Dear Baby #3

*I wrote this in October 2020 shortly after our miscarriage. I didn't know if I would ever share it, but now that Baby #3 is safely Earthside, it felt like time.

Dear Baby #3,

Last week I shared with my small corner of the world the news that your Daddy and I lost the little clump of cells we thought would one day be you. The morning it happened, I knew within seconds of waking. Once I confirmed, I ran crying into your Daddy's arms and he held me so tightly and so tenderly. In a moment in which I felt so weak, your Daddy's strong arms cradled and soothed me. I can't wait until you get to meet him- he's the very best.

The day of our loss, I texted my co-workers to let them know that a "family emergency" would prevent me from logging in that day. I alternated laying in bed crying, watching Netflix, and texting with the moms in my village who time and again continue to show up for me. This group of women has loved, cared for, and empowered me more than they will ever know.

The day after our loss, I felt relatively...normal. Your Daddy and I entered into the "trying to conceive" season with the knowledge that not every pregnancy results in a baby. So perhaps that realistic and pragmatic mentality was what left me feeling okay. That's not to say we weren't sad. That's not to say I didn't feel stupid or silly for scheduling midwife appointments and purchasing maternity clothing. But the possibility was always in the background of our minds.

However, upon sharing the news of our loss with our extended circle, the outpouring of sympathy was more overwhelming than I ever could have anticipated. Your family is so well-loved by our community, but the barrage of supportive messages admittedly felt a little like living our tragedy all over again. That was a hard day.

It's been over a week since I shared the positive pregnancy result with your Daddy. And now a week since the pregnancy failed. I'm still processing- every emotion feels surprising and unexpected. The sadness neutralized by the numbness. The embarrassment overshadowed by confusion. The myriad of thoughts and questions has brought me to a place where I don't know what is right to feel. I don't know how I feel period.

Your Daddy and I always said, we would be blessed to have a third mini-human, but content with the babies we were already inordinately grateful to bring into the world. We've had a kind of "Que sera sera" approach to family planning. We don't know what the future holds for us, so we live each day thankful for the many blessings we share in the present. And let me tell you, sweet babe, your older brothers are the greatest blessings we could never have dreamed of. 

And so as we proceed in the aftermath of this loss, we question- are we meant to have more? At what point do we stop trying? Because the truth is, we are both easily frightened by the prospect of a third round of pregnancy and childbirth. We feel nerve-wracked about the financial consequences of three little mouths to feed. We feel doubt about whether the joy of three tinies will outweigh the stress. We feel all these scary emotions and they make us question what we truly want our family to look like.

Keeping these very real and very valid fears in mind, it would be easy to stop. It would be easy to say we don't want to risk another heartbreak or disappointment. The only thing nudging me forward into the scary unknown is you.

I have known you for years. I have felt your feisty spirit tugging at my heartstrings. I have envisioned your presence in our family portraits. While all logic would lead me to believe you are nothing but a hypothetical, I simply know otherwise. You are a very real part of our family and I've known this for a long time even when I refused to acknowledge and accept it.

Baby #3, you are already so loved. And while I am learning that you will come in your own timing, and the uncertainty of that brings me no comfort, I simply cannot wait to meet you. Your Daddy and I still step forward shakily and more fearful than we were just weeks ago, but we will continue pursuing you because we belong together.



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