The Birthday That Will Never Be Forgotten
“How much tragedy has to happen before I slip wide open?”
― Alisa Mullen, Unrequited
As much as I want to celebrate another year of survival from both physical and mental issues, sadly it has been overshadowed by the loss of one of our twin children. My wife, Melody and I weren’t really concerned about the doctor’s visit because there was never a problem with any of the previous visits. She is considered high risk every time because of us doing invitro fertilization. We see the perinatologists which basically knows every time the babies hiccup. We are also at about the 12.5 week stage so, chance of miscarriage was much lower.
My brother Levi Pierce and wife are in the exam room while I’m frantically trying to get there in time for the measurements and everything that entails. We had been preparing Marshall for two babies while he was trying to reassure us that there were four. Toddlers are just funny. I get there in time for the technician to tell me that she was waiting to take all the measurements until I got there anyway.
After having my regrets about not really knowing how to bond as a first time parent with Marshall, this pregnancy was just different. I could feel it so strongly on an emotional level that I had never experienced. It was so beautiful. It wasn’t something that I ever discussed with Mel or anyone else. For some reason because that level of emotion and bonding with such little creatures I wanted to enjoy all by myself. I had already completely embraced the reality of us having twins and the ways that we would have to work even more as a team. We hadn’t told anyone yet for some realities just don’t match our realities. Nevertheless, these babies already had our hearts.
With all three of us eagerly waiting for all of the measurements, I was so excited to get to have my only somewhat physical contact with our children. She goes through each thing she measures, stomach, legs, head circumference, etc. “Baby B” as it was named by the doctors for twin pregnancy, was measuring a little smaller but not a big deal because this is a twin pregnancy. And then even though she passed the words off as really no big deal that the doctor could probably detect it, the words “I can’t find a heartbeat came out of her mouth.” My heart hit the exam room floor. I could only think, “Did she just say that one of our babies is dead?” In my heart, though, I knew. Neither I nor my brother could hold the tears back as my extremely emotionally strong wife did. Hopes were there but the doctor also confirmed that there was no heartbeat.
I will forever remember December 4th not only as my birthday but also the day one of our children was born in Heaven. 2014 had been an extremely emotional year but this, I must say, has knocked the wind out of me. This venture was new and I didn’t know how to comfort me or my wife. All I could think about was, “Our baby will never get to meet any of the amazing people in our lives.” I was a snot crying mess to say the least. I had never allowed myself to be this vulnerable in public. It felt as though, I had just been shot in the chest. My brother just simply got up and left the room. Mel was able to hold it together until we left the doctor’s office. And then it was my turn to try and comfort my grieving wife. Any additional information they might’ve given us, I never heard. I could do nothing but feel my own soul crying out for our baby.
From that day, the term “miscarriage” will never been the same as it did before it happened to us. The few that knew were trying to be encouraging by telling us that we had another baby still left to take care of. The anger that flew all over me was the thought that the statement meant, “You can just go get another one at the store. No big deal.” My initial thoughts were, “That was our child, not a broken toy.” That instant reaction was valid but completely due to grief. I don’t remember the rest of the day. And really, it’s ok with me. In the following days, I laid my head on her stomach and sobbed. I realize that “this is just part of life” and “lots of people have miscarriages.” But, we still just lost OUR child.
We will no doubt love this other little baby and welcome him into the world with open arms just like we did Marshall. Our hearts will never forget the day we lost our precious little 12 week baby. Happy Birthday to me.