I haven't written on my blog about this yet, but I'm pregnant again! I'm about 11.5 weeks along and this baby is due 11/27/15. We've nicknamed the baby Cranberry since the due date is the day after Thanksgiving. So far, everything is going perfectly!
I was at the dentist today for a routine cleaning. I let them know I'm pregnant. Now everyone at my dentist office is super nice, so I don't hold any of this against them. But that doesn't mean it's easy to deal with.
The dental hygienist asked if this was my second pregnancy. I responded that it's my third, however, I wanted to shout "Well, actually it's my 5th pregnancy!" Five, five times I've been pregnant. Three times I've given birth to beautiful children and pray every day that this baby will be #4. But I responded "Third," because who wants to really hear my complicated pregnancy/motherhood journey? What would it be like if I responded in detail...
"This is my 5th pregnancy. I had my first when I was barely 17 and placed her for adoption. I named her Angela Mae, but her adoptive parents named her something else. I haven't heard from her parents in 3 years now, so I have no idea how's she's doing. I pray that her family is still alive and well and that's she's happy. My second, my son, Marcellus Robert, was born at 28 weeks and he lived for only 12 days. Yes, only 12 days. That's right, my son died. He's buried in MN where I only get to visit his grave site about twice a year. He would be 3.5 years old, but he's not here. It sucks! My third child, second son, Ethan Michael, is 2.5 years and thriving. He's amazing, but we had a traumatic start to his life that still haunts me. He was born at 27 weeks gestation and spent 10 weeks in the NICU. I feared for his life and was sure he would die too. Everyday I know the outcome could have been different and am so so so grateful he is a healthy, rambunctious, joyful child. My fourth baby was not here for long at all, Baby Lark. I miscarried him or her at 6 weeks gestation. It was awful and I still haven't made complete sense of it, especially now expecting again. So, yes, this is my fifth pregnancy, but I only have one child at home. And while I am being optimistic that this baby will be born healthy and in November, I know that's not a guarantee. Now that I'm starting to get over my fear of miscarriage, the fear of premature labor is replacing it. Just the other night I couldn't sleep because I was thinking about what if this baby is born prematurely too. I just don't know how I could handle that or anything happening."
But my answer of "Third," was sufficient for most of the appointment. She never asked any details about my children and only commenting on how great I look for being in my third pregnancy. The dentist (who I've happen to never meet, she's only there on Tuesdays) on the other hand asked the question, "How old are your children?" I said my first son only lived for 12 days, but would be 3.5 years old and my second son is 2.5 years old. Here response was "I'm so sorry, that has to be so hard." and she examined my teeth, so I really couldn't respond. But yes, yes it is hard, very hard.
And while it's very hard most of the time it is what it is. It is my life. It is what I live everyday. But then there are the moments, the moments that make you feel the weight of it all. Moments like someone asking you how old your children are. While I am always happy to tell someone about Marcellus, to be able to speak of my children (and not just Ethan), answering those questions can cause me to feel the full weight of it. To step back and think "this is really my life."
It is my life though and everyday I work to make the conscience choice not to let that weight bring me down. There are moments where it will though. That's inevitable through the rest of my life. But in my daily living I choose joy. I choose to feel the joy of being the momma to all these babies. So, while I may have answered "third" I know in my heart that I am the momma of five. All very different circumstances and mothered in very different ways, but I carried each of them in my womb and loved them all from the moment I found out about their existence. They each take up a special place in my momma heart.
Marcellus, even though I didn't get to speak your name at the dentist office I did get to mention you. You are my child. You forever will be, even if you are not here to age. Forever my 12 day old baby, but I am always wondering who you would be as a 3.5 years old. I stopped by your tree. It looks good and is growing so big, just like I'm sure you would be if you were here. E and I are going to MN tomorrow. We'll stop by your spot right away. I hope we can find some beautiful flowers for you and will get it all cleaned up. I am so thankful for you and each one of your siblings. Yes, I wish the circumstances were different and somehow you could all be with me. But you all have shaped who I am and I know I am a better person for having carried and for loving each of you. Forever and ever and always I will love you, you will be my child, my first born son, my squirmy wormy. I miss you sweet boy!!! xoxox.