If I were asked the question, “Would you do it all over again?”, I wouldn’t. If I had a time machine, I’d never choose to go down the path of losing my baby again. I struggled with this answer for so long because, for a while, my answer would have been yes. I didn’t find out I was pregnant until I was about 8 or 9 weeks along. I was pretty in denial before caving in and taking a test because all of the symptoms I was experiencing were synonymous with PMS. Strangely, it felt like I was pregnant for a short and long time, at the same time. The days were long, but the weeks were short. It felt like as soon as I’d learned and accepted that we would be having our third child, he was leaving. Early in my grieving, I would choose to do it again just so that I could embrace and love my baby sooner. So that I would have technically had a longer time with him. Although I lost him at 11 weeks and 2 days, I had only known about him for close to 4 weeks. 2 out of those 4 weeks were spent worrying if he was ok because of the bleeding. At the time of my loss, the world had just shut down a month earlier (OB/GYN appointments were spaced out and moving to Telehealth), and the emergency rooms were filled with sick and dying people due to Covid. So I stayed home as long as I could in hopes that I’d make it to my first in-person appointment.
Now, the feeling of wanting to do it all over again visits for a few seconds, but then it’s quickly removed when I remember everything that took place after. If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t. However, part of my heart breaks saying that. It feels like I’m saying I wish my baby never existed. It feels like I’m saying my baby brought me pain. It feels like I’m saying that I would have been fine if I had never been pregnant with him. I often let those thoughts consume me so let me speak the truth instead of letting my emotions marinate on lies. Although my loss pains me, I’m so glad my baby existed. The truth is that I do wish I’d been pregnant with him, but I wish I’d been able to hold him in my arms and watch him grow. But if I knew my baby wouldn’t live, I wouldn’t do it again.
The pain of losing a child is one that I will never be able to put into words. The heartache you feel. The darkness you feel surrounds you. The sunken place you feel yourself crying and screaming to get out of, but no one can save you… It’s by far the hardest thing I’ve gone through thus far. It doesn’t matter what gestational age your baby was when they died… it crushes you and leaves you with so many questions and pieces to pick up.
But… What if I didn’t experience losing this baby? Would I have continued to push the date back to start therapy? Would I have ever truly allowed my husband to care for me the way he did and still does? How long would it have taken for me to truly work on finding my purpose and pursuing it? Losing my baby has changed me in a painful way, but it has also blessed me. And that breaks the other part of my heart to say. It feels sick to speak on some of the good things that came out of his death. I try to remind myself of my therapist’s words, “There is duality in grief.” “You can feel both heartbroken, but happy at the same time.”
To me. To other moms of babies who aren’t with them physically… Take your time. The journey of grieving and healing after loss is not linear.
“You mean the world to me. You are my everything. I swear the only thing that matters to me…” Is making sure that I honor you forever!