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!

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.

Somebody’s an acrobat

After months of intense fear, the 12-week appointment last week made me feel like a dark cloud had been lifted. We passed. We cleared the first hurdle. March baby is fine. Wiggling around so much it took the tech forever to see the markers she needed to see to check for the screening stuff. Baby was in there doing full on somersaults! I fully expected to cry, either way, when we found out if the baby was okay or not. But once the tech told us the baby was alive, and growing, and had a good heart beat, all of a sudden for the the first time in months, I didn’t need to cry. I was just amazingly relieved and marveling at this little life that I felt like it was finally okay for me to celebrate.

Before we left that night, the tech told me that if I ever just have a day during the pregnancy when I need immediate confirmation that everything is okay, I can just call and come in to have them check the heartbeat. I didn’t believe her at first, since at my very first appointment the nurse practitioner had told me in NO uncertain terms that I could NOT come in for peace-of-mind checks. But the tech assured me that I could, and then said, “When you go through something like what you when through, especially when you didn’t have any signs, it messes with your mind.” And then again told me to just feel free to come in. I so appreciated her the entire way through the appointment, and even more during that last brief conversation. Because she’s right. The loss of Charlie had messed with my mind. Messed with my heart. Messed with my life. Not that it’s Charlie’s fault, of course not; but that level of grief — I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure how I could go through that again.

We came home on Cloud 9. We shared the good news with family and friends who knew about the pregnancy, and felt safe enough to share about March baby with a few more people who hadn’t known. We hung the sonogram on our fridge. We started to address the future with March baby like it was a tangible thing now. The fear isn’t totally gone, I’ll admit. I’m a little worried that at my check up on Tuesday the universe will bust out with a “Ha! Just kidding! Everything is NOT fine! GOTCHA!” But I also feel that we’ve fully moved into hope over fear and I’m so grateful. And I feel lighter.

We’ve got a little acrobat :-).