With so many dates to remember, my mind often swims with months, numbers, years: expected due dates, actual birth dates, death dates. Some days I spend long minutes at a time running through all the important days, quizzing myself shamelessly. With three losses, there is a bare minimum of six dates to remember. Six dates that float around constantly as I am always frightened I will forget one. Sometimes, I do forget one (or several). After we lost Sophia, I thought there was no way I would ever forget her due date, her birth date, and her death date. With each consecutive loss, however, the dates muddle into a pool of confusing digits, murky with sadness, guilt, and grief.
Baby Three was our most recent loss. Baby Three’s due date was only a week away from a friend’s due date. Baby Three’s due date was a year ago today. Instead of having a cold winter birthday, Baby Three shares my birthday, as I am sure I will remember come next June.
All day, Baby Three streamed through my mind as I recalled the brief pregnancy, littered with doom from early on. Baby Three survived several subchorionic hematomas, some of the blood clots so large and frightening I was certain we lost Baby Three several times. Baby Three sent me to the ER in the middle of one desolate night, tears streaming down my face, as I lost a huge blood clot and just knew he was gone. After hours of tests and waiting at the hospital, we found out he was not gone. He survived what was a hurricane engulfing his tiny world. He thrived through several more attempts the Universe made at knocking him down.
Eight quick weeks with Baby Three were filled with more trips to the doctor than I would like to remember: beta checks every other day in the beginning to ensure the rise in hormone levels, multiple ultrasounds to monitor Baby Three and the blood clots, only to culminate in tearful, grueling, mentally exhausting beta checks every week for one-and-a-half months to ensure my hormone levels went down. Topping off this disgustingly horrifying sundae of emotions, a thromosis panel taking 21 vials of blood left me lightheaded, dizzy, and poorer (as insurance fought payment of this). Ultimately confused and disappointed, we were left with “normal” results and no answers. In the meantime, we had Baby Three’s chromosomes tested, which frustratingly also came back “normal”.
The wind–and tears–were knocked out of me during the lab results call: Baby Three was a boy. Unable to breathe, unable to think, unable to respond to the kind compassionate nurse on the other end of our invisible connection, I continued on with work as if I had not just learned we had lost our little boy. Baby Three–who fought so hard, who hung in there with me through some wild adventures–was our son.
I am proud of him for surviving remarkably tough trials for a young life. I am proud of myself for enduring a sampling of the most trying days of my less-young life. While the traumatic events haunt me and continue to have a hold on my reasonable senses, he deserves to be remembered on this date.
Everything I did was for him. Everything I do is still for him (and Sophia and Baby Two).
He would have liked the frozen yogurt toast we had in his honor.