particular knife but who gets a knife for their husband on Valentine’s Day? Me. Yep, I do. But only when you can add a cute tag and ribbon that says “Valentine- I think you’re sharp!” I’m all about the “cuteness.”
Derek: Cuteness… corniness… what’s the difference?
Kristy: As some of you have probably seen my belly has been getting bigger. You may have noticed pictures and thought hmmm… I’ll be honest, I dreamed of the day that I could make this epic facebook baby announcement. Something not quite as corny as “Ice, Ice Baby” or a reference to a bun in the oven but something very creative and silly. With my son this crazy baby announcement wasn’t a trend yet so I missed out on that fun.
So why no baby announcement? The reason being…loss and fear of loss. This is the hardest blog post I’ve ever written but an important one I feel. I wish I could be just purely excited and make some grandiose gesture of my little superhero getting a sidekick, but I just can’t. My husband and I have had a very difficult time over the last year. We’ve had 2 losses. Two losses that up until now only a few family members and some close friends have known about.
I have always been very aware of miscarriage. I remember breaking down in tears one day when I was pregnant with our son after a friend had told me she had just miscarried. I hadn’t told her or really anybody that I was pregnant at that time and I literally broke down over our lunch together. She was nothing, but kind and sweet, knowing that I was crying not only for her loss but a fear of mine, and told me she was happy to see me carry out a healthy pregnancy despite the loss of hers. I was fortunate enough after that though to experience a good pregnancy with few worries and a have a healthy, happy little baby boy.
Our first loss occurred while my husband was away for army training. We tested early since he was leaving and were surprised to see a positive test. The pregnancy loss was so early on that although it was very hard, especially without my husband, I had guarded my heart and was able to get through it.
Derek: We found out we were expecting a day before I left for basic training. A few weeks later I received a letter that something had happened. I was devastated for the loss, but also that I wasn’t there to support my family. It definitely had me questioning whether or not the decision to join the military was worth it, but it also gave me an even deeper respect for what our military, and their families, face.
Kristy: After a few months my husband got back and jokes were being made about our reunion creating baby #2. This was funny and painful all at the same time. After a few months of him being back we were pregnant again. We tried to stay “cautiously optimistic.” At 9 weeks the time rolled around for our first ultrasound. I’d had no cramping or bleeding but something in my gut told me something wasn’t right…but at the same time I’m a worrier who feels something isn’t right even when everything is pretty much perfect, so I tried to remind myself of this and be hopeful.
As my husband and I went for the ultrasound the tech said nothing. I didn’t ask “Is everything ok?” I simply asked “Is something wrong?” she responded that she couldn’t share any results. After the ultrasound was over they told us we’d need to go upstairs to talk to the nurse because my doctor was out of the office. I was crying before even officially knowing anything. I felt it. We were told there was no heartbeat and the baby had stopped growing about 2 1/2 weeks before then. I’d lost the baby over 2 weeks ago and had no physical signs. I was heartbroken, I’m still heartbroken.
My reason for sharing this isn’t to knock on baby announcements. I really think they are great (so cute and so fun), but I honestly felt like if we were going to share our news any way in a public manner, that this was the way to do it. So many parents experience loss and we don’t even realize it. It’s important to be mindful of this when talking to other women and families.
I’m hopeful that our family will have a new addition come early 2016, but I’m also very aware that we could experience another loss. I don’t want to come off as not excited because trust me, I want a healthy, happy little baby so much…but the more open I leave my heart, the bigger chance of heartbreak again. At least that’s what I tell myself.
Lastly, I want to thank all of the friends and family who were there for us during these difficult times, those that answered crying phone calls, helped out with our son so we could have time to cope and mourn and gave me a shoulder to cry on. Thanks for those of you who were not told about this, but are understanding that sometimes things are just too difficult to share. I know that no matter what the future holds our family will pull together and get through it. My husband and I have been blessed with a happy, healthy boy and that is more than some families are fortunate to have and we won’t ever take that for granted.
Derek: My big take away from all these experiences is just how much of a miracle life really is and that you never really know the struggles people may be facing. Like a duck they may look calm and collected on the surface, but the part you can’t see is fighting, like hell, to stay afloat.