Kids say the darndest

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled into a conversation with a group of my middle school kids. Out of the blue, one of them says: “My mom said I was an accident. Ha!”

I was quietly startled, but asked if he understood what that meant (all the while trying to figure out how to soften the statement). He said no, but that it sounded funny so he just laughed. I asked him if he wanted to understand and he said “yeah”.

I did my best, tried to be school-appropriate but also honest, and just told him that it meant his parents weren’t actively trying to have a baby when they got him. I further said that many babies are often unplanned, but that I was sure his parents were glad he was here.

The first student nodded and then asked another if they were an accident. This student rolled right with it and said, quite clearly, “No. I was a miracle baby.” She further explained, “If my brothers and sisters had lived, I wouldn’t be here.”

I about choked. Because that’s kind of exactly where I am. I still grieve Charlie. But it Charlie had lived, March baby wouldn’t be growing right now. And I caught on the word they had chosen to describe her: miracle. And I was grateful for this set of parents that I’ve never met.

Then a third student chimed in, “Oh, yeah. That happened to my parents, too. Before my sister. He’d be, um, like probably ten by now. If he lived.” So nonchalant. Just stating something that was.

Y’all, it was so surreal. An accident. A miracle. A non-categorical that was familiar with both. It was kind of amazing.

It made me kind of hopeful for this next generation that’s coming. That miscarriages, miracles, accidents; none of it will have to be in the shadows. If at twelve and thirteen, this isn’t a “big deal” for them to talk about, maybe one day it won’t be a big deal for anyone.

Forgive my slightly macabre Harry Potter reference

Last week, my co-worker, the one who had a mirror pregnancy to my first one, had her baby. She was a month early, but all are doing very well. And it’s odd, because I’m happy for her, for their family, but it’s this distant, sort of removed kind of happy. Part of me was grateful her baby came early; grateful she didn’t deliver on Charlie’s due date in November — which was a definite possibility since our pregnancy timelines had been nearly the same. For most of the day when I found out I was fine. Until hubs came home and I said it out loud. Then the floodgates opened. Not for long, but they did.

Because sometimes I still wonder: why me? Why Charlie? Why our family?

If you’ve read or watched Harry Potter, do you remember the part where they talked about the prophecy saying the Chosen One would be a boy born at the end of July? Which Harry was — but so was Neville. Somewhere along the way I heard something like — the Chosen One could just have easily been Neville. His parents were in the Order, too. Fighting against Voldemort. He was born at the end of July, same year as Harry. The only reason Harry ended up being the Chosen One was because Voldemort thought it was him and thus made it so.

Now, I know this is far-fetched. I know it’s a work of fiction and so many holes could be poked in the Chosen One theory. I know it isn’t real life.

But I still make parallels. Because of our similar pregnancy timelines, within two days of each other, I can’t help but wonder why my baby was chosen to leave. Why not hers?

And before anyone gets up in arms, let me be clear: In NO WAY do I wish her baby had died. Not ever, even in the black mass of my grief immediately after we lost Charlie.

But because there is no answer for us, because there never will be, there will always be a part of me that looks for the why. Even if it isn’t there. And even if I’m so grateful for the life I’m growing now.

Pinch, poke, you owe me a Coke

I know jinxes aren’t really a thing. I know you can’t really “jinx yourself”. But I still worry about it with this pregnancy. Even though I know it isn’t real. Logic fails sometimes.

This weekend, Hubs and I did a couple of rather big jinx-ourselves things: We bought a crib. And we bought a glider. And a couple other things. For the nursery.

We were so excited to take the step to do these things! But there is still that little niggling thought in my head of, “Ooooh, you gone and done it now!”.

Which I know is crazy. *Sigh*. Hurry up, March!

Let your heart beat here

[So I haven’t blogged in awhile, and to be quite honest it’s mostly because this new position at work has been completely sapping me. It’s been awhile since I’ve felt this unsteady at work, and I keep telling myself that I just have to get through this “first” year in a new position and after that things will calm down. But a school year is a looooooong time — at least it feels that way. Between school and growing March baby, my nights and weekends have been reserved (mostly) for full-on resting! But. I’ve still been saying a lot in my head, and since I get a three day weekend I’ve been wanting to get back on here.]

We had a check-up last Tuesday (Finally — four weeks is a long time to wait!) when I was two days prior to eighteen weeks. I’m not sure if it’s the same for any of you, but I’m always of two minds when we have a doctor’s appointment: I’m so grateful to have one, because it gives me definitive evidence that March baby is continuing to live, but I’m also completely anxious, because that definitive evidence could also tell us that March baby has died. On Tuesday, when it got to the point where they used the fetal doppler to check for a heartbeat, I like to think I was initially calm.

But then it seemed like it was taking so much longer than last time to find the beat, and my calm went away in increasing increments. The doctor kept telling me it was so normal, but at the same time she kept moving the thing to different places because we weren’t hearing a heartbeat yet and all I kept screaming in my head was, “THAT’S WHAT THEY TOLD US LAST TIME!” Right about the time I knew I was going to completely lose it, that I was convinced she would take up the doppler and tell me what I already knew, that “it happened again, it happened again, it happened again” was on a constant loop in my head — the sound changed. And I felt like I barely gasped out, “Is that it?!”

And it was. And it was okay. And the heartbeat was strong and normal. And I was amazingly relieved but I also full on started crying because holy shit I had been in such a state of panic that we had lost another child. The doctor was kind, and was again trying to assure us that it was normal for it to take awhile to find a heartbeat at this stage, and attempting to respectfully figure out why our emotions had shot sky high, and all I could get out as I attempted to get myself under control was, “We thought it happened again.” And then hubs took over and explained the backstory.

The doctor was kind, and almost immediately went into this mode of how the practice could help make the process better for me (which still surprises me, no matter how many of the staff make up for my awful first visit there). She offered then and there to schedule more frequent heartbeat checks if we wanted. I had been trying to just have faith over this last month waiting for the check up, and we go in for the gender ultrasound in a little under two weeks, and I feel like I can last until then.

But if I could go back and start this pregnancy over again, I would schedule more frequent heartbeat checks from the start. I wanted to fight for March baby but also be brave and have faith. People — you can do those things and still get more regular piece of mind. That’s my advice to anyone out there like me. Honestly, if we manage to get March baby here safe and sound, and we are lucky enough to get pregnant again later on, I will for sure be scheduling those right away.

According to my pregnancy app, March baby can hear some things now, so I talk to him/her at night. I tell the baby how we were given quite a fright at the appointment, and how we are so relieved they are still here with us. And I press my hand against my stomach and will the baby to move enough so that I can finally feel it. Just something else to reassure that things are still on-going, still hopeful, still growing.

Dropping the baby bomb!

Hubs and I dropped the baby bomb today — we made our social-media-official announcement that March baby is incoming! And it felt really good. But, not gonna lie, we also felt a little apprehension, anxiety, and fear. We are still illogically worried about jinxes. Personally, I have to keep reminding myself that Charlie didn’t die because we shared our joy back in the spring. And if, God forbid, we lose March baby too, it will not be as a result of sharing our hope and happiness now.

I still want our hope to be bigger <3.

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The st(ring) theory — brought to you by the old wives

Yesterday hubs and I went to visit at my mom’s apartment, because we were having a family lunch with cousins who were in town and other cousins that live much closer but we still don’t see a lot. Along for the ride were the new generation (as it currently stands), which is weird and beautiful at the same time. Six grown women, three babies, one second grader, and my husband as the lone grown man (he handles it well though — to be honest, the men are typically outnumbered in my family). And we were happy to be together, to play with the kids, to coo over the newest baby, to speculate over the baby-to-be that I’m growing at the moment.

One of my cousins brought up the ring trick and swore that every time she did it, it gave her the same results and she was certain it was right. Like me, she went through a miscarriage before her baby boy was born last January and she said that prior to the miscarriage the results for her were girl-boy-girl, and that after the miscarriage the results changed to boy-girl. So she did this trick to one of my other cousins who has two-under-two, and the results were girl-boy, which is indeed the order of her children. Then she did it to herself to further demonstrate, and then of course it was my turn.

It was explained like this: If the ring on a string goes circular, it means you’re having a boy. If it swings side to side, it means you’re having a girl. If either movement is very large in execution, it means twins. If it doesn’t really move, it means no more babies. And the idea is you can keep doing until the ring-on-a-string says no more.

I didn’t really buy into it, but it seemed quirky and fun so I let her do it. As she began, my aunt walked in and asked what was happening, to which hubs deadpanned, “Some sort of satanic Wiccan ritual.” Ha!

The first time it went circular and they all crowed “boy!”. The second time it stopped, which my cousin proclaimed meant I would only have one child. I know it may seem stupid and illogical, but my heart skipped a little at that. I have always planned on more than one child. At least two, so my children had a “person”. And I know, that after March baby is born, eventually we will start trying for another. So to hear her say the stars and fates or whatever only give me one child, my thoughts immediately went to — Oh, God. All my other babies will die. All this processing and these thoughts happened maybe within a 15 second time span, and I tried to outwardly laugh it off and said, “Well, we’ll just adopt a second one then!”

But it bothered me. And I was very uncomfortable that it bothered me, because I knew it was just an old wives’ tale. A ring on a string cannot accurately predict anything! But it rankled me enough that later that night I did it to myself. Now, I should tell you; before I did it, I looked up the tale to be sure I have the results right. Here’s the thing. Different articles/posts/experiences contradicted what meant what as far as ring movement and where to suspend the string. Some said circle = boy/lateral = girl, others said the completed opposite. Some said you had to hold it over a hand, others said over the pregnant belly, others said they were interchangeable. Which made me feel marginally better, since it was so inconsistent.

But I still tried it anyway. First time was circular, just like before. Second time, it initially stopped, like before as well. But I held the string over my hand longer, and eventually it started to move again — lateral. (To which I thought, of course! I mean gravity and laws of physics have to be exerting some force on this experiment.) The third time, it was still, and it stayed still no matter how long I continued to hold it.

I was partially satisfied with my little foray into the ritual, but it still bothered me that it bothered me in the first place.